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Welcome to Day 5 of Janet and Randy's London Trip 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Woke up to a message from my brother saying "Is today the day I'm supposed to meet you guys in London"?  Har, har, Dennis.  He took an early morning flight from Geneva and got to our flat around 10:30am. 

Shortly after he arrived, Randy and I went out to grab a drink at Starbucks.  Then we stopped at a grocery store and bought a few more supplies.  We were meeting our friend Ginette at 2:00pm at Trafalgar Square, so we left the flat around noon to go over to that area and have some lunch first.

Janet and Randy at Trafalgar SquareWe walked to the nearby South Kensington station and bought some Oyster cards to make taking the Underground easier.  We caught a train to Leicester Square, then began making our way to Trafalgar Square.  We came across the Garrick Arms pub, and decided to have lunch there.  Randy had some fish and chips and I had a pulled pork wrap.  Both were good.  I think Randy's meal was even better than the fish and chips I had a few days ago.  Batter on the fish was thick and tasty and the "three times cooked chips" were, well, chips !

We continued to Trafalgar Square and got there a little early to meet our friend.  So, we wandered around until it was time to meet her.  It was a bank holiday weekend, so there was a ton of people at the square, along with various buskers. The latest busker thing to do is to have a very cleverly disguised platform that makes it look like the person on the platform is levitating.  there were 3 characters dressed up as Yoda, one guy completely painted up in silver and one other grim reaper type character.  Even though it had been almost 20 years since we last saw Ginette, we had no trouble finding here in the crowd.  We went across the street to St. Martin-in-the-Fields church to have some drinks in their basement cafe (called the Crypt).  Over coffee, we caught up on what we had been up to for the past two decades.

View of Buckingham Palace from the MallOnce we were finished our coffees, we decided to head out and wander around.  Ginette took us down the Mall to Buckingham palace.  On Sundays, the Mall (think wide Street)is closed to traffic, so you can walk right down the middle of the road that leads to Buckingham Palace.  We took some pictures outside of Buckingham Palace, then walked through St. James Park to Horse Guards Parade.  We then continued on to Westminster Abbey, where Ginette took us behind the church where we were able to poke our head into a secluded square called the Dean's Yard.  That was cool to see something that only a local would know about.

We decided that we needed to sit down and have a cool drink, so Ginette suggested taking the tube to London Bridge Station, and going to the nearby George Inn - where Shakespeare supposedly drank at.  We sat at an outside table and had some alcoholic beverages. As we had our drink there were more and more people filing in and some families.  Which I wouldn't have thought was acceptable, and as the little kids were causing quite the commotion and the non-existing parenting was clear, we finished up and headed out

After a while, we were starting to get hungry, so Ginette suggested taking us to Chinatown for some crispy duck.  So, it was back on the tube to the Leicester Square station and a short block to Chinatown.  She took us to the Overseas Chinese restaurant.  To make it easy, we just ordered a dinner for 3 that included a crispy duck entree.

The meal started with some shrimp chips - which were way better than any I've had at home.  Then a platter of appetizers - sesame toast, spring rolls and chicken skewer.  Next was the crispy duck.  This was shredded duck that came with crepes, cucumber and onion.  You would put some hoisin sauce on the crepe, then load it up with the duck, cucumber and onion and make a sort of burrito.  It was very delicious!  We finished off the duck, but still had fried rice, chili chicken, beef, vegetables and prawn dishes to come.  By the time these other dishes arrived, I had a bit of a second wind, so was able to enjoy these dishes as well.  But, we did have leftovers - which we insisted that Ginette take home to her husband Evan (who wasn't able to join us today).

By the time we finished our meal, it was 8:00pm, so we caught the tube back to our flat and spent some time visiting with my brother before going to bed.



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