I spent a lovely day wandering around London. I slept about 12 hours and awoke feeling almost human. Jet lag, thankfully, has never been a huge problem for me. At Jean's advice, I had breakfast at Carluccio's, which was fine. Then I headed out for a walk to the Columbia flower market.
From there, I headed south along Brick Lane (Jean left me a great map!) which was packed with vendors hawking everything from seafood to CDs, then on to Old Spitalfield's Market. Anyone who knows me would recognize that, by then, I'd had enough crowds and "shopping," so I hopped on bus #11, again at Jean's advice, which hit several London tourist spots _ St. Paul's Cathedral, 11 Downing Street, Big Ben, among others. Unfortunately, my camera battery died at the flower market, so you won't see any photos. Sorry.
I ended up in Chelsea and with my feet tired and sore, I hopped on the Tube and managed to find Jean's flat without any difficulty. Amazing. For anyone keeping track, the underground ride (about 30 minutes) cost me about $8.
Topping the day off, I had an absolutely incredible dinner at The Barnsbury, a few doors down from Jean's place on Liverpool Road. It's a gastropub _ a bar with really good food. Clever, huh? I enjoyed the most breathtaking risotto with truffle oil and artichokes and a glass of white wine for about $42. Gulp.
A few observations:
_ It must be Indian Summer here because people are dressed as if it's much warmer than it is, which is high 60s, very low 70s.
_ People are polite and helpful, but not particularly friendly. For example, asking directions is great because people are really helpful, but my efforts to strike up full conversations have been largely unsuccessful.
_ Any city that paints its curbs with which direction one should look before crossing (Look Left, Look Right) is poorly laid out.
_ Lilly Allen rocks.
_ I desperately wish my Midwestern American accent was half as sexy as English ones.
_ London is bloody expensive.