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goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

goddesstogo and mr. goddess's big London adventure (an ongoing tale)

Old Nov 16th, 2010, 01:56 PM
  #581  
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GTG, if you care to meet for drinks when you are in the Mayfair area one of these days, give me a shout here.
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Old Nov 16th, 2010, 02:23 PM
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Hi hsv,
Are you in London? For some reason I thought you were in the Netherlands. Or am I confusing you with another poster?

I'd love to meet for a drink one day. I might be in that area later this week, depending on what we're doing about a friend's visit, but even if that doesn't work out, I can surely be there sometime next week.
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Old Nov 16th, 2010, 11:35 PM
  #583  
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I am not in the Netherlands. Based in London, work in Mayfair. Next week looks better for me than this, but am fully booked on Wed.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:40 AM
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Oh, sorry, I had a brain cramp and was confusing you with hetismij.

Just on the off-chance you're available sort of last-minute, I'm thinking of doing the Mayfair London Walk tomorrow morning. It starts at 10:30 and lasts about two hours and then I'll schmooze around a bit. Would you be available for a mid-afternoon drink or tea stop? I know it's not giving you very much notice and if this doesn't work for you, I'm happy to stay with meeting next week. Just thought I'd give it a try, though.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 06:15 AM
  #585  
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During the day is normally quite difficult for me - but I we could meet either Monday or Friday. Monday after 17.30 h would be o.k. or Friday after 17.00 h. We could do that this Friday, too.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 09:21 AM
  #586  
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Can we make a tentative plan for next Friday (the 26th) and firm it up during the week. We have friends from home here next week and although they're not staying with us, I'm not sure when they'll be expecting to see us. But so far, next Friday looks good.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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jealous now
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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The welcome mat is always out, annhig!
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:31 PM
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GTG - I've been following your thread and I was wondering if you like the area where you are staying for convenience getting around, walking etc. or would you recommend staying in another area. Which area of London would you stay in if you came back for any length of time or would you go back to this area?

Just wondering. I think my DH is tired of hearing me tell him about this thread and what your're doing.
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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Yeah, pub crawls! Oh right, I'm here in the states Seen any commemorative souvenirs yet for the upcoming royal wedding?!
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Old Nov 17th, 2010, 11:27 PM
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sounds good.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Hi Sue,
I'm very happy with where we're staying, both the apartment and the location. We're in West Hampstead and we're on the residential stretch of the High Street, West End Lane. Within about five minutes' walk we have an Underground station which is on the Jubilee line, a Thameslink rail station and another rail station (which we've never had occasion to use). We've got tons of restaurants, cafes and pubs, a small Tesco, a public library, a post office, and about a million news agents. What's not here, but is not missed, is a Boots which seems to be in every other neighbourhood. About a 15 minute walk from us is a big Waitrose and Sainsbury and two multi-plex movie theatres, and the leisure centre which has a huge gym, a bigger public library and a lovely cafe. We usually walk unless we have lots of groceries, in which case we take the bus. On the weekends the Jubilee line is sometimes (but not always) closed for upgrading and in that case a replacement bus is provided to take us to the nearest functioning station. Outside our door I can catch a bus that will take me to Selfridges and Marks & Spencer and then to Oxford Circus (right past Abbey Road Studios!) We're on several other bus routes too but that's the one I use most often.

The streets are always lively but the residential stretch is quiet. We've never been bothered by street noise. I've always felt safe here but then I rarely feel unsafe in any city. The neighbourhood streets are lined with lovely houses that are either private homes or broken up into flats.

While it's a very convenient and nice neighbourhood, our main street doesn't have the charm of Hampstead or Highgate but it's not rough or run-down. When we decided to come live here for almost four months, what we wanted was a 'regular neighbourhood', not a tourist area. Now to be sure, if I were richer, I'd might be living in a ritzier neighbourhood but that's true at home too. This one suits us fine.

I went on a London Walk today and heard a woman telling another woman that she's renting a studio flat in Bloomsbury for 650 pounds a week. We have a nice one-bedroom for 350 pounds a week (plus a bit for bills). I would have liked Bloomsbury too but couldn't find anything suitable for us in our price range. Our apartment owner has been great. She's out of the country so she's not popping in every minute to check on her place but when we've had questions or concerns, she's responded to our emails immediately.

I'd have no problem returning to this neighbourhood (and god knows, if I had the money, I'd buy a flat here in a minute) but there's not a neighbourhood we've walked in where I haven't said "this is where I'd like to live". If you want to be within walking distance of all the tourist attractions, this probably wouldn't be right for you, although I don't think we've ever been more than about a half hour's travel from wherever we've wanted to go. If, like us, you want to feel like you live here, then this is a great neighbourhood for that.

I'm so happy that we've had this opportunity that that we've taken it. Believe me, within a couple of weeks prior to us leaving we both had serious family concerns come up and both of us thought about cancelling. As it turns out, our staying home would not have eased either situation so it's a good thing we didn't mention our concerns to each other.

Sue, if you're thinking of doing it -- do it. We had considered both New York and London and chose London because of the ease of traveling in Europe and the fact that my SO had to be there anyway for a couple of conferences. The only problem is that now that I'm so happy here, it's going to be a BIG adjustment going home!

So...today.
Today I went on the Mayfair London Walk. I thought the Hampstead one was more interesting but I enjoyed this one as well. We'd already explored that area on our own a couple of times but it was nice to hear the stories and get an explanation of the blue plaques. Did you know that black plaques (and I haven't seen one yet) mean the person was murdered or committed suicide? We were also yelled at (or at least talked tersely at) by a rich lady coming out of her front door saying they shouldn't be running a tour in front of her house. I think our guide was a little embarrassed.

The walk ended at the American Embassy and I went off to find a sandwich for lunch. I walked along a few streets I hadn't yet explored in the New Bond Street area (and discovered Claridges), walked along Oxford Street, bought a nice jacket in Debenham's and came home. Pizza and wine in the 'hood for dinner tonight and now I'm going to catch up with email.
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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GTG - Thanks for the great info. The reason I asked was for the feel of "regular neighourhood" also, not a tourist area. We've seen the tourist attractions. (You're right about those serious family issues coming up)

I'll keep on following your Big London Adventure

(I like Boots also)
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Old Nov 18th, 2010, 02:39 PM
  #594  
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So? Are you thinking of taking a long-term trip somewhere?
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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What an interesting day we had today! It was especially nice for me because SO took the day off so we got to 'play' together. We started off by taking the London Walk of the Old Jewish Quarter which took us through some of the less pretty, less glamorous parts of London but what a fascinating history there is there! One of the things we did was visit the Bevis Marks Synagogue where the shammes (the sexton in a synagogue) sat down and talked with us for about half an hour about the shul and its history. Then we walked through the old market streets of the area, Petticoat Lane, and Spitalfields and ended up at Liverpool Station at the monument to the children brought to England from Europe during the war. The walk ended there but SO and I walked back to Spitalfields to have lunch at Wagamama because we'd never been there before. It was pretty good.

After lunch we decided to see if we could get returned tickets for Warhorse so we scooted over to Drury Lane. There weren't two tickets for tonight (although there was one available) but we got a good price on tickets for next Tuesday night and a recommendation of a nearby place for dinner -- Wolfies -- so we walked over there to make a reservation. We walked around the neighbourhood a bit and within minutes found ourselves at Covent Garden tube station. I'm constantly surprised by the ease of walking from one lovely, busy neighbourhood to the other. My SO bought a very nice casual sports jacket at the M&S there and then even though we were right across from that station, we walked back to Holborn just for the walk, and came home.

Tonight we're walking down to Kilburn High Street to have dinner at a pub SO saw there.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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Hi GTC - I've been saying for YEARS (even before I began reading your thread) that I want to take off about 4 weeks and stay in London and live like you guys are and not a tourist, because we are always rushing around on vacation from am - pm., but I can relax more then DH can. We can and do take off alot for vacations because we own a small business and his son takes over for him but I have to play catch-up when I come back and I have to do payroll ahead of time etc.etc. but that's ok. Plus we both have older (sick) parents etc., but you know if we keep putting it off, then we'll be old and sick. (he's in 60's and I'm in 50's, I'm really into England/Scotland history and read about it all the time ,that's why I enjoy it there.

So I'm trying to get my ducks in a row (they are not co-operating though) and see what happens.

Those Fodor's GTG's sound like fun. O

What's your adventure today?
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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Another reason, we would have more oxygen in London then we do in Colorado. <
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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>>we would have more oxygen in London then we do in Colorado<<

Hmm. Metaphorically, maybe, but you should see the pollution haze hanging over us some mornings.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Patrick - true but I won't tell DH about it.
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Old Nov 19th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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600 posts about a Canadian going somewhere. Even if 500 of the posts are hers, it still makes me proud.
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