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janisj Jan 9th, 2014 02:42 PM

Paris, London, 49ers and Fodors GTG
 
I am <i>two</i> trip reports behind so I'll try to catch up here. (Have to write another one about Yosemite over Christmas)

This trip revolved around the 49er/Jaguar game at Wembley Stadium. I fit in three days in Paris, then took the Eurostar back to London for the game/, a Fodors GTG and shopping/theatre

<B>Oct 22/23 SMF > LHR, Eurostar to Paris, late night Vedette du Pont Neuf </B>

I flew SMF/DFW/LHR. The AA flight to DFW was TOTALLY full and they were begging for volunteers. Made the 1:25 connection at DFW with time to spare and the BA flight was barely 1/3 full. I haven't been on such an empty plane in years. I was in coach but had window/middle/aisle all to myself(!) Heaven. After take off many passengers moved to other seats so everyone had tons of space. Interestingly - one very large man stuck in the middle of the center section never moved a muscle on the entire flight. The guy in front of him reclined all the way back and this poor man was squished . . . but he stayed planted there all the way to LHR.

Normally I'd fly directly on to Paris from LHR but earlier in the Fall I learned an old friend in London was moving back to the States that week. If we planned carefully there would be time to meet for lunch and then I'd take the Eurostar to Paris.

So that's what we did. I cleared immigration really quickly, re-filled my Oyster and was on the tube less than 40 minutes after docking at the gate - traveling carry on only speeded thing up. Meat Gwen at Searcy's upstairs at St Pancras and had a nice visit catching up on 5 years of news.

My Eurostar seat faced backwards and only had a partial window - but didn't matter to me one whit since I was zonked out cold before we were in the Kent countryside.

Arrived at Gare du Nord a little after 6PM and I decide to take a cab instead of hassling on the metro. There was quite a queue for taxis but it moved pretty fast. Now . . . I am totally used to crazy cab rides/drivers. Heck, I used to race sports cars so wild rides don't phase me. Well -- THIS cab ride sure did. Mr Toad's Wild Ride at DL doesn't hold a candle - a crazy man w/ a death wish :) But he got me there in one piece.

I stayed at the Hotel Paris Rivoli on the Rue de Rivoli in the Marais - got a very good rate on hotels.com. The room was small-ish but larger than many Paris hotel rooms and was more than adequate. Large bathroom with a deep tub/shower over. The staff was very friendly and helpful and spoke great English.

After checking in and freshening up I went out about 7:30 for a long/head clearing/jet lag defeating walk. Just wandered and got totally turned around but scoped out all sorts of interesting shops I'd try to visit another day. Eventually made it to the Hotel DeVille and across the river. It was such a nice night - decided to catch a Vedette river cruise. Walking back around 10:30 - I still hadn't had dinner and was getting just a tad loopy so stopped at a nearby sidewalk creperie . . . so my fist gourmet meal in Paris was a chicken/tomato/onion crepe and a split of white wine courtesy of BA, sitting on my bed.

Next <B>Oct 24. Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Orangerie, shopping

Nikki Jan 9th, 2014 02:50 PM

Signing on for the ride.

Patty Jan 9th, 2014 03:14 PM

Looking forward to more and will be very interested in:

<i>Have to write another one about Yosemite over Christmas</i>

I've tried and failed to go to Yosemite in winter 4 times. I think I have a Yosemite curse.

irishface Jan 9th, 2014 04:31 PM

Looking forward to more. Janis, you are always so good at sharing info on this forum that it makes me glad that you are getting another chance to travel!

Paquintravel Jan 9th, 2014 05:09 PM

Looking forward to your report. :)

janisj Jan 9th, 2014 05:42 PM

Thanks - most of this is from memory and a few notes in my mini iPad so I may miss some of the details . . .

<B>Oct 24. Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Orangerie, shopping</B>

Slept very well and didn't feel the effects of jet lag much at all. It was a glorious morning -- cool, crisp and a few fluffy clouds. A day to be outside. So after a continental breakfast (included in my room special) I headed out to Pere Lachaise Cemetery. I didn't realize there are no guides/maps available in the cemetery - later discovered a tabac near the metro station sells them but by then it was too late. So anyone going to the cemetery be sure to stop in the shops as you come up out of the Metro station and get a guide there. There may be a iPhone app - not sure about that. The place is ENORMOUS and very confusing - one really does need a guide. So what was I to do??? At the entrance there is a signboard w/ a list of many notables' graves listed by number, and then another sign board w/ a map and the applicable numbers. So -- I took a close up photo of each of the boards w/ my iPad. The resolution of both photos was really good even enlarged to the max so I had a 'guide' in a fashion. I'd check the list and then flip to the next photo of the map. This jerry rigged set up worked great and I even ended up helping some others find graves.

Some of the ones I remember seeing include Ocsar Wilde, Simone Signoret & Yves Montand, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Chopin, Balzac, Georges Seurat . . . and there were quite a few others. They've finally put up plexiglass sheets around Oscar Wilde's monument to stop everyone planting bright red lip prints on it- But it was still had more tokens/flowers/lip prints than any other grave I saw. Jim Morrison's is sort of tucked in behind some other memorials and fenced off w/ tacky metal railing so you can't very close to it -- but people still did.

After about 2.5 hours there I was done w/ dead people ;) and decided to rejoin the living. Took the metro back to Hotel DeVille and walked towards the louvre stopping in several department stores and window shopping along the way. Considered eating in the Carrousel du Louvre and then pop into the Louvre for a bit . . . but as I neared it I thought why be stuck in an underground shopping center on such a beautiful day. So I continued walking through the Tuileries and ate in one of the open air cafes in the gardens. Had a sort of Caprese Salad and white wine.

It was late afternoon and I while I hadn't booked the Orangerie I figured it would be worth a shot. Well, the line was very long and it looked iffy whether I'd get in. But they put a barrier about 50 people behind me in the queue and said anyone behind that would not get in but the rest of us would. As I entered the building there was almost exactly 1 hour til closing time. Normally that wouldn't have been long enough - but the major exhibition was Frida Kahlo and I am not a Frida fan (seems everywhere I go there is either a Frida, a Diego, or a Frida AND Diego show >) ) so I ended up w/ a full hour w/ the monumental Waterlillies. I've seen lots of Monet's waterlilies other times in other galleries - but the ones in the Orangerie are breathtaking.

Made my way back down the rue Du Rivoli and ate dinner about 7:30 at La Tartine just up the road from the hotel. It was REALLY good. Had a sole dish (can't now totally remember how it was prepared but know it was very good and I would have eaten there again if I hadn't run out of days)

Next: <B>Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, - Fabulous lunch with a billion dollar view

TexasAggie Jan 9th, 2014 05:49 PM

Always enjoy your reports so much!

ruedebuci Jan 9th, 2014 07:12 PM

Great start! IF there is one thing I don't like about Paris it is the cab drivers. Lots of scary folks.

Nikki Jan 10th, 2014 03:03 AM

Glad you enjoyed La Tartine, it was the one place I went back to several times on my last visit.

TPAYT Jan 10th, 2014 03:45 AM

Lunch with a billion dollar view? Bring it on!
Enjoying your report.

annhig Jan 10th, 2014 04:35 AM

bmk

kovsie Jan 10th, 2014 05:58 AM

Thanks for posting this. I am avidly following!

Cathinjoetown Jan 10th, 2014 06:04 AM

Signing on.

2010 Jan 10th, 2014 06:39 AM

Even with a map, locating specific markers in Pere Lachaise Cemetery is like one big treasure hunt. You did well, Janis!

I look forward to more!

TDudette Jan 10th, 2014 06:54 AM

Can't imagine why that man stayed put on the flight. Great idea to take a photo of the maps!

Very enjoyable, more soon please|!

annhig Jan 10th, 2014 08:36 AM

Great start - more, please jj.

latedaytraveler Jan 10th, 2014 09:58 AM

Hi Janisj,

I will be following your TR to London and Paris with interest. Great idea to connect with your friend at St. Pancras Station. “Next time” I expect to check out one of the eateries there after visiting the nearby British Library. Read about the renovations to the station and elegant hotel in recent years.

On to Paris. Did you have any time to view the Walter-Guillaume Collection (Picasso, Matisee, Modigliani) on the lower level of the Orangerie?

Enjoyed your trek through Pere Lachaise in good weather. Will stay aboard…

janisj Jan 10th, 2014 10:19 AM

<B>Notre Dame, Ste Chapelle, - Fabulous lunch with a billion dollar view</B>

Today wasn't a day of discovery or new places but mostly going to places I've been several to many times before. I have a friend who had a mild stroke (and he's younger than me - yikes!) and I told him I'd light a candle at Notre Dame for him. So that sort dictated where the day would at least start. Had another nice breakfast at the Hotel and then went walking (I bought a carnet at St Pancras and walked so much I barely half of it in 3 days - ended up giving 3 or 4 metro tickets to the hotel desk when I checked out). First I wandered around Ile St. Louis window shopped, and had tea/pastry somewhere - but honestly can't remember where on the island. Then across the Bridge to ile de la Cite. There was quite a queue to get into Notre Dame (there was a big sort of bleachers/platforms/stages out front for entertainers - apparently being the tail end of the cathedral's year long 850 year commemoration)

While I waited in line was entertained by a large group of break dancers - they had an enthusiastic audience in the stands but weren't really that good. Got in to the Cathedral and while it was crowded - not unbearably so. Been several times so I spent less than an jour inside but did light a candle for my friend.

Then I walked over to Ste Chapelle. I don't know how many times I've been there between daytime visits and even concerts but it is someplace I will NEVER tire of. One of the most beautiful building interiors anywhere. Folks are always advising to go on a sunny day so the windows are brighter, but honestly on a cloudy day they are just as nice. More subtle maybe, but really beautiful. Today was overcast and occasionally drippy but the windows were wonderful. I don't think I've ever been there on a REALLY dark day and that probably does make a difference.

I think every time I've been at Ste Chapelle I'll overhear someone saying something like "Is that all? This wasn't worth the wait in line?" . . . while standing in the ground floor chapel and not realizing they have to go up the spiral stairs. I always try to help and show them where the doorway is - can you imagine visiting this breathtaking place . . . and leaving in confusion never having seen the windows?? (and that is only the English speakers I'm aware of - I'm sure it isn't just 'dim' Americans or Aussies who are confused) :(

Been to the Eiffel Tower many times but it has been years since I was on the Trocadero side of the river and I wanted to take some photos from there so I took the metro over. This was the wettest part of the day not really raining but misty enough that I was glad to have my umbrella and walking shoes since the marble pavement around the Trocadero gets really REALLY slippery - but that didn't deter all the young girls/women I saw in mini skirts and really REALLY high heels tromping around . . I would have broken my neck for sure!

Early on I had decided to have one really posh meal while in Paris and considered considered many of the special/michelin star places . . . But then figured, do I really want to do the big/posh/momentous meal as a solo? Probably overkill. So then I changed tack and decided a good meal but w/ a MAJOR view so more for an experience than just a foodie dream.

I've been up the Montparnasse Tower a couple of times and had a casual lunch there years ago before it was redone as Ciel De Paris - and that is where I decided to go. Decent if not spectacular food but with an unsurpassed view. http://www.cieldeparis.com Problem was - I tried to book weeks before my trip and the on-line booking was really 'twitchy' and I could never get it to work. I had sort of given up and decided to just go to some nice restaurant 'on the fly'. But when I checked in to the hotel - and we were chatting about what I planned to do during my stay this came up and the desk clerk (who I think was the manager) picked up the phone and called the restaurant and booked a 2:30 lunch for me two days later. :D

So that is how I ended up at the top of the world - or at least the top of Paris. They gave me a window table which I hoped for but being a single it is often the small table near the servers station for me :) (and the place was pretty full even at that odd hour). I had a Lobster soup w/ sea urchin starter, duck two ways (breast and confit) with sweet cabbage and cranberries, one glass of wine, some sparkling water and tea after -- €75. The food was very good - not spectacular. The service was very good - almost spectacular. And the view was extremely good, TOTALLY spectacular! Maybe a €60 meal w/ a priceless view.

Took the metro back to St Michel and wandered around the 5th for an hour or two, then back across the river and back to the hotel by maybe 7:30. Was not the least bit hungry and ended up w/ just snacks and another BA wine for a late night 'supper'.

Next:<B> Eurostar to London, Harrods (yes, I <i>know</i> ;) One Man, Two Guvnors

janisj Jan 10th, 2014 10:24 AM

Jeeze - need to preview (I don't have Word currently on my laptop so I'm composing and writing at the same time)

That is >> . . . I spent less than an hour . . .<<

and >>I don't know how many times I've been there between daytime visits and evening concerts . . .<<

There are probably more - but I'm off for an appointment so you'll have to fend for yourselves :)

jamikins Jan 10th, 2014 11:13 AM

Great report so far!!

Ooh we may have to try that place next time we are in Paris!!

texasbookworm Jan 10th, 2014 11:23 AM

As ever, well done; enjoying traipsing along with you! My first trip to Sainte Chapelle last June left me awed, too.

Nikki Jan 10th, 2014 12:04 PM

I agree about Sainte Chapelle. Go even if it isn't sunny.

TDudette Jan 10th, 2014 12:14 PM

DH and I gave each other a look "is that all there is?" when we entered that first floor! Fortunately, there was a sign at the staircase when we were there. I can't remember if it was in French. It was described as a jewel in DK books so I knew there had to be more.

Continuing to sigh for Paris!

flpab Jan 10th, 2014 12:52 PM

The concentration camp memorials were very moving at Pere Lachaise and those for the French resistance. I had just read the book Waiting for Gertrude so was looking for certain graves. We stayed there for several hours. Why do they stick gum on that tree next to Jim Morrison's grave?

janisj Jan 10th, 2014 02:11 PM

<B>Sat. Oct 26, Eurostar to London, Harrods, One Man, Two Guvnors</B>

After another decent continental breakfast I took a cab to Gare du Nord to catch my 10:30 Eurostar to London. Had a much nicer seat this way which s a good thing since this time I was wide awake. At St Pancras I caught a cab to the St Giles hotel just off Tottenham Court Rd. My game package included a hotel stay. There was a choice of 1, 2 or 3 nights at a 3, 4 or 5 star hotel and three grades of game ticket - end zone general, slightly better general, or club level. It was sort of a Chinese restaurant menu - one from column A, one from column B, etc. The 5 star was the Goring and I was really tempted. But when I thought about it - my reason for taking the package was to get a ticket to the sold out game . . . so I opted for 2 nights at the lowest grade hotel and the very best game seat available. I think this was the best compromise - 2 nights so I wouldn't have to check in and out so fast, 3 star is certainly adequate -- I've stayed in lots worse, and a good seat. (I'd move to another hotel after to nights at the St Giles.)

Because the hotel was part of the NFL package to a sold out Wembley - you can understand it was really crowded. I much have lucked out because the specific time I arrived the check in queues were short but every other time I walked through the lobby it was a zoo. It was too early to get into my room but they let me check in and I left my bag. Then I went to the NFL table and picked up my game package. It included a one day 6 zone travel card for Sunday, various bits and bobs . . . and my ticket. Now I knew I'd be on the club level but I scored a <u>forty yard line</u> seat in the second row of the club level. For non (American) football fans . . . 40 yard line is super fantabulous! The fellow who gave out my packet made a big deal of this and the two guys behind me in line were duly impressed - and offered to buy me a drink ;) I'm no dummy - drugs in the drink and ticket lifted off my poor limp body >) LOL! (But we did meet up in the hotel bar the next night after the game)

I dropped my bag and headed out to Harrods. I know what some think of the place - but I have a tradition of buying an enamel box there every trip to London - I have quite a collection and each one commemorates something going on either in my life or in the UK. This time I bought 2 - one commemorating the birth of Prince George and a tiny one w/ an initial J on the lid. Then I ate a late lunch n the Champagne Bar. Was sort of a weird, grazing lunch because several of their small plates hit the spot. Had mixed olives, chicken satay, a mimosa (told you it was weird) then a sampler of lobster, pate, 'eggplant caviar', smoked salmon, quail egg, -- sounds bizarre but every part of it was delicious. Cost an absolute fortune but I won't need dinner :)

Took the tube to Leicester Sq to see what was on offer at TKTS. Only show that appealed was One man Two Guvnors - and I got their very last ticket - corner of the Royal Circle. Walked around to Trafalgar Sq to catch the NFL rally -- the place was packed so I just went up on the steps at the National Gallery and got a couple of photos of Joe Montana and a few other players. Walked over to the Waldorf Hilton in Aldwych just to check it out (the hotel I'm moving to after 2 nights at the St Giles) Had a Pimm's in the lobby bar - wrong time of years but it just sounded good.

Returned to the hotel, got my key and unpacked. My room was quite nice really - small but extremely modern/clean bathroom and on a high floor so street noise wasn't bad at all. Then went downstairs to an NFL sponsored party - sort of a buffet/heavy munchies - I mingled but didn't try any of the food.

Then headed to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Anyone who has a chance to see One man Two Guvnors . . . GO! It is absolutely hysterical. Just be sure to not sit in the front row. You have been warned!!!

Back to the hotel - still partying going on so I popped in for a half pint and some salad, went upstairs and fell into bed . . .

next: <B>V&A, Wembley, Champagne on the club level, Great game (actually not that 'great' a game but GREAT that the niners dominated), and a mob scene getting 'home'

pandaschu Jan 10th, 2014 06:41 PM

It is such fun reading this trip report- I love the detail.

It's always interesting to see what the "experts" get up to in London :) Looking forward to the rest.

pandaschu Jan 10th, 2014 08:59 PM

It is such fun reading this trip report- I love the detail.

It's always interesting to see what the "experts" get up to in London :) Looking forward to the rest.

pandaschu Jan 10th, 2014 09:01 PM

How embarrassing- silly iPhone. no way to delete a post?

Cathinjoetown Jan 11th, 2014 01:29 AM

What fun to do the NFL package! My brother is an official and we keep hoping he'll get a Wembley game. Over the years he's had games in Australia, Barcelona and Germany but none since we've been in Europe.

So far, sounds like they are really doing a great job of promotion and looking after visiting fans. Looking forward to reading about Wembley and the game.

I was just thinking the other day I'd like to get to Harrods again, it's been awhile. I always thought the service was outstanding even for my modest purchases.

annhig Jan 11th, 2014 08:28 AM

Fortunately, there was a sign at the staircase when we were there. I can't remember if it was in French>>

I think it must be - I don't remember but we found upstairs with no problems at all - or perhaps it was our ancient Michelin guide that told us, rather than our "superior" language skills!

Apropos of Harrods, they have just announced that they are closing their "pet" department. so customers wishing to purchase a pet lion or baby elephant will just have to go elsewhere.

TDudette Jan 11th, 2014 10:46 AM

More, more, more please!

julia_t Jan 11th, 2014 11:02 AM

Tagging along for the ride...

I'm still sorry I didn't get to meet you again!

janisj Jan 11th, 2014 11:31 AM

<B>Sunday Oct 27: V&A, Wembley, Champagne on the club level, Great game (actually not that 'great' a game but GREAT that the niners dominated), and a mob scene getting 'home'</B>

This morning there is fine weather but all the news is about an historic storm on the way expected to hit London in the overnight hours. Hoping it holds off till after the game (and it did - mostly) Huge buffet breakfast in the equally huge hotel breakfast rooms which was very crowded and queues at every serving station. 90% of the diners are in Forty Niner colors (even though this is supposed to be a Jacksonville home game).

The stadium will open to the 'plebs' ;) at 3:30 but since I'm <i>special</i> (club level) I can enter at 2:30. But it is only 10 AM so I decide to head over to the V&A for a bit. Spent most time in the English galleries and - headed toward Wembley about 2:00

Everywhere I went on the tube all over the city there were lots of folks in NFL gear. Generally - about 75% niners, maybe 10 or 15% Jags, and the rest a smattering of most other teams. Saw lots of Patriot, Packers and Bears fans - but the vast majority were in Forty Niner strip. I wore an old/classic Ronnie Lott (Hit Man!!! :) ) T shirt and a big/puffy/quilted white satin SF Stadium Club jacket -- nah - you couldn't see me coming a mile away :D

<B>Heads up:</B> If you care nothing about Amurikin football -- you can skip the next bits :)

When I transferred to the Bakerloo line - what had been just a lot of NFL-clad fans became a rolling party of entire tube cars totally full of folks heading to the game. I watched one train roll through the station and it was a solid blur of red w/ all the Niner supporters. I arrived at Wembley Park just before 2:30 and spent just a few minutes checking out all the tents/kiosks. I had decided early on to splurge on my game ticket and not on 'stuff' so I had a fair amount of sales resistance. Bought an inexpensive lanyard just to carry my ticket but that was it. It is a fair walk from the tube station and the entire area was a NFL sponsored festival/sales area plus food kiosks. (there is a nearer train station but the tube was more convenient for me)

I entered the stadium a little after 2:30 - spent maybe 15 minutes total walking/window shopping on the way from the station. On the club level there are the typical food beverage stalls and several restaurants/bars. I decided on a posh-ish sit down place and had champagne and soft shell crabs - no Hotdogs and lager for moi ;)

Then i went to find my seat - which we couldn't enter until 3:30 when the whole building opened - but w/ lunch and walking around gawking I only had to wait a couple of minutes. WOW! What a terrific stadium. I had been inside Wembley once years and years ago - but this is a totally different animal. The roof is open over the playing field but all the seats are under cover and I was plenty warm in my layered t-shirts - didn't need to wear the jacket during the game.

All the pre-game/half time festivities were much bigger than a typical NFL game but not as over the top as a Super Bowl. W/ all the singers, fireworks, drum lines, massive UK/US flags - it was a pretty impressive display.

Everyone around me were super nice and lots of buying of drinks/chatting. Almost everyone around me were also 49er fans -- mostly French and Germans but quite a few blokes and a smattering of Californians. For those not familiar w/ the NFL -- the San Francisco Forty Niners are one of the premier teams -- not the very best record but in the top echelon with an idolized young quarterback while the Jacksonville Jaguars are sort of bottom feeders >) They have been a decent team in the past but they hadn't yet won a game this season (they did eventually win 4 games but lost 12) - so the game result was sort of a foregone conclusion. We (9ers) scored immediately and by the end of the 1st quarter were up 14 points and by half time the score was 28-3. Got so even the 49er fans were rooting for the Jags just hoping they'd get something going. :) The game ended 42-10 and a lot of niner fans left happy.

<B>OK - football talk over</B>

So now the game is over an 83,559 fans are all leaving at the same time> Arrivals were scattered over several hours so there was no real crush but leaving -- and absolute sea of humanity!!! I hung around a while thinking the mob might thin out a bit but it simply grew and grew. I started towards the tube station and it was not fun. As crowd control the place cordoned off sort of corrals holding maybe 1500-2000 people and didn't let anyone through til the next 'corral' ahead emptied. And all these thousand of people are trying to get on the same tube line. I am pretty short and being in the middle of these masses unable to move forward or back until released to the next 'corral' was making me freak a bit - I'm not a claustrophobic sort of girl -- but I was definitely getting there.

After two corrals and still probably 45 minutes from getting to the tube . . I turned around and fought my back to the police line - they weren't letting anyone back out but thinking quick (and acting the dumb American that can sometime help ;) ) I pleaded w/ the bobby that I had made a huge mistake and was supposed to go to the train station, not the tube station. He reluctantly let me through - and I pulled the same thing at the next corral . . . worked!! I was free and could actually see where I was and could breathe again! Then I had to hike around the stadium and over to the train station where there was a semi long queue but teeeeeeensy compared to the mess I'd escaped from. By then the front edge of the storm was arriving and it started to rain but I had my umbrella so only my legs/feet really got wet. Stood in line less than 15 minutes and got on a train (going I know not where at that point - guessed I'd figure that out once I was someplace I recognized) that was about 3/4 full - got a seat even. And before long we arrived at Marylebone and all was well - piece of cake getting to the hotel by tube.

I arrived back at the hotel, went up to change into dry clothes and returned to the downstairs bar. About 90 minutes later the guys that had tried to buy me a drink at check in stumbled in - - they had been stuck in the corrals. They finally did buy me that drink and we talked until about 1AM - w/ lots of other celebrating niner fans filling the place.

Next: <B>The big storm, Checking out of 3 star and in to posh, Fodors GTG)

janisj Jan 11th, 2014 11:34 AM

Hi julia - was writing when you posted. I'm sure we'll have other opportunities.

Thanks everyone.

Yes annhig - I'd read about the pet department. I can see not selling the animals any longer - but the pet shop sold all sorts of other bits and bobs, you'd think they'd still have room for a pet supply section.

janisj Jan 11th, 2014 12:04 PM

>>As crowd control the place cordoned off <<

That should read As crowd control the police cordoned off . . .

Fra_Diavolo Jan 11th, 2014 12:13 PM

This has elements of the surreal in it!

annhig Jan 11th, 2014 12:37 PM

I decided on a posh-ish sit down place and had champagne and soft shell crabs >>

in England, at Wembley?

surreal indeed.

janisj Jan 11th, 2014 12:42 PM

Hey - I wasn't hob nobbing w/ the little people ;)

Bedar Jan 11th, 2014 04:19 PM

Thought the Pet Dept. closed years ago. Too bad. When we lved in London, I used to take my small daughter there in bad weather when a trip to the zoo would have been hard but bought my dog in the country - way cheaper.

annhig Jan 12th, 2014 02:39 AM

Bedar - I don't think that anyone sensible ever bought any animals from there - it was more a tourist attraction.

jj - it was the thought of soft-shell crabs [never seen them in the UK] and champagne at WEMBLEY that got me. Darn sight better than the muck we got at the cricket in Brisbane - it was so bad that the 2nd day we went [were we mad?] we took our own sandwiches.


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