Monday, January 29, 2007

Doorman, Chancery Court Renaissance, where we stayed in London after our return to the city from Edinburgh.

Inner courtyard of Renaissance.

Beautiful lobby with crystal chandeliers, Chancery Court Renaissance, London.

Evening view of the courtyard from our room.

There I go moving my wrist again! ha This wasn't planned when I took the photo, but I liked the soft coloring and effect (even though Betsey's blurry), so I'm posting this one....just for me. And I liked the red roses, the greenery, and the little candles all about the table.

Phil handsomely dressed for our Saturday afternoon theatre outing.

Chandeliers in the streets of London! They must have been holdovers from Christmas decorations.

Street chandelier, London.

We attended a matinee performance of "The Mousetrap" at St Martin's Theatre, London, on Saturday. "The Mousetrap" is the longest running theatre production in the world -- over 30 years! The script is an Agatha Christie mystery, and we enjoyed it immensely.
A photo of St. Martins Theatre, London. Like almost all the theatres in London, this one is small and intimate, and provides those of us in attendance a good view of the stage and actors no matter where seated.

Phil, Ron and Betsey in our private "stall."

In the "parlour" just off our private stall. We even had our own fireplace and toilet facilities!

Took this photo after our performance. We attended #22,568.

Ron and Betsey and Phil and I flew back to Chicago yesterday, 1/28, after ten wonderful days in England and Scotland. In addition to all the other activities they enjoyed, Ron and Betsey also had the thrill of staying a day and 1/2 just outside London with family friends she had not seen in 30 years!
After getting checked in at Heathrow Airport and going through all the legalities, we began the fun prospect of some shopping in the huge duty-free area at Heathrow. But, prior to that, another spontaneous picture -- we almost needed a can opener to extract Ron from the Bob the Builder engine! ha (What a good sport!) Bob the Builder has a devoted fan in Ron and Betsey's adorable grandson, so this engine had special meaning for them.

After "push back" from our Heathrow gate....

...another shot of planes, construction, and the tower.....

....and it's goodbye, green and beautiful England, once again (that is, for THIS time!).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Phil, Ron, Betsey and I left London Monday morning, and enjoyed the four-hour train trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, where we will be until Thursday when we return to London via the train.
I couldn't resist the above photo. I'm sure it's not the case, but it would appear that contraption could get tangled up in a bunch of hot wires, and somebody could get hurt! :-) Actually all those wires are above the train tracks and provide electricity to the trains; that ferris wheel is in fact a good distance away.
Three more photos taken during our memorable train ride. After we return to the United States, I hope to post some of the pictures Phil took while we were riding along the eastern coastline of Scotland. Breathtaking views! Meanwhile.............

Nothing like watching the beautiful countryside go by....a green tree at a time!

First time in my life I've seen a curved vapor trail (I call 'em sky tracks).

As we were approaching a river crossing, I noticed what appears to be a lovely manor seated on the hill above that wide, beautiful river.

The view from our hotel window: Edinburgh Castle, a huge, imposing structure sitting atop what appears to be the highest point in the city.

After taking the photo of the castle, I turned my camera bit to the left and captured this beautiful church's steeple in clear view with Edinburgh in the background.

Edinburgh Castle at night with lighting all around.

Edinburgh, with a twist of Myrna's wrist. :-)

And that lovely steeple at night.

A photo of Marriott County Hall in London where we stayed over last weekend, with The Eye adjacent to it.

OK....when can I pass up a picture with an airplane, Big Ben AND the moon, all in the same shot?

St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Statue of Queen Anne in front of St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Above...a photo I took in 2000. I liked their beautiful red capes against the dark hair of the horses.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Crowds in front of Buckingham Palace.

After the changing of the guard ceremony, one of the marching bands leaving the palace courtyard.

Just left of center and in the back of the crowd (just to the left of the couple who appear to be posing for me) is Phil. You can see his blond head. :-)

Captured a "band" in this picture as they walked along the street toward Buckingham Palace.
The most recognizable red "things" in London -- the two-decker bus and the phone booth. The only other red thing missing: the mail box, or "post" box.

I was fascinated by the gnarly (that's Betsey's word) tree trunks as we walked through St. James Park. They look ancient!

Approaching Buckingham Palace, one is greeted by a traffic circle, and in the center is a huge statue (white marble?) of Queen Victoria.

Buckingham Palace...and the queen was "in" today. We know that because the Union Jack was flying atop the palace.

Betsey, Ron and Phil approaching the gates of Buckingham Palace.

A lone guard in the front courtyard (behind the fence) of the palace.

The view out of our hotel window is of Parliament and Big Ben (and that VERY interesting statue of what appears to be an elephant with giraffe legs!).
Adjacent to the Marriott is The London Eye, a huge ferris wheel with enclosed "bubbles" from which one can see all of London. I took this last evening, and wiggled the camera just a bit (as I am often wont to do! ha) The blue squiggly things are trees covered with blue lights.

As seen from our room: Big Ben at night.

Parliament/Big Ben, taken this morning. The gentleman in the picture was NOT posing for me!

On our way to Buckingham Palace through St. James Park: Phil, Ron and Betsey.

What a joy to make a trip to London with new-found friends, Ron and Betsey. Betsey is a distant cousin of mine -- a Kinlaw. We met these two great people while attending a Kinlaw family reunion in June of 2006.
Here they are seated on the airplane prior to our departure from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

I took this from the plane after our "push back." As you can see, Chicago was having "weather" that day! ha

We had just risen above the clouds after leaving O'Hare. The plane had to be de-iced prior to the push back, so the windows were coated with the chemical used in the process. It adds little sparkles to the above photo of the first glimpse of the afternoon sun.

Soon, all we could see was a cottony blanket of clouds.

One of the lobbies of the County Hall Marriott, located right at the Thames River and Westminster Bridge. (There are huge floral arrangements like this one all over the hotel!)