Last Day….

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 5:31 am

Okay, I’m done.

England has been a wonderful experience, one I hope to repeat sometime in the future. Great country, beautiful landscapes, nice people, compelling culture and history. All that good shit. But I’m done.

London in the summer is like Seattle in the summer, with one notable exception; it’s actually more like DC in the summer. High eighties, humidity hovering around the eight hundred precent mark, and while the Crown has done many things for the benefit of it’s citizenry unlike DC, water fountains and air conditioning are not among them. Trying to find a cool place to sit in this town during the summer invariably involves a venti iced Caramel Macchiata (much like the one I’m slurking on right this very moment). Once I accepted this universal axiom, I was able to relax and enjoy it for the comforts Starbucks brings, not for the least reason because there are literally two on every street corner. Here’s a rough map of the Starbucks in walking–hell, spitting–distance of our hotel:


Kind of creepy, huh? Looks like someone aimed a gargantuan shotgun at our borough and peppered it with twelve shells of corporate coffee franchises.

Thing is, in addition to being the only place to sit down and let the sweat evaporate off of your clothing (it won’t happen outside, even in the shade; your’re likely to end up damper than when you sat down), the American joints are the only thing open late. Last night I was casting about for a bite to take back to the hotel, and at eight thirty in the evening the only thing I could find open was….a Burger King. Sheesh. Although I must say that, after a ten-plus-year hiatus, a Whopper is actually not a bad piece of prefab cow.

Anyway: we were doing so well at our hotel until the heat wave hit. Gradually, over a period of four or so days, the hotel’s air conditioning started to flag, presumably under the strain of the extra demand. Our room went from comfortable to sleep in under a comforter to not quite comfortable to sleep under a topsheet. Each time we came back from yet another (fun, beautiful, inspiring) life-sucking adventure out in the streets (and tubes, let’s not forget tubes, which in these climes felt more like an Easy Bake Oven than a form of rapid transit) of London, the room would be a little stuffier, a little less like staying at a four-star hotel. By the last night (last night, by coincidence), we were convinced that our AC was on the fritz and made them switch us to another room, which turned out to be just as uncomfortable. So on our last day before embarking on a nine-hour coach flight in which I was unlikely to get any sleep, I barely got any sleep.

The UK has been a blast. I really hope we are able to come back someday, perhaps with Margaret’s parents, to revisit Jersey and Scotland and to take another stab at London. (And if we do, and our air conditioning whacks out on us again, I shall kill the concierge with a flame thrower improvised from complimentary shaving cream canisters.)

But for now, stick a barbecue fork in me, I am ready to come home.

More pictures, and more from Margaret, later.

Leave a Reply

All comments containing hyperlinks are held for approval, so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately. (I'm not editing for content, just weeding out the more obvious comment spam.)

All portions of this site are © Andrew Lenzer, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.