Flights Of Fancy Will Have To Do For Now

by Kevin Burton

   So big, so busy, so beautiful, London is a taste we acquired right away.

   From the time my wife and I got on the plane to return to the United States from our honeymoon trip to London, we started talking about when we could go back. 

   So excited that we got the chance to do it this week!

   Our 8th wedding anniversary is today. As part of the celebration we retraced our first steps as husband and wife, to England’s capital city.

   Bermuda and San Diego were two other places we considered for the honeymoon, but London was always our first choice.

   So on Sunday, a few minutes after we attended our virtual church service, we embarked on our virtual London trip.

   Had you going did I?

   Well this is the best we can do for the moment. The planes are flying, but we won’t be. The virtual trip was much safer and much cheaper I might add.

   For this London trip there was no luggage, no bag fees, no exchange rates, no jetlag, no flight at all.

   In fact it was a flight of fancy, given these stay-at-home, quarantine times. 

   Our second trip to England came via visitlondon.com, the official visitor guide.

   On the front page of the site they have five live webcams going, giving you the feeling, at least a little, of being there.

   The vantage points are from Shard, Canary Wharf, Westminster Bridge, The River Thames and the London Eye.

   “Shard” is what used to be called London Bridge Tower.  The London Eye is an observation wheel on the south bank of the Thames.  At 443 feet tall it is the largest cantilevered observation wheel in Europe, according to Wikipedia.   

   The webcam view gives you 24 hours of pictures. By moving the pointer across the screen you can see the sun rise and set over the scene, see the clouds move across the sky.

  Another website feature shows you all the city’s public squares and other attractions.  Some of them we saw in person, some we think we did. 

   The Parliament square picture shows a doubledecker bus. Riding in the top section of a doubledecker was one of my favorite memories of London.

   If we do get to go back to London for real I will be better prepared. 

   The first time around I sat slack jawed on the floor of our hotel room trying to plug my electric razor into….what the? 

   Jeannette had tried to warn me.  She said the electrical sockets were different in Europe.  I said they weren’t.  Why? Because I had been to Taiwan on a beep baseball trip and the outlets in that hotel were just like the ones in my apartment building. 

   We left that conversation, our separate “knowledge” intact, until I sat gaping at that hotel wall, without electricity, shocked nonetheless.

   Then Jeannette came out of the bathroom, saw my expression, then handed me the converter she had brought with her.  I guess it had been a gift she got at her bridal shower.

   Oh.

   That was the first time, but by no means the last time, she has bailed me out during eight years of marriage.

   According to visitlondon.com, Parliament Square is the site of a New Year’s Day parade each year.  The event includes “dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, marching bands, historic vehicles and more,” according to the website.

   Sounds like a fun event, but not a party to die for. Chances are, even looking eight months into the future, if this event happens at all, we’ll be watching on the computer.

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