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Cruise Log

Date Entry
08/06/2007 Good morning! We are having a lot of fun, and we both slept till like 9 AM today so no jetlag troubles.

We flew thru security at RDU (only 8 people in line as we approached). So we had tons of time to waste. We went into the Admiral's Lounge for 1st class and business class people. It was okay but not as fine as the one in Gatwick. We got 2 free drinks from the bar, apples, and iced water. Lou had 2 Gin and Tonics. We sat in comfy leather chairs by the huge flat screen TV and watched golf. A bunch of golfing men came in and sat there and talked and drank. Karen read almost the entire book except for like 4 pages. {It was a small book.) We also left our luggage there and did some laps in the airport.

Our flight was good, mostly empty. Karen had some trouble with losing the expensive Bose headphones and getting the seat belt caught up in a knot... but it was great.

Yesterday we walked to St James Park (with Betty telling us the way). We saw pelicans and geese and coots and ducks. Coots are black with funky white beaks that extend like a shield up over the forehead -- plus webby strange feet.

We walked to Trafalgar Square and watched the workmen (and workgirls) set up mats on the ground for the India Now fair to start there soon. We ate lunch in Frankie's American Italian food. $50! Yikes! Sandwich, salad, one beer, and 2 cappuccinos! So for dinner we ate the fruit in our room and the free snacks in the breakfast room!

After lunch we headed to Hyde park, go t a bit lost in Green Park, and finally found Hyde park but we were parched and hot and annoyed and so went right into the Hilton to go to the bar (Trader Vic's) and Lou had a couple drinks and Karen had Cokes. Plus lots of water. Lou wants me to record the drink choices: Mai Tai and Barbados Punch

We really wanted to see a musical -- so right near our hotel there is WICKED, the back-story of the witches of OZ. It got rave reviews -- so last night on the way back to the hotel (we were dragging our feet) we stopped and bought what the girl said were "excellent" seats for tonight.

In the snacks room, a woman started talking to us and we ended up staying in there 30 minutes longer (we had been about to leave) and heading all about the wedding in Poland they went to and all their plans for sightseeing in London.

We went to bad at 8 PM.

This is our cruise report for the web if case you could not tell!

Do not worry about us. I feel great.

Love you,
K and L
08/07/2007 On Tuesday we woke up at almost 9 again! Had another great breakfast in the executive lounge and came here to check email 30 min for one pound. Then we went upstairs for a cap and a latte. We tried to sit outside but nasty smokers drove Karen crazy. We decided to meander thru London 2.5 miles to the Winston Churchill museum called Britain at War. It was a great walk -- took about 3 hours because we stopped a lot. We found the pier for the Thames boat ride today. Karen brought her hat and wore it whenever the sun came out.

We stopped at the Crown and Cushion pub on the way for lunch; that was one of Lou's must-dos. I had a lot of trouble trying to take his photo. Lou says the beer was good and the fish and chips were okay.

As we got very close to the museum, and we were so darned tired, we saw a huge line on the sidewalk. I was aghast at the idea of having to stand in that line. So we asked the last people in the line a family of four what the line was for, and when they said the DUNGEON I said oh thank God. The London dungeon is a "Tower of Terror"-like drop and maybe something else. So we passed the huge line, smiling all the way, and there was the Britain at War.

It started with a movie about what it was like for the ordinary people in London during the blitz. They had actors and actresses reading from actual letters that people wrote at the time. One was really sad -- it was a young man very seasick on a boat headed to war begging mom to write a letter to the home secretary to get him off the boat -- and then they read the telegram that informed his mother that he was missing.

Something like 874,000 children were evacuated to the countryside during the war. Some kids wrote happy letters home, but other kids wrote about being beaten and locked up! Awful.

The room with the movie smelled very musty and dank. it was made up to be an underground bomb shelter.

The museum walls had a lot of newspaper clippings and cigarette card adverts and old photos.  It was cool. Lots of motivational signs from the government: Is this trip really necessary?  If you drive alone you drive with Hitler.  Ladies, go thru your closet and mend -- do not buy new.

So we had planned to do the river tour but ran out of time so we took the tube back to the hotel. It went really well. We had to ask at the info window where to go. We got a free bottle of water! No trouble except Lou got stuck in the out gate and the worker guy was no help. We figured it is exactly what happened last time -- if you follow too closely the gate locks you out because it seems like you are trying to sneak thru.

At the hotel we sat in the lobby bar and Karen drank tea and Lou drank drinks (GTs). We ate peanuts and snacky cheesy crackers and olives. The waitress gave us a cappuccino to go but we had to promise to bring back the cup (which we did this AM).

Then we went to the play, WICKED, and it was great. We had great seats with a aisle in front of us so we could really stretch out our legs. You can eat and drink in the theatre here. We got water and chocolate.

After the play we wanted dinner 10 PM ish,. We walked into one restaurant that had fancy white tablecloths but a woman was having a fight with the manager and the waiter just told us to wait so we split and went across the street to the Nando's chicken Portuguese restaurant which turned out to be fantastic. Lou got his chicken EXTRA HOT and I got mine medium. There were Portuguese rolls!

Then to bed.
08/08/2007 After breakfast we headed over to Victoria Station and went to Boots to buy Lou Afrin. It is not
called Afrin but it worked. We stood in line for info on how to find the RAF museum. But it was
so lovely out, we decided to do the river tour instead. We took the tube to Westminster and got
tickets for 12:30 boat but walked onto the 12:00 boat. It was restful on the river tour. The
tour dropped us off at Greenwich right at about 12:45.

There is a red orange ball that gets
dropped to mark 1:00 and we saw it. We walked up a big hill to the Royal Observatory. We stood
in line for awhile to take our own pictures of ourselves straddling the Prime Meridian. We also
saw an awesome 24 hour clock. There was a Chinese guy in line taking pictures for all the Chinese
girls. he kept calling Next ! and it got to be funny then annoying because it took so long to
have every girl taken with multiple cameras -- and each shot had to be looked at to make sure it
was ok.

We got the guard to tell us what was in the museum ands he convinced us to go in. We went on a
free guided tour. He explained that 1735 there was a huge problem in that no one could figure out longitude when on sea voyages. There was a prize offered of 20,000 pounds (like 3 million pounds today,
which is about 8 million dollars) for the first person to solve the issue. An uneducated mechanic guy named Harrison came forward and got a clockmaker to loan him 250 pounds so he could quit his
day job. It took 6 years and he came up with a clock (called H1) without a pendulum (because a
rocking boat messes up the pendulum) and presented it to the committee and got sent on a sea voyage
(he was sooooo seasick) and passed and they wanted to give him the money but he said no I have a
better clock in mind just give me more cash to build it... So they did. H2 took from 1737 to
1740. Again refused the money and went for another one (H3) H3 took from 1740 to 1759. But
halfway thru he realized it would be better to make it a watch so simultaneously 1755 to 1750 he
made H4 which was a giant pocket watch (maybe 5 inches across). In the end his son took H4 on sea
trip and it was 3 X better than it needed to be! There was trouble because they did not like the
watch idea (watches were notoriously unreliable and they also thought it would be impossible to
reproduce) and also astronomers told them hang on we have almost solved the problem, don't give
the money to that mechanic... but after a second sea trial they had to, but only offered 1/2
money. They made him make another copy and he was so old he wrote to the king and eventually got
the money.

K2 was a copy on H4 that went out on the bounty, mutiny, lost at sea for 20 years, presented to a
ship that found him, and then stolen in Chile before he could get it home! 20 years later it was
found and brought back to England. We saw it in the case.

Then we went to the museum cafe and had tea, sandwiches, beer, and a yucky brownie (should have ordered the scone, when in Rome).  Then we walked back to the boat and then rode the tube home and sat in hotel lobby bar for awhile.  We did not want to waste tons of money for dinner, so we went to the Internet cafe down the street and ate excellent chicken soup and an overcooked "jacket" (baked) potato.