Sneaky Cheeky London Weekend

28 Nov

I haven’t been to London in a year, and for those that know me and my habits of the past 7+ years, that is nearly unheard of.  I started experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.  See, London is my happy place, the place where I feel most at home and alive, so not visiting it for a year had me basically feeling like I was on life support with someone hovering over me about to pull the plug.  London energizes me, so with so much time in between visits, I was desperate. Miles used for airfare and free lodging at Chez Chris, so I was all set for another crazy (and cheap) 3-day adventure.

Wednesday, 2 November

My flight was scheduled for 8:45pm, so I left the office around 4:30pm and headed to the train station.  This is the easiest and fastest way to get to the airport late afternoon.  The key here, though, is leaving the office by 4:30pm so that you don’t run into all of the Long Island commuters at 5:00pm.  Avoid this and you will be one happy camper sitting at the airport bar with drink in hand while others are cursing at their cab drivers or fellow commuters.

I timed everything perfectly and got to a nearly empty (by New York standards) airport.  I had only to wait for 1 person in front of me to check in and drop my bag.  Quickly at the counter, I was able to charm the check in man, who thought he knew me from TV (Americas most wanted??) and got empty row.  Ah, life is good!  Empty row means lots of sleep and no chance of a smelly, snoring or chatty Kathy next to me.

Checked in and bag dropped, I headed to security.  As I walked down the steps to the shops, restaurants and security lines, I started having flashbacks from last December.  Two days in this terminal cannot be easily erased from the mind, especially when half of that time was spent on the cold terrazzo floor with no food or hope of getting out in sight (refer to NYE Chile/Argentina for that story).  Snap out of it!  Back to the reality that is today and there is almost nobody in these security lines, either.  Karma was working with me this time instead of against me.  Within 10 minutes I was seated at the bar of some generic restaurant near my gate.  Again, life is good.

After 3 wines and my usual pre-flight family phone calls, it was time to head to the gate.  Boarding could not have gone any smoother.  Is this for real or is someone playing a trick on me?  Travel is never this easy and I should know.  The happy little music played in my head and I began my normal pre-taxi pass out for the night when suddenly—–Rrrrrrrrrrrr—–crash.  Some old bird hones in on my empty row and hops in to the aisle seat. I have now gone from relaxed Rita to angry, bitter Barbara.  This little move got me so irritated that it kept me awake and toiling over how to have her removed. Does she not realize that I “worked” for this empty row by looking like a TV personality?  Go back to whichever crappy row you came from! Queen K.  needs to stretch.  What aren’t you getting, lady??

Why I got myself so worked up is beyond me.  The flights I take are almost always full and I never have a problem falling asleep in my single coach seat in my full row.  As I said, I am usually out before take-off, but I let this really get under my skin for some reason.  Bad move. If I had just let this go, all would have been good and I would be asleep already. I have let this intruder shift my entire travel game and all will suffer for it tomorrow.  Now, I need some little green pills.

Did I mention the evil woman that has invaded “my” space is a 60-something nun? As best I can guess, anyway. She has the short, butch haircut and the drab dress of one anyway. I should know. I have some religious folk in the family. Oh, and this one is wearing a bit of tell-tale sign of a gold chalis pin with a cross. Either way, lady, I would like to have my third seat for stretching. I have a bad hip and sciatica.  I made darn sure that I had all of the leg space of the middle seat.  The bride of Jesus was getting none of it! If she were truly tuned in to the Lord, she would have known this.  Moving and allowing me to stretch would be the Christian thing to do. Just saying.

 This attitude, of course, would cost me.  God doesn’t like people being mean to his top people or wishing them ill-will, like say maybe food poisoning that would send them to the bathroom for the entirety of the trip.  I have to learn to think more quietly, so that he doesn’t hear these things.  I was going to pay for that thought, no matter how brief a flash it was.

Temper now slightly less than seething, I am now just looking for a freaking glass of water or wine or anything liquid, so that I can down these sleeping tabs.  Please, dear Lord, I beg of you to send me an air hostess, stewardess, trolley dolly–whatever you want to call them.  Which, btw, I would not need if you hadn’t sent this nun to sit herself where she wasn’t welcome. You, God, have set the entire weekend off on the wrong foot. Wine please, to down my 2 green magic pills. Sorry in advance if I accidentally kick the nun in the face. 

I am not quite sure when in my life I became such a selfish pratt, but I definitely am at the moment, even with the luxury of an empty seat in between me and the intruder.  I haven’t slept well in a week and this was my guarantee of 7+ hours in la-la land with no interruption.  Terrible. Wow. Ok, over it. Where is the freaking wine already?!?!?!

Finally, my water arrived and I was able to take my little green helpers.  These, of course, do not work instantly and since I had 4 liquid beverages I now had to use the restroom. Ugh!!!!!  Naturally, this process could not go smoothly either. The two gay trolley dollies who couldn’t seem to hear my bell or see my light after 12 rings for water were now busy carting around duty-free and blocking access to my seat from either direction.  They were too busy flirting with the 2 gay passengers 2 rows in front of me.  If you have seen gays flirting, you can imagine the scene, especially when talking about products and fragrance.  Dear, Lord, save me.  I knew this was going to take a while.  I do, after all, have about 20 gay friends that I have traveled with on numerous occasions.  I know how this goes.  When that flirting gets started, it is hard to stop!

Amidst their laughter and flirting, I stood there waiting, blood pressure building. After about 5 minutes, one of the stewards looked up from his toned and tanned distraction and noticed me waiting.  He swore they won’t be but another minute.  My a$$!  Honestly, just move the cart into the galley and let me get by! This would have taken less than 1 minute and they could have gone right back to trying to pick up the boys, but noooooo. I waited another 5 minutes for them to move.  At this point in the flight, I was just hoping for 3 hours of sleep.  I would have to catch up on the other side.  I told you I would pay for my attitude toward the nun!

Thursday, 3 November

Landing at Heathrow was uneventful–almost– and all else, including the very long and slow-moving immigration line, was as it usually is.  I collected my bags and headed to the Piccadilly Line to get to London.  The Tube is 25% the cost of the Heathrow Express and about 4% the cost of a London Taxi.  Being that it was 8:30am and I had nowhere to be, I thought I’d save some cash and take the longer route. 

As I said, the Heathrow was experience was almost uneventful.  There was one, brief moment of sheer terror.  That moment came when I was trying to buy a new Oyster card.  The bozo in front of me was so busy looking at his map that he didn’t realize it was his turn on the machine.  I politely asked him if he was waiting.  Eyes glued to the map (thank God), he responded no and I went ahead, my back now to him.  It turns out that this guy was someone I had met a few years ago on a blind date.  Dorky and generally disgusting would be my first description.  Against my better judgement, we had shared a taxi home on this blind date.  When dropping him at his destination, I said a polite good night to which he responded by launching across the cab, jumping on top of me and sticking his pointy, fowl-smelling tongue down my throat.  Needless to say, that evening did not end well and now here he was within 5 feet of me.  Please, please, please, Lord, do not let him recognize me.  Please!

I was able to procure my Oyster Card somewhat quickly and I darted down the escalator to the train platform.  Knowing that he would be right behind me, I walked as quickly as possible to the farthest end of the platform.  I knew he wouldn’t go that far.  Phew!  Crisis averted for now, but that is a sure way to get the heart pumping at 8:30am.  What if I ran into this freak while wandering London.  Fingers crossed I am able to avoid him for the rest of my visit, but the way things are going, I am not so sure.

I had to take a 2 different underground lines and the DLR to get to Chez Chris in Limehouse.  The flat is a 5 minute walk straight down the road from the train station, so quite easy to get to.  Chris met me at the station and walked me back to the flat.

I dropped my bags and had a catch up chat with Chris while chilling on the sofa.  Chris was busy with phone calls and other family madness, so I hopped in the shower and instead of hopping back on a train for my usual city wandering, I had to hop into bed for a very uncharacteristic nap.  Damn nun!  Yes, I know I am going to hell.

I think I finally awoke around 2:00pm.  I pulled myself together and left Chris to his laptop.  This afternoon would be a very short one, thanks to her holiness.  I would, once again, miss the Churchill War Rooms. I was to meet a sales contact of mine at one of the hotels to which I send most of my senior guys for business.  After that I was going to meet my friend, Charlie, and a co-worker at a bar near our London offices.

After a bit of wandering, I emailed my hotel contact to let her know I’d be a few minutes late to which she replied she thought we were meeting next Thursday.  Hilarious.  She had another meeting at 5:00pm, so therefore couldn’t meet me for a glass of bubbly as planned. How could a trip that started so well go downhill so quickly?  Surely, Michael “The Eagle” could help turn things around.  He is one of the funniest Brits I know.

I headed to the meeting spot a bit early and sent Charlie and Michael an email letting them know I was early if they could break free sooner than anticipated.  Charlie was on his way and would be there shortly.  Michael, however, received a panicked call from a neighbor reporting a major leak coming from his flat.  Needless to say, my entertainment for the evening had to head home.  Life delivers yet another crushing blow.  The silver linings here were Charlie and Chris.  At least I had two things going right  for me today, and they would be the only two things, besides the 16 drinks that is.

I have a lot of people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, why I don’t have more dates.  I used to ask the same question, but I have given  up.  It seems to be a written law of the universe that the drunkest and most inappropriate guy will hit on me.  This evening would be no different.

I was chatting with the boys on the first floor of The Drift (http://thedriftbar.co.uk/), a great, buzzy bar in the City, when one of the guys next to us seemed to take notice of me.  I think he was on his 4th shot of some sort of whiskey on top of white wine and some mixed drinks.  Needless to say he was not shy.  He came over to introduce himself and chatted a bit about why they were celebrating.  It seems my admirer, Matthew, had just sold his business for a very pretty penny.  Sounds good, I know.  An admirer with money and lots of it: What could be bad about that?  Well, let me tell you.  Firstly, he had strawberry blonde hair like I do.  There is an unwritten law of the universe that says redheads shouldn’t date other redheads. It looks like you are doing something perverse with a sibling when you hold hands or kiss in public.  Think about it.  When is the last time you saw two redheads holding hands?  That’s right–NEVER.  This was only problem #1.  Problem #2:  Easy, he was too drunk, but that is nothing compared to #3.  Problem #3: Married with kids.  This, of course, didn’t stop him from professing his love for me and telling me how beautiful I was all night.  Why can I not find a sober, single, rich guy to react to me this way?  Never happens, does it ladies?

After enough admiration, we decided to do a pub crawl of sorts up Bishopsgate. Our next stop would be a traditional pub called The Water Poet (http://www.waterpoet.co.uk/contact.php).  Upon first glance, this place is just what I expected–a traditional pub with good ales on tap.  Charlie, though, was keeping something up his sleeve here.  This place is not just a pub; It is a complex.  There is the busy front pub, a pool room, a back garden area, a dining area, a private dining area and, after passing through the back garden, there is another bar room/dining area in a building they call the barn.  This place is huge.  On top of all of these areas, or should I say under, there is a hidden basement bar.

We ordered a few drinks and headed to the back garden to check things out.  There wasn’t much happening at this particular time of the evening.  There was a decent crowd, but it just wasn’t buzzing.  Maybe it just wasn’t what I was looking for that evening.  I loved the bar and will definitely head back.  Tonight, though, we had other ideas.

Up the road we went toward the Light Bar and Restaurant (http://www.thelighte1.com/).  I added this to the list while doing some research for the trip.  Charlie had been there.  I soon found out Chris had been there too and didn’t want to go back.  Ha!  Charlie likes it and I am sure I would have.  I think the pub was enough for my gay friend.  He didn’t want to head into a loud, hetero club for more torture.  Since he was being such a sport, we decided we could hit Light Bar another time.  There was a new place I wanted to check out anyway.  This, I thought, would get no argument from either side. How can you argue with custom crafted cocktails?  Off we went to Worship Street Whistling Shop (http://www.whistlingshop.com/).

Go to this bar.  It is still under the radar and the cocktails are fantastic.  Do not be discouraged when looking for it, walking down a dark narrow street with not one other thing open on it.  The signage is difficult to detect, but you will be rewarded for getting off the beaten path, descending the stairs and pulling up a stool at this dark, atmospheric basement bar.  The bartenders, dressed in period costume, are extremely friendly and knowledgeable.  Ours were happy to chat with us and guide us through the drinks menu all night. We all ordered something off the cocktail menu.  I cannot for the life of me remember what those cocktails were (good sign, I think), but I can tell you they were delicious and STRONG!  After one of my specialty cocktails, I moved on to old faithful, the Cosmo, but done in a new, delicious way. This place is absolutely worth the trip. You really aren’t far from anything.  Queen of Hoxton is just down the road, L’Anima is around the corner and you are within walking distance of Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch High Street. It will not be under the radar for long.  Get there if you are in the neighborhood.

Charlie left us since he had to work the next morning, more accurately THAT morning.  It was closing time and I moved out to the street ready to head home.  In my slightly intoxicated mind, it seemed to me that Chris was taking an awfully long time down there.  I decided that he had hit it off with one of the folks we were talking with, so I decided to go it alone back to the flat.  Off I went down the street back to Liverpool Street.  I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get there, but what I was sure of when I turned the corner and saw the golden arches was that I was, once again, going to break my vacation rule, and have McDonald’s at 3:00am.  I hadn’t eaten anything since the airport the previous day, so the hunger pangs were really kicking in.  Looks like I need to change the rule book. I ordered  a cheeseburger, small fries and diet coke.  I also threw a milkshake in for good measure.  I grabbed my chow and hailed a taxi to the flat.  After Hoovering all of that down, it was now time for a good night’s rest, if that was still possible.

Friday, 4 November

As you may have guessed, I had a bit of a slow start to my day.  I did, however, manage to pull myself out of bed, shower and hit the road by noon.  I headed straight for the shopping I knew I needed to do.  If I returned home without my sister-in-law’s Soft & Gentle body spray, I would be blacklisted.  After picking up the necessary gifts that can only be found in London, it was again time to eat.  I had been walking for 2 hours and needed to rest my weary, slightly hungover bones.  I stopped at an Italian place near Leicester Square.  The food and service were nothing to write home about, but it was decent and well-intentioned. It served its purpose and my old lady hips were happy for the rest.

After lunch, off I went to one of my favorite spots, Covent Garden Market.  I particularly love strolling through when the string quartet is playing below.  There were there this day.  The music and atmosphere always transports me and puts a smile on my face.  I am back to that happy place I was before Sr. Steal-a-Seat disrupted my flow.

I like to shop the stalls for handicrafts and handmade jewelry.  On this particular occasion I purchased a silver ring and a pair of earrings for myself, naturally.  I wandered the stores around the perimeter of the square, just window shopping this time.  I headed down Neal Street for some more shopping.  Again, I bought nothing.  Notice the restraint? 

I now figured I should start heading toward the City, where I was to meet my friend, Seonaid, for a cocktail before heading to Chris’ for a cocktail party.  I do this marathon walking most times I am in London and I have the time.  This is always a great way to get to know a city better.  You have a general destination, but you do not take the most direct route. Allowing yourself to get a bit lost and wander off the beaten track will really show you a city and what it has to offer.  This is how I have found most of my favorite spots. Again, always a good idea when wearing appropriate shoes and not carrying 30 pounds worth of gifts for friends and a bottle of Cointreau for a cocktail party.  A five-mile march with a 30-pound rucksack through London with high-heeled boots–not so smart.  I need a drink!

Needless to say, my feet were killing me and I was late to meet Seonaid since my pace got slower and slower with each passing block.  Finally, though, I made it to The Anthologist (http://www.theanthologistbar.co.uk/).  This is the sister bar to the previously mentioned The Drift.  I prefer the layout of the Anthologist.  The place is always buzzing and has a great crowd, plenty of eye candy to choose from with all of the City boys and girls piling in from the offices of the surrounding area.  Seonaid and I had a few cocktails while taking in the sights and catching up.  It was now time to head back to Chris’ for the cocktail party, but not before picking up one last thing to add to the bag–a chunk of parmesan cheese.  What in the world we need this for I have no idea, but I do not argue with the host and manage to find a Sainsbury’s by Bank Station that miraculously has the cheese. I was now carrying the equivalent of some sort of perverse gag bag.  The contents of this purse were strange to say the least.

We arrived at Chris’ and the party was in full swing, as are a few of the guests.  Keep in mind this is about 8:00pm on a Friday night, a bit early to be slurring, but hey, who am I to judge.  Our host with the most springs into action, mixing up Cosmos.  This delicious libation makes the 5 mile painful peregrination through London worth it.  Without the Cointreau, there would be no party!  You are welcome, friends. Most of us have our Cosmo glasses full, but our friend, Simon, who claims to have had the worst week ever, is drinking the liquid love out of a pint glass.  Yes, a pint glass.  We can all see where this is going and quickly.

For the most part, this was just a chilled cocktail party with fabulous friends and a lovely meal of spaghetti Bolognese, hence the hunk of cheese.  It was great to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen since August in Asia (yet to post about that one, but it was a two-week trip–coming soon).  Lovely cocktails, food and conversation were in abundance.  Some of us took more advantage of this abundance than others.

As I mentioned, Simon was going for triples early.  This coupled with 2 heaping servings and pasta and a loaf of garlic bread put him in bed early.  He was able to recognize the fact that bed was a good idea around 11:30pm.  The rest of us carried on and watched in awe and slight uncomfortable terror as one of the other party guests got to that place that only she does, falling on the floor, slurring drunk.  I somehow missed the show in the living room of her nearly passed out on the floor and then suddenly popping up and ordering her boyfriend to go get more vodka tonics, and he did.  Is tha a good boyfriend or a bad?  Whatever the case, at least she has a boyfriend, which is more than I can say at the moment and at most moments of my life. I am not sure what time they stumbled out, but that left 5 of us sipping Cosmos and chatting. Six bottles of Vodka later and approximately 3:00am, it was time to shove off to bed. Tomorrow was going to be another jam-packed day and I needed some serious rest.  Off to la-la land I went.

Saturday, 5 November

Dear, God, where did that slumber time go?  I do not have the luxury of lying in bed and leaving the flat when I’d like.  I have to meet two people in West London and get myself all the way back to East London by 2:30pm.  Why did I stay up until 3:00am?  My body seriously cannot take this punishment anymore.  I am too old for these tricks.

Showered and looking surprisingly better than presentable, I shuffle off for Earl’s Court.  I am headed to a Luxury Travel Show where I am hoping to meet up with a few contacts I have made via social networking sites.  I am ready for a career change and I think the travel industry needs me:-)  I arrive at Earls Court and have everything timed to the minute as to how much time I have to spend in the show, how much time it will take me to get back to the tube and how much time it will take me to get to the stadium for the football match.

So much for timing!  Dopey didn’t read the ticket closely enough and was supposed to go to Olympia Exhibition Centre, not Earl’s Court.  The two are fairly close to one another–fairly.  This was a 20-minute walk I had not anticipated and that would certainly cut into my travel show time.  Damn you, dopey!  Read the ticket next time!

I arrived at Olympia, which is in quite a pleasant neighborhood near Kensington.  Had I more time, I would have stayed for lunch at one of the nearby pubs or restaurants and wandered the streets for shops.  I did not have this time and it was time to enter the show and meet my yacht charter friend from Turkey and my luxury travel concierge friend from London.  The show, thankfully, was a small one and I was able to walk it all quickly, grabbing pamphlets of information from those that most interested me.  I did a drive by of Jeremy’s booth, but he was nowhere to be found.  I had switched my show day to Saturday because he told me that was the day he would be there.  He better be here!  I figured maybe he went for a quick bite or drink, so I headed over to yacht territory.  Ozgur was there.  Ozgur is a partner at 4U Yachting based in Turkey(www.4uyachting.com). We had a nice conversation, but short. I am hoping to charter one of his small yachts with friends in the next year or two just for a few days.  He has quite a selection and does everything with regard to arrangements, including stocking the boat with provisions, aka alcohol.

  I had to get to the stadium to pick up  my match ticket before it started and I was running out of time.  I did another pass of Jeremy’s booth and found him conspicuously absent.  C’est la vie!  I headed for the door and shot him an email while waiting for the train.  I would have to catch up with him on the next trip. Off to Arsenal I went. Turns out that my friend, Jeremy, was at the Arsenal match as well, which is why he had to leave the travel show early.  Had I been able to get myself out of bed any earlier, I would have caught him.  According to his email, I missed him by about 20 minutes.  Damn that walk from Earl’s Court and damn Chris’ fantastic Cosmos!

I arrived with about 15 minutes to spare and got my ticket no problem.  Charlie was also at the match, but sitting at the opposite end of the stadium.  We would meet afterward for a drink, but for now I was on my own, or as alone as I could be in a packed stadium. My seat was fantastic!  I was 8 rows from the pitch near the corner.  There would be a good deal of Van Persie viewing happening in this first half.  God is starting to like me again!

Arsenal have not had the most stellar start to the season, so I was doubtful as to how this would all end, but it ended in a 3-0 win for my boys.  Nicely done. Time to meet Charlie for beers in his old stomping grounds.  Highbury is where sweet Charlie grew up and he would take me to a neighborhood pub to meet his school chum, Christian, and grab a pint.  We hit a place called the Highbury Barn (http://www.highburyhigh.co.uk/Pubbarn.htm).  Considering this was Saturday night and Arsenal actually won, this place was pretty quiet.  I was expecting a bit more of a celebratory atmosphere, but this was a chilled pub, which is really what I needed.  My 2 nights of revelry were catching up to me at this very moment.  I felt like crawling under the table and taking a nap.  Instead I had 2 Stellas.  Is there any wonder my body is in constant rebellion?  I never give it what it needs.  In fact, I do just the opposite.  Time to really do some damage and head out for my last night!

Charlie and I headed for the tube.  He made his way to Bow Road and I was heading back to Limehouse for a quick change before heading out for my last hurrah in London.  I really wasn’t sure that I was going to make it.  I found Chris chilling on the sofa in front of the TV when I got back.  We chatted for a bit, but I knew if I sat there any longer it would be the end of my night.  I couldn’t do that to myself.  If I had a full week in London, I would have had no issue having movie night on the sofa, but since I was leaving the next day I had to get out and about, at least for a little while.

Dressed and ready for action, I sadly left Chris behind and ventured out to meet another contact, a tall, dark and handsome man from Milano.  We had traded emails earlier and he said he would definitely be about in the evening and we would meet t up.  We had no definitive time or place, so I just headed for Central London, Covent Garden.  Chris had recommended a nice little bar of the beaten path and close to the tube station.  I headed to Cafe des Amis (http://www.cafedesamis.co.uk/) on Hanover Place.  They have a cozy little wine bar in the basement.  I pulled up a stool and ordered a glass of wine.  At this stage I still hadn’t heard from my Italian stallion, so I occupied my time with one of those free area newspapers.  I was able to find 2 places in the vicinity to try after this one should my friend actually show up.

It was getting later and I was tired, so I figured I would go scout out the club across the road.  If he showed, great.  If not, I had done the recon on another late night bar for the next trip.  I headed to a place called Foundation Bar on Langley Street (http://www.foundation-bar.co.uk/).  The place was full and the music was good.  I made my way to the corner of the bar, where I would perch for a bit taking in my surroundings.

There, of course, was a bachelorette party in the club and the drunkest girl in the party was next to me trying to order drinks.  A friend swept in to help her complete the order, but it seemed neither of them had enough money to pay for them.  After about 10 minutes of digging through bags, the more sober of the two was able to scrimp together enough coins to pay the patient bartender.  They did so and then proceeded to turn around and head for the dance floor–without the 4 drinks. Now, can we take care of this not-so-patient lady, please?

I have my friend, Jenny, to either thank or scold for putting the idea of Red Bull and vodka into my head.  On our Asian adventure and most recently in New York, she shared her trick for not wasting a night and getting over jet lag by drinking Red Bull.  As I was really hitting the wall at this point, I decided to try her method of reviving oneself. Again, a bit of body abuse, but what is one more night?

It seemed my Prince Charming wasn’t going to show, but I was waking up at this point thanks to the stimulants in my red Bull and there were plenty of other people to talk with, including my new-found bachelorette buddies who were now feeling indebted to me for letting them know they left their drinks on the bar.  Both had completely forgotten about them.  I, however, declined their kind offer to join them on the dance floor and went back to my perch at the bar.  The gentleman next to me struck up a conversation with me.  He was handsome.  Young, but handsome.  Fifteen minutes or so into this conversation, his friend handed me my phone from the bar because it was ringing.  Prince Charming was in the area, but couldn’t find the place.  Better late than never, I suppose.  Looks like I would have done alright without him, but being that he is here and everything…

I went up to the corner to meet my sweet Italian, Alberto.  We headed back down to the basement bar to chat over cocktails.  This place closes early because of issues with noise and neighbors, so Alberto had a spot nearby that he likes to frequent and we headed there.  Foundation stays on the list for next time. Good spot.

A short stroll away and we entered Circus (http://www.circus-london.co.uk/), a nightclub/cabaret space on Endell Street.  This place has a surreal interior with a catwalk and dozens of mirror balls hanging from the ceilings.  I think we arrived just as the “show” was ending and I am pretty sure the girl on the stage was almost completely naked.  I chose to walk right by that and head to the bar in the back.  Alberto and I ordered a cocktail and found a cozy seat in the back to get better acquainted.  After some lovely conversation over fun music, it was time to call it a night.  It was near 2:00am and the place was closing down.  I was heading for a cab and Alberto was heading home, or so I thought.

It ends up we walked and talked for a few more hours, so much so that my brand new boots needed new heels when I got back to New York.  Cleary neither of us was ready to call it a night and were enjoying one another’s company.  It would have been nice to have another day or two so that we could have done a nice dinner or something, but it was now early morning and I needed sleep before packing and heading to the airport. We would stay in touch (and we have) and try to get together again next time, there or here.  We’ll see.

After a 4 hour nap and a shower, I packed my bag and said goodbye to my host. I was off to Heathrow, reluctantly, to catch my ride home.  I always get really sad leaving London, and this day would be no different.  This is truly where I feel like I am home and I am already missing it the second I head for the airport.  Someday, I will live there and I hope that someday is very, very soon.  In the meantime, I made some good connections and new friends and I will look forward to returning and seeing what adventure the next trip brings. Hopefully that trip is very soon and I am only buying a one-way ticket!

One Response to “Sneaky Cheeky London Weekend”

  1. kornrocks February 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    $author awsome blog!

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