First Partial Day in London

After about 7 1/2 hrs. on the plane from Minneapolis (the ride wasn’t too bad, but it was difficult to sleep), Bill & I arrived in the airspace over London at around noon London time. We couldn’t land, however, for another 45 min. of circling overhead due to fog at the airport. Once we did land, we had to sit for another 15 or so min. while waiting for another plane to get out of our gate area.

Going through Customs went well and fairly quickly. However, we had to wait for another hour or so for the taxi driver to show up. Finally, we were on our way (approx. 1 1/4 hr. ride, which would not have taken quite so long had the driver not gotten lost a few times) to the Hotel.

During the drive, Bill, unfortunately, made the big mistake of asking the driver (who was originally from Afghanistan but had lived in Germany for about 15 yrs., & now in London for 3) what he thought of the Afghanistan War. We got an earful. Let’s just say he was not pleased. He did say, also, that he hates the Taliban, who are “very bad people” who had killed 6 members of his family, inc. his father & grandfather. That’s why he fled with his wife & young son to Germany. When the Americans first went over to Afghanstan (in 2001) he thought it was going to be a good thing, but not now. He wishes we would just get out.

Anyway…the hotel (the Sofitel London St. James) is wonderful! It seems to be in a pretty good location. We were able to walk over to the restaurant where we were to meet Willie and Amanda, whom Willie had lived with for the first 2 mos. she was here.

Amanda was very pretty and quite friendly and very talkative. She’s a singer, a former model, has a band, is going to school, takes all kinds of other lessons, is 32, & is originally from Florida. She’s lived here for about 15 yrs.

Willie looks really cute and seems pretty happy. She took off of work for the remainder of the week in order to show us around the city, which is really lucky for us, because Bill & I already got lost trying to find the restaurant.

Tomorrow we’ll go to the Victoria & Albert Museum, Harrods, maybe High Tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace, & then we’re seeing a Cuban jazz guy (Harold Lopez-Nussa) at a jazz club (it’s London Jazz Festival week). Here are a few photos we took on the way to the restaurant. (The one of Willie & Amanda was taken after dinner.)

Oh by the way, did you hear about Prince William & Kate’s engagement? It was all over the news today.