We have been in fair london town for about 24 hours...most of that time we have been cursing the shoppers who have formed enormous mobs in streets and stores and gloating over our good luck in getting here so easily. Sarah had two upgrade coupons with \united, where she has 1K status, and because we flew on Thanksgiving Day when the plane was not as mobbed as Oxford Street, we both got business class seats with flat sleepers. It was life changing! For the first time since my accident, I have arrived somewhere within miserable pain and suffering or oragami blues.
Checked into The Athenaeum Hotel at Picadilly and Green Park while Sarah headed for Primark on Oxford Street. I got into a taxi and headed to Whitehall to inspect the new Corinthia Hotel, going up along the Thames next to Embankment and one block from Trafalgar-- it's going to be stunning. More on that one soon-- it opens in April, if you happen to be coming here for the Royal Wedding. I felt asleep looking at the moon over Green Park out my window and listening to American Telly on Channel 5 here, which specializes in American dramas and movies.
This is one of my favorite London hotels not only for location and chic ease but because of their famous sticky toffee pudding which I got for breakfast...along with poached eggs, bangers, mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon, etc. Then we flew off to Portobello Road Market. It's easier to take taxis since five lines of the tube are down now and the traffic is horrendous. Even Portobello was too crowded for intrepid shoppers so we headed to Boots and Tesco Metro, the grocery store, Pizza Express and then Liberty of London.If there is a recession in this country, you wouldnt know it by the throngs of shoppers.
Today and tomorrow the streets in major shopping districts are closed to vehicular traffic so you can join the mobs. Prices are so high here and crowds so nerve-racking that I long for a good old fashioned American Black Friday and would kill to shop at 4AM without jetlag. Of course, we have to pray Sarah has more upgrades in her bank for a seamless trip back to SFO on United...otherwise it's Executive Economy and aching bones for days. Oh well.