A London Encounter


The London portion of our trip went by entirely too fast. If you are the kind of traveler who likes to just soak in the color and culture of an area 4.5 days in London won't work. We stayed constantly rushed and exhausted - even though we were trying desperately to take our time and make sure we noticed the small things as well as the "tourist" things. Upon reflection, we missed many of the tourist things that we (I) had hoped to pass by.

We never got really close to "Big Ben" although the clock does show up in a picture I took when we walked on the Waterloo Bridge. We went to/in the British Library but were so exhausted from our trip Diane ended up napping and I was too scared we were about to be ushered out that I sat by her while she slept. Didn't make it to the British Museum, The Globe Theater, Shakespeare's House/museum, or numerous other things.

One the other hand, we did have a couple of encounters that will stay with us as we fondly remember our trip. The first one came the first day we were in town. We had finally gotten into our room and took a 3 hour nap. We got up around 5pm, freshened up and decided to just walk around and finally get something to eat. As we walked down Woburn Pl./Southhampton Row/Kingsway (essentially all the same street) we found ourselves in front of a small green grocer who had set up his truck between buildings. Diane noticed taht he had raspberries (her favorite) for one pound and they smelled amazingly good so she bought a pint (or so). I snapped a couple of pictures and we moved on. We walked on for several blocks and finally found ourselves on Waterloo bridge where we ambled around for 15-20 minutes. We started heading back, intent on finding a small cafe or such for dinner and finally decided upon a "Italian" place called Guido's - about 1 block from where we got the raspberries. The penne was very good. I remember that Diane had the Penne Ariabiatta and commented about how hot the peppers were but that it was wonderful. Finally, as we sat there Diane could resist the fruit no longer and broke them out. She thought she had died and I had to agree. The raspberries were sweet and plump and wonderful. After dinner we walked across the street, got a coffee and crossed back to the other side.

As we passed back in front of the green grocer I decided that if his raspberries were that good, maybe we ought to find something else to take back with us to the "hotel." So I stopped. As I gazed longingly at all the fruit he had, he noticed Diane and asked her if she had already eaten the other fruit (nearly 3 hours had passed) and she told him that they were wonderful. As he gave me the cherries that I had picked up he asked if I wanted them in a bag and I responded "sounds great!" At this, a man the grocer had been visiting with looked at me and said, "Sour Grapes? Did you just say sour grapes?" After I figured out why this guy might be asking me such a silly question I finally pointed out that it must be the Texas accent that threw him. Since then, the phrase "sour grapes?" has become a running joke.

A great story? Probably not, but definitely the kinds of encounters we are looking for. The picture above is a quick shot of the grocer and his stand just before we bought the raspberries.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Hi Chuck and Diane! I want to hear more about this "hotel"!!!