It's a bit overwhelming to have an ocean between me and everything my life's been filled with for the past twenty-something years. And it's fabulous. This place is amazing. If I could, I'd walk the streets for days on end just looking at everything (and listening to everyone).
In fact, I've never gotten so much enjoyment out of eavesdropping. I had to get a phone, and just talking to the salesman made me nearly swoon with joy. I'm pretty sure that in Heaven, everyone will have British accents. Everyone. After listening to hours of British English, standing next to another American in the elevator is a chore.
Once we'd washed off our travel gunk, we went out for tube riding and walking. The people watching was as glorious as it always is in big cities, but with the added intrigue of an exotic locale. I saw a girl with more holes in her face than I could count, two people with unbelievably tall hair, and one man who looked more like a toad than I'd ever imagined a man could look without the aid of prosthetics.
We saw the Tower of London. And surrounding monuments. Wow. I imagine that being trapped in the Tower of London would be extra terrible—beyond the whole imprisonment thing, you have to watch the gorgeous Thames wash by out the window and know you can't just lie on its banks for hours. It's like working through a gorgeous afternoon you can only watch through a window (but worse, because they didn't get weekends).
When I see really cool things like the Tower Bridge, I like to imagine what it would have been like to make them: how long it would have taken to design and form all of the exquisite pieces, what it would have been like to watch it go from a pile of nothing on the margins of a huge river to a monument quite fit for a king (and one more royal than many who called it theirs).
To conclude our afternoon, we took a nice walk along the Thames and had Magnum ice cream bars (double caramel) before we stopped into some churches and things.
Tomorrow, I'm thinking we'll go on a guided tour of the Tower, take a boat along the Thames, and check out Jack the Ripper's old murdering grounds before we head off to see Wicked. Maybe we'll throw the Globe in there too. If my feet weren't so danged upset about their "mistreatment" so far today, I'd take them out to a whole lot more places. But as it is, they're barely willing to put up with the carpeted hotel room floor. So I suppose I'll give them 20 minutes, take them to dinner, and see if I can't get one more good trip out of them before I turn in for my first night in Europe.