This morning’s weather – sunny, cloudless & 44 degrees – is a carbon copy of the weather in London yesterday - the Royal Borough of Westminster, to be exact. Needless to say, I didn’t want to leave. I have wanted to visit London since before I was a teenager, and finally did so this past week. My wife and my intrepid, tireless and fearless 4-year-old enjoyed it, too. Last Thursday, we drove out to Toronto’s Pearson Airport for a 6-hour hop across the pond. We lucked out with the weather, which cooperated most of the time, and was gloriously perfect about half the time. We saw all the major sights: British Museum was awe-inspiring; Tate Modern was fascinating; National Gallery was beautiful; Tower of London was entertaining; London Eye was phenomenal; Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s were like stepping into history. The prices, however, were abominable. The dollar trades at about $1.95 per pound, but the British prices are equivalent to American ones; a grande coffee at Starbucks might cost $2.00 here, but it’s £2.00 there; so it was close to $4.00. I’m lucky I didn’t rent a car, since gas costs the equivalent of $6.50/gallon. When’s the last time you spent $40 for pancakes, yogurt, and an omelette at a diner? Anyway, food-wise we enjoyed Pret a Manger, Eat!, Belgo Centraal, Yo! Sushi, Square Pie, and S&M Café near the Spitalfields market. We also ate at a few pubs, etc. Shopping? Harrod’s is a tourist trap. Selfridges was really a beautiful shop, and the best food hall. Fortnum & Mason was kind of like a museum. Marks & Spencer was somewhat uninteresting, but did have a good food hall – everything is sold under their own brand. Spitalfields Market was really cool, and Portobello Road on Saturday was crowded and nutty, but the side streets are worth exploring, too. I was sorry I missed Borough Market, though. It’s bittersweet coming home, really. In many ways I envy their lifestyle. I wouldn’t mind if Paris was a 3 hour train ride away, or the Alps were a 1 hr flight. But it’s good to be home.

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