"London is awesome. I like the way it looks. I like the gardens, the houses. I like the way people speak. I like the names of the streets and places. I like the food. I like the way London feels. I just like everything about London!"
And what is it we've seen so far? Quite a lot, indeed. So much, in fact, that today alone we walked about seven miles. Here are some photo highlights.
(1) Chloe loves to shop. She was particularly eager to go vintage clothing shopping and in the past two days we've visited at least five storefronts and innumerable market stalls claiming to sell the stuff. It's been a successful trip for her so far, so much so that she's already blown through half of her spending money. Below is a photo of Chloe combing the racks at Spitalfields.
(2) As Chloe said, you can't beat the way the Brits name their places. Take, Dirty Dicks, for instance. No, it's not a strip club. It's a pub. Oh, and for any perverts stumbling upon this blog because you Googled "Dirty Dicks" and were hoping to see something else, get a life.
(3) There were throngs of people at Portobello Market today. Most of the stuff on offer was schlock, but there were some attractive displays and Chloe still managed to buy a few things. The porcelain teapots below were not among our purchases, but I couldn't resist the colors.
(4) This guy, also at Portobello, must have been sick of waiting for his wife to finish shopping. Yes, that's his head in the bucket. Chloe deemed his stunt cool enough to warrant a few pence.
(5) After Portobello Road, we walked to Regent's Canal and took a lovely stroll to an area called Little Venice where the majority of the houseboats dock. The canal was a wonderful respite from the cacophony and crowds of Portobello.
(6) We continued along the canal towpath to Regent's Park, where we admired the beautiful gardens, basked in the oasis of green in the middle of the city and rented a paddleboat because our legs weren't yet tired enough from all of the walking.
(7) We then walked to Soho and stumbled upon a wonderful restaurant called Rosa's Thai Cafe. We were happy and exhausted when we returned to the hotel. But the fun wasn't quite over for Chloe. When we arrived, there was something on her bed. She approached and saw macaroons and a lovely note from the staff at the wonderful Town Hall Hotel, wishing her a happy 13th birthday (we had told the woman at the reception desk yesterday that this trip was Chloe's birthday present). She was thrilled and amazed that they acknowledged the occasion. Needless to say, she went to bed a very happy girl.