London, Day 6: Last night in town, in the p.m.

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I was back from Highclere Castle at 4:00 p.m. The weather in London looked a bit clearer, so I considered what was left on my to-do list. I hadn’t yet even glimpsed Big Ben, which is probably some sort of sacrilege while you’re visiting London, so I headed in that direction.

(Side note: just last week I saw that they’re going to rename Big Ben the “Elizabeth Tower” in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee. Raise your hand if you think that new name will stick …

{{crickets}}

Yeah, that’s what I thought.) 

Big Ben is also near Westminster Abbey and the Cabinet War Rooms. I’ve visited Westminster Abbey every time I’ve come to London, and it’s one of my favorites. But with the day waning, I had to choose between those two sites. I hadn’t seen Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms since the first time I was in England when I was nine, and I’ve learned and come to admire a lot more about Winston Churchill and England’s role in WWII since then. So the War Rooms was actually an attraction I didn’t want to miss. I quickly grabbed a photo of Big Ben on the way out of the Tube and ran up to the War Rooms entrance around 4:30 p.m. I had until 6:00 p.m. to speed through the exhibits. A guided audio tour is included, one of those “push this number to hear more” deals. I tried to go quickly, but also to listen to as much as possible and do it justice.

  

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I come from a land Down Under.

Ah, Sydney.

I’ve just returned from a weeklong trip on the other side of the world. (Well, I actually returned last week, but the jet lag hit me so hard on Monday that it wasn’t until yesterday, Saturday, that I felt normal again).

C* and I took off for a glorious 24 hours in L.A. full of glitz, glamour, fame and Sprinkles cupcakes. Then we hopped aboard the largest plane I have ever seen (double-decker A-380) for a 15-hour jaunt over open ocean. You can get through anything with enough Xanax and Sauvignon Blanc, I tell you. Truth said, it was an easy flight – we watched movies, ate every three hours and actually slept. Bravo, Qantas!

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