Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Night Tour

One of my fellow singers wanted to see a show (there was practically every show known to man, somewhere!), and I was the only person who hadn't seen what she wanted to see (Mama Mia) and was willing to try to get tickets. So we took off to Leicester Square right after Evensong, searching for the official "official half price ticket" sellers. Still not sure if we found them, but we found one, anyway. The tickets to Mama Mia were 60 pounds or so, well over $100, and I just couldn't spring for that much. We looked into what other shows were available, and they had 2 I was willing to see for 30 pounds, "Sound of Music" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang". Everything being equal, I would have chosen "Sound of Music", but those tickets were for seats that weren't very good, and I preferred to have better seats. So we bought the tickets, took off walking to the theatre, which ended up a bit farther than my companion wanted to walk, but we made it, grabbed some street-vendor chinese food, ate standing up, and went in. We had seats next to a woman with her 2 grandchildren and struck up a conversation. Turned out she'd been to the Rochester area, staying in a hotel there before visiting Niagara Falls, and had a very positive experience. I shared that we were seeing just the one show, and were a little nervous about getting back to the hotel late at night. She assured us we'd be safe in London. I asked how she'd come, and she said in her car. I jokingly asked if she'd give us a ride home, and she said "Absolutely!" When I said I was joking, she insisted that she wasn't, and she'd love to give us a night tour to see things lit up. The show was marvelous, great fun (and here I really missed my boys, knowing they would have loved the whole thing) and we left the theatre with them. She was parked right across the street from the theatre, and took us on a whirlwind tour including Buckingham Palace (not lit up), Harrod's, the Houses of Parliament and St. Stephen's tower and St. Paul's. She then dropped us off right at the front door of the hotel, with our grateful thanks. What a hoot!

Driver UP

This is Allyson, our tour guide/driver/friend.

Kids UP

These are her 2 grandchildren.

Harrod's Wonka window UP

Just one of Harrod's Willy Wonka promo windows.

Now here are 2 photos I am willing to bet no one else on the tour got:

Big Ben sharpened UP

St. Stephen's tower (with "Big Ben" inside) at night. Beautiful, isn't it?

Harrod's night UP

Harrod's at night. Wow!


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