Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Day of Firsts

My sister arrived at Gatwick airport this morning, her first trip to come see me. After meeting her at the airport we took the train to Victoria station to drop her bags and wander around Westminster. First on the list was a stop at Buckingham Palace, when we arrived I realized that for one more week the state rooms were open for their annual summer viewing. This was an opportunity not to be missed so we queued for about 45 minutes to get tickets to see the inside of the palace. No photographs were allowed inside but I was able to take this shot from the rear gardens on the way out.

The photos in this posting are the first ones taken with my new camera. The actual first shot is below:

After Buckingham Palace we walked down to Parliament and Westminster Abbey. By this time we were getting hungry and decided to head back, as lunch was a complete disaster. We had about an hour after buying the tickets to view the state rooms before our timed entrance, this should have been plenty of time to grab a quick bite in a pub. Off to "The Bag 0 Nails" right around the corner. When the food arrived 30 minutes after we placed the order they had brought me a hamburger instead of the BBQ chicken I ordered. The waitress said they don't have BBQ chicken on the menu and so I had to point it out to her. She obviously was unaware of the specials. I said we had to be out of there in 20 minutes and could they bring me something else, I figured a sandwich or salad could quickly be made. Imagine my surprise when I was told the kitchen was busy all the food was made to order and there was no way they could get anything out in less than 20 minutes, they would get the manager and give me a refund.

When the manager came over I expressed my displeasure and surprise that they were not willing or able to provide me with food after screwing up my order, to which the waitress rudely sniped Burger King is around the corner. After leaving our table the manager was called to another table that had ordered before us and were still waiting for their food to arrive. Looks like this pub has shoddy service all over the place.

As a result of the lack of lunch we had an early dinner, it was a nice evening so we decided to eat on the patio. We were talking, drinking our beers and minding our own business when out of nowhere a bee flies into my hand a stings me. Given my track record with bugs you might be surprised to hear that this was my first bee sting. Of course I start worrying right away that I'm going to have a severe allergic reaction based on my experiences with spider bites, mosquito bites and poison ivy. Luckily I had some benadryl in my purse so I took that. While I am still in pain 4 hours later there does not seem to be any other reactions.

More firsts tomorrow when we head to Stonehenge and Bath.


Amy said...

Have a good time. Cant wait to hear about Stonhenge. I fondly remember the surly service i got in British pubs. They're in a class all their own. Good thing they don't have to worry about tips!

Mom said...

I am glad that you got to see the inside of the Palace and are visiting with your sister. Enjoy tomorrow and the next day too. If my memory serves me correct it is the second bee sting that is dangerous because now you have been exposed to it. "Bee" careful now. Love mom