Pidgeons atop the Edwardian Hotel

25 December 2008

Christmas Day

Happy Christmas! 

In the course of my life, I’ve spent Christmas in some pretty interesting ways.    I had twenty wonderful years of childhood and youth where Christmas morning saw stockings full to brimming, lights and trees and decorations and piles of presents.  Then there was the Christmas that was immediately preceeded by my Daddy’s funeral. Not the best, for sure.  From then on, Christmas was different, of course, beginning with the next one where, by clever design, I was so involved in my own wedding preparations that I barely noticed it!  There were poor years of small trees and few gifts.  There was my first Christmas with Kyle, when I decided I wanted to celebrate all twelve days of Christmas with gift-giving!  And one year, for the Yule holidays, Kyle and I and our dear Ginger and Lisa trekked to England for Christmas with Kyle’s parents who were living in the Blackpool area at the time.  (Ask us some time, about the “Kyle and the Babes” trip!)  But, even then, we did our travelling earlier in the month, and woke up to yummy smells, in the home of family, on Christmas morning.  This is the first time ever, that I’ve spent Christmas Eve to Christmas morning on an airplane!  When Santa made his deliveries this year, we were somewhere over the Atlantic!  A little bit bizarre.

Since I didn’t sleep on the plane, this Christmas Day was really just a continuation of the day before, and therefore, a bit of a blur.  We arrived in London just after eight in the morning, retrieved our one checked bag, and sought our transportation to the hotel.  We were so tired, that it was only after walking a very long way—and then a little longer—that we realized the bus we were finally on would have picked us up at the first door we’d seen!  We just didn’t walk out that door to find out.  Silly.  But, did I mention we were tired?

We got the bus, though, and it did take us right to the hotel.  We are at the Heathrow Radisson Edwardian — a really lovely hotel.  Arriving on Christmas morning must be the way to guarantee attentive staff, because we were treated like royalty from the moment we walked in the door to the beautiful lobby.  Our room was ready for us, even though it was only nine-something in the morning.  We checked in, went upstairs and decided a power nap was definitely next on the list.  So, we set the nap alarm for two hours, and crashed.  It was a much-needed rest for me, that’s for sure.

The rest of the day was spent constantly having to check a clock—neither one of us adjusted as quickly as I remember doing in the past.  We inquired about transportation to the nearest Underground station, only to learn that not only were the city buses not running on Christmas Day, but neither was the Underground!  London’s famous Tube closed for Christmas!  I was very surprised.  We also learned that literally every place we might have been able to walk to for food or drink was also closed (not so surprised about that one).  So, we took a walk around the neighbourhood to get our bearings,  located the nearest pub for future reference, and came back to the hotel.  We explored the hotel—it’s a big place—and took some fun photos.  My pidgeons were on a rather distant part of the hotel roof, and I took quite a few shots to finally get one with a bird in flight.   Finally, we ended up  at the hotel bar, called the Polo Lounge.  We were hungry, but not starving, so we ordered pub sandwiches.  It wasn’t until thinking about writing about it, that I realized that yummy little tomato and cheese sandwich had been my Christmas Dinner! 

Tomorrow is Boxing Day, and many places will still be closed.  But, the pubs and restaurants will be open, and the Tube and buses will be running again.  So, we’ll be able to explore further afield.  We wouldn’t have chosen for today to go the way it did, but we sure managed to have fun, anyway!