Ciao, con amore from Rome
Ciao, ciao, ciao; I think it means “everything is fine” or maybe “there, there…” I’m not sure but it sounds cute when whispered or spoken soothingly by Italians.
Our soldier son, in Month 30 of a three-year assignment from the US Army, needed quality time with family and we are those kind of parents that suck it up and go where the Army sends him. Even if it means Europe; I know but someone has to do it. So we took a spin across the pond and landed back in London to visit the spots we missed on our last adventure.
So off we went on a Saturday afternoon, or at least that was the plan. We waited for our flight with a connector in Dallas that became delayed because of weather, causing us to miss the connection. Ever-present Newell, jumped in line and asked for new tickets for the next flight which we were told were not available. Hold on – yes there were 2 seats in the back that we could have. Fortunately we were able to continue the journey, for which we were very grateful. Unfortunately they were the equivalent of the nose-bleed section of a concert. They didn’t recline. At all. But it was only 9 hours and we were off again.
Our choices included flying to Rome or for about half the price, flying to London for a few days then taking a hop to Rome, we chose the latter.
I love London. I love flying into Heathrow to the aqua-hued mid-century part of the airport that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 1950’s. But it was cool and we got through customs, hopped on the Heathrow Express and were deposited in a short time in Paddington Station – yes that Paddington. I hate admit to being such a fan-girl but literary rock stars are my thing.
We figured out our Airbnb destination, bought our Oyster cards and hit the (underground train) Tube (Mind the Gap). Soon we were making our way down autumn leaf-strewn cobblestone streets through neighborhoods that looked suspiciously like Mary Poppins may have been filmed there. Our hosts Magda and Dorotea were charming sisters from Poland living in the UK; they looked like my step-sister Maribeth.
Needing food, we set off for the nearest market and picked up a picnic that we enjoyed despite the wind and rain in nearby Kennington Park.
According to Wikipedia ” Kennington Common (pre-park) was a site of public executions until 1800 as well as being an area for public speaking. Some of the most illustrious orators to speak here were Methodist founders George Whitefield and John Wesley who is reputed to have attracted a crowd of 30,000.” Apparently marches to Parliament often originated also at this park.
Tomorrow off to the Tower of London.