A blurry-completely-by-mistake image of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.   I love this shot anyway.

Our last day-and-a-half in England we spent in London.  It was unfortunate that we could only spend such a short time in London, but after our unexpected expenses related to Hurricane Ike (not to mention the economy, the weakness of the dollar against the pound, etc., etc.), staying longer just wasn't meant to be.  Still, we managed to cram a lot of sightseeing into 36 hours.

 Alex and Marcus waiting for the Tube, or "underground train," as Alex kept calling it

On our first Tube ride, after we got moving, Alex looked at me and asked, "Where are the pipes?"  After a moment of looking at her as if she'd fallen out of a tree, it dawned on me:  a few months ago while she was taking a bath, she asked me how the water got to our faucets, which led to a deep discussion of reservoirs and water treatment facilities and underground pipes.  She was sorely disappointed that she couldn't actually see the pipes out of the window of the underground train.


This is Holland Park, very near where my friend Mark lives.  After spending the night at Mark's place, on his recommendation we headed down to the park where there's apparently this amazing playground -- with ziplines, baby.

Unfortunately, it was raining and very muddy, so we nixed the playground.  Alex may never forgive us.


Covent Garden, London.

The little wine bar you see above, the Crusting Pipe, is very special to Marcus and me:  that's where we met our wedding guests for wine and cheeses the night before our wedding.  Sadly, I don't think we've actually stopped for a glass there since we got married.  We're going to have to do that, next time.


When I lived in London back in 2001, my closest friend and confidant was Matt, above (one particular stand-out memory:  Matt and I instant-messaging each other, me from a hotel in Dubai, he from a hotel in Algiers, on September 11, 2001 -- both of us wondering how the hell we were going to get back home to London.  Once we returned, much drinking ensued).  Today, Matt lives in Houston, and is engaged to the beautiful Jodi, on the left -- and coincidentally, they were visiting London at the same time we were.  So we met them for lunch, and they spent the afternoon at the Tower of London with us.  It was great to see them.


Approaching the London Eye (the huge ferris wheel located on the Thames River - you can sort of make out its lower right quadrant toward the back of this image).  I'm actually using this image for the front of our Christmas cards this year. 


A proper image of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

And thus concludes the summary of our excellent English vacation!  You can see the rest of the images here, pretty much in the order they were shot.  And now, back to life.

SongWerewolves of London, by Warren Zevon