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Vacation Day 14, London – Leaving in the morning!

So, today was our last full day in London. We didn’t have anything ambitious planned, but it turned out to be a pretty ambitious day anyway! Our first trek was over to Forbidden Planet to see the comic shop everyone talks about… It’s two floors and has everything under the sun to keep geeks of the UK happy – toys, statues, posters, shirts, books, movies, and comics… We actually didn’t end up spending a penny in there, though! I was looking to pick up some 2000 AD graphic novels or something that isn’t readily available in the US or maybe something Doctor Who I hadn’t seen before. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a t-shirt I wanted in my size… In fact, even their Forbidden Planet t-shirts, which you’d figure they’d have a ton of, were almost out of stuck! Too bad… I wanted to spend money there, I promise!

From there, we decided to walk over to Oxford Circus, which was pretty close (relatively speaking). Oxford Circus is a 1.5 mile stretch of shops and probably the busiest shopping area in all of London. It was CRAZY… Being a bit taller than the average bear, I could see people from one end to another, packed 7-8 wide on either side of the road AND probably 1 person every three feet in front and behind one another. I couldn’t give you exact numbers, just that it was a lot! There were food shops, tourist shops, department stores, banks, currency exchanges, and more. The funny thing about the tourist shops is that they all had pretty much the same stuff, but their prices varied from shop to shop, even if they were literally next door. In one shop, a t-shirt would be £7.99 and next door the same could be £12.99. Oh, and I can’t forget there were street vendors, too, selling the same things! We did pick up a chunk of souvenirs through various shops and even picked up another piece of luggage to cover everything we bought while we were here. We looked at a few shops selling one particular piece for £79.99 and by the last shop we checked, the price was £49.99… sold!

Of the larger shops, we went into Selfridges and  Debenham’s… We didn’t spend a penny in Selfridges, but at Debenham’s, we happened to find a couple of things we saw at another branch elsewhere in the city when we first arrived in London, but on sale today! So, I picked up a sweater I was eyeing then for 40% off, another in the clearance area, and Amanda picked up a couple of things as well.

While we were out (somewhere in the middle of everything), we ate at Wagamama’s again, which was really good… After shopping, we had to track a bus down heading back to Chelsea… We found a stretch of road that every bus seemed to go by (well, half of them anyway), and saw the 414 stopped there, so we waited, watching people hurry back and forth to catch the various buses that stopped there…. The 414 showed up after a few minutes and there were two people with baby strollers (buggies) in the wheelchair area. One guy got right off, since he was planning to anyway, but the other person wouldn’t budge… The bus driver wouldn’t let out the ramp for Amanda in her wheelchair until the other person moved… I made a comment loud enough, I guess, because the lady started moving her stroller part way and the driver let us on. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get positioned properly (thanks lady!!!!), so, I had to lodge one foot behind the wheel of her chair with the bad brake and squish myself to get out of the way whenever people got on or off the bus (quite a bit).

We got back to the flat around 6pm and started trying to finish our packing. At 50 lbs per piece of checked luggage and still having to take back some books, we fought a bit to get things balanced out well, but we’re about finished… In the morning, we’ll polish that off once we get ready, so we can shove things wherever they need to be. I pray the security people in Heathrow don’t have an explosion of clothes when they try to search our stuff!

Anywho, we also spent the evening planning transportation for the morning and eating the food we bought that we didn’t need to… Way too much food, but it was good. We’ll have to cram some of what’s left on our carry on… Yikes! As for the transportation, we were going to do the tube like we did from Heathrow to our flat, but we just have too much stuff and I don’t feel like stressing trying to balance things on the chair, put multiple things on my back, shoulders, etc… So, at about 9pm tonight, we were calling places to find the right place at the right price. Luckily, we found one and we’re good to go!

In the morning, we have to finish cleaning up the flat a bit, finish packing, and the land lady will be here around 10:30 am to check us out… Our car will be here at 10:45 to take us to Heathrow… Our flight isn’t until 3pm, but we’ll get checked in early and hang out at the terminal, which has like 20 restaurants and a ton of duty free shopping… Hope our bank account can handle it!

Cheers!

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