by Kristine Hughes Patrone
As those of you who follow my Facebook page may know, my phone was stolen out of my hand whilst standing on Wigmore Street by two helmeted guys on a moped. Therefore, my long anticipated day out in London with Beth Elliott began at the Carphone Warehouse in the Strand, where Beth helped me to get a new phone. Shout out to Diana, who was a huge help. According to my (former) carrier, Verizon, no UK phone would work in the US, but Diana assured me this was not the case. UK phones are unlocked and they operate on the same band as US phones. And guess what? She was right. I’m now with T-Mobile – and have unlimited everything for much less money each month than Verizon.
Once we’d done with the phone purchase, Beth and I took a cab to Westminster Pier in order to board the water taxi to Greenwich, as originally planned. We settled in to await our departure and took a few photos to document the day and I told Beth how glad I was that our day together fell on the day I needed her help most. A former teacher, now published author, and my cherished friend, Beth is unflappable and level headed, traits that are in complete opposition to my tendency towards excitement and panic. She’s also fun, witty and game for anything and I always look forward to our time together.
We spent most of the trip marveling at the changing face of the various London docks, which have morphed from being some of the largest shipping depots in the world into some of the most desirable London real estate properties, regardless of sky high costs. We also marveled at the pure courage displayed by early sailors, who willingly set sail on ships bound for uncharted shores, never certain if they’d ever see their homes or dry land again. Before long, the Cutty Sark, the tea clipper built in 1869, hove into view, giving us our first glimpse of historic Greenwich.
Our first item of business was lunch, which we took care of at Ye Olde Rose and Crown, with Ye Olde Sunday Roast, which was, sadly, sold out by the time we arrived. I can’t for the life of me recall what either Beth or I ordered, though whatever it was, we ate it while enjoying an open fire, convivial company and a dog or two.
Afterwards, we were faced with making a choice between the Emma Hamilton Exhibition and the Greenwich Observatory.
The Observatory won.
Time was flying (pardon the pun), and so Beth and I opted for a visit to the Queen’s House, rather than a rushed peek at the Emma Exhibition, which will have to keep for another day.
For more information on visiting Greenwich, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website here.