HOTEL VALENTINES BUFFET: The hotel had a complimentary Valentine’s Day Buffet on the Wednesday evening before Valentine’s Day for everyone staying in the Executive portion of the hotel. They had various seafood appetizers and a chocolate fondue with fresh fruit, marshmallows and brownie bites. It was nice and we counted it as our dinner that night, keeping our sweet selections limited. While there, we met a man & his wife who met at this hotel and are now married and live in London. He told us the best room in the hotel & told us we should ask for it, but it is a suite & I don’t think it would have been within the company guidelines. Oh well, we think our room is pretty good, other than a hard bed and a toilet that is now being temperamental—we have had to call maintenance for it two days in a row–and it still isn’t flushing correctly. But I think our view is pretty nice—we can see the London Eye in the distance.
WESTFIELD MALL: The couple we met at the Valentine’s Buffet told us about a big, new mall, so I decided to go find it after getting the tickets for Wicked. It was very impressive. There were three full levels, with hundreds of stores. One end was very upscale, and included stores such as Prada, Gucci, Luis Vuitton and Versace. (Jon’s note: somebody was pronouncing it ‘ver-says’ instead of ver-sah-chee….) There was also a ‘champagne bar’ in this portion of the mall. We didn’t spend too much time there, since a larger portion of the mall had stores like Marks & Spencer, H&M and Debenhams, which are more like Macy’s and JC Penneys. After my first visit on Friday, I told Jon about it, and we decided to spend some time there on Saturday (the 21st) as well.
WE FLEW THE LONDON EYE: Yes, in spite of our trepidation of heights, we went on the London Eye. The London Eye, “443 ft. high is the world’s tallest observation wheel with a 25 mile panoramic view on a sunny day”. “The gradual flight in one of 32 capsules (each hold up to 25 people) takes 30 minutes to revolve completely”. We went in the evening, which gave us a beautiful view of London’s night sky and lights. Since it moves so slowly, it is a very smooth ride and gives you a fairly secure feeling, unless you walk towards the door. The door is curved in such a way, that to walk near it, you experience a little more vertigo. As a 9 yr. old girl in our capsule stated, “It’s scary by that door”. I must say that I agreed with her. She was very excited about going on the London Eye, stating, I’ve waited so long to go on this…” When her dad told her it was built in 2000, she said, “Then I guess I waited my whole life to go on this.” And then she clarified that she only knew about it for about 2 years. It was created to celebrate the millennium by a husband and wife team and it weighs 2,100 tons. (Jon’s note: I guess calling it the “London Thing that Looks Like a cross between a Really Big Bicycle Wheel and a Ferris Wheel” isn’t as glamorous as saying you can ‘Eye all of London’… which to me, seems rather lame…oh, well.)