Having been away from our favourite city far too long due to the damn Pandemic, it was time for a 2 week
Unbelievably, after I booked the Holiday, Kathy breathlessly informed me that by sheer coincidence the Rolling Stones were playing Hyde Park during that same time! Can you imagine that! I had NO Idea! What a lucky break that was! So I bought tickets to both concerts, including extras that I couldn't resell in case extended family members wanted to join us.
I also booked The Princess a 7 day cruise during the middle of the time there leaving from Southhampton. Calling on 2 ports in France and 2 ports in Spain, I knew Her Highness would get plenty of Sun, Drink, and Relaxation aboard the MSC Virtuosa.
I even popped for "The MSC Yacht Club" experience, which provided upscaled restaurants, separate Swimming and Spa facilities, all the drinks you could put away, upscaled Stateroom accomodations (Watch the Video) and even a Butler that The Princess abused for the entire week.
We flew over to London on the night of our 37th anniversary and stayed a couple days at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge next to Harrods. We stumbled upon Tattersalls Pub a few steps shy of Hyde Park, where the Ham & Cheese Toasties were lovely - especially with a cold Peroni (Princess) or a Diet Coke (me).
On the Saturday, we Ubered (damn trains were on strike) the 80 miles down to Southhampton and boarded the Ship. Kathy was greeted by our Butler Rahul (pictured below) who escourted her to the Yacht Club Lounge as our room was still being readied.
It seemed like most of the other passengers were from the UK and we met a number of them. Favourites were Karen And Sean from Manchester, pictured right. Though the ports seemed nice, we decided to stay on the ship the whole week, giving Kathy all the precious Sunbathing time she required to keep her aging body bronzed.
We took in a Theatre production on board and walked the Promenade doing a little shopping - but mostly just relaxed. Really a nice break.
Then it was back to London where we closed out the last 4 nights at the Clermont Hotel across from Trafalgar Square. A beautiful Hotel, that was smack in the middle of the All Day (and All Night) Gay Pride parade when we arrived on the Saturday. (Why do those LGBTQ fellas all like their whistles so damn much?!?)
Weather was just gorgeous and we walked to the Thames River and over to Trafalgar more than a couple times enjoying our London. Kathy put away more than a few pints at The Sherlock Holmes Pub, that we first visited 24 years ago with the boys and my Dad. Great memories. Sadly 2 of our fave restuarants in London didn't survive the Pandemic. We had been going to both Sticky Fingers (Rolling Stones Bistro) and Salieri's on the Strand since 1991. Sad - but they are gone.
But the London highlight for me, was the 37th time I've seen the Rolling Stones - playing iconic Hyde park in Central London on the evening of July 3rd. 3rd song was favourite Tumblin' Dice, where I irritated anyone around me as I sang along with Mick at full throat. At the end of the song I had tears in me eyes. Was this the last time I would hear it live?
Keith looked positively demonic and so totally cool. Was sad that Charlie no longer was behind the Drum Kit - but they sounded great. We were so far in the back, I couldn't swear that the Stones were actually there, but they looked great on the Jumbtrons and they sounded even better.
In the night's biggest surprise they covered Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" which was stellar. And of course, they played my other favourite "Gimme Shelter" complete with storm clouds in the sky - only fitting given that song. These boys wrote the Soundtrack Of My Life. Picture left is a selfie of us. Isn't Kathy Just Gorgeous!
Took a London Double Decker over to the Tower of London to get a few snaps of the "SuperBloom" planted on the moat to honor the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Lovely!
Night before we left we dined at the Duke of York Pub - though there was no sign of that disgraced rascal, Prince Andrew! We then saw the Play "Hamilton" next door at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Kathy led the Standing Ovation as it was really good. Made we want to read up more on Alexander Hamilton.
Though it was nice to go home, we lamented how quickly our Summer Holiday had flown by - especially the Cruise.