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Monday, April 16, 2007

Last Day of Easter Vacation

Today my daughter and I dropped my parents off at Heathrow and decided to see some of the sights in London, this being the last day of her Easter school break.

We stopped first at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. It was quite the affair, I hear. We weren't actually able to see much because it was jam-packed with tourists from the four corners of the globe including what seemed to me like a surprisingly large contingent of Hasidic Jews. At one point the two guard units paused in the ceremony, collected music stands, and held a brief concert including - I kid you not - the theme to the original Star Trek TV show. Joe Queenan would have loved it; he could have written his next book on little else. But it was generally quite wonderful in the idiosyncratic, anachronistic way that one comes to expect of British institutional traditions. Change it over my dead body.

Then we trod through Green Park and another park and across a surprising amount of real estate to get to the London Eye. The parks were lush and well used and wonderful, especially in the 75F degrees and full sun we had today, but the Eye looks closer to the Palace on the map. I had never been before, and Alex was keen to go.

It was great. The wheel moves very slowly and gently, taking 30 minutes to go an entire revolution. You have almost no sense of movement when you are in it. And the views were spectacular. Almost everything that the Big Smoke had to show could be clearly seen. It was just amazing.

And then a carousel ride and some more walking in the sun and warmth and the day drew to a close. But all in all a most excellent day for a father and daughter on the last day of Easter Vacation.

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