Do Not Pass Go

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

This Tuesday Rick had to head out to Reading for a customer meeting, so Megan decided to come along as she'd heard Reading actually had a shopping centre! Shopping Centres in London are a rarity as most shops are on the High Street - basically a suburb's main shopping strip. After Rick's meeting he drove past his old employer (MCI) office. It is a huge building, though only a quarter full as the company laid off about 50,000 employees over the last few years.

This Saturday we decided to head out of London and got a bus out to the university town of Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires. Arriving early in the morning we were greeted by the rainy weather, but headed down the main road to see Magdalen College. The college buildings are covered in all kinds of gargoyles and old gothic shapes. Wandering around town we saw the old buildings of various colleges such as Queens, Trinity and Christ Church College, where they filmed parts of the Harry Potter movies. Seeking some shelter from the relentless rain we headed indoors to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. It was full of all kinds of animals and their skeletons. With time to spare before we had to catch the bus home we firstly climbed Carfax Tower to get a great view of the city. As it was still raining we had the top of the deserted tower to ourselves. After climbing back down we thought we'd go and see the movie the Da Vinci Code, because since Oxford is a university town the ticket prices are a lot cheaper than in London.

On the Sunday we decided it was time to have a bit of fun. We cracked out an old monopoly board, randomly allocated properties to each other, grabbed the trusty pocket London AtoZ map and hit the Tube. We wanted to go to all the places on the Monopoly board, including the Pentonville Prison and all of the four stations. The start of our trip was entertaining as on the crowded Tube (the Tube is very busy during the week with people working, but on the weekend it's packed with tourists, drunks and people heading to the airports) Megs almost completed a backflip. One of the tourists had placed their knee high bags right behind her and when the train suddenly braked Megan found her legs being taken out from beneath her. Maps went flying, arms went grasping but luckily Rick saw Megan's acrobatic attempts and grabbed her before she fell over. Arriving at the station Rick almost got taken out by a fat kid eating a chocolate chip cookie. He had decided it would be run to run along the platform as the train left. He didn't decide to look where he was going and ran straight into the back of Rick. This time the cookie went flying.

Our first stop was Old Kent Road where the obligatory photo of the street was taken. We then kicked on visiting all the places listed on the monopoly board including Mayfair with all the ritzy hotels.

If you ever want to do a Monopoly Pub Crawl (we did the crawl without the pubs as drinking 26 pints at each pub would be a mean feat) in London check out this webpage.

PS. Happy 60th Birthday Dad!
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