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A Birthday Christmas Holiday: Day 2 – More London – December 6, 2015

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I woke up Sunday morning after a good, long sleep.

I showered, brushed my teeth with a complimentary toothbrush found in a United travel kit, and was about to go to a store for some deodorant…

…when I learned that my bag had come in during the night!

Hooray!  Clean clothes (and deodorant)!

I went to Bill’s Holborn Restaurant for a nice plate of Eggs Benedict with lox and pumpkin seeds…

…and then went on a stroll south to Temple and west on Fleet Street/Strand that brought me to the occasional dragon…

…pegasus…

…triple Capricorn shield…

Dalek

…and the King himself.

I walked passed some interesting pubs (Ye Olde Cock Pub)…

…the original Twinings shop established in 1706…

…curious window displays…

…and giant Christmas ornaments…

…where I tried to take artistic photographs.

 

North of there, after passing the Maple Leaf Canadian-themed restaurant…

…I came to the Jubilee Market Hall at Covent Garden…

…where I explored the shops…

…and checked out the surrounding area a bit.

I ventured north on Neal Street to visit The Astrology Shop

…and then west to Chinatown…

…where I searched all over for a place for lunch…

…deeply considering the fish shaped cream cakes.

I decided to try Gerrard’s Corner where I got this interesting (and tasty) dish of duck tongue…

(Did you know there’s a bone in each one?)

…and some really delicious pumpkin and scallop dumplings along with sticky rice in lotus leaf.

After lunch, I found a small Christmas market…

…with a very fancy carousel…

…and a decent amount of vendors.

I still continued west to Piccadilly Circus…

…before heading north on Regent Street and making a stop at Hamleys

…where many-a-dad had had their fill.

But I felt rejuvenated, especially after meeting Santa Claus…

…and then detouring through various shopping areas…

…taking a long trek back on Oxford Street (passing this pancake place)…

…and making it back to my hotel.

Here is where I ran into a problem: where was I going to eat for dinner?

I wanted to eat at a pub with more traditional pub food, but…

1.) A nearby pub (with a great menu) was booked for the night (Ship Tavern)

2.) Some pubs had closed kitchens on Sunday night.

3.) Some pubs basically had burgers and pizza.

4.) One pub was an absolute maze with tons of doors and super small rooms.

5.) I was a little indecisive and increasingly frustrated.

Eventually, I found a pub called the Swan and it was friendly and awesome…

…with a Sunday Roast lamb dinner served with Yorkshire Pudding, potatoes, peas, beans, carrots and gravy.

It was definitely a great finish to a very active day.

With the help of some gin and tonic at the pub, I got to bed rather early that night (10 pm), but woke up at midnight with aching hips from all the walking (and leaning with my backpack)…

…and ended up watching a lot of interesting TV for the next 3.5 hours before falling back to sleep.

Unfortunately, I needed to wake up the next morning at 6:30 for a bus trip to Stonehenge and Bath.

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