Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winter Wonderland

A bit of scene setting: it has been pouring down rain like no one's business for days/weeks/years now. Quite a bit of the UK is flooded and, in Hyde Park, there are rivers flowing through the horse trail.

So it's a little bit wet.

Apparently, at Christmas time, Hyde Park turns into a Winter Wonderland. This is a fully stocked portable amusement park. Seriously, the thing is huge. Craft stalls, noodle stalls, a bier tent, mulled wine booth, waffles, cotton candy and popcorn, a kiosk with assorted hand and neck warmers, and the most (okay, only) portable ATM's I've ever seen. And an ice rink. And a Ferris wheel. And the tallest portable free drop in the world (why do I know this? Because there was a flashing sign on the top that told me)

And the rides. Oh! The rides! I spent the whole time walking through fair ground repeating to my self "this would be an irresponsible use of money, this would be an irresponsible use of money" But, roller coasters! In the pouring rain! It would have been neat.

On Saturday Ella and I went shopping on Oxford Street looking for boots for her before she heads off to Poland to visit her boyfriend who is gigging over there currently. Oxford street on a Saturday is mad enough, but Oxford Street on a Saturday during Christmas season? Insane. They had shut down the street to cars so it was completely pedestrianized which was helpful because even with doubling the amount of space to walk it was still difficult to weave a path through all. the. people.

Fortunately *I* wasn't stressed out about finding anything in particular so I mostly just soaked in the atmosphere, got covered in fake snow bubbles, gazed at the impressive shop window displays, and hurried after Ella who dismissed any and all boots for being uncomfortable (i.e., not feeling exactly like her 3 year old pair that are falling apart. I'm not being totally fair- I didn't actually try any of the boots- but I have to admit I am inclined to think that she is completely discounting the whole idea of, you know, wearing leather in...)

Getting into the tube station to go home was challenging. They kept shutting the entrances because there were too many people on the platform- and that was fine because I do appreciate them making sure that no one got pushed on to the tracks.

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