Lights, Camera, Action!

We stepped foot on Kensington High Street and the action slapped me across the face, as if an English director had just yelled “Action!” followed by a brilliantly choreographed performance. I could almost hear his voice through the megaphone “Cue black cabs! GO! Lovely, lovely – work it for the American family – stand by double decker bus – and GO – brilliant!” The wow factor dazzled me. Like seeing a professional sports game in person for the first time –watching players warm up – ordinary for them, but for you a big deal – larger than life, in color, and close enough to touch.

At the crosswalk, Look Right / Look Left was painted on the curb. It took a moment for me to figure out why – actually half a moment because a cab whizzed by within inches of us. Donna grabbed Chris by his pack and once again he protested. As we crossed, I studied a gigantic stone church, its steeple scraped the sky above. I’d never seen something so big that looked so – you guessed it – old. In my experience buildings this tall have a modern, “well engineered” look that make me feel more secure when standing beneath them.

With a map in hand we walked a few blocks off the main drag and found a well manicured, tree-lined street with four-story row houses, each grounded by a heavy staircase. I expected Mr. Banks or Mary Poppins herself to stroll by. It was so tidy and proper. I wanted a cup of Earl Grey Tea.

Donna finally spotted our Bed and Breakfast – recognizing it from the photo on their web site. Two marble pillars supported the elaborate entry and it looked a bit opulent to me.

“How much are we paying for this place? “

“A fair price for London.” She assured.

We clomped up the front steps. I reached for the large brass knob in the middle of the heavy white door. I grabbed it and gave it a turn, but the darn thing wouldn’t budge. I gave the door a nudge with my shoulder, but it won. Finally Jill pushed an electric buzzer screwed to the door casing.

“Yes?” a friendly voice replied.

“Uh…it‘s the Bakers.” I stammered.

“Registration is on the first floor” the voice instructed. The next buzz was louder than an air raid siren. The door easily pushed open.

The lobby looked like the foyer of a grand old home. The black and white tiles beneath our feet lead to a huge white staircase. An intricate chandelier hung above us. Detailed crown molding adorned the walls and ceiling. I turned to Donna again. “Fair price, huh?”

NEXT: Does the Queen Jog Around Her Own Park?




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