Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to Edinburgh, London and the Hotel of 100 Smells

We spent 2 days with family in Edinburgh. Mark and Kitty went off to feed the swans while I went ice skating with our nephew Laurie. Laurie is a very talented figure skater. Many years ago, in an ice rink far, far away I skated as well. My toe looping days might be long past but I was pretty stoked not to have my butt meet the ice- not even once.WIN!

We headed back by train to London before flying out of Heathrow. We spent the afternoon riding the tube to get to Kensington Gardens for one purpose only- the Princess Diana Memorial Playground. Mark at first thought we were going to some monument for a dead princess and complained loudly until I assured him we were going for Kitty to have a bit of fun.

The playground is based on 'Peter Pan' as J.M. Barrie met the boys who inspired the work in Kensington Gardens. There are swings and slides but also Tee Pees and Captain Hook's ship. Guess what was the only thing Kitty wanted any part of? that's right- the boat. We couldn't get her off of it and had a few heart stopping moments because its really designed for older kids but Kitty has never let that stop her.

 And so after a day of sailing captain Hook's ship, we headed back to our lodging for our last night in the elegant and cosmopolitan city of London.

We stayed at the Travel Lodge at Waterloo Station at the beginning of our trip. It was clean, if basic and had a decent lounge area which are the only requirements we have for a hotel. Buoyed by our success we booked our last night at the Travel Lodge King's Cross on Gray's Inn which should be more correctly names the Hotel of 100 Smells.

To say this was a vastly different experience than the one we had at Waterloo would be a gross understatement. As we made our way through the labyrinth of fire doors we were greeted at every turn by a new smell- sausages, strawberry air freshener, body odor, funky gym socks, nag champa and some sort of weird, musky yet flowery disinfectant. It was so bad, tight wad Mark even skipped the cheap breakfast rather than risk contracting some food borne illness.
The awesome view from our room at the Hotel of 100 Smells. The view did change regularly though- every 20 minutes a loud train would roll by and rattle the windows. All. Night. Long.
We survived the hotel, made it to Heathrow, boarded our plane and survived an 11 hour flight with an overtired toddler. We arrived home to a big girl who missed us and boat that still required more work. No rest for the wicked so back into the bilge Mark went the next day to start tidying up the wiring under the sole, refurbishing the bilge pumps and begin the task of rewiring the mast. More on that later but for now, I am so glad to have gotten a break from the never ending refit. We might not be able to cast off the dock lines just yet but we should be ready to do some day sailing soon. March in Texas brings wind and every time I am outside feeling the breeze on my face I think how much better use that wind would be filling our sails.

I've got one travel post to do, one of a smattering of photos from the trip and then its back to MORE WIRING and then- PLUMBING! WOOT!


  1. Well...the accommodations sound less than ideal...but I think that picture of Kitty is worth the whole trip, isn't it?!? :-)

  2. ha. The hotel of 100 smells. That playground looked amazing! I imagine however you came away with quite a bit of sand. You are awesome for traveling so far and long with a toddler. You are working up to traveling while sailing.

  3. a whole park with a J.M. Barrie theme? Sold!