The Scalzis Go to London

Krissy and I celebrated our 20th anniversary last week, which we felt gave us ample excuse to go on a vacation. For our vacation spot, we chose London, because we had never been and we had always wished to go. So we did! And it was wonderful: We saw all the touristy things, visited with delightful friends, and generally had a very fabulous time.

Would you like to see some of what we did? Sure you would. Which is why I created this Flickr album of our travels there. Enjoy! We did.

43 Comments on “The Scalzis Go to London”

  1. For those who will ask, all the pictures we taken using the camera on my Droid Turbo, and then some of them were tweaked in Photoshop and/or Camerabag 2. The EXIF information should be on the Flickr pages.

  2. Sounds like you had a great time. Always good to spend some time away with our Bestest Friend in some place you haven’t been been before. Along a similar theme and having been to London before, I promised my wife, Allison, that if Worldcon is in Dublin in 2019, I’m taking her to Paris. She wants to do romantic things… like see the catacombs. ;)

  3. Beautiful! I like the night scene of Regent Street because it is so different. Generally, it is a gorgeous city that makes me think I can’t go there because I’m just not well enough dressed.

  4. I was born and brought up in central London – within 10 minutes of the British Museum – left only when I was 35. So many memories of a great place :). Nice to see what’s currently on the Fourth Plinth too!

  5. John, thanks so much for sharing your photos. My family and I arrived in London a few days after you did, and we’re still here right now. It looks like we visited some different places, so I’m glad to have the chance to see some things we decided to skip, like the National Gallery.

  6. Thanks for doing this…nice to see you two having so much fun.
    My wife and I have been to London three times over the years. Each trip is different, and even so I don’t think we’ve been to some of the places you visited.

    If I may, I’ve got two questions. First, could you explain the eggs? I don’t even recognize that.

    And second, if I’m not mistaken you passed Trafalgar Square (I recognize Lord Nelson, so I’m assuming the indoor artwork is from the National Gallery). So…is there still a large, blue rooster in the square? Last time I was there, there was.

    If you stand facing the Gallery with Nelson’s Column behind you, there’s a straight path from you to the Gallery. On either side, two large fountains and between the fountains and the Gallery, two pedestals. On the right, King George IV, on his horse, looking like a nice, bronze statue of a king ought to look.

    On the left, when I was there last year at least, was a large blue rooster. We took this picture (rehosted on imgur due to my own paranoia): http://i.imgur.com/YFgbO8v.jpg He certainly stood out, let me tell you.

  7. Happy anniversary! Looks like you had a wonderful time. It pleases me that you both still look so happy. I grew up with parents who fell out of love rather quickly, and obviously. Hubby and I are just as much in love now as we were when we got married ten years ago, so at least we didn’t follow my parents’ example. :-)

  8. Jay – New Bern, NC – INGREDIENTS: coffee, books, music, podcasts, NPR, cats, movies, the Oxford comma, and Netflix - - - WARNING: may contain nuts - - - MADE IN THE USA
    Jay E.

    I am now jealous and my wife – who doesn’t even know who you are – said “I hate him. Why can’t we go?”

  9. I’m astounded by how many of those photos I recognize from the two whirlwind weeks my spouse and I spent there last summer! It was the trip of a lifetime for us; we had never been before, don’t expect to ever be able to return, so we crammed as much as we could into our time there. We must have had a very similar list of must-see places on our itinerary to yours; I’ve even got photos of some of the same works of art you chose to photograph.

    So glad you had such a great time there, sir! It is an amazing city, and I think we could have spent a year there and not see everything we wanted to. Great choice for a very special trip with a very special life-partner!

  10. Richard – you saw the blue rooster on what is known as the ‘fourth plinth‘ in Trafalgar Square, the space now occupied by the skeleton horse pictured by OGH. In recent years, it has been the home for a succession of art installations, while the long term question (running for over 150 years) of what, if anything, to put there permanently remains unresolved.

    And a piece of pedantic trivia about one of the other pictures. The street running south from the Houses of Parliament is just plain Millbank, not Millbank Street or Millbank anything else (which is why the two street signs in the photo say exactly that). The church in the background is St John’s Smith Square, which celebrated its tercentenary last year having been beautifully restored as a concert hall after being burnt out by a second world war incendiary bomb.

  11. Jon Chaisson – Writer, obsessed music listener and collector, okay bassist and guitarist, hoopy frood. Questionable logical circuits, but he gets by.
    Jon Chaisson

    Oh hey! My wife and I were there just a few weeks ago to celebrate our 10th! So happy anniversary all round! :)

  12. Uh oh. When I tried to look at the pics, Flickr fell down went boom. On the plus side, their error page is amusing.

    London is on my List, in part to see theatre there, especially some Shakespeare. Because London.

  13. Bad, bad panda!
    Come on. We want photos.

    It’s official –READ ALL ABOUT IT, READ ALL ABOUT IT:

    J. Scalzi and beautiful wife destroyed London.

    BBC:

    “Earlier today it was confirmed that two self-proclaimed “Social Justice Warriors” carried out a terrible act of terrorism against our capital: a love bomb was detonated near to Westminster which caused a large portion of the ruling Conservative party to crumble into dust. Last words from a fleeing Lim Deb (one of the only six to have a seat) were: “There was a flash of light and a feeling of universal love and melding with the cosmos and suddenly… Darling was crumbling into dust just as he announced new measures to cut back on disability allowance“.

    An old Labor peer was seen to be singing:

    “The people’s flag is deepest red,
    It shrouded oft our martyred dead
    And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
    Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold”.

    While sprinkling his whiskey and water over the ashes (while the Church of England hasn’t confirmed the rumor, apparently all said Labor peer’s water and ice is blessed or taken from the nearby Church font).

    The Palace has declined to answer, merely stating:

    Our reigning sovereign and our grand children and our two great-grandchildren are safe: we have not been able to contact Charles and Camila at this time.

    Damn you man! Social revolution just by turning up!

  14. marek – Ah! Thank you. We wondered about that…our last trip around Trafalgar, prior to last year, would have been nearly a decade before so we don’t know what was there back then. But giant and blue it was not. Plus, last march bits of the square were taped off, so we couldn’t get close enough to the rooster to read the plaque.

  15. I think my favorite part of my London trip back in 1999 was seeing the Reduced Shakespeare Company do the the complete works of the Bard in two hours.

  16. [This part deleted because it’s off topic, and maybe should have been sent in an email – JS]

    PS congrats on your 20th.

  17. Deeply disappointed you didn’t call me for a drink. Cambridge is only a few dozen miles north. 45 minutes on the train for all the culture with less of the big city feel (-:

  18. John, I have a quick question, as we are heading to London ourselves in a few weeks. Where exactly on Regent Street is the Floyd marker?

    Thank you!

  19. Hm, I remember going up one side of the Thames and down the other. Man, there is a lot of history there. Took a week to cover it all. Then off to Cambridge punting. And changing of the guards at Buckingham. And a day trip to stonehenge. I was exhausted by the end of it all. Lot lot lot of walking.

  20. OMG – you can totally see my office window from your window at the Langham! If I’d known I would have waved!

  21. And where did this historic defeat of death occur? I’m asking for a friend.

    Seriously, her daughter is going next week and totally wants to go see it. :)

  22. Ohl, London! I largely skipped it, in favor of other Cities, in my once-in-a-lifetime trip to the U.K 15 years ago. I’m not sure that was the best aproach, but it was stiil a marvelous Experience and I wish I’d been able to do it \c. sixty years ago.

  23. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    changterhune

    So great! I miss London. I was last there about 10 years ago. Loved it every time I’ve visited. Glad you and the missus had a great time.

  24. My favorite pic was the one where the English maid was sweeping up around the spare stasis pods. Very British.

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