May 22nd and the Asbill-Becks do not get arrested…..yet…

May 22nd and we visit the Tower of London:

Today we took the “Tube” system to The Tower of London. The Tube is London’s subway system and for us “country folks” from Saluda (with only 630 residents full time) the subway itself is quite a treat and experience. We probably looked like a pack of Bumpkins while going through the gates. Danny stood there shoving the coupon like Subway passes in the machine while each of us got ready to run through the gates when it opened. Egan shouts to me “Hey Mom why don’t you just RUN under it?” Which shouting, of course, was heard by the nice Policeman nearby who shook his finger at us. I did not run through it.

We arrived without further incident at the Tower of London which is really a collection of buildings and castles. There are actual “towers” and then huge old buildings that are Castles, storage for Queen’s jewelry, a money mint, torture chambers, prisons, and more. The most famous part of it is the section where scaffolds were set up and heads “chopped” off those who pissed off the Kings. We toured for several hours then ate lunch in a cafe so busy my head was spinning. Two school groups were there, one from Spain and the other from France and I can firmly tell you that Middle School kids the world over act as badly as those in America!

After lunch we decided to tour one more building and chose The Medieval Palace which has St. Thomas’ Tower. Apparently this section was considered very nice and we were having a great tour when, all of a sudden and without warning a burglar type alarm went off blasting the whole Castle with its fierce sound. Danny and I were still in the writing desk room while Casey, Patrick and Egan had gone ahead into the bedroom section.

All Mothers who are reading this will recognize the feeling that I had the very second the alarm sounded. I turned to Danny and instantly said “Where is EGAN???” Danny looked at me like I was nuts and said “Egan is with Casey”….but just as he said it Casey runs through the door and says “Mom you better come quick!” I said “Where is EGAN???” And Casey says “He ran!”

Danny still think that all is well and I am just overly nervous for nothing. The burglar alarm is blasting and people begin to get out of the Castle since the noise was too much to stay in there. I shout to Casey “DID they get Egan?” … meaning the Beef-Eater Policeman, they are the red coated security men and had already pointed out to everyone that a security camera was in every room, every hall, watching all of us full time.

Danny looks puzzled and says “Why would they get Egan?” And I snap at him and announce “Egan set off the Alarm!” ….and finally Danny understands my initial alarm. Danny says “Egan would not do that? Would he?” To which I reply, “OF COURSE EGAN WOULD DO THAT WHY WOULD YOU THINK EGAN WOULD NOT DO THAT JUST HELP ME FIND EGAN BEFORE THE POLICE FIND HIM!”

So – out we go. Casey, Danny and Patrick go one say and I head up the steps…where instinct told me Egan would go deeper into the Castle and not out the door where any sane person would head. As I headed up the stairs, the Police were going in the room to turn off and fix the alarm. I found Egan at the top of the stairs, heading out to the walk area way up high….and he did not want to talk about the whole affair. The only thing I have been able to get out of him is that he was “pretty bored and…and well…I wanted to see what would happen if I poked that alarm in the side part…”

So – there we have it. The Asbill-Beck family toured St. Thomas’s Castle and made it out without getting arrested! After that little incident, we took the Tube again, bought up food to have dinner in the room and I bought a lovely purple cotton and silk scarf. Every woman in London has on a scarf and I did not want to look like a total whore without one and so I bought a good purple scarf.

Danny and Casey have gone out to find a “Pub”, drink a beer and be thankful they are away from me and Patrick and Egan for a few hours. Egan, Patrick and I are resting, writing post cards and being thankful we are rid of Casey and Danny for a few hours. The five of us are a good mix most of the time but then…..there are times when we are like crossed electric wires and someone gets burned and has to rest up a while…then have another Go at it.

We ate dinner in the apartment tonight since last night (Thursday) we blew the food budget at an Italian Restaurant which was so good even I loved it. Usually I hate most food cooked by someone else…but this was good stuff! We were able to get a table even though they did not have any room, they only seat by reservations and are booked up for “weeks ahead” said the owner. BUT! We had come in to make a reservation and the wife said “no have no have” in sweet barely English and the man owner heard me say to her “OH but I smelled the Rosemary from the Street and you must be cooking something with Rosemary and I love Rosemary!”

The wife/owner said again “no have no have” but the man came over and said “you smell my Rosemary????” Their voices and accents sounded like a little song. I said yes I smelled the Rosemary. He said “No one say to me they smell my Rosemary before. You come early at 6:15 and I feed you. Yes?” So, I said yes of course. They did not open until 6:30 but he let us in early and we ordered, ate fast and took dessert with us. It was wonderful. Casey had vegetarian pasta with mushrooms and a tomato salad with fresh herbs. Patrick had roasted potatoes and he ate roasted CHICKEN! Patrick actually ate chicken! I had fish, Danny lamb. Egan ate pasta with tomato sauce and he ATE IT! I almost dropped dead that my whole family ate in a restaurant and everyone, even the boys, actually ATE the food!

It cost way too much but was worth it and we cut back today. We picked up rolls and fruit for breakfast and then picked up deli foods and ate dinner in the apartment. It was still very nice.

Tomorrow we will do a tour in a Double Decker type bus. It will be wonderful and I will write more tomorrow or the next day……..