Wednesday, 25 December 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton – Westminster (London, England)

I woke to a very sunny Christmas Day, but first, my Hilton breakfast. I haven’t written anything about the breakfast served at this Hilton property. Not much to say since it has the usual offerings. Though it has taken the hostess over 10 days to understand that I am always by myself (no need to ask if there is anyone joining me), prefer a table by the window and prefer coffee rather than tea. I’ve mentioned before that hotel staff (reception, housekeeping, room service and executive lounge) get to know me fairly well after a few days. (It must be my engaging personality.) Guess it was a Christmas gift that she knew my preferences this morning as I walked up to her desk.

Today, my plan was fairly simple. Walk up to Leicester Square (just beyond Trafalgar Square), order Chinese food then watch the latest (and last) Star Wars movie that starts at 3:00. (I booked a ticket yesterday.)

The walk to Leicester Square was very nice and took about 45 minutes. A little cold but very sunny, and so many people were out with friends and family walking around as well. London’s Chinatown is next to Leicester Square but noticed that about half the Chinese restaurants were closed for Christmas and the ones that were open had lines running out the door. All of the other restaurants had waiting lines as well. It was 2:00 and I was getting a bit hungry since my breakfast was at 7:30. Plan B: Find something to eat in the theater.

After I walked into the theater (or cinema) I settled on a hot dog to fill me up since it would be at least 5:30 when the movie was over. I didn’t realize that the section where my seat was located not only had large, comfortable seats, everyone was escorted to their seats. So that is why my ticket cost so much.

When I booked the ticket yesterday I noticed that the seat next to mine was not reserved and wondered if there would be someone sitting next to me. Soon after I sat down to eat my hot dog someone sat down in the seat next to mine. He was talking with his friend when the advertisements were being shown and also through the previews. I’ve never done this before, but I leaned over and asked if he planned to talk to his friend during the movie. He said he would be quiet.

I enjoyed the movie, the 9th in the Star Wars story. It was 42 years ago when I saw the first movie. 42 years! The first one played at the Westgate, and only at the Westgate in the Portland area for what seemed like a year. While it was playing there I saw it at least four times. I’ve seen the subsequent movies in the series, especially the first three, more times that I can remember. I was looking forward to seeing the last movie, which to be honest, didn’t think would ever get made. The movie turned out to be much better than I expected and appreciated that the guy sitting next to me was quiet during the whole movie.

As I walked back to the hotel, the restaurants in Leicester Square were still very busy and I didn’t find any places during my walk. The hotel’s restaurant was closed as well. Thankfully I had a sandwich in the room’s refrigerator and a scone for my evening meal.

The second season of the new Lost in Space series on Netflix was now available. Even though I just watched a two-hour science fiction movie I was ready for more. I watched two episodes before going to bed.

Tomorrow Csabi said he would be here. Though yesterday I received a text that said he had a sore throat. Would be good to see him. He will be leaving for Hungary to be with his family starting on the 2nd of January. But as I usually comment at the end of my travel blog posts, we will see.

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