When I booked our return flight from Nice for July 4th, I saw that Orbitz offered one with an 8 hour layover in London. The wheels in my head started turning because this provided me with the perfect excuse to hang out with my friend Richard. We had not seen each other in almost 3 years. And I hadn't visited London in about 15 years. And since Lloyd had never been, it was settled. London happens to be one of my favorite cities in the world. It is a lot like NYC - only the natives have better accents. So Richard met us at Heathrow. And I was thrilled to see his dimpled, smiling face greeting us as we came through customs and after changing dollars into pounds. By the way, the exchange rate stinks. Richard is an architect by profession. And he has a wonderfully unique way of looking at things and expressing himself. And since he has the gift of gab, I end up listening to him for hours. So I was really excited to see London through his eyes. And he did not disappoint. As we trekked through part of the city riding one of those red double decker buses, he pointed out new and old parts of the city scenery. Then he walked us across the city through the West End theatre district, crossing the Thames on the Golden Jubilee Bridge to the National Theatre complex which reminded me a lot of Lincoln Center. From there we walked to the Tate Modern which is such a large and cavernous complex filled with contemporary art. Richard delighted in its layout and I marveled at the view from the restaurant on the top floor. Afterwards, we walked across the Millennium Bridge (a modern wonder) where we got caught up in a different kind of Independence Day - Gay Pride. But we needed to get a bite to eat before moving onto the festivities, so we sat down at a charming little burger joint on one of the side streets. GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) is a local chain of restaurants quite a few steps above McDonalds and much more civilized. From there we weaved through the throngs of people celebrating their independence and engaged in people watching along the way. There is a lot more that we all have in common, no matter what language we speak or what accents we speak with. And it was such a great moment to celebrate our likenesses as well as our differences. Our time was winding down as we searched for one of those red double decker buses to shepherd us back to the airport tram. But because of the festivities, the buses were no longer running. So we descended the stairs to catch the tube (the equivalent of our subway here in NY). As we said our good-byes with hugs and kisses, my mind focused on our next stop - Home. Peace & Fashion!