By Kaitlyn Davis
My family and I walked along the Thames towards the gigantic Ferris Wheel casting shadows over parliament. For once, I was happy about the dank English weather, or else I would have been blinded by the white structure towering in the sky. I got more excited as we approached, and I could tell for sure that the little pods were moving.
We had already purchased our tickets, which was recommended, and went to pick them up before we stood in line. Our wait was very short, and the loading platform soon welcomed us.
"Watch your step!" The guard said, as the slowly moving capsule opened and we stepped on. I looked below, through a crack, and saw a few inches of the Thames River, I doubted anyone could ever get hurt while loading, but I understood precautions.
Along with my four family members, was another family and my mom was fighting for bench space (there was a small plank in the middle of the pod for sitting). I didn't care about sitting down, but leaned against the glass, practically pressing my eyes against the window, to watch London displayed in all of its glory.
As we rose, I saw more and more of the spots I had visited in the previous week. First, the Egyptian column I saw on my walk along the river. As we rose more, I saw the dome of Saint Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Modern. Even further, I could glance the globe theater and the Tower of London Bridge with it's bright blue metal calling to me. I could see far beyond London, into the surrounding suburbs.
As a New York girl, the most amazing thing to me was the lack of Skyscrapers. I saw maybe one or two, but nothing hat compared to my Manhattan backyard. The London Eye would have been dwarfed in New York, and tourists would never crowd around it because all you would see is the side of one or two buildings. My view in London however ran for miles, far longer than my eyes could distinguish.
We reached the crest of the ride, and I looked sideways, for a different view of London. I saw Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. I got a hint of the flashing lights from Piccadily Circus and saw the wide open area of Trafalgar Square. If I really strained my eyes I could see my hotel and the bronze walls of Harrods right next to it.
We started the down turn, and I finally looked over for the most spectacular view of the entire ride, and probably vacation. I looked down at the Parliament building reflecting in the Thames River and over at Westminster Abbey. My breath almost caught, and I was amazed at how gorgeous the scene was. I could see members of Parliament sitting outside on the river Terrace, probably having their teatime. It was absolutely incredible!
I looked over at my middle sister, who seamed far less amazed then I was, and decided to play with her mind. She was very gullible...and sometimes not at her brightest. We made fun of her for as long as I could remember for not thinking about things before she spoke. Example: Me - "Whitney, where do you wear a cummerbund?" ... Whitney - "In the woods?". Ha! That time we all started cracking up and she didn't realize why for a long time...apparently she got a cummerbund and a lumberjack confused. How? I have no idea.
I saw an electric tower over at a distance, and it slightly resembled the Eiffel Tower, and by slightly, I mean slightly.
"Hey Whit," I nudged her.
"Do you see that?" I pointed and she nodded. "It's the Eiffel Tower!"
"Nu-huh," she said excitedly while putting both her hands on little railing and leaning towards the window to strain her eyes. "Seriously? The Eiffel Tower! That is so cool!"
Immediately, I started cracking up and practically fell on the floor with the force of my laughter. The rest of my family heard my cackling, saw my sister's dumbfounded expression, and asked me to clarify. I couldn't speak, and my sister showed them all what I had showed her. Soon, we were all laughing hysterically and she still didn't understand why.
"Whitney...the Eiffel Tower is in Paris!"
"I know that," she said, trying to show she wasn't an idiot.
"Paris is across the English Channel and miles inland, you can't see it from here!" I barely got that last but out before I started laughing again.
"Oh," she said and started laughing at herself.
We all took one more glance at Parliament...and the electric tower before the circle was complete and the docking platform came back into view. The door opened and we stepped out. As I walked down the wooden walkway, I stopped to look over at the picture snapped while we were on the Eye. It was a family classic, with Whitney confused and looking out the window while the rest of us bore huge smiles and laughing faces behind her. I showed the rest of my family, and we couldn't resist the purchase!
One thirty minute trip resulted in a lifetime of memories!