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Manny’s Metropolitan Marathon: London, England

Dear Mom,

I learned a lot at Ute’s school.  Did you know that for nearly 100 years London was the biggest city.  In the whole world! Mom, and I went all over London.  Can you believe that? You can see how much I’m growing.  Here I am in the Tube.

tube resize

Oh, I forgot, you don’t know what the Tube is.  It’s not like the tube at Ralph’s where I went into the vacuum cleaner.  Ute and Danny had to almost carry me onto the Tube.  I was afraid it would suck me on, but those Tube people are pretty careful.  This voice keeps saying, “Mind the gap.”  The voice didn’t want me to get sucked into the gap.

underground resiz

The Tube took us to Whitehall.  That’s like a street with lots of buildings where the Queen does Queen stuff.  They call the Queen, Her Majesty.  I could be His Majesty, Manny.  What do you think, Mom?  Would you come see me if they let me be a Majesty and ride the horsey?  I wonder if the Queen gets to ride the horsey whenever she wants to.

horseguards resiz In Trafalgar Square we had fun.  It’s a big place where lots of people just hang around the fountains.  Ute said sometimes there are political demonstrations.  I’m not sure what they are demonstrating.  The day we visited there were kids demonstrating how to play in the fountains.  Really they mostly thrown stuff in the fountains like pennies and stuff to get good luck.  I wanted to throw in some money, but Ute said I might need it when I went with Carol.

Trafalgar sq National Gallery resiz

Did you know I’m not coming home, Mom?  I kind of miss you, but I’m having so much fun.  I was a little worried about that lion, though.  That lady was brave, but he’s BIG!

trafalgar sqare lion resiz

This is a really famous war place, Mom.  There was a Battle of Trafalgar, and in the old days England and France used to fight a lot, and England won, so the King built this square place so that people would remember about the war.  I thought that must be Mr. Trafalgar at the top of that pole, but Ute said it was Mr. Admiral Nelson, and he died in the battle.  I felt sad about that, so now he has to sit on this column all the time.

Trafalgar square resiz This was the biggest house I ever saw.  Ute said it’s the Parliament’s house.  They must have the biggest family in the world!  I would really like it if Mr. and Mrs. Parliament wanted me to come visit, but Ute said it didn’t work like that.  I wanted to write them on the computer, but Ute didn’t have their email address on her phone.

houses of parliament resize2

The golden Victoria Memorial is in front of Buckingham Palace.  Isn’t she beautiful, Mom?  I wanted to meet her, but Ute said I couldn’t because she was a memorial and she wasn’t there anymore.  But I saw here there.  Can’t you see her?  I guess the Queen lives there too.

victoria Memorial resiz

I got a little confused because I think the Queen has so many houses. I liked this house, don’t you?

front of buck palace resiz

See how big her house is?  All the houses are so huge compared to ours.  (Don’t tell Dad!)  Well, maybe except for Ute’s house.  Hers is more like our house and Ralph’s apartment, except she has more bears than anybody.

buck palace resiz Next we walked to 10 Downing Street is where the Prime Minister lives.  See the black house in the back through the gates?  Mom, why would a minister have to live behind all those gates and have guards?  Don’t ministers live in churches?  They do in our country, don’t they, Mom?  (Sometimes I wonder where he gets his information.  Yikes!)

10 downing street resiz

I was hungry after that, and we went into this place called “Fortnum and Mason”, Ute called it a posh shop.  I asked Danny what a posh was, but he said he didn’t know.  I think it meant teddies like us only made of chocolate.  Who would eat chocolate teddies?   Would you eat a chocolate Mom?  I tried to make the teddies feel better, and Ute took a picture for the London Times.  Danny said she was kidding, but would you check and see if my picture was there.  I just wanted people not to buy the teddies to eat them.  I was getting tired, too.

in fortnum and mason resiz

Next we went to meet Big Ben.  We have Paul Bunyan who is a giant in our country, but Big Ben is a clock.  That was kind of weird, but I didn’t say anything to Ute about it.

Big Ben resiz

By this time I had seen enough buildings.  (But I didn’t tell that to Ute, either.)  I wanted to have some fun.  Then Ute took Danny and me to the London Eye and the River Thames.  At first I didn’t think that an eye sounded like much fun, but it was a gigantic Ferris Wheel.  It was so high, and I wanted to jump in the River Thames when I got to the top, but the man who took the tickets strapped me in, and Ute wouldn’t let me undo my strap.  We looked at the river, though, and it was pretty brown.  I probably would have gotten muddy, and then Ute would have given me a bath.  How embarrassing!

London eye resiz

I started getting thirsty from all the walking.  Danny and I begged Ute to go in here to Lord Moon’s place.  It’s called a pub in England.  She said I was too young to go in for a drink.

at a pub resiz

I told her everybody gets thirsty, and I was really thirsty.  Even babies get thirsty, and they get to drink.  I was polite, though.  I didn’t beg.  I didn’t whine either.  I smiled, and asked Danny to ask Ute to get us a drink.

tea resiz

Ute must have listened to Danny because then we went to this pretty place that had fancy cups.  Ute called them china, but I know where China is, and we weren’t even CLOSE to there.  I used to think Ute was the smartest person in the world – well besides you, mom, but she thinks China is in London.  Don’t tell her I said that, though.  She works in a school.  I know she will find out soon.  Anyway, we finally got some lovely tea to drink.  That’s what they say here.  Everything is lovely.  Lovely tea.  Lovely trip.  Lovely teddies.  Lovely crumpets to go with the lovely tea.  I think crumpets are lovely, too.

proper english tea resiz When we got all done seeing all of London, Ute took me to this apartment and kissed me goodbye.  Danny gave me a big boy hug.  Then they left me.

good bye resiz

I was so sad that the woman at the apartment desk picked me up and kissed me, and told me that Carol and Glenn would be home soon.  She let me use her computer, and helped me put my pictures in my letter.  It took so long for Carol and Glenn to get here, that my letter turned out really long!  I am really excited, Mom.  Do you know that Carol knows Justin Beaver? I still love Ute the best, though, but Mom, I’m going to get to go with JUSTIN BEAVER.  I can’t wait!!!!  I hope they get here pretty soon.  Have you seen JUSTIN BEAVER, Mom?  He has his OWN website.

Well, gotta go, now, I think I see them.  Bye, Mom.

Love, Manny

Dear Ute (and Ralph) (and Carol and Glenn),

These pictures are all so LOVELY.  Vince and Manny and I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful tours of England and Spain.  As I look through all these pictures that I am accumulating of Manny, I am overwhelmed with both of your generosity to take the time to cart around our little bear and show all of us your lives.  Thank you both so much.  And thank you to Carol and Glenn who now have Manny and have journeyed on to other parts of Europe, and then will take him back to Australia.  Can you believe the luck of that bear?

Love, Vince and Marsha 🙂  xox






32 replies »

  1. I so enjoyed seeing one of my favourite cities through Manny’s eyes. What a lot of fun he’s having, and such an educational trip too. Is he really never coming home again? You and Vince must miss him so much. 😦


    • We were just talking about him again last night. We do that quite a bit. What an adventure for all of us. Who thought we would have friends like this all over the world, and have a way to share just a little of our lives with them, and them with us. It does make a nice bond, doesn’t it?


  2. Marsha, we had so much fun with Manny in Spain and in London. I love Manny and I have to say he is one lucky bear to see so many things around the globe. It was fun reading his descriptions of hte London walk. Well yes marathon, we were all really tired after wards and had a really good sleep. Sightseeing is tiring. We miss Manny now and Danny loves his beautiful blanket which Manny mande for him, he won’t let go of it. Also it is getting colder here.. 🙂
    Thank you Marsha nad Vince for letting Manny stay with Danny and me and enjoy his company. He is delightful and always cheerful and happy. Lets see what else he is up to, in other countries…
    Oh and I forgot there is a little souvenir from London in his suitcase, which Danny bought for him to remember our good times together.
    He will have so much to tell you when he comes back to California!


    • Thanks again, so much Ute. You and Ralph started such a fun series. I have all sorts of surprising comments from people I never thought would be reading about Manny. I’ve had so much fun writing them. I have to do a tad bit of research whenever I read Manny’s letters, since I don’t know too much, and I don’t always believe what he writes! 🙂 He does get things a little mixed up in his bear-brain. He is a fun little guy, though. Thanks again, my forever friend. 🙂


    • Me either. It was 1992 for me with my Mom. Great trip. I think Manny saw as much in a few days as we did in 3 weeks, but we also went to Bath, Canterbury, Stratford-On-Avon, and Stonehenge, so we were pretty busy, too.


  3. Wow !! I am so impressed with the quality and variety of photographs from Ute in this post. I also enjoyed your write up of the fabulous time Manny spent in London MVBFM. It looked like Manny had a fabulous few days with Ute and I’m really looking forward now to his next adventure in Australia. I do hope that you have a long list of bloggers who will give Manny a good time in the future. Ralph xox 😀


    • Ralph, no matter how many bloggers he visits, you were the reason for the start of his visits. The fact that Vince could even part with him was pretty amazing. You wouldn’t believe the drama that went on in our house before he left. Manny is sooooo special, and we entrusted him to your loving care. You didn’t disappoint, and now, he’s off again. It’s been so fun, and he’s growing up. So when are you, Fanny, and Stan coming to California?


    • That would be cool. Frankly, I’m not sure I know my geography well enough to know that. I’ve been reading Carol’s posts without a map. Carol is the Eternal Traveler, and I’m sure she wouldn’t be caught dead without a map by her side as she reads posts! But me, I look at the pictures and enjoy the descriptions. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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