The first time I visited London, Ontario was in February 2007. I was wondering what I should do during the four hour trip on Via Rail from Toronto. I helped myself to several complimentary newspapers from the Panorama Lodge at Union Station. It so happened that an 87 year old lady sat next to me. We shared many conversations and an elegantly served breakfast of ham and eggs, fresh fruits, cereals, juice, coffee and warm croissants. This rail ride has now become a pleasant memory. My new companion had traveled to many places around the world and is still active in our Toronto community. “I like to swim, and I asked my husband to build an indoor swimming pool at home, so I could enjoy swimming all year around”. I was amazed at the amount of energy this lady had. It is true what people say that it is not the actual age of a person, it is how the person feels about themselves that counts. I have seen people in their teens that are already old.
The story about the swimming pool reminded me of the previous week that I spent in Antigua, and my suntan reminded of the warm turquoise water. London’s snowbanks, after the snowstorm, reminded me of the outstanding Antiguan white-sand beaches. Yes, it was only a week ago that I was there and I already miss the Caribbean warmth.
The concierge at the “Best Western Lamplighter” gave me the key for my room, and after rolling my suitcase throughout corridors I finally found my room on the third floor. First, as usual, I checked the bathroom. Okay, it was clean and roomy, with plenty of towels. Second, I opened the curtains to look at the view from my window. Wow, I had a feeling of De ja vue. From the balcony I could see turquoise water and palm trees! The hotel’ courtyard has a large swimming pool, jacuzzi and a waterslide under a huge glass ceiling. Then, I looked up. The snowpile on the huge glass ceiling was a good reminder of yesterday’s snowstorm.
Within a few minutes I was in that pool swimming and reliving my Antiguan “dejavue”. During my meetings at the conference in London, the thought of the palm trees and the turquoise water in the hotel swimming pool was in constantly on my mind. Each morning and evening I soaked in the pool.
There were other interesting experiences such as watching the roof tops from the second floor of the travel equipment store, Novack’s, from a Russian military submarine periscope. Other highlights of my trip were a beer tasting tour at Labbatt Brewery, The Eldon House, The Banting house, where insulin was invented, and The Children’s Museum.
Before my second trip to London, I contacted the London Tourist Office to inquire if there was anything that might be of interest to my two kids. They suggested that we visit The Children’s Museum , Storybook Gardens, and take a tour on London’s double decker bus. I had arranged our second trip to London in August of 2008. Making our drive was not too hard on the kids,and break the four hours trip into halves, we made reservation for the old Steam train ride from Waterloo to St. Jacobs. Our son Jonathan was so excited to be on a real, old steam train. All three passenger cars were nicely restored. This time, seated next to us was an old, big, stuffed Teddy bear, that could possibly have been 87 years old too. Although the majority of the passengers were other families with kids, I noticed that there were many young , newly wed couples as well as several seniors.
After a half hour ride, we spent the next couple of hours in the downtown section of St. Jacob, visiting museums, galleries and many giftshops on the main street of the town.. The market was our next stop. We spent two short hours at the market looking at handcrafts, watching the Mennonites and their wagons, taking the kids on pony rides and tasting Polish kielbasa.
The last minutes of driving to London were extremely difficult for us. Our daughter no longer had any patience to sit in the car and we were anxiously searching for the “Lamplighter” sign. After we located the hotel and found our room, my wife opened the curtains and I heard the same “Wow” that I exclaimed last February when I was last here. In few minutes the entire family was soaking and jumping in the pool under the palm trees. Our son, Jonathan, was not yet tall enough to enjoy the waterslide at the pool. But, my wife and I became teenagers again and slid down the waterslide a couple of times.
When we came back to our room to change for dinner, Jonathan exclaimed.
“Daddy, can we stay here for a week, or for a couple of weeks?
After dinner, Jonathan was in a tremendous hurry for us to change to our swim suits so that we could go back to play in the swimming pool. That Saturday evening the hotel’s swimming pool was packed with families with kids. Perhaps they are also repeat guests of this hotel, just like me!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The BEST WESTERN PLUS Lamplighter Inn is unequivocally the finest Hotel and Conference Centre in Southwestern Ontario. Here you will find a complete spectrum of first class accommodations and Conference, Meeting and Banquet facilities.At the heart, is the spectacular atrium, a multi-tiered oasis of natural beauty under a retractable glass canopy. Be transported to a year round tropical paradise where the sun glistens off the sparkling blue waters of the award winning swimming pool.The BEST WESTERN PLUS Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre also sets high standards in room appointments, focusing on flexibility and comfort. Choose from Executive Suites, Traditional bedrooms, or romantic retreats with a double Jacuzzi and cozy gas fireplace ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn And Conference Centre Hotel London
- Best Western Lamplighter Hotel
- Best Western London
- London Best Western
- Best Western Plus Lamplighter Inn & Conference Centre London, Ontario