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Review: The World According to Tom Hanks

Interesting biography about the nicest actor in Hollywood. I especially liked the parts that explained Hanks' approach to acting and his growth as an actor. Edwards has done his homework, filling his book with first hand accounts from those who have interacted with Hanks both on set and off. The book is laid out in specific topical sections rather than a single long narrative, which made it easy to pick up and put down.

The World According to Tom Hanks: The Life, the Obsessions, the Good Deeds of America's Most Decent Guy by Gavin Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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London: Underground

There are several transportation options in the London - black cabs, double-decker buses, bikes and scooters. We usually rode the Tube, London's underground rapid transit system. The Underground was the world's first underground railway. A single station may have several entrances and a few times we came above ground, and walked around a corner only to discover another entrance directly in front of our destination.

Westminster station sees a lot of traffic as it is the main station for Parliament and sits in the heart of several iconic tourist destinations. It took a bit of patience but we finally got this shot of Liz that combined buses, Tube and the Union Jack.

Trains run every few minutes. Stations are clean and directions are well marked. Electronic boards indicate what train is arriving next and which route it is on.

Some stations serve several lines and it's important to know which direction you are travelling. We found that despite feeling the American rush to jump …

London: Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square sits in the heart of central London and is a place for rallies, political demonstrations and performing artists. Traffic flows through the roundabout to the south. The National Gallery dominates the north side. West is the Canadian embassy and east is the South African (both countries I have loved visiting). And there, rising high above it all is Nelson's Column.
Surrounding the central monument to Admiral Nelson are four exquisite lions. They are said to be the protectors of the statue and their sheer size alone is commanding. The area is cordoned off but that didn't stop tourists from climbing the monument for a picture riding a lion's back or sitting between its paws. I found the warning sign a bit confusing as the image either meant "stay off" or "don't fall."
We visited Trafalgar Square twice during our trip. The first time it was raining, so there were few people on the square and we could get some nice shots of statues. The s…

London: Sherlock Holmes Pub

We planned at least one nice meal each day, picked up coffee each morning and grabbed a bite on the run if needed. One of the nicest sit down meals was at the Sherlock Holmes Pub. Just a block away from Trafalgar Square towards the Embankment, this cozy little restaurant sits on a picturesque corner just off the tree lined street.
The pub is on the ground level and is cozy with close seating and an antique bar in the center. We had reservations for the restaurant upstairs. Like so many of the old buildings in central London, the stairs were steep and narrow at the back of the pub but that only added to the ambiance.
The entire place was filled with mementos and paraphernalia tied to the books about Sherlock Holmes. With the drizzling rain outside and the warm Victorian interior, it was easy to imagine that we had just missed the detective duo as they dashed out on another case.
Upstairs was an entire room displaying Sherlock Holmes' living room filled with items from the books. Ev…

London: The National Gallery

Visiting the National Gallery in London was one of the highlights of the trip for me. To stand inches away from paintings I've only seen in books or the Internet provides an unparalleled perspective of the artists' work. The gallery had moved several of the more notable impressionist paintings into the main corridor, so it was a bit crowded around the really popular pieces.

When we walked through the first archway, I looked to my right and immediately recognized a Degas painting. I double checked the placard and was surprised that I was correct! Apparently all the art appreciation lessons paid off.

The painting was much larger than I had imagined and there were not many visitors crowded around. It seems that just like The British Museum, the vast majority were only there to see the popular items.
For some reason I remember Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Henri Rousseau on a book cover or printed with a short story or poem.
The Four Times of Day by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot is an …