Travels Abroad, part II

LONDON DAY 2

 

Well Will and I were hoping for a typical stay in London and today the weather helpfully complied. It was rainy, slightly windy, and chilly all day long. I don’t mean rainy like y’all are probably thinking of rainy. The rain here is much more polite than the rain at home. It was more of mist that didn’t interrupt our day than the all out storms we tend to get back home. It required an umbrella from me every now and then but Will didn’t need one at all.

 

We started our day at a little sidewalk cafe a block and a half from our hotel. Very good feel but I kept feeling like I had to speak French and I think I upset the waiter when I went in the restaurant and got juice for us out of the refrigerated container at the front of the store myself. Whoops. It was really good food though. I had a scone and cappuccino and Will had a sausage and egg sandwich and cappuccino. He only ate half, as he has at every meal so far, so I ate the part of the other half because the scone just didn’t do the trick. Scones over here are NOTHING like what they call scones at home. They are pretty moist (when fresh) and filled with, what I assume are, currants. Yum. After breakfast Will wasn’t feeling very well so we scrapped our plans for Trafalgar Square and he went back to the hotel to lie down. I went shopping for three hours. I walked away with some really cute stuff and some really good deals. I also got your London souvenir Mom. I also managed to find the elusive public toilets that I told you about yesterday. It was really unfair putting a sign advertising them where they did because, unless you knew the pedestrian subway (best invention ever) continued half a block down, you would never find them.

 

Have I explained pedestrian subways? Because of the prevalence of the traffic circle, London has conveniently supplied pedestrian walkways under the street so you do not have to risk your life in London’s tricky intersections.

 

Three hours, and a lighter pocketbook later, I went back to check on Will. He was feeling better but not 100% so I got us a little bit of pizza for lunch and we decided to stick around the neighborhood for the day just in case. Considering our neighborhood includes Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and Kensington Palace this really wasn’t a huge kink in our plans.

 

 

We started out by wandering through Kensington Gardens (which was more park than garden and I feel misnamed) and ended up seeing the Peter Pan statue and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain (more stream than fountain so also misnamed). It was all gorgeous and we saw 2 pairs on swans and some ducklings! At the opposite side of Kensington Gardens are the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall. Apparently the English like gold as much as the French do and the Albert Memorial was decked out with plenty of gold. We opted to have our picture taken in front of Royal Albert Hall, however, because we felt it was more modern.

 

Following our trek through the park, I decided that we needed more shopping so we headed in the direction of Harrods. Oh. My. Lord. This place is amazing. There is no other word. We had to fight a crowd to get in and the first sign we see is for the (no lie) “Luxury Room.” This was a room filled with Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, etc counters. Then you enter the Egyptian Room. Seriously. This is a room decorated to look, shockingly, Egyptian. There are friezes on the walls and a large, gold, Egyptian statue in the middle of the room. Will about died when I insisted on taking a picture of it. We turned around to see a sign for the “Food Hall.” Now I was pretty impressed that a department store would have its own food court. But I was wrong. It has its own supermarket complete with fish, meat, chicken, and bacon room that looks like it belongs in a museum (again got a picture of it to Will’s utter dismay). We eventually found the food court, because there is one, and it has a Krispy Kreme. A Krispy Kreme!!! We about died laughing.

 

After we left Harrods (having made the requisite purchase to get the bag), we decided we needed to have an English tea. Well, I decided. We ended up at a place called the Paxton Head Pub. It was sooo good. Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam are amazing. Our waiter was pretty cool as well. He was Portuguese and we talked about football and the other family (with small children) who were in the dining room. Will had a Guinness because what is a traditional English tea without a beer?

 

We then ventured over to the Natural History Museum which was the singularly most morbid museum either of us had ever been to. They had casts that the archaeologists at Pompeii had taken of bodies, an exhibit that simulated an earthquake, and a tombstone with a clock projected on it and the words “R.I.P. – Restless in perpetuity.” Will and I were both kinda freaked and mad that the map shows none of the morbity of the museum, although we giggled our entire way through the museum.

 

To round out our day, we headed to finally see Kensington Palace. We could only get a picture of the back of it, though, as pictures from the front are forbidden, but it is still quite impressive. We then walked down the quietest street in London (Kensington Palace Green) where many embassies are located. A couple of times we questioned whether or not we were allowed to be there, especially when we saw the guard booth at the entrance to the street, but it turns out that’s just for cars.

 

Ok my half hour of internet time is almost up (3 minutes to go, can I make it?!). Tomorrow we head out on our day trip to Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle (more about the change in plans tomorrow) and we have to be down in the lobby at 7:25 so we’re looking at another long night. So much for late nights drinking at the pub! Maybe on Monday because I am sure we will be too tired tomorrow. Hope y’all are having a good weekend!

 

Love from us both,

 

Carrie

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