Monday, November 26, 2012

You Are a Very Beautiful: London Day 2

(Warning: I lied. I'm going to make these posts as long as I want. Apparently.)

Day two I fondly call 'my day.' I was in my element and I felt confident. The weather was out of this world beautiful, and I saw things and felt things that I had been waiting a long time for. That's a bit dramatic. I'll dial it back.

Basically, I started off with the Victoria and Albert Museum. I thought it was pretty fun but completely random. You'd turn a corner and see costumes, and then you'd see marble statues, a bedroom set, a bathroom sink watering tree, and then you'd walk into their 'cafeteria' which looked to be the grand ballroom for Queen Victoria herself. Had a great time. Spent more foreign moneys and wanted to punch myself for not ordering these huge cheese souffl├ęs that I saw everyone else getting. They also sold these impossibly large meringues. Nosebleed that I am, I got a pathetic pesto sandwich and had no choice but to sit on a very high bistro table in the middle of everyone. At first I thought, “No one will even notice.” Everyone noticed. I was wearing the dunce hat in the middle of the classroom.

The food hall of my disgrace (and awe)...
 The wardrobe through the eras was my favorite exhibit, and I kind of hovered...

 I think I need that billowing blouse-y 'Pierrot Le Fou" outfit in my life...

After the V&A, I headed out and just started walking. Saw the beautiful ice skating rink and Christmas tree outside of the Natural History museum....

 Walked and walked until I got to the Royal Albert Hall.

My map told me that it was at the gates of Kensington Park and I took a serene stroll through the gardens, to the soundtrack of The Avett Brothers (thanks Coryn), and it truly was a walk to remember. Loved it.  I realized that British people have suspiciously well behaved dogs. It seems they don't tolerate unruly behavior and the dogs know it. I was impressed and slightly intimidated, and almost found myself fetching at the sound of their commands too. After that, I had a wonderful turn about Kensington Palace, except for the half that was under construction for Will and Kate. Asbestos or some other such thing. 

Vicki and me....

 Princess Diana's garden....
The following photo is one of my favorites from the entire trip: The Orangery at Kensington. It was breathtaking and slightly other-worldly.

I made at least two friends during that little turn about Kensington (one German, one Philippino), and we all needed pictures taken, as you can see by the rare picture where I’m NOT holding my camera obnoxiously close to my face/body in front a famous monument. Yep, a big downside to loner traveling: self-taken pictures. Down right grotty. 

The rest of my time was spent in Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill. Are there any more synonyms to describe how nice it all was? The best part, this little british school boy who basically threw back his sippy cup for the space of 10 minutes. I did a bad thing and snapped a blurry picture. 

The following is a picture I sent to Tom that evening when I got back to the hotel. Tom text me to ask if I got up and out in the morning. I text back with this picture saying, "Yep. Ready for the day."  Please note the darkness in the window. It startled him. What? It was funny.
When Tom got home that night I had my first REAL British pub experience, and had a delicious mushroom chicken pie thing. Ice count in my coke: 2 cubes. Tom didn’t enjoy whatever his was too much. 

The jet leg didn’t let up that night. I still stayed up til about 2am, but Tylenol PM finally got its way. Unfortunately, this was the night that Tom’s cold decided to sprout up and he still had a day and half of shooting left. Da da dum.

And then, it was time for my most adventurous day of all… day 3.

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