These could have been the sounds heard when I laid down in my much missed bed Sunday night. Our trip was wonderful, but English hotel beds are brutal. In case you were wondering, red-eye flights are for the birds. Great in theory, awful in practice. We slept our first day in England away. I am okay with it, otherwise I would have been drooling on myself in public. It is much better to do it in a dark hotel room.
Hyde Park Gate Lodge
This was our first glimpse of the things that awaited us. The weather was glorious, sunny most every day and mild temps. I am told that this is unusual in springtime England. I will accept it as a gift.
Beefeater sharing a word with young visitors
We saw the Tower of London, Big Ben, the Crown Jewels, etc. and lots and lots and lots of people. Taxis by the thousands and buses everywhere in London itself. Not as much in Cambridge.
Liberty of London
Of course a visit here was necessary. I didn't buy but two pieces of lawn. I bought prints I really liked, but the fact that we are such a global economy means that there is always another day to buy more. It is only a mouse click away when I want it. The store is a treat though. We tend to only think of Liberty of London as fabric, but it is so much more.
A pub catering to tourists expecting to find 221B Baker Street.
(Psst, the address is as fictional as the character)
We did the bus tour and this was a sight we saw on the way.
Unusual seating at an outdoor cafe.
We also went to the Camden Market. Oh my! All I can say is, "Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore."
King's College Chapel at dusk
Our trip then took us to Cambridge. LOVED Cambridge. Loved.
A few of millions
Two words would describe Cambridge, antiquity and BICYCLES! Bicycles everywhere. They are leaning against almost every building, speeding down every lane, passage and roadway. I will say though, they are mostly polite.
King's College Chapel
To think that Henry VIII could come back and find this chapel unchanged, is mind boggling. The fan vault ceiling is much more impressive in person. As was the sight of seeing Anne Boleyn's crest and initials in the carvings of the organ screen. I took the opportunity to attend Evensong one day. The choir was wonderful and the spirit of the place was awe inspiring.
King Henry VIII over Trinity College Gate
Of course college students can universally be
Is something amiss here?
pranksters. Instead of a sceptre, he is holding a chair leg! Early last century a student took away his kingly sceptre and replaced it with a chair leg. Any bets on whether he had partaken of a pint or plenty?
Clare College gate
Punting on the River Cam
There is much to see in Cambridge and it can be done leisurely.
We returned to London for a few days and a trip to London is not complete without a stop at the world famous Harrod's.
Harrod's Food Hall
Harrod's and Selfridges both are HUGE. Both stores are known for their luxury goods such as Prada, Chanel and Tiffany's. What many don't realize is, after you purchase your £50,000 diamonds downstairs, just jog upstairs and grab cereal and milk for breakfast in the morning. The food halls in both stores have exotic foods from all over the world right alongside the milk, bread and cereal.
I could NOT convince my husband that our baby needed one of these to the tune of £2500! At today's exchange rate that is almost 4K. He thought that was a tad indulgent. Men!
The Orangery at Kensington Palace
I did drag him to afternoon tea again though. Sadly, I may have played that card for the last time. He is just not a big fan of tiny sandwiches and tarts. I am not really sure where his mother went wrong in his raisin'; he just doesn't take delight in that ritual as much as I do. I will say, the tea!!!!! Was. Delightful. No matter where we went, I didn't have to ask for cream/milk. Ever. It was assumed that I would want it. Of course I did! It was brewed just the way I like, hot and strong. And those cordless kettles, heaven.
Changing of the guard
Can any trip to London be complete without a trip to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard? I say NO! Of course this shot doesn't include the throngs of people there with you.
There is a drawback to a trip to England..
it will make you want to come home and plow up your yard!!!!! These are formal gardens, but the gardens everywhere were beautiful. Tidy, precise, green and flowering; whether it was a palace or a small back garden seen from the train.
I am home again and in case you were wondering how long it takes to smock a baby bishop? One transatlantic flight and a layover in the sweltering Philly airport. I hope to get the construction finished on it and the coming home dress this week.
You were all missed and I am glad to be home.
And just a tiny FYI, it is time to register for SAGA National Convention. I have chosen my classes, have you? I will be spending my week in classes with Judith Adams, Gail Doane, Judith Marquis and Jeannie Baumeister. I hope to see you there. Perhaps my poor stumps, aka feet, will have recovered by then.