My, am I behind on blogs! Dad and Grandma have kept me busy and away from thecomputer. I have enjoyed staying over at the hotel and we have been going so much that Grandma’s snoring has not kept me up 😉 Well, I believe I left off before Monday, SO Monday was slightly uneventful. I left Grandma and Dad to explore Tower of London while I went to class and then that evening I had homework etc. to catch up on. They told me that they got a coffee there and got to see the crown jewels as well. For Tuesday’s class in history I got to go as a field study! It was amazing how you walk in and essentially it is a tiny village in there. It was fun because there are actors dressed up acting parts and they stay in character very well. I got to meet ‘the prince’ and some squires. We got to see the changing of the
guard in the afternoon but the crown jewels were my favorite and so spectacular! It is hard to imagine how much they may cost and they were so beautiful. I guess a couple of days ago someone stole the keys to the jewels so they had to change the locks, etc. My professor was convinced it was me! I have a picture of him to show you all, he is an older hippie who loves us to death. He wears bright yellow, red or purple corduroy pants with always mismatching socks (which you can see because his trousers are always a little short). He has round glasses, grey hair and red suspendersl! Generally the best English professor anyone could ask for and he bought us all a tea at the Tower again. I enjoyed seeing all of the Armour and swords in
the White tower in the center. They even had Armour for the 15 year old King Edward which was interesting. I left there quickly to meet Grandma and Dad at Holborn station and we headed off to Brick Lane. It wasn’t too busy on a Tuesday evening but I brought them to one of the many Indian restaurants for some curry. It was fun to be able to take them there since it is so close to where I live and I have spent a lot of time there myself. It wasn’t until we sat down and began to order that I realized I am pretty comfortable with ordering Indian food and just being around Brick lane or East London in comparison to them. On the way there we passed the pub where Jack the Ripper use to spend a lot of his time and Dad got a kick out of that. As for food, Dad ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala, Grandma ordered Korma I believe and I got the Chicken Rezala. Dad really enjoyed it which slightly surprised me but I was also very pleased, Grandma enjoyed it too but that was less surprising. Dad finished mine and enjoyed that. He got the special rice instead of naan, I got garlic naan and Grandma got the cheese naan. After that we headed back to the hotel and had a great time chatting and watching news until bed time.
Wednesday was wonderful! We got to take a train and go see Windsor Castle. We went to Waterloo station and got some tickets on the train, it was around an hour trip to Eton Riverside. There we got off at this quaint little area, Grandma rightfully compared it to Scotland streets. We wound up around the castle walls until we came to the entrance. This castle is bigger than any that I have seen yet. I also enjoyed the fact that it isn’t just for tourist use, the royals, the Queen, still stays there on weekends. We had little tape recorders which told us about all the different histories and stories. St. George’s Chapel was open until four so we got to go around there and see where all the past kings are buried. King George who was out lived by his wife Elizabeth by 50 years are both buried and have a sort of monument there. Lady Margaret’s headstone was there too. The royals visit him two to three times a year. It is crazy to think that he was their last King given it was so long ago, but was so amazing to see. The information about all of the knights and the special wooden balcony carved with such detail exclusively for Catherine of Aragon to watch sermons was amazing. I cannot even wrap my mind around all the history that has happened here and the Queens and Kings I have read about were literally in these rooms, the very rooms, I just cannot even fathom it. I feel so thankful to have been able to visit, especially with Dad and Grandma. We then got to walk back past the Round Tower to go see Queen Mary’s Dollhouses. Those dollhouses are more for show obviously but are so detailed. The plates are real plate material and the electric vacuum actually works, the cloth was donated which is real clothe the Queen would have used, all so authentic.
Then we moved on to the State Apartments and saw where the Queen hosts dinners and they literally use rulers to make sure everything is specifically laid out. We also got the privilege of seeing extra room which are only open for a few months. They are normally more private. They were the rooms that got burnt down in the fire of 1992 and were rebuilt. Some rooms were old Drawing, dressing and bedrooms of the Queen or King. There was also an armory with head sculptures of Winston Churchill, etc. Once again I love them but to think of a Monarchy and Kings and Queens seems so fictional in my mind. After spending quite a lot of time there we got lucky and saw the changing of the guard. Then we
walked around and admired the gardens around the Round Tower. Dad says the Queen must walk through there, he can’t see why not because they are so beautiful. I agreed. On the way back on the train Dad and I were being a little silly while he was trying the Doritos they have here and Grandma was laughing, but she was embarrassed and moved over to the other side of the train. Don’t worry it was only for a few seconds and we convinced her to come back, but was so fun to have some laughs with them. It was dark by the time we got home so we stopped close to South Kensington for a place for supper. I think it was Chinese food that we ate and it was delicious!! I hadn’t eaten Chinese food in ages so I was very appreciative. Then we went to the bar at the hotel and got drinks. Grandma had some wine, I went an odd route with a pina colada which was good, and Dad got a whiskey and lemonade I believe. He didn’t like his drink. They were slightly preoccupied with the news downstairs but after that we headed up to the room and said our goodbyes. They left early this morning for the states, on Dad’s birthday. I was glad we got him a London shirt and some souvenirs yesterday. I miss them already and I don’t think a week has ever gone by so fast?? They just informed me that they are safely in Minnesota. I think of all of their trips I enjoyed most just chatting with them in the hotel and having long conversations. Windsor castle would be my second favorite for sure. Happy Birthday again Dad, I love you!
<<<–Dad eating England Doritos!
As for my day here, I had British Youth Culture this morning and Theatre in the afternoon. After class, at 5 we went to the National Theatre and got a backstage tour which was fun. We ran into John Lithgow there as he was doing a vocal lesson. The play we watched was called scenes of an execution and the star was Fiona Shaw, who plays Aunt Petunia in Harry Potter, she was really amazing in it and funny, now I have seen two harry potter characters whilst in London! How ironic is that 🙂