Monday, July 04, 2011

A Royal Wednesday

Wednesday morning we recovered from our late, late night. We were supposed to meet the students at the West Cornwall Pasty Co. in Covent Garden for lunch, but the restaurant had disappeared like a thief in the night and so we took everyone here, to the Battersea Pie Co. instead.
After our mince and onion, chicken & bacon and butternut and goat cheese pies (yum!), we took a double decker bus over to St. Paul's cathedral. All of that carbopacking did it's work and Joss fell asleep before we pulled up to the handicap entrance. Just like at the Reichstag, it paid nicely to have a stroller. At St. Paul's they gave us a special lift key that would allow me and Joss to go up and down whenever we wanted, and we skipped right to the head of the line. While the other four climbed to the galleries above, I got to explore on my own. My favorite thing was the film called Oculus they showed in the crypt on nine arched screens. It was an amazing thing and even included a virtual walk up to the top.
The view from the Golden Gallery at the top was amazing . . . (this is looking back toward Westminster)
. . . but to get there you had to climb teeny tiny spiral staircases and squeeze between the inner and outer domes.
Triumphant at the Stone Gallery! Of course we knew they'd make it after all those trips up the Stefansturm.
After something heavy like a cathedral, we needed play time. We made our way to Kensington Gardens to try out the Princess Diana Memorial Playground
it's all on a Peter Pan theme
Joss jumped right in and took off his pants and his shoes
. . . even Maddie was spotted from the crow's nest. It was really well-conceived and beautifully landscaped. Also well-attended. We probably spent two hours there and then found some dinner on Queensway.
Then we took the tube down to St. James Park. We saw these folk marching back to their quarters.
We had to stop and take pictures of this house. It claims to belong to Swaziland . . .
. . . but we know it has to belong to Capt. Jack Aubrey of the Patrick O'Brian series.
We made it to the palace, where the guard was unchanged,
and were pleased to see from the flag flying above that the queen was at home and all was well.
Something had been going on there because there were dozens of people queued up for their cabs, all gussied up for a garden party.
Rob was especially fond of these three lovelies out in their finery.
We walked from Buckingham Palace up through Green Park, the kids running ahead and behind trees to surprise us.
I wasn't certain where else these exist, so I had to take a picture.
We walked past Wellington's Arch.
Our final stop on the agenda was at Harrods on Brompton Road. Everyone within a three block radius was carrying the signature green bag with gold letters.
It's a horrible picture, but the only one we have of the amazing interiors of the food halls in Harrods. We bought only edibles and Rob and Will got psyched out by how classy/expensive everything was.
. . . and we finished with well-deserved foot rubs in bed. We only got to see 1/3 of what we wanted to in London, but we sure tried to fit it all in!

1 comment:

jenlinmin said...

Yay! Thanks for letting the voyeur in me participate on your lovely family trip. I second your motion about Rick Steve's guidebooks. I can't imagine traveling without them! We downloaded his podcasts while in Paris and it was great to have a guided tour of the Louvre for the kids!