Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Adieu adieu

"Oh my bags are packed and I'm ready to go..."

farewell London

Goodbye Kenisngton Marriott, you are a great location. I'll be back.

final meal

Finally, we had one more fry-up at Heathrow. Good stodgy sendoff for our last meal. btw, note that there is a tangerine in both the pictures. Marriott had bowls of these each day and I did eat my share. No scurvy for this woman! However...I forgot to eat the last one I had in my carry on bag, and the drug dogs sniffed it out at Newark airport. Guess which two people had to have their bags searched by the food police?!?!? I shrugged it off but dh was NOT amused by the waste of his precious time. They confiscated the tangerine of course...and sent me off with a warning not to do this again. Bah humbug.

Now for a break from travel blogging for a bit again. See you next trip!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Time Running Out...

We were reaching the final days of our trip and so it was time to think...was there anything we both wanted to do. A good start had been made on the 'pack it all up' part, so we had mostly a day free. I had seen a nice little 'French' cafe while we were walking back from Kensington Palace the day before. Petit Delice.
Petit Delice
He had a quiche and I had a sandwich. Both of us had tea after our early morning coffees and pot of tea in the room. Having an electric kettle AND a coffee maker was just perfect.)
IMG_0809 her brekfast

Believe it or not after some walking and a bus ride, we actually were ready for a stop for lunch at The Three Tuns just off Oxford Street. Best to have a full stomach when museum hopping, I say!
.last pub lunch
Bangers and mash for the gentleman and pea soup for the lady with dry gingerale for both of us.
his last pub lunch her last pub lunch

We had decided to try the Wallace Collection which neither of us had ever seen. So much of my time in my earlier years in England involved travel with short children, so a few of the more adult museums never got onto the lists. I had just read a few books about WWII and Polish Jews so this exhibit Treasures of the Black Death had caught my eye. I have no photographs of that exhibit but it was exquisite and moving. We did wander into some of the other rooms, including a hands on amour room. So back to the 16th century and the big kids played too!
him in armour her in armour

After a tea break in the gorgeous cafe at the Wallace, we decided to part company for the rest of the day. I seriously wanted to get back to the British Museum and dh seriously wanted to Just Rest. We each got our wish. Much of the British Museum has been discussed over at Cooking My Life, but before I got there, I hustled with a bus ride and some suddenly lost and trying to relocate via the map time. I had also nearly exhauste my oyster card and needed to top it up to get back to the hotel. Fortunately, a pharmacy was able to add my money to it. Amazing! Lots of fun stuff to see along the way tho.. a soccer shop for my dear grandson
her last pub lunch
a rubber stamp shop (pricier than the US I think)
Blade Rubber
a book store of course
a fossil shop for dear son
and a Scottish shop that I browsed but didn't buy, this time. I thought that this would be a shop dh would like to see and pick out what helikes himself. Then, there was a sign telling me there was some reason I was getting lost and not just because I was getting tired. Bloomsbury was being improved!
a change from the 70s
But finally I saw the familiar building and in some way it jogged that memory from the mid 1960s.


So many things to see in this Museum and I had less than an hour, and it was also getting dark, and rush hour was coming. However, I mushed on. It nearly broke my heart to pass on this exhibit. But at least I saw the items in the gift shop. :(
British Museum
My real goal was the Elgin Marbles as they were called in 1965 on my first visit. The Parthenon Marbles in all their glory 44years later.
British Museum
Well, there they were, no longer proudly displayed as loot, but still just amazing. I then dashed to the Rosetta stone, the mummies, the gift shop to see what I had missed from the exhibits I couldn't see. The minutes ticked off, and the Museum was closing and I was beat. All I wanted was a cuppa tea, and the little cafe was already closed. London was staring to look like this. I guess I was really done. ;-)
It's all a blur

It was time to get on the bus or tube and get 'home' to my dear husband, make a pot of tea and realize it was a damn good trip. Full of so much and yet home was really beckoning.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunday at the Palace part II

Ok, so we dewatered as FEMA was wont to say during the Katrina fiasco. i.e we used the park facilities.

Now to walk through the park to the Palace. Ah Sunday in this park was Sunday in every big park - dog walkers, children on scooters and skates, babies in prams, couples canoodling, joggers jogging and people sitting on benches reading the papers. Yes, it was gray and cloudy but it was mild. Mild enough for a nice day out. Sun is just icing on the cake at the end of winter.
Sunday in the park water fountains for all

You did know that this was Princess Diana's home, didn't you? We didn't take the tour not just for price, but because it gets to be a bit much for us to stand and look and look.
State Apartments

State Apartments

One thing we saw, and I then seriously regretted those pastries at Paul's, was the Orangery. So so pretty but we weren't hungry or thirsty by then. If you go to Kensington Palace, you really should Continue Your Day in Style as the sign says.
The Orangery

next time

Well goodbye to William of Orange (how about those clouds?),
Willam of Orange himself
and a husband playing in the guard box. I bet those gardens are breathtaking this month as the buds were just starting to appear in February.

We did spend a good bit of time in the gift shop, which was free and just lovely inside. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of geegaws and schmaltzy stuff. This is a royal abode so respectful, stiff upper lift items were about. Tastefully done. Had I been 20 or 30 years younger, and still buying things, I would have been sorely tempted by a lot of the lovelies. I did get my daughter a small lavender sachet and that was it. (Himself is the silhouette in the center of the pic.)
Great shop at the palace

Ok, time to head home and walk down more closed shops. I really liked these pinhole ceramics.

pinhole ceramics I wanted this!
And oh this book...I so love maps, and this wasn't too big, but not this trip. Lots of shops were also closed Monday so that settled the idea of coming back for it.

Finally a little section of houses that must have been built at the same time by the same builder. Spec houses of the day but what day?
#12 great set of houses

Well we were thinking about dinner, and trying to think about packing too when we saw this restaurant. Sadly after googling and checking some reviews we decided to pass. Shame, I think I would consider it for a lunch sometime but not the more pricey dinner.
Maybe just a night to finish up the food we have in the hotel fridge, or maybe finally try the little Chinese place.

Sunday at the Palace

We both loved Kensington Gardens for a walkabout so when Sunday morning dawned, I said pastries at Pauls and then we trot the calories off (I only wish) by taking ourselves up to Kensington Palace. Paul's is always crowded and dh started muttering about no seats, but I can shift myself into a seat before the last person on it is standing upright! It wasn't really early but it was overcast as we walked there. Here's one of those lovely old brick buildings where I can 'see' myself living in a flat. Dreaming I'm living in that flat...
lovely flats
We arrived at Paul's, it was crowded, we stood in line and debated this or that, I snagged two seats, and dh did the ordering. It all worked out tho I know he really wanted a more substantial, but less carb ridden, breakfast. Too bad, this was my choice and if I got to hell in a handbasket it will be happily. His food, then my food, and then more for me! And oh that berry tart was luscious.
his breakfast my breakfast more mine!

Just look at all these goodies I didn't eat. I was tempted to try a macaroon but made the better choice by passing ...I think. Plus I don't really like meringue so it wasn't too hard to pass up.
Paul's Gloucester Rd

Up Gloucester Road we walked, & the sky went from gorgeous to ominous all within a few minutes.
needing powerwash ornate

Shops to look at but no buying on a Sunday a.m. Signs to note.
karma ubiquitous sign
at the shops knarley

Once we arrived at Kensington Park, we enjoyed these signs AND the facilities.
caught short?
Women and twins? ;-)
women and twins

At this break, we'll take a break and be back with more and we really are coming to an end with this trip. Truly!

We Go to Chelsea

The vacillation in the weather was no surprise to us by now, but boy when the gorgeous days came, we relished them. I had wanted to go to Del Aziz and while they did have breakfast, neither of us wanted to rush any more than we ever had to. As dh said...this is a vacation. There are no musts, or gottas. So we managed a late breakfast/early lunch.

Chelsea wasn't that far by bus, tho we weren't sure of the final route of the bus we hopped on. Getting off when I saw a road I wanted led to a serendipitous find for my grandson. He and I are both Liverpool supporters but...hey, football icons are worth noting.

Chelsea FC

sold out

Oh well, with prices of tickets as high as they are today, it was just as well that the only game we could have seen was sold out. On to food. DH had this concoction that could have been called every bit of meat including the kitchen sink. He loved it.

his lunch

I went with this salad that had the Israeli couscous and yummy it was. Darn, that picture is making me hungry now!
her lumch

Back to the heart of Chelsea to meet up with some people, and a good day it was. Finally it was time for dinner, and that was one of the great things about our location. We had most every nationality of food to choose from. The choosing was the hardest part. That night it was Thai with soup first

his soup

His dinner
his dinner

and hers.
her dinner

Finally, a short walk back to the hotel in a gorgeous London night.

nitey night London

Oh Yes, there was dessert - two items we bought at Del Aziz earlier in the day. The cake was his despite me and my fork. The apricot tart was mine....oh heaven.


(If you're wondering, yes, I do bring a good set of cutlery with us...and a sharp knife, and usually a can-opener. I prepare for food - don't you???)