September 1, 2015 – 2nd trip to London
On this day, B apparently had an all day medical simulation class at Epsom Hospital, so I decided to visit the Natural History Museum. I wrote in my notebook, “just utterly disappointing. A glorified science class.” Did I miss something? The T-Rex exhibit was absolutely NOT worth the long, hot line or the annoying kids stepping on my feet. Not to mention the T-Rex was a crappy robot…I mean, I wasn’t expecting the real thing but something better, at least! There were so many screaming children, which is just fine if you own one… but I do not and I didn’t think anything was super MUST SEE. Then again, I did high-tail it out of there before I, myself, started screaming.I did enjoy seeing the fossils and was trying to figure out how to get back to the lab area where the scientists were working!Next door was the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was MUCH quieter, with far less children…so more like an actual museum. I should’ve spent more time here, in actuality. The facades of both buildings were masterpieces in themselves. They would be nice to study or sketch, while people watching.
September 7, 2015 – 3rd trip to London
B had his surgery shelf exam in London. We first went to Piccadilly Circus so B could go to Arcteryx. He was like a kid in a candy story.While he was testing, I went back to the Kensington area and walked east along Cromwell Road and found Hyde Park Corner and the gates that led to Buckingham Palace. I decided to wait on B to go to Buckingham and strolled through Hyde Park instead. It was gorgeous and peaceful, there were people literally playing with the squirrels and their dogs. Very much like a scene out of a Disney movie. Of course this day happened to be nice and sunny. I wish I hadn’t have had to hurry through. I tried to find the Diana Memorial Fountain and couldn’t.There are numerous shops and restaurants along the way on Cromwell Rd., including Harrod’s. Eventually, you’ll run into Kensington Gardens and The Albert Memorial/Royal Albert Hall. It must’ve been nice to have someone so devoted to you as Victoria was to Albert.I met back up with B and we went for lunch at Borough Market. I believe it was a Tuesday and the market was pretty dead. As a result, the stall with the wild boar sausages was not open, so we settled for venison burgers at a seafood stall. It was nothing to write home about. Afterwards, we went to the Southwark Tavern for drinks. It was to our amazement that they had a beer named after Rooster Cogburn of True Grit…which was set in Fort Smith…literally, where B and I have lived and worked. They were £5 a can and tasted like absolute shit – sounds about right! Also notable was the fact that the bartender gave us cups of ice…for our beer? I mean, we like ice…but for our beer??? No.Finally, we went to Buckingham Palace. We were too late for the changing of the guards, so, just looking at the palace was rather anticlimactic. So much so that I didn’t even know what I was looking at initially. The Victoria Memorial was nice. Well deserving of the lady named, the “Grandmother of Europe”.We walked through The Mall and also went to the gift shop of the Guards Museum. Went by the Churchill War rooms, found our way to 10 Downing Street and the Household Cavalry Museum. At the end of the street (if you continue north and slightly west), you’ll find Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. The gates to The Mall are nice to check out too.
Last trip to London
Of course we had to go back to Borough Market for those dang wild boar sausages. I opted for something I’ve never had before – Ethiopian food! I was not disappointed! For £6, I got the large (I was so hungry, though) beef combo. This included delicious, curry flavored meat, stewed butternut squash, cabbage/carrot side, rice, and spongy Ethiopian bread (not a fan of the bread). We spent the rest of the day shopping for souvenirs around Oxford Circus/Regent St. and wrapping up our time in London. We found that Primark is the best (and cheapest) place to get UK themed gifts. I bought several Union Jack canvas totes for friends for about £1 and Harry Potter socks for my sisters. It was very similar to an H&M…which was everywhere! We had dinner at Chipotle because we thought it would be cheap. It was not. It was very expensive for fast food. We paid about £30 for 2 burritos, chips & guac, and no drinks. Currently, £30 is about $43…for fast food. Yikes. From there, we briefly walked down Baker St. and then headed to our last stop of the night. King’s Cross Station! I HAD to get a photo at Platform 9 3/4!