Travel Diary: London
From our hotel in Mayfair, we decided to walk to LITTLE AMERICA, so named during World War II, and home to the American Embassy and Grosvenor Square. At one point, we thought we were lost, so we asked a cute security guard if he could direct us to the embassy. I guess our accents, or lack thereof, gave us away because he said, “Please don’t tell me you’re Americans because you should be ashamed of yourselves!” We laughed and asked why, then he said, “Look up, don’t you see the eagle and the flag?” There they were right over our heads. We just needed to look up! There’s a beautiful park nearby and we walked through on our way to The Running Horse. We had a delicious lunch and then were off to WESTMINSTER ABBEY. We’ve all seen The Abbey many times on television, most memorably as the site of Princess Diana’s funeral, but did you know that The Abbey has been the site of every royal coronation since 1066? It’s also the resting place for seventeen monarchs. One thing you realize early on is that there are memorials to famous Americans throughout London proper. For instance, there’s a bust of George Washington in ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL. Here’s St. Paul’s Cathedral dome as it sits between two modern buildings. I was walking backwards towards the MILLENNIUM BRIDGE on our way to the TATE MODERN. After viewing an exhibit at the Tate, we took a boat ride down the RIVER THAMES. This is the HUNGERFORD BRIDGE and the LONDON EYE near Waterloo station. A view of BIG BEN and the HOUSES OF PARLIMENT which will be a hive of commotion until the political parties can decide who will run the British government. The next day we went to BUCKINGHAM PALACE for an exhibit in the Queen’s Gallery, where again our accents gave us away. After listening to us in the Queen’s Gallery souvenir shop, an American professor teaching in Scotland introduced herself and joined our discussion. Afterwards we saw crowds gathering so we stopped to see what all of the fuss was about and it was the CHANGING OF THE GUARD. The guard passed right alongside our cab as we headed to lunch at The Wolseley in Piccadilly. Outside The Ritz, while hailing a cab and waiting for the rain to stop, we saw four older women, think Sex and the City 20 years from now, when to our surprise they told us they were having their very own girlfriend getaway as well! The rain let up, so we walked back towards ST JAMES PARK and I snapped this street sign. I miss Princess Diana, don’t you?
The last two days we spent shopping all over LONDON at Brown’s, Dover Street Market, Harrod’s, Harvey Nichols, and Selfridges. We also spent another rainy afternoon at the V+ A MUSEUM viewing the fashion and jewelry exhibits which we all loved and highly recommend. To cap off our weekend with a nice dinner, we chose Locanda Locatelli. The food was delicious and the service was impeccable. LONDON proved to be the perfect destination for a girlfriend getaway.
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