London, London, London!

I love London!  I have loved it since I was a little kid.  My first trip here was when I was 16.  I had made a deal with my Dad that if I continued to study the piano until my junior year of High School, he would send me here.  You see, I had fallen in love with Elton John and he was from England, so of course I wanted to come here to…see him? Meet him? I really don’t know what I was thinking at the time.  I did continue to study the piano though, and my Dad did hold up his end of the bargain.

So, I am in London now and my traveling partner for the last week, a friend of mine from Graduate school, left this morning. Yesterday, a typical rainy London day, I gave her the power over the itinerary. We rode The London Eye, went to The National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery, and then did some shopping around Covent Garden, which included a visit to a delicious lingerie store called Coco de Mer (www.cocodemer.com).  I seem to be collecting a piece of lingerie in every city I visit on this trip.  I guess my project in Amsterdam affected me more than I realized!

Today, I was on my own and decided to spend the day going to places that I have always wanted to visit, but never got a chance to on previous trips.

I began the day at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  This museum has an unbelievable collection of all kinds of things.  At times it was like walking through the best basement ever. The collection primarily focuses on decorative objects. I really enjoyed exploring the many rooms finding secret treasures and unusual items.

 

After a brief walk past the monstrous memorial Queen Victoria erected in honor of Albert,  the love of her life, I headed to Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace has recently been restored and refurbished and it was lovely, if not a bit bittersweet, to be in Diana’s former living quarters looking at her old dresses.  I finished up my day with a stop at Diana’s Memorial Fountain and a walk through the park to the Serpentine Gallery and Speaker’s corner.

London looks really good right now.  The city is preparing for the Queen’s Diamond (60 Year) Jubilee Anniversary as well as for the Summer Olympics, which are being held here.  Everything here has been re-landscaped, re-painted, and cleaned. It is a great time to be here as I re-charge and prepare to re-start my life with a clean slate.

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