Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day 34-35... London

October 4-6
Thanks to the help of my mom, I am going to London for the weekend. Just booked my ticket Thursday morning and I fly out of Glasgow at nine tonight. Talk about last minute planning. Leaving Glasgow I was a little nervous, my flight landed late at night in London and I had to catch several trains to get to the place I was staying. I was able to stay with a family that my mom knows just outside of London, about an hour train ride from the airport. I got in late on Thursday night and was able to sleep in a queen sized bed. Friday morning slept in and then woke up and started the day off with a shower WITHOUT flip flops. The joys of being in a house! Dana and Diane, the ladies that I was staying with showed me to the train station and helped me get to where I needed to. The rest of the day I spent wandering around London by myself. I stopped at Buckingham Palace hoping to get in but the tickets were all sold out since this was the last weekend of the season. Poor planning on my part, should have booked my ticket in advance. A little discouraged I wandered to Westminster Palace and Westminster Abbey. I was able to take a tour of the House of Commons and Lords. This was super interesting, very different than government in the US. Westminster Abbey was stunning, the high vaulted ceilings, all the historical figures buried there and to think of all the royalty that has been married or crowned there. After all that I made my way to the Jewel Tower, expecting to see the crown jewels. This was not the case I was tricked, this is where the jewels USED to be housed. I then ventured to Trafelger Square, just outside of the National Gallery. Here in the rain and cold Malaysia night was occuring. I stood in the rain for a while enjoyed a spring roll and the traditional Malaysian dancing. After a long day of walking and tourists I headed back to the house for dinner. It had been a long time since I sat down for a meal with a family. Dana and Adam have two kids a boy, 14, and a girl, 12. I realized how much I missed my brothers (Gabe or Jonah if you are reading this, you didn't really read that...). After an eventual dinner we played a board game that focused on making your way around London through the Underground system, which is very daunting in real life. Went to bed full and woke up the next morning later than had hoped but, if you sleep late must mean you are tired. Saturday I made my way to the Tower of London and the National Gallery. Finally, I was able to see the crown jewels, which will put to shame any diamond ring. After walking around the castle there I made my way to the National Gallery and wandered through about 40 rooms of art. Ranging from Renaissance (the pieces that I should be memorizing for art history) to Monet and Van Gogh. So much rich art work in one place. Even though the day doesn't sound very full, it was! Headed back and the family and myself went out for a very nice dinner at a small Italian place. The food was delicious and was nice to be reminded what families are about. On a side note, while families may seem different, they really aren't. The kids pick at each other to show how much they love each other and the parents try to intervene but it doesn't really work. After dinner we headed back to the house for a rematch of the London Underground.

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