If I had the technology to upload photos, I would show you Big Ben, but I’ll bet you’ve seen him at some point. He really is a beaut. I’d show you all the memorials and statues every few blocks; I know these photos would get old fast, but the repeated theme when you’re walking the sidewalks is remarkable. London knows how to remember. I’d upload a sample of the architecture; it’s why people go abroad, to soak up ambience through etched stone. I would take you to the National Gallery to see Claude Monet’s Waterlillies (because they won’t let you take photos in there) and you could stand in your soaked hair and jeans with aching feet and gape at one of the wonders of the art world, thrilled to bits that you actually got to see the real thing.
The people, too, have a savoir faire about them. Or maybe it was watching an MP argue his position respectfully and meaningfully in house that swayed my thoughts in that direction–a marked difference between Canada and Britian, in my opinion. The policeman guarding Clarence House (Prince Charles’ home) was helpful and even served as a tour guide…Hannah was thrilled to discover Duchess Kate’s recent presence at Kensington Palace. I was walking into The Ritz with Hannah and Madelyn to ask about afternoon tea when two doormen rushed over to gallantly suggest that we go through the door at the end, as this door is reserved for casino customers. There’s something very straight laced, clever and kind about these people.
I asked the girls what they’ve most enjoyed about London.
Rachel: Buying tic tacs. Okey dokey. We could have done that at home, and less expensively, what with the pound exchange and cost of the flight.
Madelyn: Renting bikes. (We haven’t ACTUALLY done that, so I asked her to give something we DID). Seeing Big Ben. Oh, but mostly watching the ducks. Really, I said, because we have ducks at Riverside Park in Kamloops, which we feed once a week. Yes, but here they’re more sophisticated.
Hannah: Westminster Abbey, because of all the history; and all the shops, especially the National Gallery and museum gift shops.
I didn’t get a chance to ask Zach, but I’m pretty sure it would be ice cream beside the Thames River, candy from Hamley’s Toy Store, and orange chocolate from the Indian restaurant tonight. There’s a theme here… And based on the look on his face, lift off of each plane flight, which he’ll get to repeat again on Virgin Airlines tomorrow night to Nairobi.