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The First of 15 Weeks in London

by Jozlyn Parker

Last Updated on November 5, 2013 by

Trying to be a Local

At a stoplight today an elderly French woman asked me where the nearest Tube station was, and I definitely gave her proper directions. I was so proud of myself and my localness!  For lunch we had beef stir fry, fried rice, oriental veggies, egg rolls, and shrimp chips! I enjoyed it.

After dinner, Emily and I walked to Kensington Gardens to sit and read a book. Little did we know that up over the hill sits Kensington Palace! We took some pictures, basked in the fact that it is so close to us, and looked out across a small pond filled with ducks and swans. It was indeed a beautiful park!

We decided to walk back towards home around dusk. We wandered through the other side of the park so we would land on Queens Gate road (which we did) but we did not know that that corner of the street is where the Royal Albert Hall is and the beautiful, giant monument of Prince Albert. I was so excited! It was a wonderful surprise. Before arriving at the Prince Albert though I had my first sighting of something dedicated to Princess Diana! Cathy would be so proud of me for seeing the seal on the ground by the Flower Garden Walk. It is a beautiful pathway covered in flowers and dedicated to Princess Di. It smelled magnificent.

On our way back home (for real this time) we saw a little pub tucked off of the Queens Gate Terrace (our road). It was adorable. That is going to be our go-to pub! Since it was tucked away I feel like there won’t be as many American’s there, but more local people. It was perfect and smelled like heaven; I cannot wait to return. We took the alley all the way back out to Gloucester Road; it turned a couple times and was filled with little homes covered in pots of flowers and vegetation. It’s such a beautiful quiet little residential place. It shall be a get-away walk for me. Today was an easy day, but tomorrow will be quite filled with excitement as there is an Involvement Fair and we get to meet Andy Steves, Rick Steve’s son! He is going to talk to us about travel- what could be better?


The West End: Tea, Theatre, Beer

We woke up in time for breakfast and made it to the Andy Steve’s talk. He was a very good speaker and had a great presentation for us. He gave us wonderful and useful advice for traveling, and I shall try my best to remember it. His company (WSA) offers many trips for 199 euros each, but you have to get yourself to the destination from London.¬†The travel fair itself was also very interesting. There were different travel companies that offer anything from day trips around England to weekend escapes throughout Europe.

I realized I received an Email from Anderson (our London mother) telling me I got a package. Our mattress topper is here early! Hooray! Expecting a compact package that was vacuum sealed, I was flabbergasted at the giant blue bag I had to carry down the street. It wasn’t heavy, just big and awkward! Together, Nicole and I managed to get it back to my room, where I proceeded to cut it in half, and use the leftovers to even out the foot of the bed.

A little later we found ourselves at “The Muffin Man” off of Kensington High Street. There, Nicole, Emily and I enjoyed small tomato and cucumber sandwiches, deliciously brewed tea, and cakes. I indulged in “The Queen Mother’s Cake,” which was a cake with walnuts, dates and chocolate frosting. It was delightful. When the tea came out, none of us really could figure out what to do with it. It was brewed loose leaf in tea pots and we got mesh strainers with silver cups, cups, milk, and sugar. Finally after staring at it for a little while, we figured it out ūüėČ

We made it back to the room, where Emily and I cat napped and then got ready for dinner and the theatre performance. Dinner was great: spaghetti with meat sauce, cheesy cauliflower, garlic bread, and chocolate cake.

After fighting with the ticket machine at the tube stop for 15 minutes, we made it to Piccadilly Circus unharmed. The theatre (The Cirtirion) was right next to the tube stop, so that was easy.

The show, 39 Steps, turned out to be quite hilarious and filled with classic British humor. The theatre had beautiful decor and friendly staff. The actors in the show (4 in total) played many roles and did a fantastic job!

We chose to return to Kensington and go to the Queens Arms pub down the street. That was a bust, as it closed at 11. Emily and I were ravenous by now, so we decided to find somewhere that served food. We found a Middle Eastern place that served ‘fish and chips,’ as advertised on a big neon sign. The best fish and chips I have had in England yet! It was great. They also served a lot of Middle Eastern food, and they are open until 1am with reasonable prices; this shall be our feasting spot!

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