We woke up bright and early to head to Baker Street to report my camera and jacket lost/stolen. Europe even makes a visit to the police sound exotic, ahhhh Baker Street! The home of Sherlock Holmes is also the home of the underground lost property office. I donâ€™t know if he is working on our case specifically but weâ€™re sure itâ€™ll be handled with the utmost professionalism and searched to the fullest extent possible (while someone smokes a pipe no doubt). After we spoke with a very friendly woman (whose picture we meant to get but were foolishly distracted by actually trying to get our items back â€“ just picture a dirty blond haired woman with a pink button down blouse and a lovely British accent) we headed to see the queen at her house.
We were meeting (get excited) Bev, Will, and Natty to see the changing of the guard and say hi to the queen and as an added bonus, were very excited to be with people who spoke the language again. We were a little nervous about finding them since our cell phones donâ€™t travel well internationally but fortunately for us, Will is a giant and typically carries a very pink Natty on his shoulders which makes them easy to spot, so it took almost no time to find them. We found them and almost instantly the men on horseback came a-trotting! The horses and their riders wore fancy parade day costumes and whilst they marched around the circle in front of the queenâ€™s house, she looked out the window and waved to us â€“ weâ€™re friends of the queen! We knew sheâ€™d show, how could she disappoint her American fans?
(At least thatâ€™s what we told Natty, and Andrea)
After the changing of the guard and our visit with the queen, we walked through the park and saw really big hungry squirrels, a battered looking pelican (perhaps tired from all the baby deliveries?), and the strangest duck ever. Andrea told the group that sheâ€™s seen a duck like that before in New Jersey â€“ thatâ€™s what pollution does to animals, changes them all sorts of wonky colours (notice the U, weâ€™re in London baby!). Garden state, I think not!
Next we stopped by 10 Downing Street (or looked at it from across the street) for lunch with our new friend Tony Blair. It was delicious (blueberry cookie dough cheesecake and a chocolate something or other) and Tony kept us entertained all through lunch â€“ boy is he a talker! I donâ€™t know if he has lunch with everyone who stops by and invites him but it was mighty friendly of him to clear some time for us.
We headed toward the eye and to soar over London next. It was beautiful and we took oodles of pictures. We were lucky enough to avoid most of the rain making our flight on the eye a really beautiful one.
Next we headed to St. Paulâ€™s Cathedral which was enormous! Iâ€™ve been to many cathedrals and fancy churches but never to one as big and beautiful as St. Paulâ€™s. We were lucky enough to sneak in at the time of mass, avoiding the nine pound charge per person. Weâ€™re assuming they hand out a jug of holy water and a bag filled with absolution for that price but since we didnâ€™t have to pay it we carry on, un-absolved. Itâ€™s rough. The rain came back in full force so we decided to pass on the tower of London and head to Harrodâ€™s to stay dry and empty our wallets. It, again, was huge.
It was time for Bev, Will, and Natty to head back to their station and we realized that we hadnâ€™t taken care of the only reason that we were in London in the first place â€“ Platform 9 Â¾ at Kingâ€™s Cross Station. We ran with all of the energy left in us to the station where we found that one of the Weasleyâ€™s carts was still left stuck in the platform â€“ what if a muggle were to see it?!?!? We said our goodbyes to the Carrs and went off to dinner where we ate the Italian meal weâ€™d had a hankering for, for a few days (you all know how we get if we arenâ€™t filled with sugary pastas for at least two meals a day). The food was delicious (Frank had the lasagna, and Andrea had the manicotti â€“ delicious), but unfortunately we were seated next to â€œthoseâ€ girls in the restaurant. Yep, you guessed it. We were seated next to a table filled with Penn State sorority girls. The chatter was wildly worldly and educated (we learned that Nova Scotia was not a town and they didnâ€™t understand how someone could know two languages fluently)â€¦.. Not that we were listening.
Off to gay Paris tomorrow. Weâ€™re really becoming quite the world travelers!