Published: June 1st 2010November 20th 2009
I woke up and decided, "to hell with my outfit planner!" (to those of you who know very well my 'J'
-ness, understand how big of a deal this was), and put on a dress, my new funky tights and my high-heel boots! I even curled my hair. I'm not going to lie, I felt pretty good! Don't worry, we took pictures...
It unfortunately rained a bit today. However, I wasn't put down by it because I wouldn't be fully experiencing England without some rain. Plus I had my purple umbrella, so all was good in the world. ...and not just because I had my purple umbrella.
Today, we went to see Westminster Abbey, AND
discovered (well, I did, at least) the ingenious of the audio guide. We walked in, were asked to choose a language, and were handed what looked like one of those old walkmans, or a cross between a walky-talky and an old cell phone. Disregard the word "old," though because I'm telling you, it was the most brilliant little device I've ever used. You merely pressed play and it told you exactly where to go and what number to press when were
ready to hear commentary about each room and each display. It allowed you to move entirely at your own pace (mine can be quite slow...) and skip sections if desired. Just brilliant! ...as they say...
........Well apparently, as I'm ranting and raving about my newfound favorite thing, Mummsy tells me they have them where we live too....and have...for years... Oh well, I am going to enjoy the newness of it, even if I'm a little behind.
At the Abbey, I saw the burial place of Henry VIII's two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth. I also saw Edward, his son, in addition to many other gaves and glorious things. Those I just needed to mention!
After the Abbey, we walked to Buckingham Palace and saw Big Ben and the London Eye. On the way there, oddly enough, a guard stopped me (scaring me to death - you know, the whole "Oh God, I'm a stupid American tourist, what did I do wrong!?" look on my face) and asked to take a picture with ME!
At least I wasn't doing something wrong. A lady on the street stopped Ann, gave her a dirty look and said her dress was riding up! It was absolutely hysterical because we had been nagging on her the whole day about it being too short... hehe, she won't appreciate that
being on the internet...
Apparently, the London Eye is not pink. I know, the silly, ignorant, American tourist was bound to come out in me at some point--and I thought I was so British... My Mom and I actually got into an argument because after pointing on the London Eye, I told her that, no, that couldn't possibly be the London Eye, because the London Eye is pink! Thanks Ash for not telling me that you just really enjoy taking pictures in weird light...
We didn't get a chance to ride it, though, because it would have taken 40 minutes and we had a train to catch!
Ah, the train... how shall I even begin? Let's start by saying, listen closely, because I will tell this tory once, and then never speak of it again.
The London Waterloo train station can be compared to shoving ever living soul in New York into one small building and telling them that they have 30 seconds to catch a train or they will DIE
. Now add British accents and throw my mother, sister, aunt, and me, all with large suitcases in addition to a bag or two slung around our shoulders, into the mix. Lord have mercy on my soul!
In America, blocking the door to the train or not sitting in a seat can easily get you kicked off a train. Apparently, in London, during rush hour, however, this is a commonly accepted practice. This would have been nice to know. As God as my witness (and the million other passengers I bumped into), I must have walked back and forth the length of that train, car after car through the foot-wide (yes, count, that's TWELVE INCHES
) aisle with suitcases larger than I am at least four times. I have never wanted to die so badly in my entire life, as I walked passed time and time again, quietly saying, in my unbelievably American
twang, "Excuse me, oh, I'm so sorry," again and again and again.
I finally turned around to my sister, said "I'm done," (perhaps more colorfully) "I can't take one more second, I'm sitting in front of this door. So help me God if they throw me off, I'd rather walk to Bournemouth!" I fell asleep for a few minutes, until someone needed to get off at the next stop. I promptly took his seat, and decided how hard I would smack my little buddy waiting for me when we arrived.
I did at least realize that I was being irrational and quickly came to my senses once we arrived two hours later at the final stop--Bournemouth. We loaded ourselves and all our luggage into two taxis and off to the Royal Bath hotel we went.
Unfortunately, we had to walk up a flight of stairs before
we could reach the lift that took us to our rooms. With the help of two very accommodating, very patient porters, we lugged everything up and collapsed ... for about 30 seconds because as if my stress level wasn't already at an all-time high, I was being picked up in about 20 minutes. And I mean, I was pretty excited ...