Beatles in the morning... Windsor in the afternoon

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June 28th 2010
Published: June 22nd 2017
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June 28, 2010

London, England

I got up at 6:30 a.m., ate, and headed out for the day to see Westminster Abbey. However, after catching the Big Bus Company coach, I decided to get off at Baker's Street and visit the Beatles Store and then do Abbey Road. I will be seeing Westminster Abbey again as part of the tour package, so I decided to wait until tomorrow. The Beatles Store did not open until 10 a.m., so I grabbed a Coke and typed some of last nights blog outside a bakery across the street from the store. I entered the small cramped store to find literally wall to wall Beatles stuff. There was so much stuff crammed in there from stuffed dolls to mugs to bags and purses to lunch boxes. There were lots of T-shirts and postcards to be had. I settled on album cover stickers and a Yellow Submarine ink pen that had a floating yellow sub in it (And yes Del, I did pick some things for you.). I then headed on a city bus to get to Abbey Road where the BMI studio is located along with the famous crossing street on the album. I had heard and read that there would be lots of people and traffic, however, it was relatively quiet. I was even able to get a picture of myself crossing the road without any traffic. I signed my name on the wall, but don't look for it later; they repaint the wall once a month. Retaking the bus, I headed to Trafalgar Square to grab a lunch and wait for my tour to Windsor. I ended up eating at the Texas Embassy restaurant. At one time when Texas broke away from the US for about 9 years, they had an embassy in London. While the place was not the actual building it was near its former location. Soon after eating the tour group of about 41 people boarded the bus. The driver was an old white haired man who was hard of hearing, and hard on the brakes! The air conditioning was on when we boarded, but on full blast. So we asked the tour director, Rose, to ask him to turn it down. He turned it off! Then after it warmed up, she asked him to turn it on, which he did, but without cool air. So imagine, you're in a bus where the windows don't open on a day where it is already 90 degrees, and everyone is sweating! Not a pleasant feeling or smell. Finally, after being told by Rose twice to turn on the air, it came on. But by that time Rose noticed that the driver was getting in the wrong exit lane! He had to make a quick manuever to get us in the correct lane to Windsor!

Windsor, England

After going past the home farm that provides food at Windsor Castle, we entered the town of Windsor. Most home there would go for $1 million dollars or more, and these were mainly 2-3 bedroom homes. We stopped at the bottom of Windsor castle, and after debarking we were told to be back by 5. We then made our way through the train station that Queen Victoria had commissioned for her personal use during her reign. The station had many fine shops and restaurants. We continued walking up the road, and further up the incline. Already one could get the feel of a well fortified and easily defended castle, and this was just the outer walls. Another village of shops was just to the side of the
castle, and unfortunately I didn't have time to explore them after the tour of the castle. Once we were inside, we could continue with out tour agent or so our own self guided tour with the use of free audio informational guides. I chose the latter. I visited the miniature doll house which took 3 years to make and used over a 1,000 craftsmen. It had working lights, running water, and flushing toilets. I also saw the dolls that France donated to charity in Queen's Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret's name. Very nice dolls and doll house. It's a shame the girls never were allowed to touch them due to the craftsmanship. I then headed up to the state rooms. On the way, there was a lone sentry real close to the gate that became the private residence of the queen. As I was standing there along with an Asian family, a changing of the guard took place. We had our backs to the coming guards, and not until one of them yelled extremely loudly and very menacing sounding, “MAKE WAY FOR THE QUEEN'S GUARD!” did we even know they were heading right for us without stopping. I jumped out of the way and the mother and father grabbed their two young girls. One of them immediately began to scream and cry. I took pictures of the changing, but kept back far enough not to be on the pathway. In then toured the state rooms. Loved seeing all the art work and rich furnishings. The tapestry in some rooms were beautiful. We even got to walk in the dining room where the Queen still holds formal banquets to heads of states. To think that I walked along the same carpet that presidents and rulers of countries walked! I wondered if they used the same loo that I used that was near the room off to the side? After seeing all the rooms, I stopped in the castle gift shop and gulped down some bottled water and bought some souvenirs. Afterwards, I headed down to the middle section of the castle to see St. George's cathedral. Unfortunately, they closed at 4 and I got there a bit after 5, so went on down to the Grace and Favor courtyard. While standing there taking pictures of the Tudor styled houses, I heard someone sneeze nearby. But when I looked, I didn't see anyone. Then when it happened again. This time if came from near the bushes. There sitting on the ground, was a cat that apparently had allergies! It must have sneezed 5-7 times while I was there! I gave it a few pets and I left the castle grounds and headed back to the bus. With the way the driver was being so cantankerous, I didn't want to be late and left behind! I visited one shop to get some more souvenirs, and then walked back down the hill to the buses. I made it with 10 minutes to spare, so I used the toilets and did some more shopping. The bus ride back was again jerk and stop especially when we hit rush hour traffic. We were dropped off at Victoria Station, where I ate dinner of pizza and salad at Garfunkles (a popular chain). I felt less tired after eating, and made my way to Marks & Spencer (a higher priced Wal-Mart type department store), by taking the Tube from Victoria Station to Oxford Circus Station, and then the city bus down Oxford Street. They didn't have what I needed, but was given the name of Evans to try. Lo and behold here was a plus size store that I actually have passed everyday. It is just around the corner from my hotel! I thought it was a regular size shop due to the mannequins in the windows. Although they had just closed, I would make sure to visit them tomorrow. I made my way to the room, asked about a laundromat being nearby. Lucky for me there was one within walking distance. Due to all this heat, I needed to refresh some of my clothes! I went to bed early so that I could make an early start in the morning.

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7th August 2010

Love this shot

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