Wednesday, September 24, 2014

'Ello from London

I'm in the middle of writing #GirlArmy Part Two, but wanted to post a little bit of London here, separately, just because that's a pretty serious story and feels a bit unseemly to combine the two in the same post.

So! I've been here for four days, and have another three left in this wonderful city. 

I got to spend the first day and a half with my husband, who hasn't done any sightseeing in London at all. Since I've spent some time here and seen all the big tourist attractions already, he gets to pick which ones he wants to see in the brief time he has to see them. He has good taste: Tower of London, Globe Theatre, Westminster Abbey and Parliament.

He's had to work for the past three days (this has been a positively grueling trip for him, actually. He's been going back and forth between London and Tel Aviv, and working 12-16 hour days. I can't wait until he can put this behind him, and neither can he). But since his clients are Israeli and Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow, he gets the next two days off to run around London with me.

We checked the Tower off our list on the first day, so tomorrow it's the Globe. We're also fitting in what we've heard are the best steamed BBQ pork buns in the entire world in the morning, and a super-posh traditional Afternoon Tea at Brown's Hotel, the oldest hotel in London and the place where Queen Victoria herself used to take her afternoon cuppa.

I mean, why not, right?

For the past few days, though, I've been wandering on my own, taking silly pictures to text to my girls, who are at home with my parents, and seeing a few sights on my own personal must-see list:
Highgate Cemetery. My teenage goth self has never outgrown the allure of a peaceful, overgrown pile of gravestones, and this Victorian delight did not disappoint.

I stopped by a little French patisserie on the way and bought a baguette with butter and camembert and an apple pastry to have for lunch somewhere in the depths of the cemetery. 

I found the perfect little bench under a shady tree. Heavenly.

I also went to the Temple Church, because I have a bit of a thing for the Knights Templar, although I usually avoid churches and cathedrals when I'm traveling because.. eh, you see one, you've seen them all. And I've seen a lot more than one.

But of course, the Temple Church has those cool effigies in the floor (you may have seen them in The daVinci Code), so there was that. But even better, it had about 100 silly faces beside the archways that surrounded the main, domed vestibule.

EXCELLENT fodder for the five-year olds at home!

(I apologize for the crazy formatting here. I tried. I failed. I give up.)


Face Face

Face Face Face

Face Face Face

Face Face Face Face Face Face

Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face Face ...

And finally, because I couldn't leave London without making my Sherlockian pilgrimage, I went over to the place on Gower Street where they shoot the exteriors for Sherlock and had breakfast at Speedy's and took a few pictures like the fangirl that I am:

It should be noted that I also went to the Sherlock Holmes museum, but I found it to be rather ridiculous. It's a flat at 221b Baker Street, set up as if Sherlock Holmes and John Watson lived there, and the guides, dressed in Victorian garb, show you where "Sherlock's room" was, and where "Doctor Watson's study" was, as if they were real people.

As if there weren't PLENTY of things to put in a freaking Sherlock Holmes museum besides fake stage props. Some information and artifacts about the breadth and depth of the character's literary and cinematic presence, perhaps? The history of his creation by Arthur Conan Doyle? 


But alas, no, fake personal affects it is. Okay then. Off to Gower Street I went, because if I am going to be spending any time with fake Sherlocks, they are at the very least-- as god is my witness-- going to look like Benedict Cumberbatch.


But anyway, I just wanted to say hello from London and let you know that I am finishing up the rest of the #GirlArmy story as quickly as I can.

I will be coming home soon, although I wish I could stay. I love this city. I have always felt like I belonged here. 

I love riding the tube. I love wandering the streets. I love sitting in a cafe and hearing nine different languages being spoken within earshot. I love the ancient buildings nestled among the brand new uber-modern high-rises. I love the crowds outside the pubs every night. I love the black cabs and the theatres and the tea and the monuments and the graveyards and the people and the rain.

I can't wait to come back. I can't wait to bring my daughters. 

Next time, I hope we get to settle in and stay a while.

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