I am writing this last London blog post while watching “The Queen” in our swanky new hotel room at The Megaro directly across from King’s Cross Station. On the eve of both our last night in London and Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, I couldn’t imagine a movie better fit for the occasion.
Today we woke up early and cleaned up the flat at Claire Court, then walked our luggage up the street and around the corner to The Megaro where we put our bags in a holding room because we couldn’t check in until 2pm (we had to check out of our flat by 11am). Luggage free, we set of on last London excursions. Snigdha set off for The Tower of London on her own, since Ali and I have already seen it. We felt it was really important that she went, even if it was alone. So, Ali and I set off on a wild excursion through the city, visiting various random locations and putting a few final miles on our Oyster Subway Pass. One of the stops we made was to Baker Street where I got a photo with a statue of Sherlock Holmes. I’m currently hooked on the British TV series “Sherlock” so this was of a particular interest to me. We also took a stroll around the Bloomsbury neighborhood and paid our respects to the bust of Virginia Woolfe.
After our little adventure, we met up with Snigdha for lunch. We chose to have Indian food for our last lunch and ordered takeaway from a family-owned bistro and ate our meal in the courtyard of our apartment complex. With lunch over, we whisked ourselves away to St. John’s Wood and walked to the infamous Abbey Road. Ten years ago when my family first came to London, we took a photo of us walking across the road like the Beatles do on their album cover, only to discover when we returned to the States that we had walked the wrong way. Well, after all those years, we have finally made amends. I am proud to say that we were able to get a photo of us walking the CORRECT way, thanks to a very nice woman who was kind enough to pause her lunch break and act as our personal camera woman. After Abbey Road, we road the Tube for the last time and turned in our Oysters, receiving our £5 deposits back–we were banking!
The final thing on our London itinerary was a visit to The British Museum–yes, another museum. But this one was actually really interesting, not to mention super famous in name and song (Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé anyone?). I got to see Cleopatra’s mummy and the Rossetta Stone. Well, I am sure I saw the stone somewhere; I walked all over the Egyptian rooms and couldn’t seem to find it.
Museum’d out, we made our way back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. My Nana had arranged for us to have dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and we dined on duck, quail, salmon, and mackerel. I ordered the mackerel, and I was pleased to discover that I received a whole one, head and all, to which I exclaimed, “wholly mackerel!” (pun intended) For dessert we got chocolate soufflé and garden mint ice cream, English strawberries with balsamic ice cream and shortbread, and chocolate fraiche with cream. It was a fabulous and fancy way to end our time in London! Thanks, Nana!
All in all, our time abroad has been an amazing experience and I am so thankful to everyone that helped make it possible. I can’t believe how many awesome things I’ve gotten to see and do! Whether it was getting the chance to visit my dream country (Scotland), seeing a play at The Globe, having tea at the foot of Kensington Gardens, or running frantically through Heathrow, it has been a great 12 days!
At 8am tomorrow morning, a car will arrive to take us back to Heathrow, where we will have more time to explore the airport than our quick 25 minute run-through at the beginning of our trip. Our flight leaves at 11:45am London time and we are expected to arrive at DFW around 3:35pm. Although I’ve enjoyed my time here, this Texas gal is ready to go home and start an adventure of her own. Four days after I get back I’m moving to Houston to begin a whole new chapter of my life. Can’t wait!