Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 15 - What a fun day in London!

Today was an awesome day. We got to sleep in and woke up to a nice sunny day. We finished up our bottle of Nescafe Instant coffee (from Split) in the room and then headed out to start our day. By now it was about 10:30, so we got a little breakfast snack at the Starbuck's next door and I also decided to get a Vanilla Latte. Guess how much? A Tall was 2.35 - sounds like the regular price if it was in $'s but unfortunately it was in £' that only set us back $4.70 (ridiculous, huh!) oh well. So anyways, moving along...I told Michael we should walk towards Buckingham Palace to check it out, then circle back later to the Tate Museum on our way home. So we had a nice walk from St. Paul's cathedral to Buckingham - it was a little brisk, but sunny for the most part. As we approached the palace, there were policemen and soldiers on horses corralling people towards the sidewalk. It turned out that the Queen was on her way back to the palace! So we stood on the sidewalk and waited to catch a glimpse of her highness. We also found out that today was her birthday (or really, the day that she celebrates as her birthday - it's actually on April 21 but apparently, the weather's nicer in June, so June 14th it is). The sidewalks were packed with people, so I was barely able to see anything from my vantage point except when I was on my tippy toes. Anyways, I saw the horses go by...then we saw the carriage that Camilla was on. I later found out that Prince William was next to her (Michael caught it on the camera!) Then the next carriage was the Queen. I'm not a big follower of the Royal family typically, but I thought that was pretty cool! After the whole procession, we followed the crowd up and walked to the palace. We got a good spot right by the palace gates. At this point we had no idea what else was in store, but the band started to play the Indiana Jones theme song, then the Star Wars theme song, followed by My Country Tis of Thee. Michael and I both thought that it was pretty current of the queen to request the Geoge Lucas and Spielberg musical scores for her birthday bash ensemble. Then, the doors to the balcony of the palace opened up and the queen stepped out and waved at us common folk. We got some cool pictures of her and the Princes and the rest of the balcony entourage. Next, a series of fighter planes flew overhead while the Royal family looked on. It was pretty awesome to see that up close!

So that was our morning. Our next stop was Harrod's. What a cool department store! It only made me realize even more so how weak the dollar is compared to the pound. Everything cost as much as they would in America, but in pounds, so basically double the cost of whatever it is you want to buy and that's what it's like to purchase anything in London. Oh well. We got some sandwiches at Harrod's food court and ate them at Hyde Park, along with the many other people enjoying a sunny day in London. At least we saw the Royal family today - and that was Free! It made it a memorable day for us :)

After many miles of walking, we made it to the Tate. Either I'm getting old, or I just don't have a keen eye for the modern art pieces. Some of the stuff was ok, but I have to say the majority of it was weird and trippy. Maybe I'm just tired and hungry and didn't have the patience to interpret the weirdness I saw before me.

We're gonna go grab some dinner now and look for a pub. It's our last night before our long journey back to the States tomorrow. Cheers!