we fly home tomorrow. it’s been a great trip, although traveling with a 12 year-old isn’t quite how i had idealized it in my pre-trip imagination. today was a long one, but good: breakfast at starbucks, tube to westminster abbey (seeing this kind of thing is amazing to liesl for about 3 minutes, so i just have to adjust my expectations and be willing to move on — we spent three times as long in the abbey gift shop as we did in the actual cathedral)…
then, tubed over to saint paul’s (see pics in other posts below). beautiful, but too crowded today. a quick stop at a pub for lunch — finally, a bit of english food (i had ‘minted lamb’), then across the footbridge between st. paul’s and the tate modern, and into one of the best modern art museums in the world (moma in new york is the best, imho, and the modern annex in dc is pretty good too). here’s a weird bit: after we’d spent a good deal of time in the section that has the dada and neo-dada and other truly modern stuff (the kind of stuff many people see and say, “how is that art?”), we stopped in “the loo”. the urinals in the men’s toilet had a retractable barrier in front of them, and a sign taped to the wall that said, “these 3 toilets are out of order, please use the cubicles instead”. i’m tellin’ ya, i looked around, thinking it was actually some sort of art installation piece. i wondered if there was a camera, but realized they couldn’t get away with that. in the end, i decided it was what it was. but, to be honest, the line between this and some of the stuff in the galleries was pretty thin!
after all that, we capped off our time with a long stroll through harrod’s, including traditional afternoon tea (yes, more british food!) in the georgian restaurant on the 5th floor (a great place for tourists to have tea, because it’s fancy and all, but there’s no dress code).
one thing i’ve re-learned on this trip (which i’ve learned many times in the past): always look at the weather reports prior to packing. i did that, but only for rain. i didn’t really look at the temperatures. it’s been completely freezing during this entire trip, and i’m the idiot american tourist walking around in shorts, flip-flops and a t-shirt.