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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Break for Britain

I finally, FINALLY, took a little time off this year so David and I could take a break and head off to the UK! New Orleans airport added a direct flight to Heathrow, and we took advantage: A quick 8 hour flight over the pond.
And it was great.

We went to ALL THE MUSEUMS. This is partially because I am fixated on antiquities, and partially because I am cheap, and so many museums in London are free. We didn't do a lot of advance planning for this trip, but I did laboriously pore over museum maps and plan out our exact routes to see what I wanted.

This is an original cartoon by Rafael....

...and this is the tapestry made from his pattern hundreds of years later

And I ran in Kensington Gardens. We stayed less than a mile away, and it was so worth it. I needed a beautiful place to run!

We also toured Kensington, and saw Princess Diana's gowns in the "dressing Diana" display - an exhibit so popular that we had to join the Historic Royal Palaces just to squeeze in, since the all of October and November were sold out.
Queen Victoria's doll house

Kingly suit from the 1700's

This was actually a smart move: it got us in to the Banquet Room...

Reubens ceiling

And the Tower, line-free!

The Tower of London was easily my favorite part of our trip. It was so full of history I could barely process it. My absolute favorite was the carved graffiti in various towers: momentoes from former prisoners hundreds of years ago.

We did a trip to Greenwich, where I stood on the prime meridian, and a trip to the London library. I don't have pictures from the London library, but it was an awe-inspiring visit: their collection includes a copy of the Magna Carta, the original Hallelujah chorus score, a Wycliffe Bible, a first edition Paradise Lost, fragments of the gospel of John from 300 AD, and other treasures. I was speechless in the presence of so many historic books and manuscripts!

Actually, this screenshot was taken at Bradley's meridian: the old prime meridian, still used for maps and ordinances. 

We sucked it up and joined a tour for Stonehenge (the coldest place on the earth, and much smaller than I perceived it to be from photos) and Bath (which has such history and architectural art: and where we picked up our Christmas ornament, as is our tradition!).

One enjoyable part of the trip was the several church services we attended: on Sunday, David went to mass, while I joined an Anglican church for worship. Why not?! But the best service was evensong at Westminster Abbey. We heard the incredible choir fill this historic building with music.

And of course, we had to go to a party. We ran into one of David's law school friends on the plane, and he invited us to a party he was hosting for his London clients. So we went to a party! As we do. Our social calendar is always packed...even overseas.
Luckily I brought this cool sequined shirt, so I could look like a robot.

All in all, the trip was wonderfully enjoyable, and I give high marks to the direct flight. And now my boss will get off my case for not using my PTO, too!


  1. Looks like a great trip. And how awesome is that about the impromptu party invitation! London is such a great place to explore and it looks like you had decent weather too.

  2. That looks like the perfect getaway! I bet you enjoyed the cooler temps, too, especially when running!! My first international trip was to London during my sophomore year of college. We had such a great time and saw a lot of the same sights that you did!