Sunday, June 28, 2009

The London Finale!

It’s a fitting finale to our anniversary trip to end in London…one of our favorite spots on earth! 

Within a few blocks of Lucy’s hospital by Russell Square is also the fabulous British Museum! Dad is getting pretty darn good at taking these pictures himself!

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Though we’ve been there many times, we always see new things.  Just inside the door is this new exhibit on the Gamelan (beautiful Balinese instruments) complete with a couple of gongs, not quite as good as ours, but almost!  These gongs are from Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where I broke my foot on our first round the world trip!

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At the turn of the Millennium they put a new ultra modern “lid” on the museum to keep up with that glass pyramid at the Louvre I think.  It’s awesome with the new contrasting with the old:

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Of course you can never tire of seeing the Rosetta Stone:

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Or the amazing Elgin Marbles sneaked out of Greece from the Parthenon for a pittance by a guy named Elgin. These folds in the fabric look like they might start moving in the breeze at any moment.

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My arm isn’t quite long enough to do the picture thing.  I sort of look like the horse!

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There are always amazing things in the Egyptian halls

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And the library. Look at all these pearls produced by one big clam:

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Of course, a trip to London is complete without a trip to HARRODS!  the picture below is for Jonah and Aja because we had sushi here at this bar in the Food Halls the last time we were here:

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It just happened to be the pre-sale before the BIG annual sale that opened the next day (Saturday) and the place was mobbed! Especially the perfumery where that great Dad/Rick bought me some Fraicas, his favorite smell in all the world…not even on sale!

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True, Nordstrom always has those great piano players (until the recession) but on the Egyptian Escalators, Harrods has an opera star singing arias on one of the balconies overlooking the moving stairs (upper left corner).

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The ceiling above the escalator is always gorgeous!

And on the bottom floor is a memorial to Diana and Fyad (whose father owns Harrods).

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With our limited baggage space (we didn’t check) we still managed to get out with just a few treasures.  And someone offered to take our picture after finding a sushi bar across the street with wireless..our lifeblood. 

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One of the best parts of this day was that it was Gracie’s 8th birthday!  So here you go Grace:

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SOOO many memories moving around London, in cabs, in the underground and on buses!  It is slowly being updated with lots of new tile and even new trains!

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But some things never change:

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Red phone booths and crowds on Fleet Street at St. Paul's!

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Summer school uniforms!

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And Gothic Arches!

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And wild statues at at almost every intersection!

On our first night we saw Jersey Boys at the London Theatre and loved it despite the Jersey accents in London and bad language. The music was SO terrific!

Then last night, to top off our Dickens adventure yesterday, we saw Oliver. Dad just happened to call and get the last two tickets which were returns!

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We sat in a box next to one of these boys’ Fathers!  The sets were just incredible and it was so fun to hear the first hand details from this very proud father!  You’ll never believe who Fagin was (far right).  MR. BEAN!  He was just absolutely fabulous! 

We spend our last day yesterday where we started in England…at the temple!  As we were getting ready for a session I ran to the mission office to see if Charity had sent anything there for us to take home and who should we run into but The Swintons!!!  It was a delight to give them a great big hug and to thank them for their dedicated and skillful service!  They were just starting a zone meeting at the visitor’s center and couldn’t say enough about how much they love Sister Eyre.  They said that every time she is transferred, the zone leader calls and thanks them profusely for sending her there!  The Elders in Reading said that she was truly a “Baptizing Machine”, meant in the very kindest way!

So here we are in our cute little room at the temple, ready to hit the road again…but this time for home!  We were so glad to have survived for exactly four weeks  with just this much stuff. It made those stairs to the tubes and trains so much easier and it was really all we needed!

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What a trip of a lifetime.  Am I the luckiest woman on earth to have had this great guy for FORTY YEARS! The number one criteria when I was looking for the man of my dreams, after the obvious ones of a devotion to the Savior and the church was to find someone to share an exciting, meaningful life with….and Dad/Rick has gone beyond my wildest dreams! 

Although he does have just a few idiosyncracies:

Like wearing these socks to church in York when he couldn’t find his Sunday socks… without batting an eye:

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And he’s pretty interesting to eat with. Our adventure diet has been lots of cheese, bread, fruit and bickies in the car and on trains and buses whilst progressing to the next exciting place with an occasional stop at a nice restaurant. Mostly we eat just enough to get us to the next adventure and if there doesn’t happen to be food in the car….wait ‘til tomorrow!

If I see a food at the gas station, I know I’d better get in there and get some fast because Dad/Rick may not stop again for several meals. He just doesn’t realize he’s hungry during adventures…until about 11:30 p.m.

Somehow we were able to find “the perfect place to stay” every night…even though one night, our room was 6 inches higher on one side that the other, with our heads pointing down (note the custom wood made especially for this crooked door along the bottom. It gets pretty skinny behind my chair)!

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And one night we didn’t realize until morning that we were in a room for the handicapped.

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But it was the best room of all with a large flat screen hotel in the pub next door where we could watch Wimbledon when we were going to or coming from Wimbledon and 24 hour Internet Service!

What a guy!  You can tell when he’s reallllly having fun when he hangs his hand down like this:

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Oh man, I love this guy, adored this grand adventure and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next forty years! 


Weaver Family said...

You two are amazing, and so busy.
Love following your blog.

brittanimae said...

What a fantastic way to celebrate 40 years! I just wanted to say that I've been teaching music students about the gamelan for, well, quite a few years now, but your picture is the first time I've actually seen one. Thanks for the education!