Crossing the pond

Both my husband and I celebrate our birthdays this month, and  as a rule, at our age, birthdays are not really something to celebrate, only a grim reminder of the swift passing of time. So time being this season’s theme for us, we decided to give ourselves an outlandish present. Next month, we are going to cross the Pond. The big one, the Atlantic. We are going to live for a whole week and a day in the heart of London, and perhaps watch a little bit of time pass on the face of Big Ben.

I have been wanting to travel to England most of my life, or ever since I learned my grandmother was born there and not in Ireland. But Yorkshire will have to wait for another trip; we’ve decided to simply stay in London, no side trips, because there is far too much there we want to do and see. We’ve never subscribed to the city-a-day-tour thing, because we always want to get to know a place fully before moving on. Frank will be doing some research for his historical project, and I’m not researching anything in particular, I just want to drink it all in. I will probably just move right  into the Victorian & Albert Museum for a while, since many of the things I love and am interested in are there. But I’ll also go to the British Museum and all the others. I want to go to Greenwich and see where time starts. I want to attend Evensong in one of the big, big cathedrals, and just walk alongside the Thames. Since we’re going the end of October, I’m preparing for wet days and fog and early nights. But fortunately, London will be mostly an ‘indoor’ kind of place for us, a treasure box full of lots of little drawers and nooks and crannies to explore.

We are staying in a very tony neighborhood, Earls Court/South Kensington, where I was lucky enough to snag a little studio apartment with a kitchen, so we can make some concession to budget by way of food. It’s just down the road from Princess Di’s digs at Kensington Palace, and also, Hyde Park. So many  people have told me that I “must” go to Harrods, that I feel like being contrary and not going; but we do intend to hit Portobello Road on Saturday morning.

So even though most of our eight days are already spoken for, (Frank jokes that he’s already planning for the return trip); I invite my readers to share their experiences with me, and maybe suggest some ‘must-do’ experiences. What would you do if you had a week in London? Leave a comment and let me know!

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