Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Phoenix has Finally CRASHED! But.......

Welp, I think that my prediction of sliding into home plate, in a heap is going to come true! Today is our last day in London, and I had many plans; none of which included spending hours in bed! lol




However, that is exactly what happened; I woke up, got out of bed, ate breakfast, made plans for the day, walked back into the bedroom, to get my clothes, took one look at the bed and I was down for the count! I swear I was only going to lay down for a minute; I think that turned into hours, and as Joe said, "The Phoenix has finally crashed!" lol I don't remember even crawling back into the bed, but I do remember waking up and wondering what the heck had happened; full well knowing that burning the candle on both ends, with chronic mylogenous leukemia, will eventually catch up with you!

Of course,  the first thing that I did was look at the clock and groan; I had "wasted" a good bit of the day, however,  IF I was able to drag myself up and out of the bed, it would be possible to do one thing that was on our list for the day, and that one thing would be to go to Kensington Palace, which is on the other side of Hyde Park, and not far from where we are.

I cannot say that my "nap" made me feel much better, and it was quite a chore to get up and out to Kensington Palace, but as usual, I am so glad that I made the effort. We were fortunate that they had handicap access, which meant I could avoid extra steps and stairs, which was much appreciated today.

As we wandered from room to room, viewing artwork, artifacts, including another awesome doll house, and clothing from ages gone by, I kept marveling at the fact that this is where Princess Diana lived, and raised her boys. Such a strange fact, and hard to envision. These places are so HUGE and museum-like, that it is hard to imagine any one actually "living" here.




can you imagine painting, paintings?



I am sure that their "area" was much different than what we were viewing, but still.....it just seems cold and daunting, although the grounds were lovely.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the old costumes, paintings, furniture and decor, but what I enjoyed the most was the tribute to Princess Dianna; they had a room that was filled with many of her iconic outfits. I was amazed at how just seeing those outfits, stirred the memories of seeing her in them. Like I said before, I was a HUGE fan!







I loved the photo they had of her in the room, and all of the quotes on the wall; as  we were leaving, we walked through an area that was covered in a lovely Princess Dianna wallpaper that was done in watercolor portraits, during various stages, in her life.










After leaving the palace, we were able to enjoy the gardens, and eat our lunch under an arbor of green. We enjoyed seeing all of the flowers and gardens that were designed and inspired by the memory of Princess Dianna; as this year, marked 20 years since her tragic death. The garden were so lovely, that you could almost see small boys running through them, playing.





 It wasn't long before they kicked us out; one of the drawbacks of our late start. Reluctantly,  we left the palace area,  I wondered if the palace was open to tourists when they were living here?

With thought stills rambling around in my head, as to what it must have been like to actually "live" in that big huge place, we left the Kensington Palace grounds and walked right  into Hyde Park; all of the parks in London are fabulous, and walking through them is really enjoyable, no matter how tired, or achy you may be.

This stroll was made extra special by running across a children's playground, aptly named the "Dianna, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground"; what I loved best about the playground was the sign that said "No cell Phone us allowed inside play area" meaning, "play" and interact with your children. Brilliant, wouldn't you say? It was a wonderful playground with a huge pirate ship, right smack dab, in the middle of it. A great place for little's to enjoy.


Another magical find was the Elfin Oak; the Elfin Oak is an enchanted, thousand-plus year old, oak stump, that has been transformed into the home of frolicking fairies, elves, gnomes, pixies and even imps! Unfortunately, it has been caged, but I am sure that the cage protects it from the likes of humans, either intentionally, or unintentionally, doing it harm.




After spending a fair amount of time familiarizing myself with all of the "hidden" gems, in the old oak stump, we continued our stroll towards home. We passed a Merry Go Round, which of course, lightened my step and my heart. It turned out to be a lovely day, despite my slow start, but as much as I hated to admit it, I was ready to call it good.


I think that dinner may just have to be desert; what a great way to end our time in London; a tribute to Princess Dianna Day and Gelato for dinner;  London is "in the books"!

Tomorrow we head back to the states; New York City, here we come.

Monday, August 14, 2017

London, Day Four; Westminster Abbey and a Boat Ride!

We got a bit of a late start today, as I am moving SLOW! Feet swollen and legs with some blotchiness. Guess I over did it a bit, yesterday! Lol Are you surprised?

After a lovely breakfast at "home", we headed out the door and to the tube; to Westminster Abbey! I was very excited to see this well renowned church, to see what all of the hoopla, was about.
It did not disappoint, although I found it annoying,, that once again, I could not take photos...so you are stuck with my commentary....sorry!

When we first entered the Abbey, I was impressed with all of the marble statues that were literally floor to ceiling! It was massive in size and stature; as we continued through the church, there were more, and more and more statues, which I began to realize were memorials for dead people! Kings, Queens, poets, writers and even Sir Isaac Newton and  Charles Darwin; apparently all you needed was a whole lot of money to put up a memorial, and to fill the openings of the church; there are over 3,300 people either buried, or commemorated there.



The strangest ones were the husbands and wives with statues, laying on top of their caskets!  It was a little weird and even creepy, with all of those people/statues, lurking in every nook and cranny of the entire Westminster Abbey! It seems as though many moons ago, the Abbey had a lot of open spaces, and walkways, which has now been filled with monuments and statues; EVERYWHERE!


Harked from Google Images

We spent the better part of the early afternoon there, looking at tomb and marble statues. The rest of the Abbey, including the alters and the organ pipes were spectacular, and imaging all who have been baptized, married, corronated and buried there was quite contemplative. It is an amazing Gothic  structure that is steeped in more than one thousand years of history.



thank you google images

Much to my delight, we were allowed to take photos in a small chapel on the grounds, as well as some of the gardens. I personally loved seeing the old paintings that have not been covered up, and/or destroyed. They also cannot keep us from taking photos of the outside of the Abbey either, which is truly amazing; the architecture, steeples, archways and even the gargoyles are a sire for sore eyes; so I snapped away!











After the Abbey we went to Churchill's War Room Museum; they had a handicap line, which made it do-able, as their was no wait, and a "lift" down to the museum, which must have been underground, for safety.

I guess I am not a huge Churchill fan, as I found the War Museum on the boring side, although if I had seen Dunkirk PRIOR to visiting the museum, I would most likely have found it more interesting. Since my feet were already swelling and I was tired and miserable, we didn't stay long.







We made the short walk across the street to St. James Park, were we sat and ate our most delicious baguette; (ham and cheese sandwich) under the trees, while watching pelicans frolic in the pond, just a stones throw away. After relaxing and eating for a while, we decided to head over to the City Boat Tour.


We thought it would be a great way to sight-see; from the Thames River, without having to walk around, as I really needed a break. God knows, I couldn't go home yet! Lol

We took the boat from Westminster Abbey, all of the way to Greenwich and back, which put us right next to St. Stephen's Tavern, where we had awesome fish and chips, earlier in the week, so we stopped for supper, before heading home; they truly had the BEST Fish & Chips that we found in London.









the "real" London Bridge










I was grateful that we were only a few tube stops from home, and for the first time, I was actually ready to go. I could hardly wait to jump into a nice hot bath with Epsom salts, eat my yummy gelato and chocolate cake, and get off my poor feet for the rest of the night!


I really think that all of my fun, is beginning to catch up to me and that I will be sliding into home plate, in Boise, on my last legs! Lol It is so hard to accept the fact my body jut can no longer keep up with my heart and soul.

BUT! Tomorrow is another day!

Much love to all......and thanks for reading and sending me so much love and encouragement, I gain strength knowing I am traveling for all of us that are living with CML!

Bricks for the Brave!!