Final Days in London!

Okay, I want to do a quick final recap of my last few days in London… I had such an amazing time on this trip, and due to my waning blog-energy, I won’t do the last parts justice at all.  But in the interest of closure, and for those few of you who might want to know about what we did, I will attempt to provide the tale by picture.

Indeed.

Friday:

Woke up late – look the tube to a “real” grocery store in Islington for some final purchases – wandered through Chapel Market – caught a late lunch at Wagamama with Carrie, Nicole and Dara – got dressed up and pretty for the Research Symposium where we heard short presentations about all the other British Studies classes – Nicole, Carrie, Jenn and I took the tube to our first and only London club experience: Fabric – after some gut-pounding music and scary dancing zombie boys, we found a bus home to our lovely little quiet rooms!

Angel Stop in Islington
Symposium
Pre-FABRIC
Post-FABRIC

Saturday:

Woke up deliciously late, once again – packed in a frenzy for an hour, showered and then got ready for an early dinner – headed to Brick Lane with my favorite girls – ate some fairly good Indian food and drank some not-so-good free wine – wandered Brick Lane taking pictures of graffiti (including some Banksy!) – one final tube ride… – one final pub visit… – plus lots of hugs and sadfaces… and we were into Sunday.

Lovely gals.
Brick Lane Banksy
Cool graffiti.
More Banksy
Pimm's & Lemonade!
Carrie & her last Peroni

Sunday: depart for USA, 10:30am coach to Heathrow, 9 hour flight to Dallas departing at 2:30pm, arriving at 6:30pm, 2.5 hour layover (pick up bags, customs, recheck bags), 9:00pm flight to PHX, arrive home at 9:30pm, pass out after 22 hours of being awake.  Oh, travel days.  (Also, uncharacteristically, no pictures.  What?)

But this one sums up the day well.

Monday morning, I did some shopping with mi madre and then drove back to Tucson and had a lovely reunion with some of my favorite people in the world.  And, I remembered one of the reasons I love this town:

Tucson Skies

Remembering flowers, half a world away.

My, but it’s difficult to remember much about the final days of my trip.  I’m going to try my hardest to recap my final few days in London; even though it was only a week ago, it feels so distant.

Garden Museum
Sacred

On Thursday, as I mentioned, Nicole and Carrie and I went to the Garden Museum near Lambeth Bridge.  I was interested in going primarily for the photographic opportunities and the gift shop, but I was also interested to see what kind of collections and exhibits would be presented at a museum of gardens.  From what little I know, I get the impression that the English are very into their gardens – the Garden Museum, opened in 1977, is the leading national venue for “exhibitions and debate on gardens and garden design.”  The museum is actually housed in a 17th century church, which was a beautiful backdrop for their collections.  The front area of the museum was actually rather disappointingly unkempt, which I found rather foreboding as we walked through the front doors.  The inside is quite charming however, housing the collections, a giftshop, a video room, and a small cafe attached, of course, to the back garden.

Topiary

While the museum holds over 9000 objects representing different aspects of British gardens and gardening, the place retains a small, intimate vibe that I really appreciated.  I think my favorite part, quite honestly, was the back garden itself.  I played with the macro setting on my camera a bit, recognized a few flowers (though I’m sure my mom and grandma would have recognized most of them!).  Overall, I felt like it was a very well put-together niche museum – clearly much-loved and supported by donations from visitors.  Upon visiting the website, I found a description of their overall mission that just tickled me:  the aim of the museum is to “capture the garden zeitgeist.”  Just delightful.

Hello, little insect.
Bee!

(Note to Karen: this is intended to serve as one of my three “extra” blog entries for class.)