I was going to go to Canterbury … but I didn’t. I was pretty on the fence to begin with. The plan was to tour around there and then Kate was going to meet me in Canterbury when she was done work and we’d go our separate ways. I checked the train schedule when I got up and the tickets were a little more expensive then I thought they would be and lets face it, I was feeling pretty lazy. I had also read about a new exhibit opening at Kensington Palace with dresses worn by The Queen and Princess Diana that I really wanted to go see. So I stayed in London.

Kensington Palace didn’t open until 10 so I went down to Portobello Road to see just what it’s all about. It was fun! I could have bought a few little trinkets but managed to save my money. Just the whole atmosphere of the area is great! I loved seeing all the vendors and people shopping, enjoying the beautiful morning and the man playing the steel drums keeping people entertained. The homes are so cute in their fun colours, it seems like an area where people really take pride in where they live and make sure their homes look nice. I stopped and spoke to a man who had roses growing up the entire front of his house. I will definitely have to come back to this area next time I’m in London and maybe check out the market on a weekend.

I’d toured Kensington Palace before so my main reason for this visit was to see this new dress exhibit. I was happy to have the chance to see the display – there were a handful of dresses worn by The Queen, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana. But I was a little disappointed – I was expecting it to be much larger. There was maybe 10 dresses worn by The Queen and her sister and maybe 5 worn by Diana. I felt a little ripped off. Surely it could have been bigger?

Being as it didn’t take long to see – I walked around the rest of the Palace. Some of it had been changed since I was there last, I remember them doing renovations at that time. There are a few rooms that remain ‘as is’ that are the same as they would have been when it was still a functioning home. I like seeing the Queen Victoria displays and the rooms that were hers  but I don’t like that they’ve turned it in to more of a museum instead of keeping it  Palace like. I don’t like to be shown something – I want to see it for myself. I like to be able to look around and get a sense of what a place was like when it was in all of its glory. Does that make sense? That’s why I love Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. They haven’t tried to turn them in to something else.

Keeping in tune with ‘looking at stuff’ I trekked down to the Natural History Museum. I’ve driven past it but never been in it before. WOW! I really couldn’t believe the sheer size of it. Before I started to walk around I went back to the cafe area for something to eat, I was absolutely starving. The area was quiet, it seemed there wasn’t too many people in the museum but as I sat there eating my strawberries and cream – I swear the number of people tripled. I think every school group in London showed up all of a sudden. I went and looked in one hall, again I say, I was just floored by the amount of stuff. Rocks. Stones. Metals. Stuff. I had to get out of there – there were far too many people and I was just not in the mood to try and navigate my way through. So I went next door to the Victoria & Albert Museum. Much better! It was almost completely dead in there and I LOVED the exhibits. I was so tired by this point though I had to drag myself around. I really, really like it – I have to go back and make sure that is the only thing I have planned for that day. It was amazing. I’m lucky enough that the art gallery in my home city is hosting an exhibit from the V & A, the first time it’s been seen in North America.

On the way back to my (Strand) Palace I passed by a Mexican restaurant, I had walked by it a few times and it always made my tummy grumble because it smelled so freakin’ good! This time I decided to go in and have a late lunch/early dinner. It tasted just as good as it smelled. Seriously, if you’re looking for good, cheap, Mexican food in London check out Tortilla Mexican Grill, there are several locations. As I munched away on my yummy tacos – I got an email from ‘the boy’. He wanted to know if I was still up for getting together after work. I of course said yes and then though ‘hmm maybe Mexican was a bad idea’. I hurried back to the hotel, forced to walk past his bank, hoping he wasn’t coming out already as I was not as ‘fresh’ and ‘no I haven’t been walking around in hoards of people in the hot weather all day’ as I would like to be.

We met in the hotel lobby around 4:30 and went and had a drink in the bar. He was just as handsome and funny as the day before. We had a great chat about everything from our jobs to movies and his sisters baby. We decided to head somewhere else – he suggested the Maple Leaf down the road because I’m Canadian. It’s not like I don’t go to enough Canadian pubs at home – now I’m going to one on holiday? But if that’s what he wanted to go, ok.

I ordered Canadian beer and poutine – had to try and make it as authentic as possible. The people beside us wanted  to know if I was really Canadian and ‘do the Mounties really always get their man’ ‘which of your money does The Queen appear on?’ and the age old ‘how cold is it?’  Hours passed by, many beers were downed and it was a very fun evening. Again, we just chatted about anything and everything. We had to leave because the pub was closing. I still don’t get why pubs in London close so early?

We walked back to the hotel and ‘the boy’ came up to my room where we continued our chatting. I was so bummed that I had to go home in less than 48 hours.

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