Everyone knows how fast the days fly by when you are away. Well that’s how I felt when I woke up on our fifth morning in Kew. It seemed like only yesterday when Kathy and I flew from Boston to London. However, I felt like we had accomplished what we came for and more. Our long days of researching at the National Achieves, allowed us to gather so much information that would be potentially helpful in our projects with Sub Sea Research. Though I wasn’t looking forward to going home, I could hardly wait to share our research with the owners, Greg Brooks and John Hardy. I knew they would be happy with our work.
It was moving day AGAIN! We were heading back to Kew Gardens Hotel. As I stated before, I wasn’t happy with the thought of moving from one hotel to another and back again. But, it allowed us to see another area of town and meet more interesting people, so all in all, it was a plus. We planned on going to the Achieves for the morning and heading back after lunch to move.
The morning went quickly (we were experienced researchers by now). We decided to have lunch in the village before heading back to the hotel to move. It was a crisp fall day with full sun, my favorite! We sat outside the train station in the center of the village and ate a hearty lunch. Each time we went into the village I instantly felt calmer. Strolling past the store front windows and taking in the sites just did something for me. Again we talked about finding a way to visit Kew each year in the fall (I am still trying to think of a way).
After settling in to a different room at Kew Gardens, (just as beautiful, however, still no facecloths) we had some free time. Kathy stayed in the room to write letters and I took a book outside to read in the garden area. It was late afternoon and I knew it was prime time for people watching. They would be walking home from work and others heading into the pub for a pint or dinner. I found a great spot that allowed me to be private while watching the front of the hotel. Within the next hour or so, the pub was almost full. I decided I better get Kathy and head down to dinner while there were still a few empty tables. The pub was loud and full of energy as we entered. All tables were taken but fortunately we found two seats at the bar. We saw a couple familiar faces and had good conversation throughout dinner. We decided to call it an early evening as we had exciting plans for the next day. This was something we both looked forward to. We had worked hard all week and were proud of what we accomplished. Now we would be rewarded by going site seeing and shopping in one of the most fashionable cities in the world! We were going to London!!!!! Now that may not get some people excited, however, Kathy and I were thrilled. We both knew there was so much history in this part of the world and we were going to see as much as we could. Not to mention, we both loved fashion and where better to shop than in downtown London.
No alarm was needed as we both woke up before it went off. We quickly dressed and headed downstairs (still on the third floor and no elevator) for a light breakfast. We had gotten a map of London and somewhat mapped out our plans as to take advantage of every minute we had. We walked to the train station in the village of Kew and purchased our tickets. Well, in London it’s not called the train, but the tube. We decided to get off in Piccadilly Square (real name is Piccadilly Circus Square), as it was in the center of great shops and close to many of the sights we hoped to visit. It was another wonderful day in England, perfect for all the walking that was ahead of us. It was hard to believe that England is known for cloudy and rainy weather as we experience just the opposite since our arrival
The “tube” ride was about the same as riding the rail in Boston, except it seemed a bit cleaner and the riders were better dressed. It was fun listening to all the conversations going on around us from young adults to old. I also enjoyed watching all the small towns that we passed through the large windows of the train. Again, I wished we had more time to go sight-seeing. But no time worry about that, I was grateful to be there at that moment and looking forward to the sites in London.
We finally arrived in Piccadilly Square after about six stops. I briefly closed my eyes, took a deep breath and consciously made a quick decision to stay in the moment and enjoy every second of this day. Knowing Kathy, she probably did the same thing. As we walked from the station into the busy street, my eyes went directly towards a building across the street. It was architecturally beautiful! It was tall and huge in size. There was a large type of monument stone protruding from the top hovering over the busy street below. We both agreed to cross the street and take a closer look. The front of the building was crowded with people all waiting to find the right spot to take a picture. Kathy and I were thinking the same thing. We both took turns taking pictures of each other in different poses. We crossed back again to take some from a distance.
Here we were, only 15 minutes in London and the entire time we had our heads up in the sky. It was the perfect way to start, but now, eyes straight ahead as there was so much more to see and experience!