Sunday, August 21, 2011

Final Day in London

It's our final day in London and we spend it with my in-laws, walking to the Tate Britain Gallery first thing in the morning, which turns out to be quite a nice stroll for my father and his walker.
The rest of the Wallace clan has gone to go to Paris for a few days and are due to come back to the London apartment this afternoon.

Rich and I are delighted to discover more of John Constable's paintings at the Tate, which are scattered throughout the Gallery,
and of course, plenty of works by Turner, who donated his paintings to the Tate. Of, course, all of this is free for anyone to enjoy, which still amazes me.

Except for having to give the staff your passport in order to purchase an audio guide (which we decided not to do), the Tate is a terrific, spacious gallery in which to roam and the walk there is so pleasant, too.

After the Tate, we find a really beautiful-looking pub nearby named the White Swan and order fish & chips.
We really wanted a Sunday roast dinner, but they don't serve that here, and we're all starving and not wanting to walk much further. On the way home there are plenty of people enjoying an afternoon pint, many with dogs on their laps.

When we get back to our apartment, the rest of the Wallace crew are there. Cheyenne models the Paris skirt she brought for the trip, complete an Eiffel Tower painted on its hem.

Ben can't wait to show us the pet worm he got from a street performer-- it's a red felt charmer you operate from a string in your pocket and he keeps making it crawl all over my shoulder.

Evie wore her beret all weekend, and bought a pillow with the word,"Paris" on it.

For our last meal, Rich really wants dim sum. The kids and Lynda already had their joyous fill at Harrods a few days before,
so Rich and I head to Chinatown again, to get some even more authentic and for a fraction of the price at New China. We have no idea what we're ordering and eye the tables all around us, then settle on spinach dumplings with prawns (the actual dough is made with spinach and these were really tasty), as well as a barbeque pork buns, Hunan chicken buns and sweet corn and chicken soup which is so flavorful.

I save room for a custard bun (my second favorite dessert next to scones), and this time, I know to peel the wax paper off the bottom instead of eating it.

When we arrive at the London home, I have my final tea in the courtyard of our town house and think how wonderful this trip has been.

Rich says we're going to come back within five years, sometime in August, when the Fringe Festival is on in Edinburgh. The next time, we hope we can bring Rich's grown sons and who knows, maybe their future spouses. It could turn out to be a Wallace trip for 14 people and that would be just fine.

We'll have gained a lot of nous by then. I'll remind Ben about the worm he bought in Paris and the first time we had pizzas with smoked salmon on them before downing salted caramel ice cream. And that we all cried for joy when that street painter finished his imaginary planets, creating them for all to see on the cobblestone streets.

I'll remind Rich of Saint Paul's Cathedral, and how, with the help of a guide named Chris, we learned of its beauty-- those heavenly frescos glistening in the sun during Evensong on an afternoon when it was utterly unexpected, and where Rich's kindred spirit, Sir Albert Sullivan is buried.

I feel a little guilty not expecting that a trip could be this wondrous when there's a whole building carrying a sign that says, Take Courage,
one that's been left unblemished and giving hope since World War 2. Or a towering window next to Westminster Abbey's Choir School For Boys with the last name of MILNE on the door. Staring at us through the window, are some of my favorite childhood friends,
Pooh and Piglet. How could a trip not be wonderful with the two of them around?


  1. Dear Sandra; Thank-you for sharing this amazing
    trip with your readers. It was a joy and priviledge to share this lovely journey with you. Best of luck to you with all your future
    books, especially Muckers coming out soon!
    Love from a loyal fan!

  2. Reading your posts of your trip was such a joy for me; I felt like I was right there with you and your husband, enjoying all the events!
    Thank-you for this gift. For those of us who did not travel this summer to far-off destinations, this was a real treat! Good luck with your writing; you are very talented. I will buy all your books as they become available. I have Little Joe. Love Pooh and Piglet on your last photo!!!!All the Best, Lynda