With a number of weeks to prepare, I still managed to go right down to the wire. A mad dash to the airport ensued along with an uneventful (the best kind) flight had me landing in steamy London early. Who knew London would be hotter than Southern California... and all without air con! Geez. If you speak with a Brit they say they don't need it. After the last few days, I beg to disagree.
Yes, I am complaining a bit, but not so much. There was a joke when I traveled here monthly for DreamWorks that "it did not rain on Pam". Indeed some of my friends across the pond would call and ask me when my next trip was so they could plan their outdoor events. I'd much prefer to deal with the heat than rain. And nothing has stopped the great fun that has begun.
When I arrived at my hotel, I quickly changed for dinner. Discovering in the process that I had forgotten to pack a few things like a hair brush and deodorant. I never worry much about forgetting things as I've always said, whenever traveling to Western countries one can buy whatever one is missing. Takes the pressure off. So I took my uncombed hair to a fab Chinese restaurant, the Imperial Palace, with my friend Titus and then retired to my hotel room.
The next day was the Buckingham Palace tour. As I walked through Green Park, I discerned over a dozen different languages (but I'm sure there were many more) spoken by the swarm of tourists from all over our planet who had descended on London. You really feel how truly diversified this world is and what a small place that we hold in it in those moments. The USA is only about 5% of the world's population. It is one of the reasons I enjoyed teaching Global Business so much. There is a great big world out there, so I hope all of my students who have not had the chance to travel someday go exploring. I know I am the richer for it.
At Buckingham Palace, I saw the da Vinci exhibit at the Queen's Gallery enjoying a scone and tea in the Queen's beautiful private gardens at the end of the palace tour. Day three, I was off to Fleet to visit with my friend and former DreamWorks colleague, Tracy, and her little girl, Annabel. I even had the pleasure of reading Annabel "The Goodnight Train" book, I'd brought her. Such a joy! Then it was back on the train to attend a modern ballet interpretation of Romeo and Juliet in a 200 year old theater in a borough of London called Islington.
Today, I just arrived at Samantha and Peter's house (my dear friends) and we are off on a four day driving adventure tomorrow. More on that later. I've only been here 4 days, so it will be amazing to see what the rest of the 11 weeks have in store for my Grand European holiday.