Sunday, August 08, 2010

i am his highness' dog at kew

Today was Sunday and I wanted to take a breather, specifically in Kew Gardens. Actually it was Becca's idea; Daniel and I just tagged along. This was after church at the Hyde Park Ward, where I wore a pink dress shirt and didn't apologize for it. Because if you can't wear pink shirts to church in London, where can you?

Kew Gardens is kind of a paradise. It's enormous. It's not like it's full of flowers, but there are incredible patches of flowers. The rest of it is trees of every variety and type. And little ponds with ducks that make funny little quacks. You go inside the main gates and you just wander. We wandered for over four hours. Here is what we saw:

The Palm House. Built in the 1800's for the World's Fair. And full of, you guessed it, PALMS.
There was an aquatic section of the gardens, and I liked these sea basses a lot. They don't seem particularly happy with each other. They were disrespectful to each other, these fish.
Here are those palms I was telling you about! You can climb up a bunch of stairs and look down at all of the vines and fronds. The only bad thing is that it is one million degrees at the top of the glasshouse. We did not stay long.
This is King William's Mediterranean House. Just like the real thing!
A Japanese pagoda!
Here I am in the Minka house. This is my neighbor Totoro.

60 feet high atop the treehouse walk, Daniel and Becca displayed a range of emotions:


Not everyone is that excited about Kew Gardens:

After we had dinner at Ma Cuisine near the Kew Station. It was voted the #1 restaurant in London by ITV a few years ago, but we didn't know that. We just didn't want to go to Pizza Express again, and this place seemed both fancy and moderately priced. Our waiter looked suitably French:When our food came, and we raised said food to our mouths, there was a giant explosion in the heavens. A firework in shape of Padma Lakshmi lit the sky up, the world briefly stopped turning, and for a few moments there was peace on earth. Because this chicken was seriously that good.Becca ate some kind of vegetarian business with ratatouille.

Saying goodbye to London is always hard. It always means I'm one step closer to reuniting with the family I love and miss so much, but it's also the gamble of not knowing when I'll get back. I tried to come home from the gardens and pack, but it was killing me to watch the sun go down. So I grabbed my ipod and set out for one last walk through Hyde Park. It's really beautiful this time of night, and surprisingly full of people. I made my way to the Serpentine Gallery, to see this year's pavilion installation. Every year an artist is commissioned to create an eating space for the public in the middle of Hyde Park. I thought this year's pavilion, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, was very bold. All angles and completely red. Super cool.
And then I walked back to my flat. No long goodbyes. Just listened to a few tunes on my ipod and watched the sun set over the park.

Tomorrow is Scotland!