|At least if I had to suffer|
a day of shopping,
I could appreciate
how awesome the stores
looked from the outside.
But my idea of a good time does not involve shopping. So I was dreading Saturday in London. Why? Well, when I had planned the itinerary, I had purposely shoved the shopping into the very first full day of our trip, hoping to get it done and out of the way. Rob’s being sick kept us from going shopping that first Sunday. Every day we went out, I looked for and hoped we’d find something everywhere we went to give as gifts. My logic, my hope, my expectation was that I would easily find something for everyone given how many places we would go. British Museum. Tate Britain. Hampton Court. London Tower. National Portrait Gallery. National Gallery. Surely, that would be enough for us to find something for everyone.
In planning the trip, Saturday was set aside. If we did not find gifts for anyone and everyone, we would go shopping. If, however, we had all the kids we could afford and/or desire, we would go to Hatfield Place, the ancestral home of a certain Robert William Cecil, Jr. Or we might go back to one of the sights we had visited that we felt deserved another visit or we couldn’t finish seeing. Like the National Gallery, with all the paintings we missed because we had to rush off for the London Walk.
|Believe it or not,|
we didn't buy even one
of these incredibly
Yeah. You can imagine how “thrilled” I was to spend my last day in London doing something I loathe.
We took a taxi to Camden Market which was a wonderful choice. We arrived early, before most of the crowds. Some of the stores and shops weren’t even open but we started browsing right away. It is impossible for me to begin to describe the plethora of items we saw. Suffice it to say, we were able to find some really great gifts for everyone (and some not-so-great gifts as well).
Before leaving for London, Rob was hoping he could find a replacement cuff or something Celtic, to replace the one he used to wear that wore out and broke. That happens with such things so it wasn’t a terrible disappointment. Finding a new one in London, however, would have been perfect. And he did. He found one he liked. In the meantime, I found gifts for all of the children, a scarf for Kanika, and even a little something for myself.
Throughout the trip, Rob complained that I didn’t get anything for myself. But I did. I got a book at the British Museum. And a postcard. I bought myself a thimble and a quill pen at Hampton Court. And more books. We may not have gone to Westminster Abbey but we went to the gift shop to pick up something for Rob’s mother and I bought myself another postcard and some pen nibs. See? I had things. But he kept insisting I needed more and, at the market, I found a book, a blank book, made with paper that had flowers in it. This felt perfect for me because I had been so consumed with eating flowers that there was a sort of symbolic parallel to writing on papers with flowers.
|♥ ♥ ♥|
We found ourselves back in Soho, walking the now familiar streets and some unfamiliar streets. For lunch, we meandered over to Chinatown where we found a buffet. I had hoped to have some dim sum. I’d wanted dim sum when we went to New York. Finding myself in Chinatown, I hoped we might finally get me some. We didn’t. No dim sum at all. Bah humbug. Still, the food was good enough. And while in Chinatown, we found a couple more gifts for our granddaughter and niece.
Back at the hotel, I spread out the gifts and was not satisfied with what we had for Bibi. Rob agreed. She needed more. She needed a Paddington Bear toy. Which explains how, even after all that shopping and how much pain I was experiencing, we ended up heading out to Hamley’s to do more shopping. Ugh! We came away with two bears and a third toy, this one for me and Rob.
|Although we had passed|
the Queen Victoria Memorial
several times, this time
Rob stopped to take a pic.
Extra dessert at the end of our trip? Can you see why I keep saying that the trip was wonderful, in spite of the wasted sick days and the leg pain I experienced? Is it so hard to imagine why it is that here I am two weeks later still dreaming every night (but one) about London? I wasn’t ready or even wanting to leave. But I missed my loved ones enough to get back on a plane and return home in spite of having fallen in love with London.