Things I’ve done in the UK so far:
1) Did a bus tour of London, on one of those double-decker buses with no roof on the second level. My expectations were low, but I loved this. The tour filled my brain with more beautiful old architecture than it’s able to comprehend.
2) Toured the Houses of Parliament (pictured above). This was incredibly neat, and had so much great art. Also cool historical trivia.
3) Toured Westminster Abbey. Which was beautiful, but I hadn’t realized the extent to which this place is a mausoleum.
4) Visited the National Portrait Gallery, checking out some of the permanent exhibits, and also “The Encounter” exhibit, which was great (but I wish they had displayed more art). (Thanks to whomever suggested that one!) We also spent quite a lot of time looking at The Landing of HRH The Princess Alexandra at Gravesend, largely because we were tired and there was a bench right there, but we ended up having a very enjoyable discussion of it. (And we noticed that there’s a little girl in the painting who looks like Boy George.)
5) Went to a pub and (wishing to “eat something British”) ate mushroom and chicken pie. My mom, similarly motivated, had fish n’ chips.
6) Separately, had an amazing meal at the oldest restaurant in London.
7) Visited the Tate Museum. My favorite thing there was a room with red-tinted photographs of Black history, with text superimposed; I wish I’d written down the artist’s name. I also got to see a Dali painting in person for the first time; his surface is ridiculously tight, even from inches away.
8) Saw “An American In Paris” on the west end. Beautiful dancing, and the sets were either the most magical, or the second-most-magical, I’ve ever seen in a show. (The other contender is the Broadway production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.”)
9) Saw “Dreamgirls” on the West End, starring Amber Riley from “Glee.” She was astounding.
10) Celebrated Sukkot in a the sukkah of a distant cousin who I’ve only met once before.
11) The London Eye. (Pretty!)
Day after tomorrow: Pack up, then train to Paris!