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15 June 2012 @ 11:04 am
'Allo, Guv'nor!  
I've been wanting to post for ages, about many, many things, but figured that a trip across the pond merited one, if any. We've been back about a week, and finally feel human. Jet lag is a very real thing*(1).

But now I'm sleeping when I'm supposed to sleep, instead of dropping off during the day, and want to tell you all about our adventures in London.  First of all, we arrived during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee*(2), to celebrate her sixty years as monarch.  What looked like the entire country swarmed the area in which our hotel was situated to honor her.  Three things I noticed:  One, the British are very patriotic; they wear the Union Jack as skirts, capes, face paint and even underwear.  Two, they LOVE their Queen.  And honestly, what's not to love?  We met her, and she was very down to Earth and folksy.*(3)  And three, they call sixty degrees and spitting rain, 'miserable weather*(4).'  Pfft.

The Diamond Jubilee aside, our hotel could not have been more perfect.  We stayed at The Corinthia Hotel, which has been newly renovated from Government office buildings for this summer's Olympics. It was, quite possibly, the nicest place I've ever stayed.  It was GORGEOUS.  The closet was massive*(5).  The bathroom was amazing.  The bed was heaven. 

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Fig 1.  The closet was so big, it had a window in it.  And the lights came on when you walked toward it, as if the closet god knew, "Ah!  Here's Carrie, coming to put on her shoes."

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Fig. 2 - Half the bathroom - the other half (not pictured) was the powder room, bidet and shower, the latter of which poured water which dropped as the gentle rains from heaven from a place on the ceiling.  Very cool.  There was also a TV that I could watch  while having a soak in the bath.  :)

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Fig. 3 - Upon arrival, we found chilled champagne, a chocolate torte wishing us a happy anniversary, and fresh flowers.  These are things I've grown accustomed to, and will need weekly from now on.

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Fig. 4 - The bed and my  jet lagged, handsome groom, minutes before passing out for four hours.

So the first day, when we awoke from our post airplane stupor, we went to a restaurant to eat dinner.  At nine o' clock.  I had a croque monsieur and Nolan had steak tartare *(6) and we enjoyed it.  Then we went back to the hotel and slept for three days.

Not really.

One of my favorite parts of London was our trip to The British Museum.  My enjoyment  had nothing to do with the fact that I'm a little obsessed with Brendan Fraser *(7) and all the Mummy movies.
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Fig. 5 - The British Museum

The problem with waiting over a week to blog is that I've forgotten what many of the pictures I took contain.  They're neat pictures, though, so I'll just make up some cool stuff.  Kids, don't use this blog as a reference for a school paper.

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Fig. 6 - Statue of some dead Pharaoh.  They really frown upon you trying to crawl up into his lap for a photo op.

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Fig.7 - Me in George III's library.  He donated over 65,000 volumes.  That's a lot of books, y'all.  I like this lady to my left.  She's looking at the camera as if to say, "Yeah, I'm in your picture. What're you gonna do about it?"

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Fig. 8 - Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.  So.  Cool

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Fig. 8 - Page 100 from "The Book of the Dead."  When I was studying it intently, a man with a red fez came up to me and shouted, "DO NOT READ FROM THE BOOK OF THE DEAD! *(8)"

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Fig. 9 - "Big Ben.  Parliament."  (Name that movie!)

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Fig.10 - Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey was really breathtaking.  Aaron looked at the picture and incredulously asked, "You went to HOGWARTS?" 

I wish, buddy.  But the Abbey was both historical and creepy at the same time, what with all the tombs and crypts and dead folks lying about.  Photography in the church is strictly prohibited... but I was alone, and I think Mr. Coward would have appreciate my sense of whimsy.

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Fig 11 - Highly illegal photograph of Noel Coward's Fake tomb plaque in Westminster Abbey.  Don't rat me out, you tens of people who read this blog.
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Fig 2,435 - Horatio Nelson's statue in Trafalgar Square

One good thing about going on vacation with Nolan is that he's a font of historical knowledge.  The above isn't Nathan Trafalgar (my guess), but Horatio Nelson who was famous for saying, "Desperate affairs require desperate measures," and "...You must hate a Frenchman*(9) as you hate the devil.”  He sounds like an interesting guy.

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Fig. 14 thousand - Victoria's Gate, London

Since the Queen was home, what with her Jubilee, and her concerts and her flotilla and her husband being in the hospital, we didn't get to see the Buckingham Palace up close.  She did come out and sign an autograph*(10), though.

Fig. 4 million and 2 - Obviously forged autograph of Queen Elizabeth II.

There are a million more pictures, but since you're already bored by these, I think I'll stop here.  It was a fabulous trip.  I didn't want to leave.  We're definitely taking the kids and going back, even if I have to hear Nolan utter the title of this post over and over in a quasi-Cockney accent, because there's more I want to see and experience. 

And I don't just mean the shower in the hotel, although that would be worth going back for.

(1.)   Most of the time my reaction to maladies like that is to say nothing and think, "Suck it up, dude." Until it happened to me. Jet lag.  Real. Very real.
*(2.)  Did we know it was the Jubilee celebration when we planned our trip?  No.  We did not.
*(3.)  We did not meet the Queen.
*(4.)  I invite them to move to West Texas for a week and experience all four seasons.  Sometimes two at once.  We have a spare bedroom.  Come on over.
*(5.)  This comes from someone with a massive closet of her own.
*(6.) Upon his plate's arrival, he murmured, "Well, that's raw, isn't it?"  To which I answered in the affirmative.  He ate it and liked it.
*(7.)  Yeah, I can't back that up.  I do like me some Brendan.  And a good mummy or two.
*(8.)  Never happened.
*(9.)  The French are only good for two things:  Kissing and surrendering.
*(10.) This isn't true.
Elleelvishly on June 15th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
So jealous! And you're so lucky that you went during the Jubilee. :D That wardrobe looks fab. So glad you had a good time in LDN town. ^^
Carmen: misc ~ british minihumbuggirl on June 15th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
Not going to lie - I felt a bubble of patriotism welling up as I was reading this. I love me some Horatio Nelson XD Was there anything interesting on the Fourth Plinth?
Carrie Leigh: Theatrecarrie_leigh on June 15th, 2012 04:33 pm (UTC)
Um. The Fourth Plinth?
Carmenhumbuggirl on June 15th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
One of the plinths in Trafalgar Square was empty for around 150 years. A few years ago they decided to put temporary statues on top of it - although there was a period when they had performance art on it instead. They literally had thousands of people stand on top of it for an hour each doing whatever they wanted to.

I actually ended up googling and finding the answer myself. Apparently the current work of art is a bronze child on a rocking horse supposed to represent the heroism of growing up.
Carrie Leigh: bad examplecarrie_leigh on June 15th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, Gotcha. It was a golden statue of a little boy on a rocking horse.

Nolan and I both looked at it and said, "Wonder what that's about?" I didn't realize what it was until I got home.
O Demanding One: Spr/Sum: Pretty Blue Ball Somethingsheyurs on June 15th, 2012 05:02 pm (UTC)

WOW! Amazing trip. The Coward dude was a December person... right? That part is for real... right?

AJ is precious. *g*

This was fun. Very neato way to do a post. ;)

Carrie Leigh: Bunny winkcarrie_leigh on June 15th, 2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Just the tomb is faux, being that he isn't buried there.

The rest is, as far as I know, correct.

Sylviaticklethepear on June 15th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
Not a lady at allcosmo_jenny on June 15th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC)
Sounds like an amazing trip!
seegrimseegrim on June 16th, 2012 03:54 am (UTC)
Yay! You made it! I'm so glad you went and had a fabulous time! What a posh hotel! Before I clicked on the link and saw the pictures, I thought you were being sarcastic about eh closet! The hotel we stayed in in London had a little wardrobe, but no closet. I remember riding by your hotel on the bus tour, as they mentioned what it was being built for.

The Brendan reference made me giggle.

Also, you're looking really good, Mrs. Huckabay. :)

Carrie Leigh: character shoescarrie_leigh on June 17th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
Well, thanks.

We had SUCH a good time. I could totally live there.
slitherhither: exhibit_snapeslitherhither on June 16th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
"You went to HOGWARTS?!?"

LOL!!! Yeah, we all wish we could, honey.

What a wonderful trip to take for an anniversary. Yes, I do hope you get that treatment in perpetuity.
Carrie Leigh: Slytherin ru gonna drink that?carrie_leigh on June 17th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
AJ's still holding out that his letter is going to come. Next summer.

Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: AHS - Taissa & Verajandjsalmon on June 16th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness it looks like it was an amazing trip! Thank you for sharing your pictures with us - and your notes made my day! Seriously - the funniest woman I know. *g*
Carrie Leigh: Stormtrooper hugcarrie_leigh on June 17th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC)
Oh, Jessica. You're so sweet.

And it WAS amazing. I want to go back.
Kate: Heart Stringmugglechump on June 17th, 2012 04:30 am (UTC)
I'm really, really disappointed about #8.

My jealousy of every other aspect of your trip knows no bounds. It sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for thinking of me (and Susan) and tweeting the pic of her street!
Ali Johnson: pic#117188888Ali Johnson on June 20th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC)
Fig. 9 - "Big Ben. Parliament." (Name that movie!)

EUROPEAN VACATION! (yes. i DID read your captions that closely. AND. i'm the only one who answered... i want a prize. now. the champagne and torte will do.)