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In London Now-Birds

Packing: After 2 1/2 yrs, my carryon and personal item-only packing skills were rusty but mostly worked. Counting the clothes I wore on the plane, I took: 5 pr panties, 3 bras, 4 pr socks, long silk underwear top and bottom(take up almost no space in bag and under clothes), 2 merino wool sweaters, 3 long sleeve shirts, 1 short sleeve shirt(dries overnight), 2 pr leggings with pocket for phone(I wear leggings and long sleeve shirt as PJs), 1 pr Rohan pants which dried in 24 hr, 1 pr Eddie Bauer pants(all bottoms black), 1 Cabela rain jacket(long enough to cover my bottom when sitting on wet benches), light LL Bean jacket with hood, 2 pr LL Bean Sport shoes. Sunday was very sunny and somewhat hot(I think due to humidity- it was only around 70) and I had to wash the short sleeve shirt I wore. Today(Wed), I wore long silk underwear(top and bottom), leggings, Rohan pants, merino wool sweater and jacket.

We took the day flight from JFK. We have always done the overnight flights in the past, but really liked this-we didn't start our trip tired from lack of sleep on an overnight flight. Sunday afternoon we did a Walks of London Tour-"Pox and Penicillin" which spent much of the time on a tour of Paddington Station transport and also walking by Little Venice. I was disappointed that the Fleming Museum at St. Mary's Hospital is now closed. We also went to Kensington Gardens-the Italian Garden-that morning and saw duck and swan nests.

Monday we took the boat to Kew Gardens. I would advise anyone who loves birds to lug along your binoculars for this trip. The boat dock is near the Brentford Gate. We went to Kew Palace-I would hate to have been George III's wife and daughters who couldn't even walk outside in the gardens because they weren't supposed to be on the ground floor where he was! We had pasta at the Family Kitchen. The Palm Greenhouse was lovely. The Tube Station is near the Victoria Gate-straight down the street, the District line going toward Hammersmith. We will definitely do this trip again. Then we went to the Ice Cream Parlor at Fortnum and Mason to spend the gift certificate my husband gave me for Christmas in Dec 2020. I really liked the POG 52 sorbet that is special for the Jubilee. I'm not a fan of spicy or unusual foods- I told my husband that now he knows how to feed me-go to the places that appeal to children!

Tuesday I went to the National Gallery, which now allows you to take photos. Contactless credit cards are much easier to use than the old Oyster cards(we did use up what we still had on those cards).

Wednesday I went to the Beatrix Potter exhibit at the Victoria and Albert. It was worth the ordeal involved in getting there and back from the Gloucester Tube Station. The South Kensington station near the museums has been closed since last summer and I didn't find my Maps app as helpful as I would like. I also had issues with it getting to the hotel in Canary Wharf Tuesday night, where we had moved for my husband's meetings.
I did decide that going to museums two days in a row is not a good idea-I was too tired to see anything else at the V&A.

Friday we leave on a Rabbies 5-night Heart of England tour. I am looking forward to being done with all the walking to and from the Tube stations.

Posted by
2440 posts

I wanted to include a visit to Kew Gardens in my recent trip to London but ended up choosing Hampton Court--now that you mention birds it's definitely a priority for next visit. I am the nutty person who always visits the Tower on my first day just to sit with the ravens, and any encounter with birds always makes me very happy indeed. Sounds like you are having a great trip so far!

Posted by
30285 posts

I thought you'd relate the story of the green parrots that London has in the trees in parks now. Kew Gardens and Hyde Park are a couple of their major hangouts.

Posted by
8617 posts

Cala, I am glad you are there and your packing skills hadn't abandoned you !

I highly recommend you download CityMapper - it will make getting around London a breeze.

So fun to be there at Jubilee time !

Posted by
11884 posts

What a great start!!

I always bring my binoculars for birds and cathedrals. They are handy in English cathedrals to look for Green Men carvings!!

What flavor is POG 52 sorbet?

When you get back you’ll want to watch the Lucy Worsley Investigates on PBS passport. The segment that aired Sunday was on King George’s “madness” and showed the tub on display there at Kew Palace.

Eager to read about the rest of your trip!

Thanks for taking the time!

Posted by
3741 posts

Nigel, I didnt see the parrots but I sure enjoyed the waterfowl.
The POG was pineapple, passion fruit, orange, guava and it was creamier than what I usually associate with sorbet.
Kim, I confess I'm still carrying around my Tube map from the RS London book-but of course that doesn't help with getting to and from the Tube station, so maybe I'll get City Mapper in the future now that I know the Maps feature in my phone(and Google maps) are misleading at times.
Pam, thanks for the rec about the Lucy Worsley video. I really enjoy her programs even though she is somewhat corny with the costumes.

Posted by
11884 posts

Yum, that sounds delicious and summery!