27 July 2013

Day 38 - London

I hate writing that today was my last day in London. It does not feel like over a month has passed by; it feels like just a few days ago I landed in Heathrow and was making my way to Chester. But it also feels like four distinct trips: Chester/North Wales, London, Dalkeith/Edinburgh, and Lewis/Harris. The mini-break was so perfectly placed that I'm ready to go for another week or two! Yet I've reached the point where I just want to live and work here, not run around doing touristy things. So I guess that means it is a good time to head home.

This morning I forced myself to get some packing done before leaving for the day...I absolutely hate packing, especially when you are packing to go home. Plus I took way more things than I actually needed and didn't really leave space to bring things home. All the fliers and booklets and goodie bags from the libraries/archives really add up! Although I didn't think I did much souvenir shopping, I have all this to pack:
I decided to pack all the heavy things in the carry-on, because I think my checked suitcase was around 40lbs coming here, and I definitely don't want to pay overweight charges. So note to the nice men of London who will be offering me help on the Tube/train - grab the little one, its the heaviest!

My favorite set of souvenirs were the free ones from the beaches:
The slate came from a road in Wales, the group on the left came from Ness on Lewis, the middle group from a beach on Harris, and the group on the right were from the Thames yesterday. No sea glass, though I do love the blue/white ceramic piece which was most likely a mug (thanks Angus for that!)

After getting most things packed, I went over to visit the Museum of London Docklands. It was on my "maybe-do" list, and I almost didn't go because I thought it would be crowded with tourists, and they just make places like the British Museum not as much fun. I'm so glad I went - I got to ride on a Tube line I've never been on before (Waterloo & City) plus ride the DLR (Docklands Light Rail which is mostly above ground). And the museum was fantastic, really wonderfully put together. It focuses on life in London around the Thames, and how the river and shipping were so much an integral part of what made the city. It also even looked at the slave trade, and presented it all really well - although the US was involved in the slave trade, I've never been to a US museum that really mentioned and showcased it in such an open way. My favorite part was a re-creation of shops and alleys near the docks:
When we visited the Museum of London Archaeological Archive, we got to see the vast amounts of items relating to everyday life in London through the years, and the best items are used in displays like this in the two museums. I also saw this ad; in case I miss my plane, I can go by boat seeing as they have good accommodations:
Then I saw signs for the Sainsbury Archive (http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Collections-Research/Research/Your-Research/SainsburyArchive/), which I was assuming was perhaps something being sponsored by Sainsbury's, which is a grocery store chain (I liken it to Roche Bros, being of good quality with slightly higher prices, Tesco is more like a Stop & Shop, and The Co-operative food like Shaws). But it was instead the actual archive of the Sainsbury's stores! They had a display showing how food packing evolved over the years:
Love the Mr Men puddings!:
And there were books on Sainsbury's, the store ledger books, uniforms, and a few locked cases. It can be visited by appointment, as there is no money to keep it fully staffed. It was a cool find, and another happy coincidence!

Then it was back to the flat to check-in for my flight (I got a window seat!) and finish packing, which at this time still isn't finished because of course I had to go out to dinner! I went with Michelle to the pizza place we visited as a class the first night, and neither of us got pizza! Then I ran over to Gourmet Burger Kitchen to meet up with Kate, Christine, Jessica, Emily, Catherine, Amanda, and Allison where I had a chocolate milkshake for dessert! 
And of course it started raining, but that led to my fav part of the night - watching Kate splash through the puddles having a ball, and also seeing the reactions of people as they watched her! (Kate I had to write about it, it made me smile and want to do the same except I wasn't wearing flip flops!). 

The rain however did cancel my plans to go wander around the river to say goodbye, except that's okay because it isn't a goodbye to London, it's a "see ya" because I will be back soon. 


  1. Awesome post again! See you in one day! Mr. Men pudding...wait til someone we know sees that! Safe travels over the pond! Love, Mom and Dad :)

  2. Bonnie, I spent this afternoon reviewing all the days I missed. I am so impressed with the blogs, I felt I was there or longing to be there. Thank you for sharing a wonderful experience. Hope to see you soon. Uncle Rich