This morning we woke up early to go to Buckingham Palace with a pass to see several different things. First we got to see Albert and Victoria’s Gallery “Love and Art” the paintings in the gallery were amazing and we got audio guides! Audio guides. Now I have very mixed feelings about these. On the one hand I love history quite a bit more than the average person so I really like being told about the historical significance of the things that I am seeing…on the other hand, how would you like someone talking in a low voice with a thick British accent in your ear for hours on end? You think you’d like it. You wouldn’t. Anyway it was very useful and I am glad that I had it. Next we got to see the Royal Mews which had the carriages that the Queen rides in as well as the Royal Horses and the place where they make the saddles. Last we got to see the State Rooms of the Palace which were amazing. I would kill to be able to live in a palace. We got to see some of the Queen’s gowns from when she was younger and they were incredible, I would also like to wear those at some point. Just kidding.
Afterward we went to Cotto’s, an Italian Restaurant that makes fresh gluten-free pizza and fresh gluten-free pasta as well as a ton of gluten-free desserts. The food was AMAZING and we got a side of conversation from the owner who was born in Italy and lives in England now. His accent was very cool since sometimes his Italian accent slipped into a British one. I got fresh gluten-free gnocchi with marinara sauce and had some of Natalie’s gluten-free pizza with a glass of wine and half of my dessert as well as half of Natalie’s. After we had eaten I felt like I would puke because I was so full, but it was a delicious meal.
We went on to see Westminster Abbey which was absolutely incredible. It was huge and the architecture was impressive. The coolest part of it was definitely the graves of the famous people buried there. My favorite room was the one with Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth buried on top of one another. Elizabeth had been buried on top of Mary which is very funny since they both confined the other during their rules and know they’re left confined with one another again. We also got to see Charles Darwin’s grave…yes, also ironic that he is buried in a church. We saw a monument to Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare as well as poets corner which had memorials and graves of many famous authors including Geoffry Chaucer’s grave. There are way too many to name but it was very exciting.
Later we went to see Sweeney Todd at the National Youth Music Theater. It was a few blocks away from Liverpool Street Station in the East End of London and beyond a gate that looked like a run down residential apartment building. When we went inside the kids (14-21) were all dressed as poor Londoners with weapons begging and threatening us as we passed by to our seats. It definitely set the mood and when Natalie said she was going to the bathroom I asked if she was going by herself because I certainly wouldn’t have. Once they started we were absolutely blown away. These kids are some of the most talented people I’ve ever seen on stage, even better than some on Broadway. The show was very innovative with an audience on three sides and the barber chair and slide into the meat shop arranged on one side. The costumes were mostly corsets and jackets for the men but with some neon colors and converse shoes at times but nothing distracting. There was a minimal set besides that barber chair but the entire show was absolutely amazing. There weren’t any dropped lines throughout the whole show and it was incredible. Also fun fact, Jude Law is one of the two patrons of the theater since he attended it as a kid, as did Jim Sturges.
We then took the tube back to the room and tomorrow we head off to Stratford upon Avon. Goodnight! I may not have internet for a while, but we’ll see.