Trip to London, November 2-14, 1989


November 2, 4:30


I have arrived at LAX and am waiting for my flight.  I have 71 Pounds.  On the way to London, we are seeing Dead Poet’s Society and “The Nightengale’s Song”.  On the way back we are seeing “Batman” and “When Harry Met Sally”.


November 2, 7:00 pm


We are on the plane.  I cried on the way up.  My Mom and I just finished a game of cards and the stewardess is bringing around drinks.  It’s almost dinner time.  After that, we watched a movie.  The bathrooms are so small.  They are hard to get in if you are lucky enough to get in.  The problem is getting around.  I got a kid’s travel pack which has a deck of cards, a pen and pencil and a game book and a scratch pad.  I’d better finish up, the stewardess is almost to us.


November 3.  12:20.  London


Touch down.  We made it.  We’re in England, Heathrow, and I like it already.  Tonight the Hard Rock Café and the Hotel.


November 3, 2:37


We are getting settled in the hotel.  I have my own desk with a TV and a crystal tray.  We are in room 313 at the Bryanston Court Hotel.  Better go now – dinnertime.


Today I went to Westminster Abbey, then Hever Castle.  Tomorrow we are going to Canterbury.  At Hever  we saw Anne Boleyn’s old room and her book of hours that she carried to her execution.  We also saw a hidden chapel in Anne Boleyn’s brother’s room.  Back then you could be killed for being a Catholic.  Families had to hide in their chapels (if they even had the courage to make one).  At Westminster  Abbey we saw a whole lot of stuff like monuments and tombs and even  Queen Elizabeth’s grave.  On the way back, I almost fell out of a double-decker bus.


Today we had originally planned to see Canterbury, but our camera broke so we are going to the London Dungeon.  The London Dungeon is a dark, dreary, cold, scary place where they tell the scarier sides of Britains..  Then maybe Harrods.  Harrods is a huge shopping mall right near us.  Then the British Museum.


Now it’s 11:05 pm.  I’m awake because of the time change.  Now McDonald’s seems like gourmet, even though the workers thought we were crazy asking for a “Happy Meal”.  At the London Dungeon we saw lots of old spooky secrets of England.  At the British Museum we saw the Rosetta Stone.  The Rosetta Stone is a plaque with the same sayings in 3 languages including hieroglyphics.  The stone is how we now know hieroglyphics.


Today we went to Hampton Court Palace.  There we saw where Henry VIII lived with five of his six wives.  He sent Anne of Cleves to Hever Castle because he became bored of her.  We also went to the maze.  My parents got us lost.  I got us out!  It took us a half hour.  The idea of the maze is to go through the entrance, find your way to the center and find your way back to the exit.  It seems easy, but it isn’t!  Henry had the guards erase Anne Boleyn’s initials from all the coats of arms right before the execution.  They forgot two.  One is in the main gate, the gate is now called Anne Boleyn’s gateway.  The people were very short back then.  You could tell by the doorways and beds.  Cardinal Wolsey built Hampton Court for himself.  Later, Henry said he wanted it.  And being the King, he got it.  I was surprised at how little they left for Wolsey.  I saw Wolsey’s closet.  It was the only one room decorated the exact way as before.  Wolsey’s kitchen was very big.  Henry’s kitchen was a little smaller but what they cooked in the kitchens were not very tempting.  They cooked spoiled meat and disguised the taste with seasonings that turned the meats colors such as green and red.


Today we went to Windsor Castle.  We saw Queen Mary’s dollhouse.  It seems like a real house only smaller.  Everything works.  The lights all turn on and the doors all have locks.  They also have bathrooms, bedrooms and all the furnishings you would need and another room full of extra furniture and dolls.  I especially liked the box of small coins.  The coins were small enough for the dolls, which is the size of a large pinhead.  The dolls house also had seven realistic cars.  They were all old looking.  We also saw the state apartments.  The state apartments are actually one place.  This place is the weekend residence of her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth.  We also saw King Henry VIII’s armor.  He was very fat and short. I would have to wear pillows and duck to fit in his armor.


Today we went to St. Paul’s cathedral.  We saw where Princess Diana and Charles got married.  We also went to the whispering gallery.  One of the vergers whispered along the wall when I was on the exact opposite of the room.  I could hear him plain as day.  The gallery was huge.  You have to climb 256 steps to get to it and looking down made you want to jump off.  We also went to the floor above the whispering gallery.  This one was outside and the wind must have been 50 miles per hour.  Even when you’re down, so the wind up there must have been 59 miles per hour.  You felt like you could fly.  We also went to the Tower of London.  There we saw where Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were beheaded.  We saw lots more of Henry VIII’s armor and three suits of his horse’s armor.  We also saw the crown jewels and the torture instruments.   One of them would just crush all your bones.  Another is called the torture collar – it weights about 500 pounds and had sharp metal studs on the inside which made it very uncomfortable.


Today we went to Salisbury Cathedral.  Salisbury has a spire standing 404 feet tall.  The spire is the tallest in England and the second tallest in Europe.  We went to lunch at a place built in the early 15th century.  That is before Henry VIII.  We went through an old town with brick roads and old shops.  It rained so I got an umbrella.  We also saw a medieval church called St. Thomas of Canterbury.  It was built in 1220.  That is a long time ago.  We went to a shop on the road that had tea balls.  My Mom bought two of them.  We also found out that trains and buses allow pets.  Speaking of trains, we rode here economy, back first. 


It’s night now,we just finished a walk to see the Christmas displays at Selfridges.  They had scenes from Christmas plays around the world.   My favorite was A Midsummer’s Night Dream. 


Today I went to Canterbury Cathedral.  I saw the place where Thomas Becket was murdered.  He was killed by King Henry II’s knights because of a quarrel between Thomas and the King.  In anger, the King said “Who will rid me of this horrible pest”.  The knights took him seriously.  They went to the cathedral and demanded to see Thomas.  They finally let the knights in.  They just tried to take him away, then they killed him.  After his death, Thomas was named St. Thomas Becket.  This was because several miracles happened right after his death.  We also saw a small medieval village.  We ate lunch there.  After lunch we shopped for awhile.  There was a school group.  The boys were so sick.  They were all smoking cigarettes that were fake and they were lit.


Today we went back to Westminster Abbey.  I bought a brass rubbing kit with a Westminster Abbey brass figure.  I also got ten more sheets of paper.  My Dad got copper and silver crayons from the place also.  The Abbey was better the second time.  We saw medieval tiles and a gold thread cloak that had to be pressed under glass or else it would disintegrate.  I got a lot of ideas of things to do with my cousins during Thanksgiving.  They live in Las Vegas.  We are going to drive down as usual to see all of our family there.  We can make brass rubbings and things from the other kits I bought.  I also went to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and saw Henry VIII and all his wives.  Now I am sitting in the hotel lobby working on my homework.  Doing my homework has been a real hard thing since we barely ever get home early enough.  There is a man selling newspapers in front of the Marble Arch Tube Station that knew my name before I told him and plays magic tricks on me.  If I figure them out, he gives me a pence.  He is real nice.  Today we went to a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  We heard the choir and everything. The organ sounded great and I’m glad we went.  We also went to Hyde Park and Kew Gardens.  I got so scared at Hyde Park.  I have a fear of dogs and three looked like they were running right at me.  My Mom had to go back to the hotel to change her pants because a dog licked her she said and was soaked.  At Kew we went shopping and had a little snack at the bakery.  All the fruit here is horrible except the apples.  The dairy is the greatest here, which makes chocolate delicious.  Right now I just recovered from plunging headfirst down the hotel steps.


Today we went to Southwark Cathedral.  I am leaving tomorrow.  I just finished all my homework.  Do you believe it?  1.  Looked up all the spelling words too.  2.  Did the vocabulary.  3.  Did Sarah Plain and Tall.  4. Did my book report in two hours!  I have writers hand so bad I would even go to the extreme of cutting my hand off.  Just an expression.  We had tea at the Cumberland with scones which are baking soda biscuits with raisins in them and clotted cream which is a cross between butter and whipped cream.  The tea here is so strong.  I put four sugar cubes to a cup of tea.  Since today is our last day here, we are packing tonight.