Part 5 London and Paris 10 Day Getaway - The Royal Palace, Dr Who, Science Museum and the best curry in Kent.

12:47 PM AirplaneFoodCritic 0 Comments

We were on our own today because our wonderful friends had to go back to work as it was Monday morning. Since we canceled our hotel breakfast we went out in search of a nice place to have the  most important meal of the say. Directly across the street from our hotel there was a nice Italian cafe.
Wonderful Monday morning breakfast.
I got another three tiered serving dish of pastries and a large latte. The bf got a bunch of juice and toast and hash browns. We sat facing a big window. It was a wonderful breakfast. We could take our time eating because the cafe didn't have any set hours like you would experience eating in the breakfast room in a hotel. It was a lovely start to a new day. The sky was looking a bit grey but that doesn't matter since we have plans to be inside museums all day.
Here is my Turning my Bull and Assing and Turnbull and Asser. 
We were leaving London today so we had to make sure we got all our souvenirs and gifts. There is a shop on the corner of a street not too far from the fountain in Piccadilly Circus that is two stories full of only British souvenirs so we went there. The bf's family requested hoodies so we ended up with massive bags full of giant sweatshirts. I got a bunch of pretty Big Ben clocks for my whole family. We bought much more too. We left that funky shop holding three HUGE plastic shopping bags that were plastered with the Union Jack. If ever we looked like tourists, it was this time. But we still needed one more gift; My brother's Turnbull and Asser tie. Turnbull is a super fancy men's fashion shop. It is where such famous people as Prince Charles, Curchill, and even the fictional James Bond go to dress themselves. We walked in out of a drizzle, carrying these huge bags full of British junk from a touristy store and asked to see their most popular ties. The woman at the counter, although quite nice, was taken a bit aback. She felt the need to ask if we were aware of the cost of even the cheapest tie at this store. I explained that it was a gift and I was wholly aware.
A perfect Autumn day in London's Green Park
I had brought a print out of the ties my brother was most interested in and we searched the store for the best one. $180 later we walked out with one tie that was one of the most popular in the whole store. We then hoofed our way towards the Royal Palace via Green Park carrying all our gifts in giant bags. The rain was barely coming down. It was just enough to keep all the colors vibrant. It was a beautiful walk. I fell in love with the aptly named Green Park and didn't want to leave it. The leaves were brown and gold, scattered across the vivid greens of the lawns. The air smelled of fresh rain. We were not cold, it was not windy. It was a perfect October walk in the park. I was just enthralled with London this bright morning.
Just a gorgeous place to be that morning. All the cells of my body were singing with delight.
We came upon the Royal Palace finally and I had to tear myself away from my new favorite park. There seemed to be some sort of hullabaloo going on. I know we had missed seeing the changing of the guards but we had to make a choice and the getting up early idea fell to the cutting room floor. There was a big crowd formed at the gates. We figured we were in for some sort of treat. We stood across the busy street from the Palace and watched as police and men on horses approached the palace.
SOMETHING was going on at the palace this day. We could tell by the crowds.
The gates to the Palace opened and some cars drove in. I still have no clue who or what that was a bout but it was exciting nonetheless. We approached the gates once most of the people were dispersed. After viewing the palace we continued walking along Green Park. We passed so much history, most of it we didn't even understand. We saw lots of old statues, archways, we even saw London's statue on their Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We exited the park and passed the famous Harrod's shopping center. The plan was to visit both the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum since they were next to one another but we ended up only having time to visit one. Not surprisingly we chose the Science Museum.
Me, Harrods and our giant blue and white umbrella that kept us not only dry but kept us from fighting!
It took us a little while to find the right place. We walked a bit longer than we needed and the rain was coming down a bit harder at this point. Our spirits un-dampened, pun intended, we found our way to the entrance of the Science Museum and shook off the rain. I had bought an umbrella for this trip after having a tough time with our little, travel, black one on the trip to Germany the year preveous. I learned a lesson with that one. Either get two umbrellas, one for each person or get one giant one for the two of us. I chose the latter because even with one person under a tiny travel umbrella, you still get terribly wet. I bought a big, folding golf umbrella that turns into a little backpack when you are not using it. It was perfect for our purposes.
The British Science Museum, London.
We decided on going to the Science Museum because of one main thing: they have an actual moon rock on display. We are both massive space and science buffs so we were running around like kids when we got in there. There were models of space capsules for you to view, loads of things that have actually been into space, space suits, samples of space food, space toilets...I was so happy...I learned how handsome Yuri Gagarin was. Then we came upon it....the moon rock. As a Geologist who was an Astronomy major as well, this was my big moment. I took a million photos from every angle. I stared and stared. I was in total awe. It was so wonderful.
There it is, folks, THE MOON. The freaking MOON!!!
After tearing myself away from the rock I noticed a woman in a space suit giving a talk so we walked over to see what it was about. She was talking about moon walks that she had done and space expeditions she has been on. She had a Russian accent. I was so excited to be in the presence of an real live female astronaut!!
I real live astronaut??? I my presence??
After her talk I walked over, star-struck, and asked for an autograph. Apparently I missed the beginning of the talk when we learned she was just an actress. She was very sweet but I was mortified. Oh well I guess it was a compliment to her acting abilities! She said to me in an English accent; No love I'm just an actress. We finished our tour of all the sciencey stuff the museum had to offer and walked back to our hotel. Andy was meeting us to take us about an hour south to where he lives. The plan is to stay at his house then in the morning he will take us to the Eurostar train which will take us right to Paris. It turns out he lives near the station!
More smiles with our good friend. You are on the wrong side of the car!!
We got to ride in a car with the driver on the right side of the vehicle! We have been taking the underground so much that I forgot the fun of sitting in what would normally be the driver's seat but there is no steering wheel! It was a fun ride to Andy's little hamlet. We joked and laughed the whole time but then again, when are we not having fun with this great friend of ours?

Our next stop was a big one. A REAL big one....we were heading to THE Dr Who shop of London. I have to sit down just to recall the event! I mean, it was wonderful. Not only did it have everything under the sun that you could possibly buy that is Dr Who related, but they had a museum you could tour. To get to the museum, you had to enter the TARDIS.
I was given a key. I got to be the first to enter the TARDIS!
Inside the museum were all kinds of props from the actual sets for the show. Many of the older props were destroyed in a fire in the 90's at the original Dr Who museum at a place called Longleat. I had actually been there before the fire but I wasn't as big of a fan as I am today. There were some salvaged old sets but most of it was more modern things which were wonderful. I got to work the controls of the TARDIS, stand for photos with Daleks, Cybermen, K-9, a stretched out Cassandra and much, much more!
You. Would. Make. A. Great. Daaaaaalek.

Me and Dr Who. Notice my lizard hands?

Working the controls of the TARDIS, nbd.
We left there is arm-fulls of stuff. I can't even list all the things that I got...pajamas, Christmas ornaments, dish towels, posters...the list goes on and on. Happy Happy. If you are a Dr Who fan you must visit this place. The website also has all kinds of things you can buy. Once again, I was walking on air as we got back into the car and made our way to where Andy lives. I had mentioned before that Andy and I met in a chat room about a decade ago and have been friends ever since. I also have mentioned that he has visited me in San Francisco a couple times. One of the many things we have in common is our love for a good beer paired with good Indian food. I took him to a couple of my favorite Indian restaurants in the Bay Area and now was his turn to show us his favorite place.
The perfect beer to accompany a spicy Indian FEAST 
A sampling of what the three of us ate. The red stuff in the upper right was the spiciest thing the bf has ever eaten and came close to the spiciest thing I have ever encountered. 
It was just down the street from his house and it was AH-mazing. We ordered up a storm and ate like kings. Then we washed it all down with big, frosty beers called Cobra. They served the food different than they do in the States. One thing I liked was this little metal lemon wedge squeezing contraption. It made it so you don't have to get your hands sticky or get seeds in your food...we need this! They also finished our main meal off with some fresh orange wedges and some hot towels to wash our hands! If you are ever in the Kent area, you must make sure you visit Shozna Indian Restaurant. After we finished the appetizers, the beers, the main course and the orange wedges, they brought us all dessert. After dessert they gave us some sort of milky drink in a shot glass. It was an event. If ever I am in the London area again, I am going to make the drive the the Kent area to go here again!
The darling town my friend lives in.
We took our full bellies back to Andy's house and watched the latest episodes of Dr Who because we can do that in England! We watched the the episode that had the 12th Doctor's first appearance. What fun. But we were exhausted so we didn't make it much further and climbed the stairs to have the best sleep of the whole trip. Ahhh what a wonderful day.

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