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Michael at the Green Door came over to meet "the crazy Americans who came to London for the Royal wedding" and we talked with him for an hour about the contrast between the British celebration of this event and the American version.
He told us where all of the notable news organizations are camped out and the controversy with the Queen about her declaration that lights are out around Buckingham Palace at 1 a.m. Period. American, Canadian and Australian news groups didn't win that one.
We loved hearing Michael's non-pause account of all the details he has soaked up just living here and when I tried to tape his fun chatter, my device indicated no battery life in reserve. Hopefully tomorrow I will get in all on an audio file that I can post for the sheer accent and enthusiasm if not content.
For instance, Jane and I liked knowing that the kneeling bench the bridal couple will use Friday was previously used for the Queen's coronation. Just not sure of the name of said bench, Michael thinks it is a puffet and Jane thinks it is a tuffet the kind that Little Miss Muffet was sure to sit on. I will get back to you on that.
Mostly what we asked Michael about was where to best locate ourselves through out the wedding day. He was talking so fast and pointing to maps that I need more sleep to get it clear in my head. I just remember key words--Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Green Park, Hyde Park--and they all have to do with whether we can get close enough in the procession or if we think we better take a blanket and camp out for a big screen viewing in the park.
No matter what, it will be really crowded; and of that crowd, Michael said 90% will be tourists because the English are having street parties in their own neighborhoods. It is a Bank Holiday after all.
Evening. . .
After walking about to get our bearings in the Kensington area, we know how to get to the V&A tomorrow. among others here were a few of Jane's observations:
- "Older women wear the strangest shoes--that one was a pink and purple flat with dark sox!"
- "There sure are a lot of tall men over here."
- "You know, I just realized we haven't heard one siren the entire day."
To savor the day's events, we sat for 2 hours at Olives Restaurant and Bar, part of Bailey's Hotel, with a link below. A gorgeous old building with rich history. The waiter said it was a hospital at one point and one of the first hotels in London. Not sure, didn't check out the history but the ambiance was incredible--Jane and I had wine and olives and talked and watched pedestrians outside the window.
We asked the waiter who frequents the bar here. "Mostly hotel guests but many regulars from the area. It is quite a 'posh' neighborhood you know."
We are off to the V&A and to meet a good friend who lives in London now! Cheers!