St James and Trafalgar

Saturday kristie and i did the touristy thing and went to St James Park (across the street from where i work) and walked around the park. its really pretty there. you can stand on this bridge over the pond. to one side you can see the palace and to the other you see the london eye. then we walked down to trafalgar square and sat with about a billion pigeons. i couldnt find any old lady to sell me bird seed for tuppens a bag, though.

We went to the National Gallery there on Trafalgar Square. its free to get in but they request a 1-2 pound contribution, so i gave a pound when i walked in. then to get those headsets that do the audio tours its another request for a contribution. so i asked if it was then free since we had already given one at the door and she said no cause this was for the audio department. you couldnt get one *without* a contribution, which in my opinion isnt a contribution anymore if you *have* to give it! might as well just say it costs a pound to get one!

the early stuff was all religious works. we started playing a game to find a room that *didnt* have a piece in it depicting the virgin mother and child. the later pieces were more interesting. there was one i liked that was 4 paintings, and each one was a market scene meant to represent the 4 elements. a fish merchant for water, veggie merchant for earth, fowl for air, and roasting meat for fire.

youre not allowed to take pix in this museum, and theres an employee standing in every room, so kristie went over and started asking the little old man questions while i snapped some quick shots of Van Gogh (Fifteen Sunflowers in a Vase). Then we couldnt stop laughing and had to leave.

After the museum, we went to get lunch at La Madeline (yes the same little French cafe as in Marietta). We got lost trying to find it and ended up at St James Palace where a little soldier stepped out of a box, did a little march, and then went back in his/her box — like a little wind up toy soldier! We also saw girls out on a Bachelorette party with devil horns on their heads and carrying a blow up doll. Then a guy goes zipping around the corner on a motorcycle the size of a tricycle. Every time we get lost we always seem to run into some really funny/ interesting things.

After a hot cup of hot chocolate, steaming cheesy quiche, and a bowl of creme brulee, we were back on the street and heading for Piccadilly Circus (a recommendation by Sal) where I spent a grotesque amount of money on touristy souvineers and Christmas presents. They had banner of lights hung above the streets which made it seem quite Christmasy.