Museums and Music

This morning I got up before Jake and made my pilgrimmage to Abbey Road where I saw another lone person wondering how he was going to stand in the road and take his picture. We switched and now we’re both Beatles cliches. Yay!

The Natural History Museum


Although it was another beautiful day (crazy!) we decided to hit the museums. There are a few streets filled with toursty-looking restaurants and quick-bite places if you’re hungry, or you can eat in the museum cafes. We started with Natural History. The building is lovely, but I know we in Chicago are spoiled because we were underwhelmed by the exhibits except for the minerals, where we spent a good long time. I guess if you really need to see an animatronic T-Rex, this is the place for you.Next we hit the Victoria and Albert, or the V&A, where I really enjoyed seeing the very old books, the photography, and some of the artwork. Worth the trip, according to me. There are also really cool, very old wooden doors and other architetural gems, among them, the space itself. If you’re into jewelry, you will enjoy the extensive collection, but we buzzed through because we were getting museumed-out.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m classy or something, but to top off the day, we went to the Barbican to see the London Symphony Orchestra. The Barbican has several restaurants within its complex (it is a big entertainment center with movies and other performances). We ate in the cafeteria-style Barbican Kitchen and had just fine meals with fresh food. Nothing fancy–veggie wrap and side salads for me, mac and cheese and mushrooms for Jake–but convenient, especially on a Sunday when many things in the area are closed. This trip was my nephew’s idea. I would be more likely to go hear a band in a pub, but I have to admit that it was pretty spectacular. Jake said: “I couldn’t tell you which is better, the Chicago Symphony or this one. I really enjoyed it.” I know he had a huge grin on his face at the end of the performance and so did I. Another amazing day!img_20180603_190357935_burst000_cover_top


Planning on My Own

This London trip with my nephew is going to be great; I know it. It’s just so different once again planning on my own. I’ve gotten used to having Steven to leap on my crazy ideas and take them to the next step (I’ve never met a crazy idea that couldn’t be crazier…oh yeah…it is always better if you add a couple of days…). My nephew is graduating from high school in a week, so his mind is elsewhere (amazingly it is still on school!!).

The one person who did turn his attention to our grand adventure is, no not the royal couple, but Beethoven. Yes, my 18year-old nephew is a classical music officionado. So, his Aunt Susie, who thinks Springsteen is the world’s best everything  (use your own judgement on whether that is a sign or a cause of insanity) and listened to a lot of Ramones in her youth, will be trying to act classy at the Barbican to hear the London Symphony Orchestra. What do I wear so I won’t immediately be spotted as American? Anyone out there know?

Looks like the French train strike has thwarted our plan to take the Chunnel and spend the day in Paris. Bummer, but I’m sure we’ll find plenty to do in London.