Our Texas weather has run out in London; it is now freezing. The first week we were here it was about 70 degrees and sunny. Recently, it has been chilly and rainy. And the good news is I have lost almost all the buttons on the one jacket I brought!

Today was a day of minor unfortunate events as I tagged along with the Literary London class to Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace. First, we hopped on the wrong train and had to backtrack. Then at Kew Gardens we were supposed to take a ferry down the Thames River to Hampton Court Palace, but the tide was too low so we had to stall for about an hour. Good thing Dr. Guidry scouted out this place before we took the class trip because he knew just where to take us to kill some time. 

First, we went to the Parish Church of St. Anne. It was being remodeled on the inside so we couldn't go in, but we walked around while Dr. Guidry explained the architecture and how it related to the class reading. It was a nice little church that was designed in a Roman style that Dr. Guidry said reflects Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock." I stood in the background recording and taking pictures while the class soaked up Dr. Guidry's lesson. 

For the next 30 minutes or so we had lunch at a little pub. We ate outside in a covered booth. Of course, I had the chicken for lunch and it was surprisingly good. 

After we had successfully stalled an hour, we headed back to the pier to see if the boat was ready. It was. So the class boarded the ferry and began the voyage to Hampton Court Palace. This route was the same route that Belinda in "The Rape of the Lock" took to get to Hampton Court Palace. 

Despite the wind blowing in my face and the raindrops sprinkling on my head, I enjoyed the three-hour ferry ride. I had my scarf tied around my ears to keep me warm. It was cool riding down the Thames River and listening to the ferry guide tell the history of the surrounding areas. We saw where Alexander Pope lived after he was exiled from London because he was Catholic. On the water there were tons of boathouses and beautiful homes overlooking the river. This past month I have ridden a plane, train, tube and now a ferry. Pretty cool stuff! By the end of the ferry ride, we were all sitting inside the boat and out of the cold. 

Finally we docked at Hampton Court Palace. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect, but I as soon as I walked in the first room I was overwhelmed by the size of the place. It was massive! The rooms were exquisite and all the exhibitions were so interesting. Oil paintings and tapestries covered the walls. Unfortunately, I didn't know the history behind the palace so I couldn't appreciate it as much; however, after talking with some of the students and wandering through the palace I began to learn of the royalty that once lived here like Henry VIII, Edward VI and more royal families. 

One exhibit called "The Secrets of the Royal Bedchamber" highlighted how Kings and Queens ruled from their highly extravagant beds. All these cushions were laid out so you could lay down and look at the ceiling to watch a movie explaining the role of the bed. Another room showcased what King Henry VII was like as a child and teen. 

Outside, I ran into a little problem. I didn't have my ticket so I couldn't visit the Palace Gardens because without the ticket I couldn't get back in the palace. You see I had given Lauren my ticket earlier in the day because I didn't have any pockets. The problem was I lost Lauren somewhere during the tour and without cell phones it is pretty hard to communicate. Finally, Lauren called me and we were able to meet up. 

Green round-headed holly trees and flowers lined the garden that used to be Henry VII's hunting grounds. I felt like I was in a different century. I needed to be walking around in an extravagant dress holding an umbrella instead of jeans and a scarf. 

We stayed till the palace closed at 6 p.m. so we got a full two hours of touring in; however, we barely made a dent in the place. It was a long day, but well worth it. 
 


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    I'm Kasi Dickerson. Journalism is my passion. I'm a big family person, love to travel and I laugh all the time.

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