London: Changing of the Guard, British Museum and football

Yesterday we started with the changing of the guard. It doesn’t officially start until 11:30, but we were there early — maybe 10 o’clock, to get a good spot. It was actually cold yesterday, so we stood freezing for half an hour and then the ceremony started. There were a lot of people — they only do it every other day in the winter. As we were standing, some Brits wandered into the crowd and wondered aloud what what going on. I thought only Americans stood around with other people not quite knowing what they were waiting for. When we first arrived, we had a spot right on the fence on the left hand side. I had the bright idea to move back towards the fountain, so that we could see the whole width of the palace. If we had stayed there, he would have gotten some good video. Oops.

In the front of the palace there’s a circle fountain and a statue of Queen Victoria. There are three gates to the palace. The old guard lines up at one gate, and a pipe band comes through that gate. Then, on the other side, the new guard and a marching band march in. Then two guys stand at the center and exchange keys.

Next, the band forms a horseshoe and played several tunes — a march a burlesque-ish one and something else… then at the end, the old guard and the piped and the band all march out.

I’d say, you don’t go to London to see the changing of the guard, but when in London, it is something to see.

Then we had lunch at some pub. Any pub. They’re all the same. They have the exact same menu. The same.

The next stop, and the last stop, really, was the British Museum. The best thing there was the

Rosetta stone. So amazing.

There were a lot of very cool, very old, things. And we were allowed to take video and photos of everything. Everything (can you do that at the Smithsonian?). Things from the very start of civilization. There were so many people from all over the world there. When I thought about it, it made sense. There were relics from Egypt, Persia, Asia, Africa…Things that aren’t in their “home” countries, so people have to travel to see them.

The very, very last thing we did was to go to a bar and watch the Steelers game. Yes, that’s right. We watched the Steelers. Brendan packed his shirt and his hat and everything. We met another fan or two — some Americans and a British Pats fan. He was nice. A bit shy and a little odd, but nice.

***

On the plane now. Since it’s January, they switched up the movies a little. The guy in front of me is ruining my viewing experience. He keeps throwing himself backwards and pulling the seat up and just being a fidgety pain in my ass. I was a little disappointed to find out that i (heart) huckabees was showing on US to London flights and not the other way around, but there was a problem with one they were meant to be showing (Alfie) so we’re getting to watch it. (Garden State, too, but my TV doesn’t like it.) I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about huckabees, but I like it. I like it a lot. I’m watching it for a second time.

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Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

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