Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Year of Tens: London Edition (Day Five)

Friday, January 16th, 2009 was our Ten Year Anniversary. Because I was in England, there was no "Year of Tens" blog post on that day --in fact, I'm feeling just shameful for taking so long to write about it. But since it occurred in London, I figured I couldn't very well skip ahead before telling you all about the first part, right? Right.
So, we were married 10 years ago in the Idaho Falls Temple. But instead of going on and on about our marriage (go here if you want to read more about it --my feelings haven't changed one bit for the man I married), I'll just tell you what we did to celebrate in good ol' England!
Ah, yes. Day Five. The beginning of a glorious weekend, and aside from getting sick (oh, yes, I did), it was still glorious.
After rising, showering, brushing, preening, and all that other stuff you do each day, Brandon and I enjoyed a nice breakfast at the hotel. Then we packed up our "gear" (the camera) and headed towards Leicester Square. There we found a discounted tickets booth (there are literally dozens of them) and bought ourselves some tickets to that night's performance of Wicked.
That Wicked.
But we had a lot to do before that night's performance, so we didn't dawdle. Instead, we took the tube to Green Park and crossed the park to Buckingham Palace.
The Changing of the Guard would occur in about 40 minutes, and I knew we needed to get there early to have any chance of seeing anything. I turned out to be right, too. It wasn't thousands of people, but it certainly was a crowd:

To be honest, the guard changing was cool, but not anything amazing. I think it was hyped up for me, and so I wasn't as happy with the results. But that's okay. It was still cool to see the Palace, the guards, and to see (if you look at the flagpole) that the Queen was actually in residence that day! Oh, how I wanted her to come out and just spontaneously start waving at us on that famous balcony! Yeah --like that would happen! But I was still happy to be there:

And Brandon was ecstatic (*snort):

Here are some other pictures of the event (we had a good view of the soldiers and band marching to and from the palace, but not a very good one of the inside where they actually changed places. Brandon got as many good shots as he could):

After Buckingham Palace, we decided to get some lunch. We found this place called Cafe Rouge right across the street from St. Paul's (obviously, we took the tube to St. Paul's, since that was where we were going for the afternoon). It was crowded and very French. We finally got seated (with a great view of St. Paul's out the window) and we ate a lovely lunch. Afterwards, we went through St. Paul's.
I don't have any pictures of that day because I had already taken a lot of the outside on Day Three (see Day Three!) and you aren't allowed to take photos on the inside. But it was beautiful! And they have the coolest thing: You walk up 247 (or so) steps to the gallery --this is basically a tiny walkway around the dome (it's so high up!) and if you sit on the benches along the walls of the dome, you can whisper to either side and hear the person all the way on the other side. It totally worked! Anyway, besides how exhausted I felt after walking up and down those stairs (I had to rest for at least 15 minutes afterwards --man, I'm a wimp!), I loved being in the cathedral.
Around this time, we decided to go back to the hotel. I was starting to feel really, really sick. In fact, I can't even really remember what we did between St. Paul's and dinner. Maybe I just was sick? I felt awful, because we still had big plans for the night and I didn't want to ruin them. So, I tried my best to suck it up and got dressed up.
Brandon took me to this Italian restaurant he had gone to before, and it was lovely! But I couldn't eat a thing. Not one thing. I tried bread --I could only take a few bites. I ordered a simple spaghetti dish --I could only take a few bites. I was having such a hard time even just sitting there. I felt so bad for Brandon and the waiter --I'm sure they both felt awkward and weird around me. I explained to the waiter that the food was delicious but that I was unwell. He understood (thank goodness!), and of course, so did Brandon.
After dinner, we took the tube to Victoria Station and walked to the Apollo Victoria Theater. Brandon had sprung for some pretty good seats, and they were easy to find.
Now, I don't know what it's like on Broadway, but wow! I was so blown away by the CASUAL atmosphere of the theater. People were wearing whatever they wanted (dressed up, dressed down), and they were selling beer and soda and popcorn and ice cream in the aisles and at some concessions stands. And yet, even in this casual atmosphere, everyone --EVERYONE --knew how to watch. They were attentive, polite, and applauded (heartily) at all the right spots. I guess I was surprised because whenever I've been in such a casual atmosphere in the States (theater-wise), the audience lives up to the casual expectations. It was so refreshing to see how people could be so...mature. That was it! Mature. I loved it!
As far as Wicked goes? Fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. I was enthralled and just loved it! Brandon really loved it, too. Since I've read the book (not something I would recommend), it was fun to see how they changed the story. I thought it was done very well --and the surprises at the end? Fantastic! So in love with this musical!

Ooh! Funny anecdote:
The lady's toilets (you never call it a bathroom --bathrooms are for baths. Toilets are for toilets!) were on one side of the theater and had about 15 stalls. However, with thousands of women needing to use them? Yeah. This is the one part where I wish we were more like men! They are soooo lucky when it comes to toilet use. Sigh. Anyway, I didn't get to use it before it started. But I was prepared during intermission. Although I was feeling sick still, I bolted from my seat and hauled butt down to the toilets. I was about 30th in line! Boo-yah! It was hilarious to see so many women running for the toilets. So. Funny.
After the production, we stuck around a bit and waited --we were some of the last to leave. Brandon got a picture on his cell phone:

We got home late, and crashed. And although I still felt a bit sick, it had been a great day and a wonderful anniversary! I love you, Brandon --thanks for a fabulous time. :)


Annette Lyon said...

I swear, you and Brandon are the cutest couple.

On the toilet anecdote--I was worried that you had to haul there because of morning sickness. Waiting for 30 women wouldn't have been pretty with that.

Cheryl said...

Oh, yeah. I should clarify: I don't get morning sickness. I've only puked about 4 times total with 5 pregnancies (and not once with this one). I really think I just ate something bad that didn't agree with me (plus all the dehydration, the walking, etc.) and so I was having indigestion of some kind. I just felt gross and well...gross!

Cardalls said...

The trip sounds amazing! What a great anniversary trip! I'm so happy you were able to do so many things (sorry you were sick). I think I preferred the feeling in St. Pauls to Westminster, it was just not as dark and felt more like a place of worship...but I agree with you Westminster is AMAZING

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

It's official. I'm the last woman left who has not seen Wicked. Sigh.

Alison Wonderland said...

So so fun! Jealousy and all that stuff going on.

Oh Steph, I haven't either.

Anonymous said...

I read it! The whole thing!

I haven't seen Wicked either. See, there's a whole big bunch of us theatrical losers!

Julie said...

Wicked? In London? You are killing me!!!!!