'What ever you do, DON'T go to sleep!'
My husband's warning came into my head as I started to doze off in the hotel room. Just five more minutes I thought to myself. It was 10AM London time, 5AM back home. I had barely slept on the flight. No wonder I was tired. At least I had survived the underground. Mainly thanks to the kindness of strangers, something I would rely on many times through this trip.
But I hadn't come to London to sleep. I sat up, grabbed my cell phone and camera and headed out the door. My hotel was near enough to Buckingham Palace, about a 15 minute walk. I didn't need a map to find it. I only needed to look down the road to see the royal standard flapping in the wind.
As I walked along the sidewalk, multiple souvenir shops caught my eye. William and Kate on every conceivable item imaginable. There were knockoffs of Kate's ring, knockoff commemorative coins, hats, magnets, and condoms. Yes, condoms - holy buzz killer!
Heading further along I found a tea shop selling William and Kate tea bags, then the Buckingham Palace shop. Utopia for those searching for the tasteful items. The store was small and crowded and I hugged my purse close to my body lest I knock over something tastefully expensive. I made a mental note to come back when it was less crowded.
A few blocks down the road I finally arrived at Buckingham Palace. The Queen's Royal Standard on the flagpole. Beyond the imposing black gates an immaculate gravel forecourt. And there was the famous balcony. By this time the next day, the newly married William and Kate would share a kiss for the world to see.
By the looks of it, I wasn't the only one imagining the same thing.
© Marilyn Braun 2011
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