And on the third day…

…they went to see the queen. Well, her house anyway.

Sunday morning we, along with probably a million other people, headed for Buckingham Palace, to watch the changing of the guard. We somehow managed to get pretty close to the fence, which really is still pretty dang far from the action.

But at least we weren’t like these people. I’m not sure why they came because I’m pretty sure all they could see was fence and the person in front of them.

There was lots of marching back and forth to the gate, which was kind of weird, because it was just two at a time and they would march to random spots along the gate. Oh and there was a dog.

Their marching style is interesting. When they halt, they kind of kick their leg out to the side and bring it back around before stomping. I don’t know how to explain it.

One got really close so we at least got a few shots of the guard without too much of the gate in the way.

Then it was off to lunch with Allyson, Matthew and Alistair, but not before we had our Sunday morning dose of religion, made possible by this monument/exhibit/art thing we passed in the park by the palace.

Lunch was at this Chinese restaurant in I-Have-No-Idea-Where-We-Were Notting Hill. No Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant sightings though.

Matthew was in charge of ordering and rightfully so. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with every dish he ordered. There was dim sum, this doughy-shrimp thing, noodles…I may have even had tofu, I don’t know.

After that, it was time to head to Abbey Road. Yep. THAT Abbey Road.

It’s still a working road, but since pedestrians have the right of way there, cars have to stop while silly tourists cross the street doing their best John, Paul, George or Ringo walk. Also while the person in charge of taking the picture risks death and stands – or squats – in the middle of the road. In traffic. Pandemonium I tell ya.

But of course, we jumped right in and did a couple trips across the road and back.

It’s funny to watch though, because you know it pisses some of those drivers off. There’s a webcam set up where you can watch live every day and see some of the craziness for yourself. You’ll see what we saw – Beatles fans trying to act oblivious to cars to get a picture of themselves that’s only slightly as cool as that album cover.

It was awesome.

Then, yours truly found out we were near Baker Street and wouldn’t ya know it, that’s kind of famous too. Sherlock Holmes, anyone? 221B, baby.

I have to admit I’m pretty partial to the Robert Downey Jr. version.

But yeah, Sherlock Holmes was a character in a series of books first.

We visited the gift shop where I almost bought a pipe to not smoke out of, but decided against it because I had to save my money for practical things like pens shaped like Big Ben and William Shakespeare.

There was a museum with tours we didn’t take part in but made sure we got our picture with the hat and pipe and a quite exuberant policeman.

The tube station we took home left from Baker Street and along the walls were different colored silhouettes of Holmes. I think I want to decorate my bathroom with them one day.

Now no English experience would be complete without a visit to the pub. Luckily, there were several in walking distance of where we were staying. So, after I whooped some booty at Progressive Rummy against Matthew, their neighbor Roma and Ashley, we headed up to the pub whose name I couldn’t tell you because I don’t remember it.

All of us plus Roma’s family started out the night on the patio, playing cards, but once we heard there was a trivia game about to start, we quickly moved inside.

Ashley sang my praises on random, ridiculous knowledge, making me worried if I’d be able to perform under the pressure. And that’s only if they weren’t local questions. If the questions were about London, well, I’d serve them better staying out on the patio.

This pub, I should mention, is where Ashley and I began our love affair with PIMM’S. Roma was drinking one and we decided to try them after our beers and never looked back. It was fate, really.

Picture a chorus of angels singing.

Also fate, having a couple questions in the trivia game that Ash and I were perfectly suited for. In a music round she was able to identify Warren G’s “Regulators” by the first few notes of the song and I unscrambled a word that I could have gotten a lot quicker if I’d realized at the beginning that where we put a “z” in England they usually put an “s.”

Oh and they asked what U.S. state Boston was the capital of. When we told Roma’s husband Andrew the answer, he said “Thank God you’re here.”

We do what we can.

We didn’t win, but we had a pretty good showing.

And at least the food and the PIMM’S were yummy.

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