Kew Gardens and London Memories!

I was overcome with excitement when I heard that the Olympic torch made its way to Kew Gardens! Wonderful memories.  It was just a mere eight months ago when I made my first-ever visit to The United Kingdom, and high on the list of must-sees was Kew Gardens!

I had a mere 2-1/2 vacation days in London, but they were jam-packed full of activities! When I arrived in London, the cab driver was very kind and friendly, and when I asked about Kew Gardens, he said it was a must-see.

Further,  when I mentioned that I was a twitcher (aka birdwatcher), we had the loveliest conversation about birds. His neighbor is a London-area twitcher.  It was such a magical start of my holiday that I knew that I was in for an outstanding time.

I hopped onto The Tube and rode on a double-decker bus and made my way to Kew. And it did not disappoint. The grounds were spectacular and lovely, filled with beautiful trees and plants. Various wild and introduced birds (including chickens!) could be seen free on the grounds in several locations. The staff members were friendly and courteous. And it did not rain! Kew Gardens is an amazing place to draw inspiration for building one’s own garden.

But the main reason for my visit to London: to get in line at the National Gallery London museum in hopes of scoring a ticket to the sold-out, brief Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan exhibit. I stood in line for four hours (third in line overall!) and scored my ticket, and even had a chance to speak with the exhibit curator while in line. He was shocked that I came all the way from the United States just to see this exhibit. It was totally worth it. Amazing still was that I had only found out about the exhibit 2-3 weeks prior. I love traveling this way – got to keep my passport current!

Now, it seems that the world has caught London fever, and rightly so. Each week, it seems that there is a television show or commercial or advertisement that features a London landmark that I had visited.

It was one of the very best vacations and life experiences that I have ever had. I cannot wait to return to London (and Kew) and I know that I will be eagerly watching the Opening Ceremonies this Friday.  Thank you, London!

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