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Day #3: London, England

After a good night’s rest, we awoke this morning ready to start our first full day in London. We headed to the High Street Kensington tube station to buy our weeklong travel cards, which may or may not be a great deal for us given how we like to walk the city. We then took the tube down to South Kensington for a (brief) visit to the V&A Museum — Emerson wasn’t nearly as interested as she has been at the Natural History Museum.


After the museum, we headed down to Green Park and had lunch at Paul, a French sandwich and pastry shop that has excellent food. Of course, with a name like “Paul,” it has to be good. Here’s Emerson tucking into a merengue the size of her head:


Once we were done with lunch, we walked across the street to the Royal Academy to attend the Summer Exhibition. We found it to be particularly enjoyable this year. The show was nicely hung and many of the works genuinely made us smile… even the works that didn’t work for me somehow seemed better.

We bought three works (would have been four, but the fourth–Florida Motel by Mike Coles–was sold out):

The Scream by Martin Langford
An Allegory of Modern Marriage (After Jan Van Eyck by Anna Grayson
Stolen Thunder II by Cornelia Parker RA

The Langford and Grayson both reference famous works in a contemporary and ironic way. Both works stuck me as conceptual yet lighthearted. The Parker is likewise highly conceptual–playing with art and commerce reminiscent of the very smart work of Danica Phelps–yet also clever, amusing, and somewhat (for us anyway as long-term Summer Exhibition attendees) sentimental.

Here’s a work by John Carter RA, an artist who’s work we collected last year:


After the art show, we headed over to Regent Street, which was closed for the day and had buses on display:


We then went to Hamleys, the world’s oldest and largest toy store, which is always fun:


After a little more shopping for Libby and Emerson, we walked home via Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Here’s Emerson posing near the Italian fountains:


We had dinner at the Whole Foods, which is my favorite place for good food at a decent price in London.

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