Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kew... or atleast the west side of it!

The Spring Bank Holiday caught us by surprise and when a quick search for an inexpensive getaway provided too many choices... we ended up staying in London. The weather was absolutely amazing (as I noted in the previous post about riding in Hyde Park) so the obvious choice for a Sunday activity was Kew Gardens followed by a pint in Richmond!
A quick recap of the day: Get up at 7 and catch the 9 o'clock train to Kew, enter Kew at 10ish, walk around looking at plants, birds, old houses, etc and realize at 2ish that I have blazing hot sunburn! Buy a 12 gbp tube of sunscreen at a natural food store because nothing is open in Kew on Sunday and then head to the pub!!! Have a pint and watch another patron fall off the bar stool while arguing with the management that he had not yet had enough to drink!! And no, the other patron was not Chris ;-) All in all, it was an amazingly enjoyable trip full of excitement.

Enjoy the pics!

I lost the map of the gardens about 20 minutes after we walked in the gate! My solution... take a picture of the sign posted map! It served it's purpose and now I can give you an idea of how huge the gardens are... over 300 acres!

My Mema on my father's side (Hilda) is a lifetime member of the American Iris Society. Last Spring I accompanied her to Austin, Texas for the annual conference and got to know more about the flower... Unfortunately, the education was lost on me! I have a love for the iris mainly because they make me think of Mema! Which inevitably makes me crave a good old fashion southern breakfast... or a fry-up as they would say in the UK!

One of the Glass Houses... full of tropical plants! It was nice to see so many plants that I recognized... Palms galore!!!

One thing I love about "old" places is the effort and attention paid to the little details. The glass houses where beautiful and every inch had details like this...

Chris doing an unintended imitation of his father... Yes, that is a Starbucks' cup in his hand! If he had been wearing a red Bucs caps the imitation would have been spot on!

The FloridaGirl Flower... a rare species, just recently discovered ;-)

I wish I could take credit for this picture! However, this is one of Chris's masterpieces... the man is good at EVERYTHING he does!!!

The moment we saw the pagoda we had flash backs of Munich and The English Gardens! Unfortunately, there was no beer garden at the base of this pagoda...

I am developing a fine appreciation of Japanese gardens. I love the use of texture to define space. I also like how the pebbles are used to imitate water. I just think the entire affect is calming.

We could hear this peacock crowing from the other side of the park. It was difficult to tell what was make the god awful sound. After listening to it for about 45 minutes, Chris declared that it was a pterodactyl! Imagine our surprise when we turned the corner and saw this fancy pants bird sitting on the roof of the toilets! The odd thing was that everyone was crowded around taking pictures as I walked out of the ladies room... it felt very awkward and I was not sure if I should smile and pose or just keep walking!

Apparently the animal stalking conspiracy has travelled all the way to Kew! This goose gave me the evil eye... I promptly retreated to a safe distance fearing the worst... you can never be too careful when it comes to large birds!

This is not trick photography, the lily pads are THAT big! I was plotting to jump the railing and see if I could stand on one without sinking... then Chris gave me the "look." Nuff said?!?

It must have been about 100 degrees and 99% humidity in the lily house! And as you can tell from the stillness of the water... not a breeze in sight! Chris only lasted a few minutes but I stuck around and took about 50 pictures! I love the reflection on the water!

Take a minute and click on this picture. Pay close attention to the man over my right shoulder!
How funny!!!

I spent all day trying to get a good picture of Chris and I... how did I do?
Come back soon to see the pictures from the second part of our Sunday in Richmond!
Until then!

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