Since my apartment is basically set up (pictures to come!), my dad and I devoted today to some sightseeing. Since my body seems to be poorly adjusting to the change in climate and sleep schedule and I’ve started feeling sick, we got a bit of a late start. After a light brunch (marking the first official meal prepared in my tiny kitchen), we explored my neighborhood and the adjacent Ravenscourt Park.

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I basically have my own Central Park right outside my door! And the best part? So. Many. Dogs. I probably saw upwards of 10 in this large stretch pictured just above. One even bounded up to me with a tennis ball in its mouth and kept running back to me after I threw it a couple times and we walked on.

Speaking of animals, there’s also several friendly cats on my street and the one behind me that will sit outside the gates of their owners’ townhouses and greet me as I walk past. Two rather huge fluffy ones on the walk home I’ve nicknamed Webster and Percy, and last night there was even a dog in the window above that barked down on us while I was petting them. They scattered as if the dog had scolded them, and I like to think the three of them have a very bantering, sitcom-like acquaintanceship.

We also found a small open-air market that has not only fresh produce, but a huge array of pastas and various Asian spices that I will definitely be making great use of.

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After the park we took the Underground to Kensington Palace Gardens, an area I’d been dying to see, and walked past the houses I imagined comprised Molly Aster’s neighborhood in Peter and the Starcatchers (if you know me well, you’ll understand how excited that made me). Exploring the area around the palace itself was so magical and gorgeous.

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Then. THEN!

Though my feet were sore by this time, I knew we had to do the most London-touristy area of all. I knew it would be cool, but I didn’t realize how thrilled I would get until we actually stepped out of the station to these sights.

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I can’t WAIT to come back to Westminster Abbey for a service. We came at the perfect time of day, in weather uncharacteristically beautiful for London. Looking at the British flag fluttering over the houses of Parliament, I became hugely patriotic for a country I wasn’t even from. I didn’t care how obvious I looked with my huge camera and American accent. It was awesome.

Tomorrow commences sightseeing Day 2- if anything interesting happens I’ll let you know.

Cheers,

Abigail

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