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Monday, September 3, 2007


Last night I caught up on my sleep…14 hours’ worth! So, I was a little late starting the day. I had a tasty spinach, brie and asparagus tart with a cup of coffee at a café while reading the thick Sunday times. Then, I walked over to the Canary Wharf Underground station and figured out how to charge up the Oyster card that someone at the bank had loaned me before I left. I went to Westminster station, which is on the same tube line and seemed to offer lots of walking opportunities. It turned out to be a pretty good call, as The Mall along St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park is closed on Sundays. So, although there were lots of people out, it didn’t feel too crowded. I also walked by 10 Downing Street and Trafalgar Square I listened to an orchestra for a while in the park but mostly just strolled around. (I think I’m going to have to get some decent-looking black “trainers,” as the ballet flats just aren’t cutting it, and there’s no way I’m walking around in jeans and my white running shoes!) I had a nice time just taking it easy and not being in a hurry to do or see anything. I was around Westminster Abbey a little after 5, so I decided to sit on a bench by the Thames, just south of the Parliament buildings, and wait for an organ concert at 5:45. Although I couldn’t see most of the Abbey (it’s closed except for services on Sunday, which I think is rather nice), it was really lovely to hear the organ. The weather was in the low 70s and quite pleasant, with the sun peeking in and out of the clouds. Tonight I had a Caesar salad and mushroom risotto in the hotel restaurant (I was literally doing a mental total on my expense allowance to see what I could afford…it adds up faster than you’d think!). I have my clothes all picked out for the grown-up equivalent of the first day of school tomorrow!

Not sure if you could possibly find this as amusing as I did, but I smiled at some homeless men sitting on a bench as I passed by, and they then called out, “Hello! What is your name? Francesca? Natalia?” So, I may have a new alias!

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