Natural History and Harry Potter

According to our original plan, we were suppose to wake up and go on a huge walking tour of the Kensington area of London where we are now staying (previously we were in the Westminster area). One problem with that plan – Lauren and I are both huge natural history nerds, and we ended up spending almost the entire day at the Natural History Museum.

In our defense, it took us about an hour to walk to the museum this morning because we decided to walk through Hyde Park and see the Kensington Palace (from the outside) and the Albert Memorial. And there were a lot of dogs playing in the park, which made our walk take much longer – gotta gush over all the cute dogs after all! Lauren was more distracted by the birds, and a swan almost attacked her when it decided she was too close. (I was dying laughing, of course. As a best friend should.)

But eventually we made it to the museum. For those that haven’t been, this museum is HUGE. And amazing. Filled with all the most interesting things. There is an exhibit on dinosaurs, there is an exhibit on mammals, there is a human body exhibit and a vault of priceless gems. There is even a giant escalator through what looks like the earth’s core, up to the top floor which is dedicated to two exhibits on earth quakes and volcanos. Its hard not to spend multiple hours exploring. And it didn’t help that my friend Jana from the Hague Academy came out to visit, so we were catching up while exploring. Summary: no giant tour for us, just a nerd day at the museum. Well worth it.

Eventually, when we finally left, we decided to salvage part of our planned day by taking a taxi to King’s Cross to go to the Harry Potter Platform 9 and 3/4. Also well worth it. We got some awesome photos together, and nerded out like true Harry Potter fans. I ended up getting a Gryffindor hat, which Jana promptly pointed out makes me look like part of the Weasley clan (I’m okay with that!) If only I didn’t have five more weeks of traveling, I would have bought a lot more than I did. (Y’all, there is a mug. With the ‘Marauder’s Map’ on it. That changes to reveal the words ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good’ when it gets hot. I need that mug in my life. And the chocolate frogs!! Oh the chocolate frogs!! They are so delicious!! Just like Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone, I got an Albus Dumbledore card as my first frog collectible card; it even has the exact quote about Dumbledore like in the books!)

Finally, we were Wizard-ed out, and decided to go eat at a proper english pub. But when we failed to find one that wasn’t full, we gave up and ate at the English Pub in King’s Cross. Tringa was able to come meet us after her classes, so we ended up having more of a mini-Hague reunion that originally planned! (We also learned a single bloody mary will make Lauren drunk – and drunk Lauren is funny.) We may not have been able to explore like we had wanted, but it was definitely a day well spent!