Friday, September 26, 2014

Kew Gardens

My life has yet to slow down. This week I had my first presentation and I have my first paper due next week (and another paper the week after that!). Hectic seems like a tame term to use when describing my past week. Today, my class went to the National Archives, which was the most interesting of the three different locations we have met at for this class (the National Art Library and the British Library).

The National Archives
It was actually a really pretty building and this morning was nice and cool. We "toured" the facility and then set up accounts so that we can use this as a resource for all of our researching needs. To be honest, waking up at 7am after 5 hours of sleep and then hopping the tube to visit the archives was snooze central, but the rest of the day made up for it.

Me and two girls decided to stay and discover Kew, and we found the cutest pub to each lunch in. It was located inside of a hotel, and had a bake sale going on. Two cookies for one pound?! Don't mind if I do.

I mean, this place was THE CUTEST. Note: not pictured are the multiple antler chandeliers hanging from the ceiling
Then we went to Kew Gardens (where Kew Palace is located). I was banking on my Museums Association Membership to get me for free again, but it failed me for the first time, and I was rather disappointed. So, I paid the 15 pounds and didn't look back. Also, it was the last of the birthday money my parents mailed me, thanks mom and dad.

Front of Kew Palace
Back of Kew Palace
This was the country home to King George III (from whom America declared her Independence). Isn't it stunning?! It was very small and quaint in regards to a palace, the exact opposite of the last palace  I saw, Hampton Court Palace. The artist in me also adored the red brick, it is the perfect complimentary color to the luscious green foliage surrounding it in Kew Gardens.

Now, at this point, I was committed, originally I wanted to come just to see Kew Palace and then head back to work on my exhibition review paper, but after paying the hefty entrance fee into the garden, I had to get my money's worth. 

After touring the palace, we set off to explore the rest of what Kew Gardens had to offer, and it did not disappoint. 

We all decided we wanted to move to Kew ASAP and become members at the gardens so we could spend every day reading books and studying in this beautiful place. Although we have Kensington Gardens, which is free, it is also ALWAYS packed with tourists, and businessmen and construction workers on their lunch break, and runners and cyclists, and screaming children and dogs, lots of dogs. Running into people at Kew Gardens ended up being few and far between, the whole area of suburb seemed to have no tourists at all, and even lacked ongoing construction work. Also, the park itself was much more dense with foliage and trees and had more of a forest vibe compared to Kensington, very cool right?

Water lily pond
We walked through the park with our hearts set on the tree top walkway, yes, it's real.

The walkway up in the trees! So breathtakingly beautiful

View of the Temperate House, which unfortunately was closed for restoration
Next we stumbled onto a Log Walkway, which was meant for children, but let's be honest, when has that ever stopped me?! I aspire to always and forever be a child at heart.

The other part of my birthday money went to the super cute vest I wore today, thanks mom and dad :)

I also had to get in some fisheye action, also curtesy of my mom and dad. Y'all are pretty rad. 
While hopping from log to log two little girls were playing with one another, and all of a sudden one of them burst into a fit of tears due to her friend "sticking her tongue out at her". Unfortunately, I had quite the struggle of stifling my laughter, and the crying child completely ruined our log walk, but I digress.

Next we headed to the Queen's Cottage, which was in an area of the park that felt like the great NorthWest, was very wildly overgrown, and felt much less like a park. Unfortunately, the Queen's Cottage is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, but it was marvelous to behold nonetheless.

Oh hello cutesy thatched roof
I mean, I wouldn't complain if I lived in a "cottage" similar to this. We also happened upon a Pagoda in the park, which was cool, but we also couldn't tour it, so we walked a half circle around it and went on our merry way.

Don't mind me, just a rando pagoda in an English garden
It was definitely not the day I had in mind, and I didn't make it back to London in time to go to the V&A and see my exhibit once again, so that is one more thing that awaits me in the morning, yippee. But, today was a nice and needed break from the crazy city and my new found habit of staring at a word document and trying not to cry. I have a lot on my "to-do" for this weekend, and today acted as a great pick-me-up as I look ahead to the seemingly impossible task of submitting my first grad school paper. 

Lastly, there were pumpkins growing in the garden behind Kew Palace, and I had to take a pic because, cliche american girl fall motif, am I right?!

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