My body, wracked in agony and allergies, was ill-prepared for any further excursions today; after a solid 12 hours of sleep I thought, perhaps, my body might refresh itself and revert to it’s proper, youthful spryness.
I was wrong.
It made the trip to the Kew Gardens very short for me, but after days of rushing here and there and being immersed in a bustling – but rather quiet, compared to Boston, or New York – city, being out in the slower, more subdued countryside was a blessing. The city (or perhaps town?) of Kew was beautiful, bearing an ancient charm that, while prevalent in much of London, is missing entirely in America. Not charm, per say, or quaintness – we have that at home, but it’s of a very different sort. American charm has it’s own vernacular of visual language that lacks that moss-coated stones and ivy-wrapped gates of Kew.
For a bit, I broke off from the rest of the groups to wander through the rose garden, seeking a tiny slice of solitude; not for any dislike of my peers, but because after a week of stressing my boundaries and making an effort to be social in spite of my introverted nature, I needed the time to be alone. It was a refreshing amount of time – thirty minutes, at the most, kneeling among the roses and watching children flomp themselves on to the grass and chase the birds – and had my hips not been those of an eighty-year-old-woman, I might have rejoined the others to go out shopping. Alas, both my hips – and my bank account – hurt too bad to go on, and rather than be a sour grape chugging along at the caboose end of the group, I headed back to the hotel to put my feet up and spend the rest of the night just relaxing.
For a home-body like me, this trip has been exciting, but taxing. I’m by no means at the point of misery and desiring to be home – not even a bit, in fact, I dread going back to the states – but I’ve reached the point where the pain from constant activity has been enough of a stress to make any further sight-seeing unenjoyable. I’m so, so, so happy I fit in so much in the first few days, and that I went with groups of students who didn’t put off seeing the city until the last couple of days. While it might mean that these last few days in London are spent in the hotel room immediately following our activities, I’m not unhappy with that being the reality; in fact, I’m quite ready to relax and enjoy the amenities of the Apex of London hotel. After all, it’s pretty damn posh.