It's nine p.m. London time, and I'm back in my room after a day of art. I started the morning walking from Oxford Circus to Piccadilly Circus perusing the shops along Regent St. in central London. It's a good and a bad thing that I can't add to my luggage - bad because the shopping is fantastic and there were many cute outfits and shoes I would've loved to have bought - good because London is expensive and I would break the bank. Though I will need to return to Hammerlys Toy Store to pick up presents for my niece on my return.
As I wandered the streets of London, without a plan in mind, I realized why the streets have the words painted at each crosswalk to look right or look left. After almost being run over by two bicycles, a double-decker bus, and a cab I began to look down before I looked both ways. They drive on the other side of the road here and it's instinctive to look the opposite way before stepping out into oncoming traffic. Luckily, I learned my lesson before I was run down, but there were some close calls.
I came upon the National Art Gallery and to my surprise admission was free. I spent three hours lost in art: Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers, Monet's Water Lilly's, Renoir's Umbrellas, Botticelli's Venus and Mars, and Michelangelo's The Atonement. I realize that in going after my dreams I've been able to see some of the finest art in the world and though doing this may not be officially on my list, it is definitely a dream come true to stand in front of the great masters' work and let it touch my soul.
From the art gallery I strolled to the theater to see Les Miserable. At fourteen, my french class went to see the show, but times were tight for my family and I chose not to ask my mother for the money to go. Today I sat eleven rows from the stage in London. I listened to the familiar songs and lost myself in the world of the actors. I will write more about this experience, under my dream come true list on the website, when I return home.
From the theater I walked throughout London, once again taking in Big Ben, Parliament, the Horse Guards and Leicester square. I ventured into another pub, it is St. Paddy's day, and ordered a pint. I can honestly say that beer is not my cup of tea. I don't like it and though I tried to fit in, today I felt quite conspicuous alone while everyone else was with friends. I chose to leave, proud of myself for not running away from the challenge.
All day long my mind turned to how grateful I am to be able to do this. It's an amazing experience to make my dreams come true. I have an incredible month ahead of me. In just two days three dreams have become a reality, but more than just a check-off the list experience, I'm enriching my life and who I am and how I view the world.
I'm off to bed to dream of Les Miserable and fine works of art as I allow the greatness of the day to soak into my memories.