Tuesday, August 8, 2006

I am heading home today, but not before one last morning out and about in London.  I walk down Kensington Church Street in search of antique shops, but find few open for business on a Tuesday.  I wander towards KensingtonPalaceand the sunken garden, and then over to the Princess of Wales playground, before returning to the palace grounds in time for lunch at The Orangery.  Finally, there is iced tea on the menu.  The American rejoices!  It is a lovely concoction made with sparkling water, infused with rosemary and lemon.  I have an open-faced sandwich of York ham and piccalilli, and a slice of their signature cake for good measure.  It is a sweet ending to a very sweet trip.  From here it is back to the hotel for my luggage, then back to Heathrow for the long journey home.   

After arriving in Philadelphia, an immigration officer barrages me with a standard set of questions about my trip, asking me at one point if I am travelling alone.  When I answer “yes,” he breaks visibly from protocol, looks up and says, as if in disbelief: “Really?”  I nod, and then say with a smile, “and I had a great time, too”!  He waves me through, shaking his head.