Day Fourteen began by sleeping in a bit and then un-zombie-fying myself, pausing my dancing around the flat and singing along (badly) to the Beautiful soundtrack just long enough to dry my hair and make myself presentable. By 10:30, I was on my way to Paddington to catch the District Line to Earl’s Court, where I switched to a Richmond-bound District Line train that took me to Kew Gardens. I visited Kew during my trip last spring, but knew as soon as that visit was over that I wanted to see it again. So I did. It was interesting to see the seasonal differences throughout the grounds, since my visit last year was almost two months further into spring when the trees were full and the bluebells were sprinkled everywhere, carpeting the ground. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too early for bluebells, but the daffodils have bloomed like mad and there where huge swatches of yellow loveliness everywhere.
Last time, I jumped on the Kew Explorer at its first stop near the Victoria Gate (a handy hop on/hop off tram that runs throughout the gardens, stopping at various spots, with the drivers providing a guided tour along the way). I didn’t plan on doing so today, but thought I probably would later, so I went ahead and bought my wristband when I got there (the gardens are huge, so it’s a wonderful remedy for sore feet and well worth the £4.50). However, I never did catch a ride on it, wandering around on foot for my entire visit. I meandered along the paths and down the vistas, climbed the eight or so flights of stairs up to the Treetop Walkway (I’m discovering this trip that I’m not as cool with heights as I was when I was younger. Unfortunately, this is always realised once I’ve climbed to the top of something), and through the rhododendron grove, the “rhodies” having just started to bloom. I even crossed paths with a peacock near the water lily pond and a fox as I neared Kew Palace.
Eventually, my stomach let me know that it was time for some sustenance, so I headed for the restaurant in the Orangery where I ate last time. After a salad, a cuppa, and a delicious, perfectly portioned chocolate cake, I resumed my wanderings, my feet carrying me along the broad walk, through the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Alpine House, and rock garden, past the Palm House, and back to the plaza at the Victoria Gate.
I bought a few bluebell-vintage London Underground things and then said goodbye to Kew, making my way back to the station and a District Line train to Earl’s Court and then Paddington, where I grabbed some groceries at Sainsbury’s before walking back to the flat to write some more … and do more laundry (laundry takes awhile with a tiny washer-dryer).