26 July Last Day National Portrait Gallery Tea Dinner with Vikki

It is the last day of this trip. There is still much to do but, I am getting anxious to be home. First up today is our final class. We have three shows to discuss and Christina likes to have each student tell their favorite show, performance(s) and favorite design (scenic and costume) and this year we decided to do an honorable mention for shows they say outside the program.

After class I wanted to go to the National Portrait Gallery since I haven’t been there this year. I hurried down to Charing Cross, cut behind St. Martin-in-the-Fields and into the museum. I wondered what might be different from my last trip. Starting with the Tudors and working my way forward, I found some painting I didn’t remember and some that I did. I didn’t even try to get through all the museum. I made quick visits to both shops and thankfully was able to leave without any packages.

Returning the way, I came, I went back to the dorm to get ready for tea. We always have tea on the last afternoon and we are going to the St. Pancras Hotel. Before I left, I did a little more packing and went down to see what students would walk with me to the hotel. Picking up about half the class, we headed down. It’s about a 20 minute walk.

The tea was perfect. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The waitress that took care of us was delightful. All in all, it proved to be a great setting. It went on longer than I expected and so, I had to excuse myself a little early, so I could go meet Vikki for dinner. When she texted me the details, she only gave an address and I couldn’t find anything on the map telling me where I might be going. I’ve also never been in this area of London.

After a long ride on the tube and a little confusion on my part, I finally met her, and she took me to a restaurant and bar on the 35th floor of the building. It was a great place. The food was delicious, and we were able to visit for a bit. I already miss her. She is one of those special people you meet in your life and I am grateful. After dinner, I find my way back home, not the way I came but, nevertheless got there. This trip has been, of course, very different from the other trips. For one thing, with Christina having her family with her, I’ve had to rely on myself more. Getting around has become easier and I’m not as panicked about getting lost or losing my way. That has been very gratifying. Tomorrow I fly home and it will be good to see Mr. Lennie, Sheba, Suri and sleep in my own bed.

Sunrise from my window. Love the chimneys on the building on Gower Street.

National Portrait Gallery.

Portrait: Thomas Wolsey by an unknown artist after his death. c. 1589-95

Portrait: Queen Mary, 1544 by Master John.

Portrait Queen Elizabeth I by Nicholas Hilliard c. 1575. “The Phoenix Portrait”

Portrait: Henrietta Maria, c. 1635, artist unknown.

Portrait: Aubrey Beardsley, 1895 by Jacques-Emile Blanche.

Lady Colin Campbell c. 1897 by Boldini. I love this artists’ work. This maybe the first time I’ve actually seen one of his pieces in person.

I love this painting. The last time I was here, I saw it in the gift shop but, it was not hanging in the museum. This is the first time seeing it in person.

Leaving the National Portrait Gallery. Across the street is St. Martin-in-the-Fields..

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras.

Tea at St. Pancras. The sweet part.

The view from the restaurant. Tower Bridge over the Thames and the Tower of London to the left.

Sunset over the city.

Tower Bridge aster dark. Sorry about the reflection.

Vikki.

The sign says it all.