Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remembering England & France 2010 - The Final Leg of Our Vacation

 To regress a few days  - I mentioned on Day 2 about meeting Nancy at the Port de Vanves flea market and said I would mention more later.... Well, we knew there would be other Americans attending FIBULE in Paris, but not sure who they were.  Tara & I were browsing at the market and noticed a lady bent down looking into a basket of buttons.  The lady stood up facing the opposite direction of us.  Tara began asking me questions about the buttons and this lady slightly turned and spoke about the buttons.  As she turned towards us we realized it was Nancy, the Show Chairman for the USA National Button SocietyPretty awesome to run into someone you know 4000 miles away from home in a flea market!

The last leg our our journey...

A beautiful pyramid-shaped memorial holds the wine glass still smudged with (Princess) Diana's lipstick from her last dinner as well as the engagement ring Dodi al-Fayed had purchased for her the day before their tragic accident - display at Harrods.  

Within walking distance from Tara's family was The Warrington Pub & Restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsey Holdings.  We walked there for drinks.

Abbey Road Studio 

It is said this wall is frequently repainted

Abbey Road -
I walked the crosswalk where the Beatles walked. I wanted to remove my shoes for the photo, but felt it wasn't safe.  The road is rather narrow and busy with traffic.  It took me several attempts dodging vehicles for Tara to snap this photo of me.

The entrance to the amazing Victoria & Albert museum - known as the greatest museum of art and design.  Worth the visit!

"This stone was laid by the Majesty Queen Victoria, Empress of India..." click to enlarge photo

Stunning crystal chandeliers and mosaic walls inside the cafe at the V & A museum

The famous Portobello Road flea market located in Notting Hill, London - where the movie Notting Hill was filmed

We arrived early before most vendors were open.  We walked the length of the market.  On one end were the tag/garage sale vendors, then new item vendors, then scrumptious food vendors and finally antique & vintage item vendors.

It did not take long for the crowds to arrive.  At times the crowds were so massive you simply moved like cog wheels.

OK, do you think I a lot that day???

St. Paul's Covent Church 
Sometimes the Pearly Kings & Queens meet here

The Pearly Kings & Queens of England

Yes, those are pearl buttons sewn as designs on their clothes, why? Who are the Pearly Kings & Queens?
 1960s reproduction postcard I purchased in the gift shop of the Victoria & Albert Museum - The Pearly King & Queen of London in the 1960s and years later in 2010
The Pearly King & Queen of London in 2010

This probably once-in-a-lifetime trip for me was unbelievable... I really enjoyed time with my dear friend Tara as we visited with family & friends & gallivanted across Briare, Paris & London.  We saw the Eiffel Tower - We saw history - The weather was nearly perfect - We attended FIBULE - We met the Pearly Kings & Queens - We shopped till we dropped at Clignancourt, Port de Vanves, Kempton & Portobello flea markets - I crossed Abbey Road just like the Beatles - Shopped and ate at Harrods - Visited the amazing Victoria & Albert Museum and..... I got to dig in the Briare button dump!!

A truly incredible vacation!

Thanks for taking the journey down memory lane with us.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed the photo tour of your trip. Fab pictures!

  2. Oh Tami, it sounds so wonderful! I loved the photos! I would have done all the same things/gone to all the same places!! I would have eaten some of that plum cake! And the pearly people!! How cool is that?!!