Category: Travel Journals


Italy Stowell Travel Journal 1983

Book written and illustrated by Nena with additional drawings by Kip and Walton

Transcribed by Walton Stowell II

 

Stowell Family in Italy

[Orange Velveteen Cover with gold-leaf pages, book apx. 1” thick]

 

first page: title page illustration

 

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Our Trip To Italy

May 28, 1983

by Kip, Nena, and Walton

Travel Journal

 

[image]

 

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photo of our saturday commuter plane

Baltimore-Washington International Airport 1:40 pm

John F. Kennedy International 7:30 pm

 

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Before we left….

Walton finished 1st grade. He made all O’s and 3 S’s (Writing, Music & PE). Mrs. Portrey gave Walton a travel book (the blue one used later for England). Nena finished the preschool on Tuesday (3 days to get ready). She did not finish the contract, but finished the taxes and Correspondence Course 2. Kip finished work on the mill, watered plants, and mailed a lot of letters. We were packed ahead with 2 large suit-cases, and 3 carry on Altalia sachels. Cathy Wilkin and Bruce and Cameron (9 months) invite us on Wednesday night for an Indonesian supper. It was so special with curred chicken and chutney (tomato and fruit). Bruce and Cathy had Bon Voyage for us with campaigne and watermelon sherbert and cookies. Yum!

 

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Kory, Cass, Hetty, June’s daughter, and others loaned us books. Pat and Bill showed us slides and books. I made spaghetti with spinach noodles and apple dumplings for desert Sunday night. In advance Kip prepared our eyes with study at supper, and we questioned each other for months. It was a good time preparing. Passports cost $42. My check came as we left and gave us extra cash. Linda kept the hamster and Bonnie, the bird. We bought a suit-case at half price at Penny’s sale for $30. Daddy called twice to wish us good luck. The auto club came in time. With automatic devices in effect, we drove to Baltimore for brunch at Ann and Mark’s saturday morning. Mark and Ann drove us to the airport.

 

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Saturday

In the plane … we wondered about comfort as we boarded a 4 prop airplane. It was loud and bumpy. It took 1 hour to arrive in NY. The 5 hours wait went fast, as we ate, walked, to different airlines, shopped, sewed, and checked on customs for the camera. We got 3 seats side by side, in a Boeing 747. It was by the bathroom. I noticed water on the floor and it was moving!

 

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Kip tried to ignore it. I said ok, here it comes. He pointed it out to the stewards. They worked on getting it fixed. More and more people were becoming involved and no one mopping. Kip noticed a whole toilet being changed. The water was still seeping and they were still working. The pilot announced a minor delay in take off. As we took off Kip said Hooray! The water seeped 4 rows behind to center rows. People of all kinds had their little tootsie warmers on and kept getting we feet.

 

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A whole party of 4 complained loudly (men and women). They moved in front of us and the 1st class curtain was lifted. Walton was asleep but watched the Star Trek 2 movie and ate his supper, when I woke him.

 

Sunday

We landed in Milan at a modern airport. We went right into a people mover, (no seats), and on through customs. Our guide Elizabeth was waiting, she put us on a bus, and said “Hello are you tired?” We bused to Lake Garda to eat lunch. The buses and cars tried to run over people. We had a charcoal broiled fish salad, ice-cream, and wine for $13. [images]

 

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We bused to Venice in 2 hours. A boat ride to our hotel was next. We waited at the Hotel splendid Suisse while Elizabeth checked in the group. Kip and Walton watched the suitcases being unloaded from a barge. Walton drew awhile. We walked through Venice for 10 minutes to the Hotel Giorgione. We were very pleased. It was so exciting to ride the boat which was a bus. It was Sunday so everyone was sitting and glazing. The sun was bright and clear. [image] By 4:30 we were settled in. Our room had Venetian furniture (turquoise) 3 single beds, a tile bath with large tub, and hand shower. The window opened to the street below (3 stories) and a rose garden above us; across the way, closet with drawers, a desk, and coat rack, venetian glass chandeliers. Everyone is pleasant.

 

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Our Room

[image] We rested some. We walked to St. Mark’s Cathedral with Walton leading the way. Questions and Remarks of the day: Bathrooms were holes on the floor. The cats of Venice. Nena saw a rat. Walton said “Ahh look at the little sink! (Bedere) It’s dirty! (about St. Mark’s side entry)” Music in the square. Walton kicked up his heels and chased pigeons. Kip flipped when he saw Cafe Florian. We rode the bus-boat. Kip and Walton would not get off at 10:00 at night. Nena did and took a bath and washed hair; while they kept riding the boat. They were so excited! What a day! Della Salute Church, palaces, lights at night. Pizza with no taste, yummy ice-cream, gondolas, flowers, water smells!!!

 

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We were woken at 7:00 am. Breakfast was rolls, jelly, and hot chocolate. By 8:15 we were walking to Hotel S. Suisse with Elizabeth, for a morning tour. Kip was so excited he was walking very fast ahead of Elizabeth! Walton was very glassey eyed and tired. Nena was fresh and excited to see everything, and spoke to many people. Kip could not stay still. He marched ahead again to St. Mark’s Square. There we met our guide, Angelo. Angelo led us into the Doges Palace and gave excellent information. The court-yard was extensive, 2 bronze wells and drains everywhere with a cistern underneath. Walton was thirsty. The government of Venice was an aristocracy republic with the 10 beheading the Doge every half year or so, and choosing another replacement Doge. The dungeons were next door to the Palace and ruling government with the Bridge of Sighs connected them (people outside could hear the sighs coming from prisoners passing within). Walton was trying to find St. Mark’s book in one painting on the ceiling and asked Angelo about it. He said “You go in the dungeon, Walton!” So Angelo took him by the hand and led him to the dungeon. He showed him holes for food and old graffiti. We toured St. Mark’s Cathedral next, with all gold mosaics. I liked Noah’s Ark. I asked about St. Mark’s body. It was near the altar. We need to go back and look more. We toured the Murano Glass Factory next. The bubble was over Kip and Walton’s head. Lunch near by was egg salad and sprite. Total bar 16.500 Lire [Bank San Marco cashed $100] [ 3 lion sketches]

 

11 Walton’s sketch of top of St. Mark’s Cathedral

 

12 Kip’s sketch of Nena in Caffe Florian, Venice

 

13 Caffe Florian Venezia napkin 27.000 Lire

 

Nap: 2 and half hours. Boat ride and walking. Walton fed the pigeons at St. Mark’s Square. We had cappuccino at Caffe Florian and pastries. Walton peeked in at St. Mark’s gates. Kip drew like mad. Walton likes the surrealist postcards and wants a gondola model to play with.

 

14 Walton’s sketch of a bird lamp with umbrellas, on shop sign second floor

 

Walton drew this in the street late at night (9:00 pm). Crowds of people were around him, usually 15 or more. He was sweating the humidity and pressure was great. A beggar type approached him. I told him to keep drawing. I was sweating. Kip was checking out the gondola ride and architecture. One young girl pinched Walton’s cheek and said “Bravo” when he finished. Walton and I both thought they would clap, but they didn’t. He wished they would have.

 

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We went on to the Bridge Rialto, and decided to eat sandwiches and drink wine while Kip drew. It was 11:00 pm when he finally arrived at the hotel. We bought at tape and slide show for 13.000 Lire ($12), and several books about Venice. Walton got a ‘wine skin’ container and tiny camera with Venice slides in it which he adored. (liked bellringers most) We know we will miss this city. We wrote postcards to Ann & Mark, Elsie & Daddy, and Bette & Bruce. Kip has the hotel calling us at 6:30pm and he has planned all the great art and palaces for tomorrow. The gondola ride is 9:00 pm (18 Lire). Kip sketches.

 

16 [Kip’s Hotel Rialto Restaurant bridge sketch]

 

17 Tuesday – May 31 – Room 228

We were called at 6:30 am but did not wake until 8:45. Rushed down to breakfast for hot chocolate, rolls, and jelly. Went back up to write postcards and wait for the Academy to open at 10:00. Took a boat ride over. It was exciting to see such a fine religious collection. Most all early paintings and ceiling frescoes. We walked to the Palladio Church, Basilio Della Saluta, which is octagonal. It was built after the plague. Kip bought slides and an art book of the museum and a house book. He wanted to talk more down to the customs house. We saw sidewalk painters and sketchers. I had my portrait done, while Kip went over to Palladio’s San Giorgio Church. The Church had an organ recital, and real art treasures. We bought Walton and Nena shoes (126), and Kip got a velor reversible jacket (84). We had wined and dined on the canal at lunch. Now we were hurrying back for a gondola ride. What fun! There were 2 groups of tours, 6 in a boat and one accordion player and 2 singers (18 lire). They sang and played music and took us down the small canals. The police got in the middle. We went for cappuccino in St. Mark’s Square.

 

18 Walton’s drawing of a gondola and the lost paddle. Venetian chimneys and trim on the building which looks like a face. It was drawn in the Academy’s ‘Bellini Room’. [sketch]

 

19 Walton’s Drawing – Good King and Bad King fight, God came down to try to stop the violence, but his beard blew in his face, so God went back up to Heaven because Satan’s wind got in his way.

 

20 Walton’s Drawing – Bad King won

 

21 We enjoyed the orchestra and the gondolas so much, And Kip got his portrait drawn ; it was 12 p.m. before we left. the boats were not as plentiful and we thought we were doomed. so did some American soldiers with dates. one soldier asked Kip in Italian about the boats. we took number two end it looped around in a narrow canal and we thought we were doomed again. when the hotel doors were locked, we knew we had put Venice to bed. Walton wanted a bath to play with his new gondola. it sank but it was beautiful. He was happy to have such a treasure and slept on the gondola ride. It was romantic until you passed a broken sewer pipe. Kip said to hurry by and hope they don’t flush. Yes the codes need to be tougher,  but to Walton the entire city of Venice smelled like open sewers. we saw the Opera House. gondolas are Tippy. the two ladies from Brooklyn where delightful. we Arise at 6 :30 to eat at 7am, and leave at 7:30 tomorrow for Florence.

 

22 Wednesday June 1st. on route to Florence at 6 30 a.m. . Walton felt like a piece of trash in a trash can. Nena felt like a sleeping turtle. Kip was grouchy, trying to throw the packing to Nena. Nina packed her half of the room and Kip packed his. Walton slept. Then Walton stuffed the breakfast roll in his mouth in a hurry, when he suddenly awoke ; because we had to walk 10 minutes to the hotel Splendid Swiss in order to catch the bus boat to get to the tour bus. Walton had a stitch in his side, an intense abdominal pain , but Kip pushed on by walking ahead. We made the hotel in time and saw our suitcases loaded on the barge. The boat was so full  we felt like cattle, but a lady let Walton have a seat because he was in pain. The tour bus was luxurious with huge windows and grey and maroon carpeting and gray curtains and orange, maroon, Navy, and grey striped seats. the two tour groups fit on the bus nicely. (barge and bus sketch)

 

23 on the bus and orange which a lady had given to Walton rolled out of our bag and down to the front of the bus. One lady yelled “ Elizabeth we lost an orange!”  the orange was sent back. When we saw the cathedral in Padua, one lady said “ doesn’t that answer your prayers? everyone pray for me.” Walton feed the pigeons, they flew to his hand.  Saint Anthony is buried inside the cathedral in a glass coffin. his skeleton is intact all but the chin and forearm (removed in 1350). they found ashes and remains in pieces of skin, hair and two cartridges of the vocal cords. All the hearts for new marriages are hanging inside. we saw gold relics to St Anthony, his teeth, and mass was being held including confession. Corpus Christi day. (sketch of skeleton)

 

24 next bologna.  we all slept. Then we disembarked for lunch, the cathedral, and the idea of looking around. We found a restaurant and ordered tortellini, famous in Bologna. we had tortellini with tomato sauce and cheese, cheese and milk, soup and tortellini, wine, chocolate-covered figs, strawberries, prunes, and cherries, and french fried zucchini. Then the cathedral was Gothic and very very high and large. The altar was impressive. Walton, Kip, and Nina like the Neptune fountain. Walt in Lost his top right tooth in the bus as it was parked outside the cathedral his tooth had been hanging loose and a man on the bus told Kip to knock it out for Walton. KIPP knocked out Waltons tooth, when Walton was not looking comma by elbowing him in the mouth. Kip acted like it was an accident, but Walton says he meant to knock it out. 6/1/83  (sketch of fountain)

 

25-26 Waltons drawing while going over the mountains. the funny things and the Warriors.

 

27 4:30 we arrived in Florence. We stopped at hotel londra and hotel bat. Then we go to hotel Leonardo da Vinci. our room is 210. it has a floor plan like this. it has a refrigerator and a center lamp with tassels. The color scheme is beige Kama Brown, and 10. We sleep and sleep. It is 8:45 when we get up and go for supper. Restaurant di Bruno is near with good food. We had spaghetti, lasagna, tortellini, salad, and fresh fruit. we walk back at 11 and go to bed. June 2nd Thursday. the wake up is 7:30 with breakfast at 8. sweetbreads and hot chocolate are delicious. We hurry with Elizabeth to the other motel for the Days Tour. It is very hot so we go slowly. Elizabeth doesn’t feel well. Walton has a stitch in his side again.

 

28 our tour bus takes us to a place where we park,  and then we walk everywhere. Nicole takes us to the academy where Michelangelo’s David is. So many exciting things to see! we loved the Flemish Adam and Eve tapestries and the statues of Michelangelo, Some of which were still imprisoned in stone, unfinished. next is the Dome El Duomo, and the baptistry. The bronze doors are excellent, but you can’t imagine the little pieces all over the cathedral. The gothic interior is very high and wide. Inside the walls were frescoed, but not much remains. The clock is  24 hours and runs the opposite way. You can see the flood mark, over 6 ft. the cathedral has two domes, one built inside, and one outside with steps in between.

 

29 this is a sister to St Peters in the third largest Cathedral after st. Peters in St Paul’s. El Duomo is green white and pink marble.  postcard

 

30 After the cathedral we go walking. Then we see the Palazzo Vecchio. Walton feeds the pigeons at the square. He loves the pigeons here. They sit on his head, shoulder, and crowd around. The statue of Medusa is here and he loves it. He sees a copy of David. The Neptune Fountain and others are all around the Medici Palace. We like the square. We see procura Della Republica where Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. The square at Santa Croce  is huge. Walton feeds the pigeons again. This Cathedral has a Jewish star on it for it was built by a Jewish architect. The synagogue was built by a Catholic architect and has a Christian Star. The inside is impressive.

 

31 It is gothic with lovely stained glass windows. The tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and others are here. They are laid in the floor, but each has a wall sarcophagus and inscriptions to contemplate. We walk to a leather factory nearby NC Gold Leaf put on a wallet with heated tools. Walton finds gifts for his friends, like leather pouches and green and maroon  leather boxes. he sees a dice box in another leather shop that he likes for himself. So we get that and a packet of small cards covered with gold leaf and a letter opener with a blue leather sheath.

32 KIPP picks a large paper holder into wallets.  Nena finds two purses. sketch of purses. later Walton pics out to pillboxes –  one for his tooth and one for Rhiannon. He loves a chess set in a store of Romans vs. barbarians, it is hand-painted bone. We purchase the leather board and the set. it is a very good choice. I guess we are all excited and tired. We go sit in the baptistry where Walton draws the ceiling mosaic. It is a very large octagonal building and very unique and old. We listen to guides and a recorded phone explanation .

 

33 we even go to the museum of el Duomo behind the cathedral.   It is a gem. we see the 4th pieta, the one he broke up and someone else glued together. There are Donatello’s and the cantarios of Lucia Della Robia.  the panels are wonderful, of happy children making music. Donatello’s Mary Magdalene is impressive because she is large and so somber. I guess the item Walton liked was a three-dimensional crucifix with the  bloody body of Christ. there was a painting of St John in the head on the ground. The last thing we saw was a beautiful Silver relief panel, it was large and inside of glass and told the story of Saint John the Baptist.

 

34 St John the Baptist was the patron saint of Florence.  his panel was silver with hole figures. Somewhere in relief, with hand painted green and blue tiny people all over the Altar-piece.  Then we took a taxi home (3200). Walton found 100 lire on the seat. we dressed for supper with the tour. The bus took us up and out of Florence. It was a beautiful ride, Walton slept. The supper was nice period outside was a fountain under a grape arbor and there were musicians with two singers. we sat next to two sisters from me, alfreda and Jane.

 

35 the other couple was from upper New York and had friends in Winchester Virginia. The meal was antipasto of liver pate’ and salami. we had champagne for an aperitif. next tortellini, pasta, and salad course. The meat and potatoes were delicious. Dessert was pastries and then coffee. We got up to join some group dancing, Walton loved this and they yelled his name out too. When we boarded the bus Walton didn’t want to go. He was drawing all the way home. We stopped to view the night lights and saw a pastel painting on the sidewalk. Then into bed at 12:15.

 

36 pitti Palace and the uffizi museum are tomorrow. we awake at 8 A.m. . June 3rd Friday. We taxi to the pitti Palace (4.000).  the palace is very large but by 10:30 we are ready. Each floor is to whole floors high and you climb up many flights. Walton Drew this little sculpture at the end of a group of rooms while we rested. Adriano cecioni 1836-1886. primi passi.

 

37 Nena Drew this sketch soon after and it is by the same artist but not near each other. Walton Drew part of the Primavera painting by Botticelli in the uffizi Museum.  Walton drew the male figure on the left in a toga with a sword and strange visor like part of a helmet in his hair. a crowd of people kept watching him draw on the floor.

 

38 Guards kept telling each other to go see what Walton was drawing. Some of the guards were in uniform and some were not. Walton was sweating, there were so many people around him. He kept drawing. This Botticelli painting was restored last year and is one of the most famous in this large Museum of Renaissance work.

 

3 9 these are tickets to the Museum’s. uffizi

40 this ticket is to the Modern Art  Museum upstairs. it shows the pitti palace Boboli Gardens.

 

41 we loved watching the artists draw characters in the uffizi  Courtyard and in Venice. Kip

42 as we started home Walton told us he would draw each of our portraits. I can’t say enough about the Treasures of the to museums so I wont. Nena sketch.

43 we stopped to eat in a Chinese restaurant and enjoy the tour guide making jokes. the English tour guide held a chopstick to one Japanese man’s throat.  Sketch of Nena eating a meal.

44 We saw the sisters from Maine outside the restaurant and two other couples at 9:30. We walked back and had baths and went to bed.  sketch of Walton by Kip.

45 June 4th Saturday. we started out late because we were very worn from touring the two art museums yesterday. it is 10:30 and we walk to the San Lorenzo to see the tombs by Michelangelo. it is closed. We walk to the Vecchio Palace to see highly decorated rooms in Courtyard. It is closed. We walk to the National Museum bargello to see Donatello’s David and it is closed. We walk to Michelangelo’s house it is closed. All will be open tomorrow from 9 to 1 on Sunday. We did shop and look around. We ate across from the building where Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

46 we had pizza, a sandwich, and a hot dog. 18.000. we had an extremely nice couple from New York sit next to us. The man saw Walt and having a hard time and asked where he was from. He said you don’t look at Italian are you? Walton’s started to tell him about Harpers Ferry and the Civil War battles. He mentioned John Brown’s fort. Sketch of Stowell name in cartoon. later Walton asked about the joke “ which is heavier, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers?” He was trying to reason the right answer out.

 

47 The young man gave him sugar to hold and napkins. He told him the sugar was denser. Which one was bigger? Walton said the napkins. He then was handed more napkins to weigh the same as the sugar. Sketch of Kip.

 

48 he figured out the solution and explained it well we also talked of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was brought up that Galileo was locked up by the church officials for his discovery. The two coins worked but the feather and coin didn’t. Air resistance was not understood. Kip asked Walton how many sides the tower head on the next page. We sat eating and Kip was figuring it  out all the time. Walton said for I said five and Kip said six. The young man helped us figure it out. At any other angle it would have been easy to figure. the pointed arched area showed four of them, Kip figured it out. Later in the afternoon we saw the answer. What a mystery puzzle! earlier I purchased two earrings and Walton purchased a ship made from a walnut

 

49 drawing of a steeple Tower while we ate near the building in which Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa. chiesa  Della badia Fiorentina across from the national museum bargello.

50 after walking to the b u o n e t t i house comic it found an antique Market. He saw a large puppet with armor. It was 500 .000. Bolton found some smaller  puppets and picked the older antique one for 25 ( 18 dollars). we are excited by our find. We taxi home, rest, and go out to the plaza in front of the Santa Maria novella. we eat nearby and have chicken salad, beer, apple juice, sandwich, and strawberries in wine and cappuccino for dessert. Kip draws the church as we watch  Kids playing soccer in the plaza. We walk home. Kip stays out to study the buildings and to draw. Baths and haircut for Walton. He made a suit of armor out of paper.

 

51 June 5th Sunday. Walton’s dream:  Walton and strangers were having a party on a boat and Walton got bigger in the boat got smaller. The boat disappeared under his knee, like the red thing from the ship did in the tub. St George was in the dream. the puppet was popping balloons with his sword and Walton pushed him down into a chair and said ” you sit here”. they had mashed potatoes, salad, peas, and chocolate ice cream and cake. St George would not  stay seated. Walton said “ hey trash can do you have any room?”St George was worried, But the trash can was full. We awoke at 7:30 am. in the end the dream shrink under Walton’s knee. – this version was written by Nena. Walton talked in his sleep and said “ you sit here” aloud. The dream seemed inspired by his great puppet purchase.

52 Walton’s dream according to Walton:  I was having a party on a boat. There were peas, mashed potatoes, salad, cake and chocolate ice cream. St George was there and he was popping balloons with his sword. I said “ here have a seat”  and I pushed him down. But George would not stay sitting down. So I said “ hey trash can, do you have any room?” St George said “uh oh”. the boat began to shrink. I got bigger. The boat was so tiny that it disappeared under my knee. Suddenly everything disappeared even me, and that is the end.  Sketch of dream.

 

53 We awoke at 7:30 a.m. We went for breakfast at 9:15, took a taxi to the bargello, which was closed. Next we were lucky to tour the Vecchio Palace. it has hand painted ceilings and decorative columns and Michelangelo statues too.  free entry! The courtyards were Grande. Michael Angelo’s house was closed as where the tombs of San Lorenzo. We went in the San Lorenzo church and saw Donatello’s work and others. We went to the Della Maria novella and had lunch there again.  We walked down the Backstreets to the Boboli Gardens. they were closed. One woman was so hot she took off her dress! She had on a navy blue slip. What a riot! We walked up to the fort and spent time viewing Florence from high up and saw lizards Andrew and Roads and napped. sketch of lizards.

 

54 sketch of sipping near the bridge of gold Vecchio.  by Nena.

 

55-56 Medici Palace sketch by Walton and kip

 

57 we walked home eating a good meal 426.500. buying fruit for tomorrow, slides of Florence, Jacob’s Ladder with fans, post and packing to leave for Rome the Eternal City. Baths, bed fights, writing home and playing around. Elizabeth said 6:30 AM and no breakfast. June 6th Monday. I stayed up to pack until 2:30 last night. it was all out of order. I put the Chessmen in the chessboard and the puppet in the chest man’s box. We were on the elevator lift by 7 am. Elizabeth said we could have breakfast. The older man concierge  said for her he would be open. she couldn’t eat because the bus was late. It was 8 a.m. before it came. Traffic I guess. Everyone was relieved to go.

 

58 Sketch of St George and the Dragon by Walton.

 

59 We had to circle around to pick up a Spanish couple at the plaza Maria novella. Then we were off to Siena. So named because of the color of the old bricks, burnt sienna black, Rosa red 10 was last and they were baked. It was a medieval town and unique. The Towne Plaza was sloped period twice a year horse races are run around the Plaza. Elaborate flags are displayed and chair set up everywhere. The movie Windsor War was made here. The cathedral looked like a big cake with candy columns. It was striped inside, green and white marble, and graffiti on the floors. Scratched marble filled with lead, and we walked on cardboard to preserve the material.

 

60 again very important painters in sculptures inside. Wagner visited here  and Alfreda and Kip stopped to photograph the garden interview. These streets wind around so they got lost! we made a turn to the hotel Jolly  Excelsior and they didn’t. I thought Kip was with us. Walton was sitting in the hotel just waiting. Elizabeth thought We knew where he was but we didn’t. I could not find Kip anywhere. not in the men’s bathroom, bar, Garden or Park. Neither could Elizabeth or a man from the bus. Then I went to look for alfreda to see if Kip came back with her.  she was missing two then I knew all of a sudden! when Elizabeth and I were talking, up pulls a taxi with both vagabonds inside.

 

61 What a relief! 20 minutes of hunting. now on to orvieto for lunch. Orvieto Classico was the White wine we had it was good. tenuta le valette secco 1981. orvieto was high on a hill. Pottery and wine shops were everywhere. The cathedral was one of the best in Italy. More gold mosaics and Candy columns and green and white striped on the outside. We ate lunch in a very modern restaurants with stone ceilings, round flat pegs on walls buy tables four coats, purses and cameras. Modern lighting and blue trim on Doors.  they served bread, two pastas, salad, three meats, french fries, and fruit for dessert. Very very good. The waiter kept calling Walton El Capiton and brought him a pillow to sit on.

 

62 the two medieval towns. Everywhere restoration is going on. People are nice and they like Walton. In Sienna a hotel Jolly Porter type man picked up Walton. Waiters pinch his cheeks and Pat his head. Guides asked his name and shake hands were say Chow. (chiao)  Walton says it back and usually smiles. Back in Sienna our guide was typical. He looked like a mare type. He spoke to everyone, carried a leather purse of the professional type, and spoke of his love for his City. two policemen rushed up the hill on motorcycles. when we got up to the church there were three policemen looking at a small Italian man in a car.

 

63 our guide quietly went over to Peak. He said to the policeman “ why all the excitement? nobody got killed it’s only a dent!” He was very unique and kind. Sketch of doors, lighting, guide,  and accident. Fold out of Cathedral.

 

64 2 hours to Rome, we arrive at 5 and bathe and unpack and sleep. Kip goes for two walks. June 7th Tuesday Rome. We awake at 7 a.m. Breakfast is nice. large room with Buffet type tables. Our hotel Globus is excellent. recently decorated. Room 213. We take a tour at 9 a.m. Sketch of bird sculpture light fixture facing Plaza, By Nena.

 

65 We visit the Coliseum and buy a book. We saw the Roman Forum area, US Embassy, fashionable street called Victoria Veneto, trajan column, Unknown Soldier Monument, arches, temples, City wall, circus Maximus, Hadrian’s tomb, Tiber River and Trevi Fountain. In st. Peter’s in Rome Walton said “ someday when I grow up I’m going to build one of these and I’m going to be famous.”  We liked everything. Back at one PM. Ate lunch and walked to Villa borghese down the fashionable Street past the US Embassy. Kip visited the museum and walked all around. Walton saw unusual animals and yaks when we went to the zoo. We let Walton learn to row on the borghese lake. while we waited he drew the bug on the tree and rocks. I drew the Lake.

 

66 Nena’s drawing of Lake.

 

67 we took a trolley back to the hotel. It was 400 each. Head supper for 38.500.  baths. played with St George puppet. Red. Washed out clothes. Brought our own coax back for our refrigerator. There is so much to write about Rome. Acid rain is a real problem and the buildings are dirty from pollution. St Peter’s was grey black. Victorian colors are brick, rust or orange yellow. Not my choice. Kip likes them. Burnt orange and yellows. Many are covered up in order to save them. The pantheon is closed due to something falling on a German visitor last year.

 

68 The pantheon is to be restored soon. Rome is very crowded with 3 million people. The visitors are a problem. Buses are everywhere. The other Hotel no one liked because they were treated poorly. Bugs. Had to pay for butter and orange juice. We are very pleased. The university is all around us. We think their guests stay here. It has a piano Grill we like. Red and blue lights. There’s a platform we sit on in modern king chairs. Very nice prints of Rome  all around and artwork. matting on columns in ceiling where we eat. Candles. Our room has small miles. Long counter like a Howard Johnsons. A separate room for the Wardrobe. Sketch of piano and bar room.

 

69 sketch of room plan. Baby blue walls modern wallpaper Navy tan and pale Kane tile floors, molding, wardrobe, radio, telephone, lights, shelves, hooks, counter, refrigerator, chair, table and air conditioner.  beds are in boxes. Roman ruins are everywhere. Every kind of church or Museum or Villa or monument are here. It is mind-boggling. It was nice to be in a city park yesterday. We liked the Coliseum. It was used as a quarry. for events it had canvas over the top and marble, Steel, bronze and a wooden floor with sand over it. Now of course most of those materials are gone and you can see into the basement. We enjoyed St Peter’s but we’re tired. It was crowded. Walton like a sculpture of a pope with glasses, leaning or walking, which was Modern.

 

70 I believe it was the one during the war. Gregory Peck played the bishop in  the movie version. Also a glass coffin nearby. We saw the famous pieta by Michelangelo, behind bulletproof glass. It looked small compared to the World’s Fair viewing. The scale at St Peters is tremendous, huge. A dove over the altar was 9 ft Wing to Wing.  we ate at 9 p.m. June 8th Wednesday. We wake at 7 a.m. and write and read. We decide to go to Pompeii tomorrow and sign up. We walk and get on a bus. I finally figure out you need a special ticket to ride on the front of buses. we got off and went to CST Mary major, Santa Maria Maggiore, 400 BC, rebuilt. Buried there is Cardinal Rodriguez 1299. The tombs are Holes in the Floor, usually at the altar. In this one there is a huge kneeling statue below.

 

71 Sketch of winged helmet. sketch of kneeling statue. The clothes or vestments are in another glass case with a gold mask inside. Walton looks at these a long time. We taxi to Castel sant’angelo tomb of Hadrian 135 ad. Statues by Bernini 1600s.  It was a fort in the Middle Ages and Walton draws armor like mad. It was connected to the Vatican by a tunnel. We saw the Pope’s Apartments and a view of Rome. Prison cells, cannons and balls. We meet Mary who was living in Germany recently. she talked on and on and told us mini good tips about travel. We ate lunch with her 13.000.

 

72 Walton Drew pieces and helmets and weapons from all over the room . many crowded around,  And said he was magnifico artisto. How old? 6 anos. He was learning about the weapons that medieval adults used to slice and puncture, and all the armors that they used to protect themselves. Drawing of nights with great Helms versus nights with visor helms.

 

73 Walton was excited to get to the Roman forum. We were sitting and talking for a long time to marry. Walton saw an old man with a lute asking for lire.  he wanted to go but was tired. Mary got us the right bus and off we got. Kip went to see Michelangelo’s church and we walked around the wall to the tickets. on page 74 is one of our tickets. Walton got in free. I stopped to look at postcards and he says he’s going on. After a minute or so of just looking, I start down the ramp. Walton is not in sight. I am thinking another lost bag of bond. I look toward the tour group to the right, thinking he went to see the stairs going under ground. I look to the huge columns and steps to the left. I go forward not too pleased.

 

74 Pressed poppies found all over Italy. Leaves all found at the Roman forum. Trees in bloom. Laurel Leaf from the trees. We know it was a bay leaf. The Romans used it in crowns and wreaths. Also chamomile was in Gloom everywhere, a hard to press Wildflower. Ticket.

 

75 All of a sudden I see a little head in the grass on the hill of a ruin  Ahead. Walton pops up. sketch of scene. He found his famous three columns. It does a round Temple avesta. He wants to stay here a long time. Kip shows him a real egg and dart molding,  Which matches are Hall one. They find Latin writing and a bird wing near columns. KIP finds and a cantus leaf and tells us the story behind the basket of acanthus leaves.

 

76 Sketches of column capitals. Acanthus leaf pressed on page 78. Plus the column came about known as Corinthian . Subway ticket  400 Lire. went to Savelli Mosaic Gallery across from the Vatican and purchased a gold piece of Pope Paul a holy Years celebration.

 

… to be continued, with images added !!! (perhaps as a published edition for sale)

 

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England Travel Journal 1989

England Travel Journal 1989

Book written by Nena

Transcribed by Walton

Stowell Family in England

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(light blue cover, sail boat drawing in an oval, cover title ‘Travel Journal’)

first page had signatures of classmates from 1983 because Nena intended to use this book for the family trip to Italy, but saved it and used it for England years later instead. signatures from Mrs. Potrey’s 1st grade class: Marc Rutherford, Nikki Spitzer, Jodi, Tina, Travis, Terry Ott, Stacy Wilt, Jeff Hite, Chasity, Steven, Lucky, Michael, Danny, Shonda, Sarah, Jaime, Brad, Ronnie,

(addresses for mailing post cards to friends and family)

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(Dalek drawing by Walton on title page)

Kip bought china dishware from two shops whose cards were displayed, glued on the first page: Chinacraft, London; Reject China Shops, London

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(British Rail pass ticket, orange tabs)

March 20, 1989

Left Dulles Airport to fly to London. It was a day of packing and organizing the house. In other words Kip was finishing up projects, doing the dishes and packing. Walton was watering plants, packing, raking the driveway, clipping hedges, collecting stories or books to bring, calling friends and cleaning his room. He fed the cat. I was packing, sewing, getting Kip’s medicine, odds and ends and making school packets for kindergarteners and lists for Bonnie. Also because of the open house I had cleaned the 1st floor and was washing clothes and cleaning the 2nd floor like crazy. I wanted everything to be done because this was the dream-trip of my life. I must write that I did not get to hem my rain-coat, but bought a new one on the way to Dulles.

Monday Evening – raining

Dulles Airport & Arriving in London at 6:30. Flight was to leave at 8:30. Checked in and seats were already assigned. We had supper at the airport. Kip & Walton had chicken and mashed potatoes and I have shrimp salad. We boarded the British Airways jet and this older grandmother type lady was trying to trade hats with this guy in shorts and a ring in his ear and high tops on. Her’s was canvas and his a Redskins cap. His coat was longer than his shorts, so he looked like a flasher. It seemed like we stayed up all night watching British videos, but we slept some. Here was our menu for the flight:

(British Airways menu card and boarding pass ticket: BAO216 20 march 1 hour, class M, seat 45J)

Menu: galantine of chicken with orange and cranberries, beef, or salmon (pick one main dish); baked apple sponge with apricot sauce, coffee or tea, and other refreshments.

We were very excited and happy. Erika had called to help me Sunday night with a problem. I called June and Kay. Aunt Marian had sent a card and Kip called his brothers and Dale. Michael and Lauri Peele were around on Saturday. Walton called Jeff.

March 21 Tuesday Morning London

We took our time at Heathrow, cashed money at exchange, and took a bus to Paddington Station. Then we took an English taxi. 3.41 pounds. The cab driver took a U-turn in the middle of the street when he heard Kip say you can go through the middle of Hyde Park. I thought we would turn over and remarked that you could turn this taxi on a dime. We love the owners of our little B&B. We fall asleep easy Tuesday evening. Our room is small and clean. It has a new tub and tiles which they are just finishing. It has coffee and tea, mugs, glasses, towels, bath mat, but no wash cloth. The décor is ugly. Flowers on the wall, yellow and orange lace curtains and bed cover, tan bedspreads, and blue and green rug, white trim on wood-work, and one wall is a textured beige pattern, while our door and bathroom are dark blue. We know that they are new owners and have done lots of rooms. We love the breakfast in the English basement. The kitchen is under the sidewalk. We look for the owners to make a full breakfast each morning. $130 a night, it is quiet and a lovely location. We ate at Garfunkle’s and walked at Hyde Park.

Fairways Hotel, 186 Sussex Gardens, Hyde Park, London W2

Proprietors: Jenny and Steve Adams

“Fairways Hotel is walking distance to Oxford Street, Theatreland, and parks. Hotel is in reach of Paddington mainline and underground stations, Lancaster Gate for convenient transportation to all parts of London.”

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(Receipts from: Tower of London, Thomas Cook, Bath Books, and MOMI museum)

Record of purchases (list): most expensive item was – [6 china plates = $100]

total purchases = 189 pounds = $320

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(Beefeaters with glaive and bill weapons)

 

March 22 Wednesday – Tower of London

We all got 7 day passes which took a while. We jumped on the tube and rode to the Tower of London. The Beefeater guide was a riot. He really got us smiling and talking of beheading and parading the head around; drip…. drip… while the body went back in to be buried under the scaffolding. Making coins, storing treasures, and prisoners. All kinds of visits and tortures, you name it, it went on in the Tower! We toured the White Tower full of armor, and saw the Crown Jewels. We saw torture devices and studied the history of fusiliers. We loved the rooms of Sir Walter Raleigh and stayed a long time. Afterwards we saw Lloyd’s and Sir Christopher Wren churches. Ate at Big Ben, and saw Westminster Abby, and the Parliament. Full moon at night, thrilling!!

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(beefeater photo collage)

March 23 Thursday

Stratford-Upon-Avon

We hiked from the hotel to the pickup point for these maroon buses. Richard Frames Tours – 88 pds. It was a lady guide who was bright, humorous, and let no one push her around. We went to Startford first, due to threatening rain. She (Lilian) talked of Cotswald Country, sheep, small communities, architect, and history all the way there and back. I loved her helping us with the family lines of the English. She said Anne Hathaway’s cottage at Shottery was really a farm and 300 years in that family. She explained how Shakespeare was rich and famous, and the society that gives coat-of-arms gave his dad one, which is unheard of. It made his glove-maker dad very happy, being one item he could not have gotten just from glove making.

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Then the Tour bus took us to beautiful Warwick Castle. You may walk all over the grounds. It is green and being kept up. Madame Tussaud’s placed wax figures in the state rooms to represent a Royal house party of 1898. There are fine collections of armor and weapons, 1000 items, and works of art. A splendid collection which bears witness to the power and influence of the Earls of Warwick through the centuries, bad or good. Walton and Kip crept into the dungeon and figured out how torture devices worked. They climbed the ghost tower but came back quickly and said let’s go.

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I visited the Victorian rose garden with cascading vines and the gift shop. The Red Knight patrols the grounds on horse-back. We felt rushed and ran back through town to catch the bus at 4:00. What a wonderful castle!

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March 24, Friday – Bath

We purchased tickets from the Rail Station for 62 E. This train was very fast (90-125 mph). We had a table to write cards and spread out on. The crescent and circus and square architecture of the city planning, with the architecture and landscape of beautiful trees, and tree-lined streets, make Bath wonderfully unique. John Wood and his son were the architects of the city (1700s). Bath has a Roman Bath hot springs area (built about 2000 years ago). The Romans took advantage of the natural hot water by constructing an impressive complex with a great lead-lined hot bath (120 degrees F). There are smaller baths and cold plunges, and special rest rooms with underfloor heating. All this was uncovered around 1880. The super-structure over it is Victorian.

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(post card and pump room dining)20180422_171514.jpg

Here is the pump room where we ate lunch and since it was tea-time, a trio played. Kip had an open-faced roast beef sandwich with horse-radish sauce. Walton had a steak sandwich. You could take the waters from the fountain in the large arched window.

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Our favorite – one house on the Royal Crescent was for sale for 62,578 pounds.

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We walked to the Royal Crescent buying tea cakes on the way. We caught a double-decker red bus to tour the city. It took us way up to the mansion which is now a Catholic school for boys. On the train we met a boy from the Protestant rival school. He was getting ready to write a paper on Shakespeare. Kip showed us his favorite Palladian bridge at the school which was way down below the tour bus in a ravine. It was cold and we found a police box coin-bank souvenir for Walton and a flag wash cloth for Kip. The guys decided they wanted to visit the bridge, so they got a taxi and plunge down an embankment through mud and wind. Walton reports Kip whispering the whole time. I guess they never looked back either, and kept going. They were happy when they were able to get to the small bridge even though it was vine covered. Next stop train station!

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We ate at an Indian restaurant on a London street with large windows. We were surprised at how hot the menu was, for am English culture known for bland food like fish and chips! It was good but hot!!! Kip’s was hottest, then Walton’s was medium, and Nena’s was mild. Ice cream was almond and yogurt, and looked like a dalek in a boat!

March 25, Saturday

London – Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum

On this day, after having a full breakfast of eggs (Walton got little Easter eggs), English bacon, juice, and toast with marmalade, tomato or mushrooms, pineapple, and fried bread slice; we chose to go to Madam Tussaud’s. It was a very long line outside, with clowns and venders everywhere. Once inside the atmosphere was very exciting. You could go up to every wax figure, except the Royal family. (diagram of royals) Most of the figures were modeled from an hour sitting (even Ben Franklin and George Washington and Kennedy family). Mr. T and Henry the 8th’s wives, Cher, Michael Jackson were our favorites. Also Agatha Christie. Walton liked the dark scary alley and the horror hall. King John, King Richard the Lion Hearted, and Henry VIII were Kip’s favorites. Edward VII and William the Conqueror were great too.

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Next we went to MOMI (Museum of the Moving Image).

MOMI was a very modern museum under one of the bridges. I loved the computer art exhibit, and the sand cartoon method. Kip liked the sound exhibit. Walton loved the Dalek (it talked) under the stairs “Invasion, invasion; get out of this hall!”. Star Wars had models and sets. Tik-tok from Return to Oz was there. Besides watching some classic films, actors were explaining or teaching us more; like filming a western or doing a news cast. One man was teaching kids to draw cartoons in the round. Here is where we purchased the Tardis, dalek, and K-9 Dr Who toys. We decided the Doctor and other alien dolls were too expensive and we could sew our own. We ate lunch by the Thames and saw a bookstore flea-market. Walton got a book “Dr Who and the King’s Demons”.

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From here we rode the tube underground, to Soane (not Sloane that is another one) Square where we saw Kip’s favorite house.

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Sir John Soane’s House Museum in London was interesting. Kip loves Soane’s use of mirrors and light. Soane collected artifacts from all over the world, and mounted them on the walls. Built in 1808 Soane was ahead of the times. (Breakfast room) There was an Egyptian sarcophagus in the hall (empty).

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Ate supper at McDonalds, which was Art Deco with light colors, mirrors, marble, and chrome; and was very large with 2 floors!! Food tasted about the same. hehe

Next we went to the Phoenix Theater to see Derek Jacobi in Shakespeare’s Richard the Second. It was not an action production, but one of character principles and emotional Elizabethan. Richard was strong and sympathetic boling broke taking over tis later Henry IV. Duchess of York, gaunt. Aumerle, Queen.

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St. Paul’s Cathedral – Easter Day March 26, Matins and Sermon 1030

We attended 2 hours of service. The site was used for Christian worship since 604 AD. Offerings to God on our behalf through Psalms, Canticles, and Anthems (Kenneth Leighton & Bishop).

The Apsley House was mind stretching also. It is called M.1 London because the public loved the Duke of Wellington so much. When he defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo he was presented with gifts from kings and emperors and trophies and multi-story honors. In the plate and china room there is a vast Egyptian service ordered by Napoleon for Josephine when they divorced. Velazquez, Rubens, Goya, and Van Dycks.

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London sight-seeing

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On Easter we rode on another open-top big red double-decker bus where they put a tape on for places of interest. They played music sometimes. Kip snapped pix after pix and we thought he would fall out of the top. We began at Baker Street (221b) and Piccadilly Street where the Ritz Hotel, shops, film industry, theaters, and the financial district came along. They told us over 900 insurance companies were in London. Our favorite is Lloyd’s of London and its over London Bridge (the new one) and saw 2 robots and Traitors Gate. We looked at the Fire Monument, which if you laid it down would point towards near the baker shop where the fire started. We saw Cleopatra’s needle, law courts, HMS Belfast, National Theater, Westminster Abby, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. There are over 1000 rooms. We went by Buckingham Palace, and Green Park where someone’s wife had the flowers ripped out because he picked some for his mistress and she saw him. We rode by Wellington Museum, the Hard Rock Cafe, Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods, and the club where Charles had his bachelor party. Then went to the National Gallery. Finally to Trafalger Square.

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We walked through St. James Park where we saw black swans, until we came to Buckingham Palace. We stopped at the gates, and watched 3 guards through the tall black fence. They were not guarding the Queen since she was gone. We learned the flag would be up and there would be more guards on duty. The middle crest was not gilded like the other 2 gates. Kip told us about adding on the front part of the palace and the back U was somewhat more attractive. We walked on to Green Park where only daffodils were up. It was green though. We saw the horse paths for the very rich. Then we came to the Duke of Wellington’s house and statues. We passed the Hard Rock Cafe again to the delight of Walton. We walked Hyde Park and the corner where people get on their soap boxes to speak. We walked past Marble Arch and the Serpentine Lake and hurried to the hotel. Later ate pizza.

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Monday 27th

Off we trotted to Kensington Palace peeling off clothes and watching a man clean fountains and a man roller skating around the Round Pond. Kip loved the Orangery because it was a superb example of cut brick work. He saw how the colonies copied Kensington and this period of architecture. We went in to see the Court Dress Collection and the State Apartments. We loved the special clothing you had to wear in court. We saw Kip’s uniform circa 1900. (diagram)

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This period spanned 12 reigns and sometimes court was held at evening and sometimes in late afternoon. Money helped but was not the only criteria to be invited. It was very select. This palace was the childhood home of Queen Victoria (royal residence since 1689). Sir Christopher Wren redesigned the house. We saw Princess Victoria’s bedroom and toys. We walked up the Queen’s staircase and saw the King’s stairs. We loved the furniture and curtain treatments, and want to use the ideas for our house. The King’s Gallery, the Cupola Room, the Sunken Gardens, the reception room and bedrooms were smashing.

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Diana’s wedding gown was on display. I liked the arabesque ceiling copied from Pompeii. It was the first copy ever done and fit with the grandness of the oak and furniture and height of the ceilings. Walton liked the dress swords and the lions and unicorns heads on frescoed walls of the King’s staircase. The gallery was designed for the collection of 17th and 18th century paintings.

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We walked on to see Prince Albert’s Memorial. We liked it but Kip told us it was the epitome of bad taste years ago. Prince Albert was married to Queen Victoria. We walked to the St. Nicholas Training Center at Princes Gate, and it was closed for Banker’s Holiday. We went to V&A where Kip went to see the fine English furniture collection. Walton and I walked to Reject China stores to buy Ansley cereal bowls.

(Kensington Palace guide – State Apartments Court Dress Collection)

We met at Beauchamp and Walton Street. We found Walton House on Walton Street. Then we hunted for a toy store being that Harolds was closed. We found one on Regent Street. 5 floors of toys! No Doctor Who though. We bought a rolling ruler, amazin! It does parallel lines and on and on. Then we bought theater tickets to the Secret of Sherlock Holmes. It was so superb, very British. Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke were all the cast, and certainly handled the moods and historic setting. It was clever how they delved into the relationship of Holmes and Watson, and their psychologies. The stage rotated in a complete circle, and dry ice was used effectively. At the end the play brought us back to reality (at least of the books) when the door-bell rang with clients waiting. The secret was he invented a 2nd personality (Moriarty).

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(Wyndhams Theatre ticket – 27-mar-1989, grand circle-C-20, 9.50 pounds)

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Tuesday March 28th

We packed and mailed postcards. Took taxi to the airport. (British Airways 37D)

Plane menu: smoked mckerel fillet with herbs, turkey, or lamb; chocolate dessert

End Note: look up Netherfield Place, 30 acres, Battle East Sussex, TN 33 9pp (04246) 4455

Helen and Michael Collier

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