KAYAKING THE CHICAGO RIVER AT NIGHT TO SEE THE FIREWORKS

The Chicago River is black. VERY black at night. I stood at the rail on the pier, my life vest securely fastened and stared at the River. I had agreed to join a friend, Jean, to go kayaking on the Chicago River this Saturday night to watch the Navy Pier fireworks. The closer the day... Read more »

Victoria and Albert Museum

We were off to the Victoria and Albert Museum. https://www.vam.ac.uk/  I did not remember having visited it during any of my previous visits to London and I was looking forward to it. I had not read up on it beforehand so I was not prepared for what it was. Which is a museum of “decorative... Read more »

Arriving at our Flat in Kensington, London

Our Flat: A Review The flat was perfect for me. It was on the 3rd and 4th floors of the house in Kensington. The large living room included a television that we were able to access with no difficulty and a sleeping sofa that the two kids fit on easily and deemed comfortable, The kitchen had all... Read more »
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The Prince of Wales Pub and Pub Chains

Unpacked and jet lagged but anxious to start out and ready for lunch, the family, my colleague and I walked the three blocks to the Prince of Wales  for our first London pub experience.http://www.greeneking-pubs.co.uk/pub/prince-of-wales-kensington/c1198/    I had fish and chips with hard cider .I prefer dark beers but one stout or a Guinness and I’m ready for a... Read more »

Kensington Palace and Princess Diana

We began the morning with a stroll to Kensington Palace, just about around the corner from us. https://www.hrp.org.uk/media/1227/kphistory_v1.pdf .     There were no tours but sufficient information posted around the rooms to provide a good idea of the objects within. The Palace had basically been turned into a museum. The first royals to live in the Palace were... Read more »

Settling into our Flat in London

We unpacked and set out to buy our groceries, a cake and some wine. There was no map or directions for getting to the grocery, Boots or the bakery that I had requested. Luckily I had detained the Meeter/Greeter long enough to get a brief set of directions. We found our way. What she had... Read more »
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Flying to London

Erin’s husband picked us up at 5 pm. We were worried about traffic going out to the airport but to our surprise there was very little; it flowed beautifully. I had printed my tickets at home but. because Erin had used her mobile, she had to print out her pass at a kiosk.  Even this went... Read more »

Thursday July 26-Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Thai Pub

Erin departed. Early. United airlines had sent a message warning that, because the new Trump regulations were going in this week, we should allow extra time. We had also been warned about London’s early morning traffic. So the car that the apartment manager had gotten for her picked her up at 6:30 am for a... Read more »

Friday July 21: Return to Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London

Back touring with the kids. Tower of London . We should have gotten a guided tour. The stories are missing and the Tower is really simply a museum. However, we did see the scratch marks and etchings (graffiti) that the prisoners made while being held in the Salt Tower. Some of them were very detailed... Read more »
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Sherlock Holmes, Wallace Collection and High Tea

Wednesday, July 19 Sherlock Holmes Home and Museum I’ve been teaching a course in the History of the Mystery and, of course, I taught Sherlock Holmes. We always read the first story, A Study in Scarlet, in which Holmes and Watson meet. Holmes is looking for someone to share his home and Watson is looking... Read more »
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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also traveled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For 10 years my husband and I traveled to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. I've joined a tour to Central Asia and traveled to China to work with the pandas. Two years ago, I returned to Europe--Inreland, England, and France--to present a paper at a Conference and then visit friends. It's 2017 now and London once again draws me in. This time I'm fulfilling my dream of taking my grandchildren to Europe. I've rented a flat near Hyde Park and ordered London passes for everyone. A new adventure. Old friends. Another banquet.

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