It has officially been one week since I arrived here in London and it has been great. I love being here and all of the history I have experienced has changed me and it is all so fascinating. My spirits are high but my bank account is low. It was amazing to think that even though I came with $1,000 when I converted it I really only had around 500 pounds. So it really was a huge disappointment to think I was going to have a lot of money when I got here, when really I only had about half of it after conversion. Aside from paying for things this trip has been amazing. I mentioned seeing a lot of history and I really have. I was able to visit Westminster Abby which has been my favorite thing so far. It was a church full of happiness, sadness, and just the history of London through the past century. Those graves were older than the birth of the United States. It was amazing seeing how much the English appreciate and honor the great people who have lived before them including the monarchs, scientists, authors, and poets. I wish America was old enough to celebrate things from that long ago. In America we do have so many things to be proud of, the only down side is that a lot of them involve the wars we have been. I did find it really cool that a monument of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. were here in London and it just shows how much they appreciate great people in history even if they are not English.
After seeing that amazing Abby I went on a very long walk to Buckingham Palace. The palace is surrounded by two parks. St. James Park and Green Park. It was probably about two miles I walked from end to end. The palace was nice but again it was just another building. The parks though were very gorgeous. St. James was my favorite and the had such beautiful grounds and you could tell people liked it because there were so many people there. We did sit down at the park for a bit because our feet were so tired and there were these chairs that looked very comfortable but you had to pay money to sit in them. I did not want to pay and we were going to just sit in them anyway but there was an officer walking around checking if people had paid and kicking some people out so we decided just to sit in the grass but it was just as nice.
Another thing we did that day was visit Houses of Parliament. It was great learning a lot more about how their government works. I really enjoy their system and like it a bit more then the American system. One thing I really appreciated was that when they vote on anything they literally all leave the room and vote in person and their vote is written down. It takes about 30 minutes to an hour to get through the voting but it is a lot more effective than electronic voting. They did not go electronic because that can lead to accidents by clicking the wrong button or even to cheating because someone could hack in and change the votes. I think their method takes a lot longer but is overall a lot more effective.
We have done a lot of other fun things and still have an entire week of things to go. I am very excited to visit Paris on Wednesday and may be then make some comparisons between England and France. We will also be visiting New Scotland Yard and even seeing a play production of Wicked hopefully. So stay tuned and Cherrio!