Monday, February 22, 2010

Chinese New Year

February 14th was the official Chinese New Year's day, but here in the UK, they celebrate it for a whole month. This year was the Year of the Tiger, so I thought it was perfect for being from Louisiana (LSU Tigers). They had the official parade, acrobatics, other performances, and the lion dance on Sunday, February 21. I, with a friend and her daughter, took the ITT trip done to London for the day. The bus left at 8am, and we arrived in London at about 10:30am. When we got there, the festival for the Chinese New Year was not going to begin until 12pm. We knew we had some time to walk around and look at different things, and that is when I realized that the changing of the guards start at about 10:30am and doesn't end until after noon. We started heading to Buckingham Palace. On our way, I was walking along side of the road at a distance. I was not close to it at all, but it was against a fairly busy road. A taxi came flying by and hit a puddle and water splashed all over me. I just thought I was going to have a rough day from then on out. When we got to Buckingham Palace, we were able to get along the road to watch the guards marching up and the police on their horses. I sat there and watched them even though I have already seen the show. My friend and her daughter had not seen it before, so they watched, too. When it got closer to noon, we started making our way back to the Chinese New Year festivities. By this time, it was 11:45am and my friend and her daughter were getting hungry. We found warm cafe inside the National Portrait Museum right outside of the Chinese festivities. The parade was due to start at 12pm sharp, so needless to say we missed it because we were eating. I am not use to having children with me and the time it takes them to eat. But I did later catch the people and music that was involved in the parade, so that made up for it. I watched the Lion Dance, and the crazy things that those guys underneath that suit could do. It was really neat to see. After that ended, I walked to Chinatown because I had not been yet. Plus, that was the whole reason why I was there. Chinatown was, of course, extremely packed, but it was worth every bump and push. I was able to finally eat at an all you can eat buffet! The line was out the door, but I waited patiently to get in. The tables were huge picnic tables where everyone sat by one another. It was a neat little experience, and I would love to go back on a less busy day. I had so much time until the bus came to pick me up, so I wondered around London. I went to the park right there. As I was walking through, I saw a guy standing in the walkway by a bench with a bag of peanuts just sitting by him. He was feeding the squirrels. So many of them were running right up to him, and I thought it was really neat to see. Well as I walked farther, there was another guy that was feeding the squirrels right off the fence. There was so many squirrels, including one that looked like he had his tail cut off. The guy told me that if I put my leg out and showed the squirrel the peanut, that he would climb right up my leg and eat it out of my hand. So I just had to try it, too. Sure enough, a squirrel climbed right up my leg and ate the peanut I was holding. It was so cool. I can't wait to take Wiley back and let him experience. I had the cutest little squirrel footprints on my blue jeans. After that, we decided to go feed the birds. Well they get very excited when people feed them and sometimes fight. Well I caused a huge scene... of course I did. I wouldn't be Sarah if I didn't. So I was feeding all the birds and they were getting all stirred up. They were fighting and flying right over my head (wings flapping my hair type of close) trying to get the food I had. As I was tossing it out, more and more of them came flying towards me. Well..... long story short, a bird pooped on my head! Not to mention on two other people's head and I felt horrible because they were trying to take pictures of me with feeding the birds so they were really close and they got pooped on. They laughed about it, but I still sort of felt horrible. But I was having a blast, so I didn't even care. Just thankfully a lot did not get on me. I was able to easily wash it out with no problems, and it did not stink! My day turned out to be awesome. I was able to do things that I would have never been able to convince Wiley to do. I finally saw Chinatown and was able to eat Chinese for lunch and dinner! Woo hoo! Not to mention, when I was in Chinatown, I came up close to the Lion Dance people. They were able to explain everything to me, and I got to see it up close and personal. So I was able to get a couple of pictures. The bus left London to head back home at a little after 7pm. I got to my house at about 10:30 to find Wiley on the computer waiting for me, so we could chat! It was an awesome day, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

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