Saturday, May 14, 2011

Victoria & Albert Museum

Monday afternoon I met my new friend Bethie (and her cutie-pie baby daughter, Charlotte) at the Victoria & Albert Museum.  I had been there once before, but it was about 10 years ago, and I had forgotten how HUGE the museum is. The map is 6 pages!  We took turns picking exhibit halls that sounded interesting, and ended up seeing quite an interesting variety of stuff -- ranging from historical clothing and furniture to a pink Sanyo boombox circa 1986.

We took lunch/tea break mid-afternoon in the museum cafe, which in and of itself was quite impressive.
museum cafe ceiling
Charlotte took a little snooze while we ate, attracting a bevy of cooing American ladies from a neighboring table.  She's a cutie!
We eventually made our way to the jewelery hall, which had an impressive collection of completely over-the-top diamond-encrusted bling.  We were the only people in that particular hall, and got into a conversation with a particularly chatty and knowledgeable security guard.  We were surprised to learn that the maze-like building had been purpose-built as a museum, and he was sharing some background information about Prince Albert when one of the other security guards came in and reminded us that the museum would be closing soon.

Bethie wanted to change Charlotte's diaper before they headed home, so we made our way back to the cafe area where they had a restroom with a changing table.  They appeared to be setting up for an event in the cafe as we zipped past.  Sure enough, soon after Bethie got Charlotte set up on the changing table, a woman came in and announced that she needed to prepare the room for a special event.  As Bethie wondered aloud why they would be holding a special event in the bathroom, a security guard walked in and strongly hinted that we should be on our way.  As we made our way out, we were essentially escorted out of the museum by a series of security guards.   They were very polite about it, but clearly we had overstayed our welcome.  I think we were the very last visitors to exit the building.

Still, we had a lovely time, but I'll need to plan another visit sometime, as we probably only saw about 20% of the museum.

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