Monday was President’s Day and an American holiday, therefore it was also DATE DAY! And a perfect time for it since it fell three days after Valentine’s Day.

My V-day was awesome. I woke up and was given my first (teacher-assisted) homemade card and a single rose by a gorgeous little blond boy and then two dozen more and two boxes of chocolates by his awesome daddy.

At the embassy there was a champagne reception in the lobby in the afternoon. I wrote the time down wrong on the calendar and showed up half an hour late but did manage to get one glass of champagne before they completely ran out.

My hubby and I also got our very first photo with an A-list celebrity!! The cast of 24 is filming their new season in London, and half a dozen members of the cast were visiting the embassy and being kind enough to pose for a ton of pictures with embassy staff. I try to protect people’s privacy somewhat and haven’t seen any coverage of it on the internet. So I’ll just say that I loved him in Miss Congeniality and in his current role on Modern Family. 🙂

With that kind of a start to the weekend, you can imagine my disappointment when my hubby was laid low by the stomach flu…repeatedly…starting at 3am on Date Day. So I cancelled our reservation for the five-course tasting lunch at One Twenty-One Two at the Royal Horse Guards Hotel (courtesy of Living Social London).

But I was still feeling okay, so I took our munchkin to nursery school and proceeded on to the CLO tour of the Houses of Parliament that I’d signed us up for. And the tour was great. I was disappointed that we weren’t allowed to take photos past the visitor’s entrance in Westminster Hall, but I’m sure I can find plenty of them to steal off of the internet.

And I learned a few things…like the basic function of the two separate houses…Lords vs. Commons…and got to see some neat historic artifacts…like the guard’s log book entry when they discovered the 36 barrels of gunpowder hidden beneath the building by Guy Fawkes in 1605.

Houses of Parliament.

Houses of Parliament.

House of Lords with Queen's throne.

House of Lords with Queen’s throne (internet photo).

House of Commons.

House of Commons (internet photo).

Westminster Hall is 900 years old, and they found really old tennis balls in the rafters. The rest of the building had burned down in a fire, was only 150 years old and constructed in Victorian Neo-Gothic. Part of the building had been bombed in WWII and was only 70 years old. One staircase had hand-painted wallpaper that cost £450 per strip…and the taxpayers were livid.

Westminster Hall.

Westminster Hall.

Sadly, my nice relaxing day out was also cut short. I had a lovely tuna sandwich and a berry smoothie at Prêt à Manger after the tour…and it all came back up a few hours later. The stomach flu had found me too.

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