Posted by: 2girls2europe | June 20, 2011

Mews is not short for “museum” and other lessons

This day did not exist.

Well, at least not according to the itinerary Jessie and I concocted. Fully expecting to arrive to London stumbling from sleeplessness, we blocked out today and tomorrow as “R AND R.” Yeah, we are wimpies when we get inadequate sleep.

So, as far as I am concerned, today Jessie and I rocked out with our coc—I mean—maps out. We successfully located our hotel, Skyped loved ones, saw Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and even met this lady (well, kind of).

But with every success comes an inevitable, epic FAIL. We had one today. Let me set the scene for you.

So Jessie and I are bopping along Buckingham Palace Road, feelin’ all “I’m-a-gonna-go-see-some-shtuff” and we come across this place called the Mews. Now, I think to myself, “Oh that must be some funky little abbreviation for museum. Mews. Oh those crazy Brits.” Jessie and I spontaneously decide to check it out.

We scamper across the street to examine the location hours and information. Per usual, we skim.  After determining that we get a student discount (score!) we pay the £7.25 pounds (about $12 USD) to enter. We grab our free audio tour equipment (“Oh my stars,” Jessie gushes in a middle America accent) and embark upon what we think will be a tour of the inside of Buckingham Palace.

Oh how disastrously wrong we were.

One of the first sights in the guided tour included two random horses in a stable. Royal horses at that. I thought about curtsying but decided against it. Kind of odd, but okay.

Then we entered a square courtyard that looked more like a classed up driveway than anything royal. Um, what? Before long, we were listening to the classy British lady in our headphones discuss various royal stagecoaches and the importance of the “harness room.”

It is here that Jessie turned to me and asked, “Gina, did we just pay for a tour about horses?” Oh god…did we? I hesitantly unfold my brochure, confirm her suspicion and hang my head in shame. We were on the Buckingham Palace side tour, not the main tour, about the royal horses and carriages.

Nevertheless, all was not lost. We learned that the Queen likes to name the royal horses (my favorite was “Tolerance”) because she loves them all, and that the grand finale (or huge golden stagecoach) weighs four tons and transports newly coronated kings. (Apparently, some of the would-be Kings thought the Coach was too uncomforable. Tough life they lead.) Also, we now know that the word “livery” means “fantastically ugly costume that coach-driving servants must wear… by order of the queen. Or else.”

Chuckling to ourselves, we strolled out of the Mews with a renewed appreciation for our spontaneous adventures, even if they didn’t turn out as planned.

Not bad for a day we had planned on napping away.




  1. Jessie!

    I’m so glad you’re having a blast in GB! 🙂

    Have an amazing time and soak it up!



  2. This just sounds like something I’d do…too excited to notice that I was paying for the side tour. But now you’re an expert on the queen’s horses, and how many people can brag about that! Love the post!

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