I am so longing to travel. In recent years all my trips have been in the U.S. to visit family and friends (New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Washington) which were fun and joyous, but didn’t really scratch my travel itch quite the way international travel does. In early 2020 my husband and I had started planning a trip to Scotland, but the pandemic quickly put the kibosh on that!
Now my youngest daughter and I have been floating around ideas (likely for 2022 travel) and though I have been to London a number of times (and my daughter once when she was 11) it is on our list. The last time I was there was in 2007. I had booked us at the Lime Tree Hotel in Belgravia. It looked nice and was in a good neighborhood located within walking distance of a lot we wanted to visit–the Tate Britain Museum, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, the Victoria & Albert Museum (one of my favorites anywhere), Westminster Abbey, the London Eye.
Even though I wasn’t reselling at the time, there was a tiny British Red Cross charity shop just a few doors down from the hotel and I stopped in a few times during our stay. I bought myself a blazer and a book. It turns out the Sylvia Plath book was a scarce children’s one titled “The Bed Book.” I bought it for two pounds (approx $3.50 U.S. at the time) and I later sold it online for $60–not a bad little flip considering I wasn’t trying!
Nowadays any travel I do ALWAYS includes thrifting and antiquing. I have a basic travel agenda: visit one or two really good museums, eat a lot of good local food, see the famous sites, attend a local performance of some kind, people watch in a park and shop at a few thrift and antique stores. I am also not adverse to taking interesting tours. In 2013 my youngest daughter and I spent a week in Prague and went on a couple of great tours. One was a WWII history walking tour and since there were only five of us in the group our guide had time to show us a few bonus spots and answer all our questions. The tour was fascinating (and heart breaking) and our guide was so attentive, informative and dreamy I had to give him a generous tip!
Here’s view from the top of the famed Prague astronomical clock.
Of course the problem with buying stuff on vacation is getting it home! Things have to fit into my check-in suitcase and carry-on tote purse. They have to be small and generally unbreakable. And the more valuable items have to be able to fit into my purse.
These sterling silver salt cellars (with original blue glass liners and spoons!) were perfect to tuck in my purse for a flight home.
And two years ago while visiting my youngest daughter at college in Bellingham, Washington, I found these four hand-painted Russian soldier/sailor ornaments at an antique store. Small and wood they were easy to secure in my luggage.
So it is definitely worth it to source on vacation…and so exciting. But I don’t need to tell you that!
And will we get back to London in 2022? No idea at this point, but I’m hoping it will be a possibility. I did check out the Lime Tree Hotel website and was delighted to see that it looks better than before! Turns out that during the pandemic the owners updated it. I would be happy to stay here again.
Love this room with the library shelf wallpaper.
Here’s how Conde Nast Traveler sums up the hotel. Doesn’t the “first impression” sound perfect for a vintage lover?
In the meantime I’ll play tourist closer to home. Maybe even this weekend! The Cantor Arts Center just three miles away has re-opened and it’s been a few years since I’ve been. (Their snuff bottle collection is one of my favorites.) And I haven’t been to the beautiful Filoli Gardens for some time either. And two antique stores ten miles up the road reopened a while ago and I still haven’t popped in. (I’m overdue.) And I’m spoiled for choices for great food in Silicon Valley.
It won’t be the same excitement as going to London, but at least I won’t have to endure a tediously long flight and deal with jet lag!
Wishing you happy hunting where ever life finds you.