*sigh* I must admit I’m a bit sad now that the April A-Z Blogging Challenge is over – that was fun! Not that I don’t blog every day anyway, but having the alphabet as a daily prompt was cool. My inspiration for the next week’s posts will instead be a week of hosting an out-of-town guest. One of my closest friends from university is here, and aside from the many memories and qualities that make this gal special to me, this particular visit carries a lot of nostalgia because I was traveling with this same friend the very, very first time I ever set foot on UK soil. She was with me the first time I saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the River Thames, etc. thirteen years ago, so in 2011 she’s excited to experience the more everyday side of life now that I’m living in London.

We just returned from a sunny afternoon in Windsor, where we didn’t, in fact, tour the castle, but nonetheless had a lovely time wandering the shops and sitting to lunch with a few of my mates on the Thames at RiverHouse pub.

Yesterday, we likewise had a royally great time walking through Kensington Gardens and falling under the spell of its “Enchanted Palace” exhibit, still on through spring of next year while Kensington Palace is being refurbished. Kensington Palace is most recently renowned as the home of Princess Diana, where she raised William and Harry, but it was home to several other princesses as well. I won’t mention their names, as part of the Enchanted Palace’s activity is to discover each one for yourself as you step back in time and tiptoe through their stories, room by enchanted room. Since my first visit to this exhibition a year ago, the fashions and artwork on display have changed, and it’s my understanding that they were to shift once more as of today. So I could describe exactly what I saw, but it would be different for you if you were to see it as of this week.

And I wouldn’t describe it in detail to you anyway! Not to be a jerk, but to leave some mystery to be desired… What is most integral to Enchanted Palace is that it’s an experience. It’s not about taking a stale palace tour and loading your cranium with facts that you won’t retain past the gift shop as you exit; it’s about understanding the essence of what characterized the lives of each of the seven featured princesses. Through a blend of high fashion, artwork, poetry, and audiovisual effects, Enchanted Palace presents history in an avant-garde style that leaves a lasting impression. Certainly, it’s the most unique way one could tour a historic palace.

I’ll leave it at that. If you’re relocating to London this year or just planning a visit, check out Kensington Palace’s Enchanted Palace website and the location itself for a bit of atmosphere and magic, as well as profound insight into the life of a Princess.