I guess we sensed each other's being awake, as Tiger soon got up and turned on the moody lights. Then he stood there digging in his suitcase. Having found what he wanted, he turned to me and said: "Happy birthday, angel."
He cuddled close, presenting me two envelopes - the white and the red one. The white one had my name on it and was pierced in the corner, with a tiny cute material bad laced down. I untangled the bag, which said "love to go" on it and found a little heart made of white stone inside. It was a cute and smooth good luck souvenir to start my birthday.
After breakfast and back in our room, Tiger dropped me onto bed playfully and kissed me. He tasted like coffee and croissants. I guess I reached Nirvana there and then, as I dived fully into the moment and was happy from head to toes.
We wanted to celebrate in the city. Outside, where else?! We hurried out of the hotel and walked to the Buckingham Palace. On our way, we discovered and stepped by in Starbucks. The morning sun just started to share its warmth. Wrapped up cosily and with a warm brew in our hands, we picked a table outside. Sitting on the corner of Starbucks was what Tiger would call his favourite moment that day.
The closer we came to the palace, the more tourists we saw. I started playing with my cam. Friendly tourists and release delay did the work of photographing us as a couple. Red tulips contrasted on the yellow backdrop - the English know how to take care of gardens.
Birthday messages kept accumulating as I felt like spending my birthday without looking too much onto my phone. I was happy around the Buckingham palace.
We did not stay long and walked upstream, against the crowds, to the Green Park Corner station. My energy levels started to drop in the park. We took it slow and bought some berries at the supermarket. A little break and some rest was what I needed. We chose a bench in the park and sweet-toothed our snacks. Tiger wore his sun-glasses and I complemented him on the way he looked. He smiled and told me a story behind his accessory. It came out, George Clooney wore the same glasses in the movie "The American" and Tiger liked them so much that he researched and ordered.
Victoria and Albert Museum
We then rode to Victoria and Albert museum to see the Tipoo Tiger. The exponate was a musical organ and a must see, according to the travel guide book. We picked it because it was a tiger and we somehow felt connected. The guard at the entrance of the museum asked a peculiar question: "Alcohol in your bag?" I shook my head in a good-girl-manner and we were let through. Tiger laughed on the way: "Oh yes, we want to get drunk in a museum!"
It was a great exhibition, I would browse more e.g. in the Buddha hall. Even though my energy levels were in debit, I took my time to look around and read. Again, the Buddha story described a Nepalese prince who left his palace at the young age, saw people suffering and managed to overcome desire.
Taking it slow and not giving up, I admired the inner yards of the museum, which reminded of the MoMA in New York. We sat down in the sun. A girl in a stripped T-shirt and her boy-friend were sitting in front of us. The guy was sketching the building beautifully into his notebook. I wish I could draw like him.
Before leaving V&A to the hotel, Tiger bought me a book at the Dior exhibition shop. There and then, I had an idea of drawing those girls from the book. Of learning how to draw. It seamed like a new hobby to take upon.
Our lunch was at Rosa's Thai around Victoria station. Fresh mango for desert was especially tasty. Each place tried to be authentic, I noticed. Owners would put some history on the paperback of the menu. Rosa's Thai had a patterned mosaic printed on their menues, which reminded me of the artist Esher playing with forms and symmetries.
After lunch, we looked for books and cards and wedding guestbooks. I came across some travel documentaries and novels to buy.
We considered going to the musical, but Wicked was really expensive that day. As Tiger gave her cirque de sollei tickets as a birthday present, they skipped the musical in London.
"Let’s go out in the evening," Tiger said browsing for ideas. Soon he found Hampton’s bar. It was a small venue at a posh hotel and when we arrived, I first felt like I was in a wrong place, but it seemed to be new fashion to make hotels' restaurants and bars open to public.
Cheering with a glass of rioja, I stated: "I don’t feel like 34. It’s a very happy birthday, celebrated with style!"
"So it should be!" Tiger answered.
Time passed by and we were ready to place a food order.
„It feels like no one cares we are here,“ Tiger exclaimed and went to check up on the waiters.
More wine and some tapas to share finally arrived.
„You are a bit punch in the face, hey?“ I smiled at him.
Tiger smiled back, confused.
I added to ease: „I think it is hot, because you are doing it for both of us.“
He reached out to hold my hand.
The evening at Hampton's was full of cute cooking inspiration ideas for a friends meet up. We stayed for a chat in the bar area, then moved to the lively lobby for a browse. Hotel's decorations were for Eater: sunflowers in vases and hatched eggs beside.
As our taxi drove us home, I was full of anticipation of three more days in London, full of new adventures to discover.