Visiting the U.K. – Part 7.5So I said in my past update that I was planning on doing a separate post entirely for our trip to Madame Tussaud’s.
It’s been a long time, and I’m a horrible slacker – but here it is at last.
When we got to Madame Tussaud’s it was only like a half hour til they closed. We weren’t even sure they’d let us in. However, we checked at the ticket counter and they said it was fine.
Unfortunately for me, I hadn’t yet grown accustomed to the exchange rate between U.S. dollars and the pound. My brain was fixed on mathematical-challenged mode and I couldn’t figure out how much I was spending to get in. It was roughly £28 for an adult ticket – which when converted ends up being something like $45 per person and of course we opted in for a nice souvenir booklet. So, for our visit to the wax museum – I ended up paying around $100.
Don’t let that conversion rate stick you, folks!
Here’s one thing about Madame Tussaud’s that I learned: For a place that so encourages its visitors to take photos with the displays – the lighting is abysmal. And so you get a lot of crappy photos with harsh lighting and glare spots because your flash was reflecting off every glossy wax person in there (and off your pale, pasty ass, too – if you’d hidden from the sun all winter like I had.) You also get a lot of dark, blurry images where you tried to hold super still, so you could a decent picture without the glare of an over-bright flash.
Here’s a nice blurry image now:
And yes, I am old enough to actually know what character Robin Williams is supposed to be in this picture.
I ended up with a lot of poor pictures, which didn’t upset me as much as I thought it would once I saw how I looked in the “good” ones. After walking all over London for something like ten hours, my hair was an absolute mess, I was pink in the face from all the frigid cold, and I was extremely exhausted, so most of my pictures had me struggling to make normal expressions or not look utterly wiped out.
My brother, on the other hand, had a lot more fun with his expressions than I did. He’s just way better at pulling faces that don’t make him look like he’s constipated or feeling nauseous:
And yeah, that’s probably like my thumb or something in the picture with Kyle and Alfred Hitchcock – but we decided to keep it because it made it look like an ominous shadow of some approaching beast.
But I did enjoy the place. The statues were remarkable.
I recall one instance where my brother and I had spotted the Mel Gibson and Will Smith statues and we were waiting to take our pictures with them. This lady was standing in front with her camera, lining up for her own shot. We waited patiently…but she was taking forever! I mean, this lady was taking a ridiculously long time, so long that it became absurd! But I was impressed with her ability to hold her camera up that long. My arms would’ve gotten so tired…
And then it hit me…
She’s not real.
I walked closer and stared at her. She didn’t react, she wasn’t even breathing…I didn’t think. So I waved a hand in front of her face and…? Nothing. My brother and I laughed hard at this one. She was meant to be a photographer taking Mel and Will’s picture, likely at some kind of event. So we got our photos and moved on to the next celebrities, but over our shoulder we noticed a couple…they were patiently waiting on the woman to finish taking her pictures.
We were highly amused, so my brother leaned over towards the couple and whispered, “She’s not real!”
With an embarrassed laugh, they thanked us and began studying her in earnest. They seemed as amused by this trick as we had been.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take a picture of the photographer lady. Sad day.
They say the statues are supposed to be the actual measurements of the people they represent. So, Kyle and I measured ourselves next to Nicole Kidman. He cheated and stood on his tippy toes. I’m convinced she’s got heels on, but either way, she’s a tall lady.
We made our rounds through all the sections:
Pop stars (where they were CHARGING to take a picture with Michael Jackson – hadn’t they already taken enough coin from me?)…
And finally, the super heroes!
They had this Marvel thing going on and so once we had finished with the Hulk, Iron Man, and Wolverine — we got to go into a theatre and watch a 3D Animated short film about the Avenger’s protecting something or other from some villain.
Yeah, my memory sucks, and I was probably too tired to store that particular event away for future recollection anyway. Maybe I’ll see if my brother remembers…
**EDIT!! – This is a message from my brother: “Haha, it was the avengers protecting the palace from doctor doom’s robots.” I knew this kid would remember. Sometimes I think I’d forget my own childhood if my brothers weren’t around to remind me what happened.
But that pretty much wraps up the trip to Madame Tussaud’s…
You can’t end a wax-celebrity photo spree without including the great Patrick Stewart! How silly of me…
And for good measure, I’ll share one last photo. Me and Susan Sarandon who, by the way, I expect will make a close friend of mine laugh her ass off when I explain that I took this photo specifically because it looked freakishly like her mother:
Why…I could almost hear Tonja telling me my ass had gotten bigger since the last time she’d seen me. The expression is just about the same too. Hers…not mine — I wasn’t ready for it, so I looked pissed off, which I wasn’t. But I guess that just makes this even more amusing to me.
Now I guess THAT wraps up the visit to Madame Tussaud’s…
So in closing, I’ll leave you with a picture of Hitler:
And that one’s for you, Jerrico! Be sure to tell your dad that the similarity was STARTLING. And also that I’m still waiting on his secret police – they seemed to miss our last rendezvous.
(I kid! I kid! But seriously, your dad should dress up as Hitler for Halloween…or is that still not cool? Is that politically incorrect? Hmm…)