Tuesday, October 18, 2011

European Escapades: London, pt. 1

It's been a week since I got back from my trip to Europe. I have a few friends who travel and like the next day, they have pictures posted and adventures blogged about! They are amazing people. I have barely recovered from my jet lag, and it hasn't helped that I have a sinus infection too! Anyway...I wanted to get going on my European Escapades!
The first weekend, Holly, Molly, and I spent in London. I had never been there before and talked them into taking me! I was so hoping it would be all rainy and cold, you know, like it supposedly is in London in October. But, NO!!! Of course, it was a 118 year heatwave in October. It was like 80-85 degrees F! That's hotter than at home. Oh well, outside of the sweating, I had a marvelous time!
We arrived at Heathrow around 3 hours late, but we were so excited...and tired!

 First thing after checking into the hotel, we visited the House of Parliament and Big Ben. Well, not really visited, but totally took the Underground to see it from the outside. It was right at sunset and just beautiful!
 After we grabbed a bit of a supper (we were STARVING), and adventuring to Picadilly Circus, Holly and Molly satisfied my NEED to visit Platform 9-3/4 from Harry Potter. It took us forever to find P9-3/4, which was actually at Platform 1--outside of Kings Cross Station!
We promptly returned to the hotel and went to sleep.

We woke up SUPER early the next morning to go to Portabello Road's Outdoor Antique Market. So fun and cool! I bought a couple of fun things: a hat, scarf, letters, etc. FUN times!

My scarf...how fun is it!?!?

The #1 thing to see on my list for London was the changing of the guard. Holly researched this and learned they would only change on Saturday, not Sunday. We had to hook it over to Buckingham Palace--which was HUGE and gorgeous! Here is Molly saving our place while Holly and I were taking pictures of other stuff---like the cool taxi cabs. (please notice the LACK of any crowd.)
After we waited and waited, no guards were showing, etc., I decided I needed to investigate what was happening. Did we have the time wrong? It turns out, there was a  sign at the other end of the palace that said the guard changing was moved to Sunday! GREAT! We would somehow re-arrange our schedule to try to make it back...since it was my #1 and all.  It was then we decided to go ahead and take the tour at Buckingham b/c Holly's #1....seeing Kate's dress. (Why does she spell her name Catherine with a C, but we spell Kate with a K? Sorry, I know it's random, but it's seriously bothering me!) Guess what? We didn't get to go...the tickets were sold out for the day. So far, we aren't having a very good scheduled day! We totally had to shuffle everything we were doing on Sunday to Saturday so that we could HOPEFULLY get to see the changing of the guards and Kate's dress!
We went on to eat the WORST hamburger I've ever had in my life...at Bag 'O Nails Pub. Worst people. WORST! Thank God for the Chips and Malt vinegar! The good news? After BON, I got to take a picture in one of the fabulous red telephone booths!
We then went on to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge...very cool. Love this perspective of the bridge.
Oh! And I forgot this top photo....it was one of the first "copy-cat" photos. We really did this the rest of the trip with statues. We would pose in front of statues, mimicing whatever it was posed as. This is our "Underground" mimic. Awesome right?

Next was St. Paul's Cathedral (no pics were allowed--tho I do believe Holly ILLEGALLY took a picture there---no flash people. It's all good since there was no flash, seriously. right?!?!?) Did you know that inside St. Paul's there is a memorial for the US soldiers who died during WW2? Intriguing right? I'm going to research and read more about that now that I think about it again. The exciting thing that happened on the way to St. Paul's was we found a ticket broker for the Buckingham Palace tour and were able to buy tickets from there...means we didn't have to show up at BP BEFORE 8am the next day--thank God!!

We then had tea, went back to the hotel to drop off our purchases, etc. We even ate a super late dinner, and as we returned to the hotel on the tube, we got off at Baker Street to take pictures.
You see, Baker Street is where Sherlock Holmes' home is, if you will. When I was a little girl, we used to play this game 221B Baker Street. It was solving mysteries as if we were Sherlock Holmes. Every time we passed Baker Street I thought of it, and my mom...who is a sucker for a mystery! So, I had to get a picture of Sherlock's profile in honor of my mom! So fun!

Stay tuned....our final day in London will appear next!!!

1 comment:

  1. Love the photo of you with the scraf! So beautiful (and that scarf is super cool).