Friday, April 11, 2014

Taking in All the Sights

And I mean ALL. The poor boyfriend put up with me and my slave-driver schedule. That meant waking up early and walking all over the city.

After a week in London, my jawbone told us that we'd walked over 60 miles in seven days. So you know I'm not lying. Of course if you're going to walk all over London, you better start with a good breakfast.

We started one of our crazy sightseeing days at The Riding House Cafe.

The boyfriend got coffee and a full English Breakfast. 

While I had Avocado on toast and a PB & J smoothie.

It might sound strange, but it was peanut butter, banana, and apple juice, and it was heaven.

Then we set out walking. 

Our first big stop was Baker St.

This wasn't a real address back when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was writing, but it is one now. And as a fan, I had to check it out. 

Yeah, hats have never really been my thing. Next we went for a stroll in Regents Park.

It was too early for roses (boo!) but you can imagine how beautiful it would look in a few months. 

And there were other signs of spring.

It was a nice place to pause and chat and give our feet some rest before setting off again. 

Next we set out for Parliament and Big Ben. Along the way, we stopped to take a picture of this guy.

And we were in time to realize that we were in front of the Household Cavalry Museum--with this guy. 

We stopped and stared a little with all the other tourists and read a little bit about the cavalry's history, but then we kept going, heading towards the river. 

I've always been fascinated with Big Ben, and in person it didn't disappoint. It's huge and gold and the architecture is amazing. 

And Parliament isn't so bad either--even if we weren't allowed to go in and poke around.

Then we walked across the bridge and headed for the London Eye.

I didn't want to queue too long, so we bought fast pass tickets and headed up in the Eye with a group of other tourists including a young Australian boy who unfortunately kept trying to put anything in arm's reach in his mouth. My purse strap fell victim, much to the boyfriend's shock and horror, but both purse and child were fine, and the views couldn't be beat.

When we came back down we decided to head for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 

I was so excited when we first arrived because there were posters for Merchant of Venice everywhere and it must be just about every former English teacher's dream to see a Shakespeare play in the Globe Theatre, but alas, performances had just ended a few nights earlier. 

We walked over the Wobbly Bridge after that and headed for the Tower of London. 

The Tower of London was my favorite part of the trip. Not just because of the Crown Jewels, which admittedly, were amazing. But I think I owe my awe largely to this guy: Jim.

We caught the last tour of the day and Jim was our guide.

He was full of stories about beheadings and monarchs and sieges and everything. 

When we left, we headed over to Tower Bridge. 

One of my favorite things about London is how beautiful the skyline is. (Ignore those cranes). But it isn't just beautiful, you can literally see the range of history--hundreds of years are on display right next to each other. 

It was too late to go up inside the tower, but we hung out for a few minutes and decided what we would do for dinner. 

The verdict:

This is what it sounds like. You can get a burger, you can get a lobster, you can get a lobster roll, or you can get some kind of combination. Guess what I decided?

Well I started with an AbFab, which was some kind of lovely refreshing creation including Absolut Peach Vodka.

Then I got, half a burger and half a lobster.

Near the end of the night as we were headed back to our apartment, we passed by Trafalgar Square and found a Waterstones. We popped in to take a look around and buy a book for the flight back.

Inside, we found Unravelling and I signed it before we left because why not?

Then we headed home and fell asleep. Almost immediately. Which was a good thing because we were exhausted.


Angelica R. Jackson said...

Wow, what an epic trip! We're going to the UK soon but I couldn't talk my hubby into London--we're not actually hitting any big cities, except perhaps Edinburgh. But I'm sure I'll come back with tons of pics too.

And I have to ask--are you still eating gluten free (there's the chance I could be thinking of someone else)? Because if that's gf bread with the avocado, I'm a lot less worried about finding good stuff to eat.

elizabeth norris said...

I'm not eating gluten free anymore. It actually ended up not helping me much so I switched back. However, I found a number of places that offered gluten free options in London. I'm not sure what it will be like in the countryside, but hopefully you'll be able to find places!

The trip was amazing. I had never been and I figured doing London and staying mostly in one place would be easiest. But wow I already want to go back.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Lucky you, to have all those food choices open up again! We are staying in cottages we found online (in Ireland, England, and Scotland) so that we have the kitchen facilities, and the hosts for the Exmoor cottage have been very helpful in directing me where to find eats and shopping in the area.

One reason I'm not inconsolable about skipping the cities on this trip is that if it ever becomes worthwhile for me to do an author tour in the UK, it would likely be the cities I'd be hitting. So that's a great excuse to go back--maybe we can do a joint author tour! ;)

Anonymous said...

Those are some very lovely pictures, it makes me miss London all that much more (I really, really want to go back). It looks like you had a very good trip and you certainly got to see a lot!

P.S. I wish I could drop into that Waterstone's and get a signed copy of Unravelling ;)

elizabeth norris said...

oh Angela, your trip sounds awesome!

And Anon, London was so cool. I still can't get over how much fun I had.

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