Later London: Days Six and Seven

On Friday morning, we headed to Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard.  What we saw was really cool and exciting, but it took so long that we skipped out before it was over.  Ha!

 

St. James’s Park.  So beautiful!

 

Next, we took a short train ride to Windsor.  Oh, my, this may have been my favorite part of the trip.  Windsor was so very charming and the castle was so exciting!  Here’s my cute date strolling around the village.

 

Windsor Castle

 

We got our tickets (via our London Passes) and strolled around the grounds of the castle before making our way inside (where they don’t allow pictures – sorry!).

 

Aaaaand this is when I started hyperventilating.

I <3 CATH!  We picked up some adorableness for Mary Clementine:) And I got a diaper bag as my first Mother’s Day present!

 

We stopped inside a little cafe so I could get a Chai.  Sorry for the orange-y picture!

 

After our mini-excursion to Windsor, we had dinner at a pub (this ‘merican girl needed a burger) and then walked around Harrods!  I was kind of expecting to be underwhelmed, like when you go into the original Macy’s on 34th in NYC – the same store you see everywhere, just huge – but Harrods was incredible.  I’m so glad we went.  (And I don’t know WHY I didn’t take more pictures of the interior!  I think my phone might have died, actually.)

 

The next morning, we met up with a friend of Ryan’s (Des) he’d met through an online forum for filmmakers.  He and his four children were delightful.  We walked around the Children’s Museum, then went to his place for lunch.  It was so great to experience some legit British hospitality!  I’m sad I didn’t take any pictures:( I guess I might still be shy at heart.  Ha.

After that, Des was kind enough to drop us off at the Tower Bridge experience so we didn’t have to navigate our way there from his home.  So we got to ride in a British car, too!  So strange to see Ryan sitting in the “driver’s seat” and not driving.  Lol!

(Side note: I have no idea why I look exactly like Christopher Reeve when I smile, but it bugs me.  There, now you can’t unsee it, either.)

 

This, on the other hand, is attractiveness.

Ryan with the first steam engine.  He was very excited:)

 

Our last touristy stop of the trip was the British Museum.  We’d been told by a few people that we absolutely had to go, and I was so excited because I thought it was going to be a museum about, well, Britain.  We got there and it’s actually another art museum.  I love me some art, but we’d been in and out of art museums all week so we didn’t stick around very long.

 

That night, we walked to a pizza place near our hotel and enjoyed our last dinner in London.  The next day we hopped a few planes back.  And that was our London trip:) We had such a great time!  Thanks for reading!

Later London: Day Five

Our fifth day saw us actually spending time in London itself again!  Woo!  We wanted to check a few more things off of our London Passes, so we headed toward the Globe Theatre.

We happened upon Borough Market on our walk from the Underground to the theatre, and I am so so so glad.  It was amazing, and we found a great little Italian place at which to enjoy, yes, cannoli for breakfast.  (Ryan got a panini and we shared each, so I guess there was SOME nutrition.)  😉  We also had fabulous mochas.  We ate upstairs and they were blasting ABBA.  I’m not sure why this is one of my favorite memories from the trip, but it is.

(P.S. – That morning my straightener fritzed so my hair was pretty much awful the rest of the trip.  But I’ve decided to not be vain and to post the less-than-flattering pics anyway.  Lol!)

 

We very much enjoyed our tour of The Globe (a replica, of course, since the original burned down a long time ago).  We found out they put on all of their performances rain or shine – major dedication for an open-air theatre in such a rainy city!

Afterward, we headed to the London Zoo.  I’m such a sucker for animals so I was really excited.

 

The zoo was great!  Ryan wanted to see the Royal Air Force Museum and it wasn’t far, so we went there next.

 

After our touristy adventures, we did a little shopping.  Can you say LIBERTY?!

Oh, how amazing it was.  There are precious few times in my life when I actually wish I were rich, but walking around Liberty was one of them!  Ha!  So many lovely, curious, whimsical, expensive things.  I did get a pair of flowery bloomers for Lady Mary Clementine, though:)

Two days to go!  :)

Later London: Day Four

Day Four brought us to lovely Cardiff, Wales to see the Doctor Who exhibit!  We caught a quick breakfast at a cafe across from our hotel, then hopped a train for a beautiful three-hour journey through the countryside.

I just have to post this picture because it makes me so happy.  “Pulp” = “bits” in Britain.  Love it!

 

Here are a few policemen/woman in their glorious hats.  The neon jackets lessen the effect, but what are you gonna do?  (P.S. The “Mothercare” store in the background was an awesome store from which I got my maternity swimsuit!  Yay.)

 

And here is a rather adorable old chap in the train station, trying to find his way.

Thankfully, Ryan had decided to opt for the “quiet car” on the train when he booked our tickets, obviously neither of us knowing I’d be sick at the time.  So it was very nice to have a restful ride.  (Plus a lady was having a loud conversation on her phone and a man turned to her and pointed to the “Quiet” sign – she promptly ended the phone call.  Boom!  I love witnessing the smackdown, however minor.)  😉

The exhibit was a short walk from the train station.  Here are the photos I took – again, all iPhone.  I guess being ill meant not wanting to lug a camera around, ha.  (I promise I took SOME decent photos on this vacation!)

Again, might not want to spoil this for yourself if you ever plan on going!

 

 

Rory!  (Yes, our cat is named after him, ha.)

 

Amy’s my girl.

 

These are my peeps.

 

I’m pretty sure this was the only tea I drank the whole time we were in the UK, and it wasn’t even in England.  Ha!  I’m a coffee girl…

 

Beautiful Cardiff Bay.

I have to say that our extremely limited time (i.e. hours) in Wales was wonderful.  The people we encountered were so friendly and happy to greet us, point us in the right direction, etc.  I’d love to go back and explore more one day.

SHEEP!  (On the train ride back.)

 

When we got back to London, we found a fish and chips place for dinner.  It looked amazing but sadly I couldn’t taste it due to my sinuses:( Ha.  At least I got to partially experience it!

And that was our fourth day:)

Later London: Day Three

On Tuesday, we went to Leavesden Studios to take in all things Harry Potter!  This was one of the highlights of our trip.  If you ever plan on going, skip this post – I took TONS of photos and don’t want everything to be spoiled for you!  (All photos are from my iPhone.)

I’m going to assume you’re either not a fan and therefore don’t particularly care what each of these is, or you’re a superfan like me and would be like “duh” if I captioned them:)

 

Blurry pic, but here we are waiting to start our tour!

 

The tour began with the Great Hall.  Perfect way to start off!

 

Me ‘n Snape Dawg.

 

I want Hermione’s Yule Ball dress in my size so badly.  Sigh…

 

Luna’s amazing wardrobe!  I’ll take it all, please.

 

Ron’s bed!
 

Lupin’s trunk

!!!!!  I <3 The Burrow!

 

Potters’ cottage

 

:)

 

After we got back from Leavesden, we decided to go to the Churchill War Rooms.  This was so cool and I’m really glad we went.  Plus the gift shop, with tons of that awesome design style WWII propaganda, was amazing!

 

See what I mean about the awesome propaganda?  The “Turn Over a New Leaf” one is my favorite; I bought a small print of it but can’t find it anywhere:( Sadness.

 

For some reason, I just really love this photo.  It’s quintessential London to me.

Well, that was Day Three!  :)

 

Later London: Days One & Two

Hello world!  Here I am at long last to blog about our London trip.  It’s been so crazy with packing, moving, unpacking, painting, and finishing up my time at my job so those are my excuses for not getting around to this until now.  :) I will do one day at a time because of how many photos we took, and also because I want to take the time to describe the days before I forget what happened!  But since there wasn’t much to the day we arrived, I’ll combine that with our first full day.

All of these photos are SOOC because, let’s face it, if I took the time to edit them all this post would REALLY never happen.  They are also a mix of iPhone and DSLR photos, so they’re not all the greatest, but here they are:)

Let’s get started!  Here we are at the Nashville airport getting ready to take off on our adventure!

We arrived Sunday afternoon and did just a little bit of exploring around our hotel (which was near the Marble Arch) before hunting down dinner and heading to bed.

(Paddington Station)

There was street construction going on, so excuse the mess!

We used an app on Ryan’s phone to find a nearby pub, but when we walked there we found out why it was so inexpensive – they ONLY served drinks.  Ha.  So we went to a restaurant we’d seen along the way called Giraffe and I had some spicy noodles.  Ryan had fish and chips.  No pics of dinner somehow, but that’s all right.

The next morning, we headed down to Leicester Square for our hop-on, hop-off bus tour, stopping for breakfast along the way.

My cute date.

Necessary.

Those British are so polite, they even tell you which way to look before crossing a one-way street!  How very thoughtful.

Here we are on the double-decker bus!

Getting our first glimpses of London.

I didn’t realize one could be starstruck over a structure, but I kind of freaked when I saw Big Ben for the first time.  (Rather, the clock tower that Big Ben lives in, as I learned he is the bell inside and not the tower.)

Ryan outside Parliament

We hopped off at St. Paul’s Cathedral.  It was magnificent.

(Pictures weren’t allowed inside; we made do!)

We also walked around Westminster Bridge (or, as my ignorant self called it, “The ‘Hook’ Bridge” since that’s the first movie I think of when I see it.  Ha!).  Great views of the Thames, Parliament, and the London Eye.

We had lunch at a burger place.  Obligatory lunch picture – featuring my yummy lime shake!  :)

This tour guide was awesome.  He got so dramatic and was way into it.  Gotta love people who are obviously in their element.  (Sorry for the blurry pic!)

Our first glimpse of Tower Bridge, which turned out to be one of my favorite landmarks.

A view of the Tower of London from Tower Bridge

The Shard!  We geeked out since it had been featured in a recent episode of Doctor Who.

Our next hop-off was at the Tower of London.  Full disclosure; I had no idea what this was but had been told we had to visit, so we did!  It’s a very old fortress that is now used for multiple purposes, including displaying the Crown Jewels.

(Read about it if you’re morbid like myself.)

 

After our tour, we went into the National Gallery.  It was amazing!

This girl was so talented – I couldn’t expose for the original AND her version, so I took two pics.

So cool!

We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant called Prezzo near our hotel.  It was an exhausting but great first full day!

 

Hope you enjoyed:) More to come soon!

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