Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fancy having a go at London?

You may not know this, but I am a long lost, distant member of the British royal family--or at least I think I should be. I feel a kinship with the English as I so enjoy their humor, accents, architecture, queen, style, countryside--not so much their food, but neither do the Brits so no worries there. I have felt this way without ever having set one foot in English territory almost like being a queen exiled from her people. So sad. When Andy surprised me with a trip to London for my birthday, I was thrilled of course, but also a little apprehensive. Would the reality of the UK live up to the image that I had formed in my rather imaginative head?

It would be hard not to enjoy the trip--even if we were headed to Hoboken instead of London. For starters, it was just Drew & I going. And while I love my kids more than anything, I also love the occasional couple of days without the responsibilities of providing for their care. Second, my husband loves to travel, and he does it with style. First class all the way. On the plane, we had chairs that could turn into beds or any angle variation in between, continuous drink service and a TV that played whatever movie/show/game we wanted. Reveling in such luxury really made those 7 hours fly by and before I knew it we were taxiing around Heathrow. It was pretty late when we arrived, so the airport was relatively empty which meant that we quickly made our way through customs. Oliver, our guide for the trip met us in the building and took us to our waiting Jaguar where we met James our chauffeur. After a quick how do you do, Oliver said, "Home James" and away we flew to The Soho Hotel. Within 20 minutes of arriving at the hotel, I was all cuddled up in the bed ready for sleep. Stress free travel and I really do get on well.

The next day, Oliver and James took us on a whirlwind tour of London. We saw all of the major attractions: the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Parliament, the Prime Minister's residence & the Millennium Bridge--all before lunch. We'd be driven right up to whatever sight we were seeing, get out, take our tour, and be picked up right outside and driven to the next thing on the list. It was wonderful.

I think this picture is so London: the eye, the building, the bus. Love it!

What is that growing out of Andy's head?

This is the Millennium Bridge--which is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Thames. it was really neat to walk across it and see London from a different angle. The pictures below were taken on it. What I didn't know at the time, was that when it was first opened, the bridge was swaying & wobbling so much that they had to close it to rework its structuring. Sometimes modern isn't always better, eh?

For lunch we ate at a traditional pub, and then off we headed to Windsor Castle. We meandered through the grounds oohing and ahhing until our tummies began to make themselves known. Oliver took us to Strok's restaurant where we took tea on the terrace overlooking the River Thames. Bliss. I believe that afternoon tea could be my most favorite part of my London trip.

Must take an obligatory guard photo when traveling in England.

I'm moving to England, so I can take tea by the Thames everyday.

That evening we headed to Covent Garden to have dinner and explore a little more. I still remember the delicious pecan maple tart I had for dessert. In fact, I think I dreamed of it that night.


  1. Anonymous4:11 PM

    Love hearing your stories - brings back such fond memories!!!
    Minus the Jaguar, the driver and the tour guide - ha!!! Can't wait to see and hear more!


  2. Yvonne4:17 PM

    Great pictures!!! And I too can't wait to hear more about your fabulous trip!

  3. More London posts?? I don't remember agreeing to that! :-) Maybe later this week.