Mar 28, 2011


Last Sunday Bert, Rachel, Anna, and I took the train to London.  I had a few concerns about London prior to going.  Rumors claimed that the people in London can be rude, cold, and extremely unhelpful but I have to say that those in doubt of the amicableness of Londoners were proved wrong.  From Sunday to Tuesday we were greeted with nothing but kindness from the people of London.
Yes, it was overcrowded and noisy. 
Yes,  there are about a million taxis and 10 million tourists. 
Yes, everyone is constantly in a hurry.
But we had a fantastic time and I only wish we could have stayed longer.  London is such a huge city and there are so many amazing things to see.  You could spend a week there and not see and do everything.  Maybe I can convince Josh to go back sometime before we leave in May...hint hint. :)

We arrived in London midday on Sunday and our first order of business was getting out of Kings Cross train station and getting checked into our hotel.  We had to get on the "tube" aka the underground train with our luggage in tow (a challenge in and of itself).

 The underground map looks like a rainbow spiderweb of lines, all darting off in different directions with various stops along the way.  Of course, the "line" that led straight to our hotel was closed for the duration of the weekend which meant that we had to find an alternative route to our hotel.  By the time we arrived at Victoria Sation, we felt we had mastered the tube.  We just had to make sure to "MIND THE GAP" while getting off the underground train. 
"The Gap" is the space between the train and the cement.  They must have had problems with this in the past, because they say it over the loudspeaker on the train EVERYTIME it stops (which is about every 2 minutes) as well as have it written everywhere!

As soon as we had checked into our hotel, we were anxious to start exploring London.  Our first stop was Buckingham Palace which was right up the street from our hotel.  THE PLACE IS HUGE!  Why didn't I marry a Prince of England again??  Just Kidding Hubby!  I wouldn't want to live in the UK permanently anyway. :)  They had guards outside and everything.  Does anyone ACTUALLY live there?  I'm interested to know.  I'm not sure I would like thousands of people peeking into my gate everyday.

Buckingham Palace
After seeing the Queen's Royal Palace, we took a stroll through nearby St. James Park.  It is very beautiful, with lots of flowers, a small lake, and more wildlife than you would expect in the middle of a large industrial city.  It reminded me a lot of St. Stephens Green in Dublin, only better.

St. James Park (that's the London Eye in the background)
Some of the funny looking ducks.
Fields of Daffodils
Next we stumbled upon Big Ben.  I guess stumbled probably isn't the right word since it's kind of hard to stumble upon something so massive and magnificant.  The clock just shoots into the sky and it's golden orange color is absolutely impossible to take your eyes off of.  I took so many pictures of Big Ben, I just couldn't get enough of it.  I've been to Paris, and the Effiel Tower is pretty impressive, but Old Ben just might take the cake. 
Notice the red double decker bus!
Then we walked down a little way to see the houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey where Kate Middleton and Prince William are marrying in April and where Princess Diana's funeral took place.
Houses of Parliament

Westminster Abbey
While we were near the Houses of Parliament, we got our first look at the River Thames and the Westminster Bridge.  It had a great view of the London Eye.
We made the decision that we HAD to go on the London Eye.  So we crossed over the Westminster Bridge and proceeded to the ticket line.  The price of the tickets is a little expensive, but I think that it was worth it.  Up on the wheel, you felt like you could see all of London.  It was an incredible view.
Bert, Me, Rach, & Anna on the London Eye.
View from the top!
Once we got off the London Eye, it was getting dark. And let me tell ya, London in the dark is fabulous!  I wish that I had a camera that could capture exactly what it looked like at night, but alas, my point and shoot just doesn't do it justice.  Oh well, here are some pictures anyway.
We ended the night with margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. YES, I said Mexican food.  I. Was. Thrilled.  I haven't had mexican food out in sooo long.  Makes me crave Rubios, Baja Fresh, Chipotle, Mauricios, and Taco Bell even more than I did before!
The first day in London was jam packed, but oh so fun. Stay tuned for London Day 2 post!!


  1. Looks like a great trip! I can't wait to return to London/England one day--I miss it already!

  2. I am especially fond of the "Daffo-girls" in St. James Park!

    Glad you had a good time!

    Love you all,