Friendsgiving: eat, drink and be merry

London Day 1

Actually I'm not sure if it's Day one or two and I keep flipping back to the time at home and then feeling like I'm time travelling every time I realize what time it is here.

Day one then I guess was our travel day and a Monday in London.    After a nice brunch at the Saskatoon Inn and some sweet goodbyes with our kiddos who were rather anxious to get going with Nana and Papa,  we were off to Calgary, with a quick 4 hour layover (chill in lounge and read/work).  We then flew overnight to London and as a surprise Dan booked us business class so we could have beds to make the sleeping even better.  Dan has flown business class a couple times now, but it was a first for me.  We were served supper, I watched Girl on the Train and then I snuggled in and slept for a good 5 hours. Another perk of flying business was a lounge in arrivals with showers so when we got there, Dan was meeting ready and I
felt looked human again.



When we arrived we separated and I was off to explore London on my very own.  First was finding the hotel- which is the Grand at Trafalgar Square.  I wanted to be close to areas I figured  I'd be exploring the most.  Luckily our room was ready so I was able to dump the bags and regroup before setting out on my first adventure.

I figured I had around 5 hours before Josh and Dan got back so I decided to hit Westminster Abbey first.  I did the audio tour on my on and enjoyed seeing all the tombs of the monarchs.  Once upon a time I taught all that Tudor stuff and while the facts were a little hazy, it did almost renew my want to learn more.  I wasn't expecting to see all the writers, politicians and scientists buried there as well, so that was tres cool.  Mostly I was remembering Kate and Phillip's wedding or Princess Diana's funeral and knowing I was standing in the exact spot those events happened was pretty neat.





Next up was a walk over to Buckingham Palace....and this is where I have to admit that when I got there, I had to google what Buckingham Palace was.....aside from watching Princess Diaries, I'm not up on my royalty knowledge. So I learned stuff, took some pictures, enjoyed the beautiful sunshine and then tried to figure out if I wanted to go in or not. I decide against it as Kensington Palace is the one I actually wanted to tour. So then the question was, do I walk the 40 minutes to Kensington Palace or do I adventure into the streets of London to see some shops and Picadilly.  I decided to push the palace off and headed towards beautiful architecture.





I gotta say, the stroll through Green Park was a highlight of my day, in fact I could have just sat there and enjoyed the scenery all day. But alas, Bond Street was calling.  I ended up walking all the way up Old and New Bond Street, popping in and out to some classy retailers...Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Hermes...oh to dream.  I then made my way over to Regent Street and visited Uniqlo, Anthropologie and a couple other shops.    Now here's the shocker.  I spent nothing. Not even a penny. Do they even have pennies here?  My goal for the month of February is Fitness, not wardrobe expansion...so I was trying to enjoy the activity as opposed to be focused on buying something.  (So I say now....)



By that point it was almost 4 and I was starting to get hungry, so I went back to the hotel, grabbed my laptop and headed across the street to a pub for some fish and chips and a pint while I caught up on some cyber.  I love going places alone and hanging out with myself, but at this point I was starting to miss the boys and looking forward to them being home.





I had a 20 minute window for a quick nap before the boys got back from their meetings, so I had a little snooze. Also, I found myself missing my kids a lot so I needed to shut the brain off.  For the rest of the evening Josh gave us a walking tour of London (he lived here for 2 years as an investment banker)- we had supper at Nandos and walked down to the river to see Big Ben.





And now we're sitting in a pub, laptops out, pints in hand and the boys are talking restaurant synchronization and algorithms and things I don't know how to spell while I blog old school.

Observations du jour:

Thank God for data plans and google maps.  It was so easy to navigate. Also, I walked 15 km today and my legs and butt feel awesome!

I loved checking out the fashion- all women were wearing the menswear cut trenchcoats/peacoats and loafers. Made me wish I had packed differently. Ah well.

Now for  a good night's sleep and on to another fun day! I can't believe my kids are only getting out of school right now.....

Comments

  1. Loves the updates cant wait to read more!

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  2. Love that you're real time blogging! What a wonderful first day and the weather looks beautiful!

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  3. I have never been to Europe and would love to travel there one day!

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  4. Oh HOW AWESOME! My last time in London was in 6th grade! Way overdue!!! I'm totally living vicariously through you!

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  5. How amazing! One day I'll do business class too! Being by yourself all day, how amazing, but next time bring me with :) I can't wait to see the rest of the trip!

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  6. Love the area you're staying in! How did you feel about Buckingham Palace? I felt let down although my friend Phil insists this is anti-British of me. Have so much fun, friend!!

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  7. Oh my goodness this trip sounds like a dream. And like a total idiot I will say weren't several movies filmed in that park? It looks oh so familiar.

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  8. Great recap. I love audio tours when travelling by myself I was a big buckingham palace fan but I also have a little crush on the royal family :)

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  9. So jealous!!!! This is near the top of my bucket list!

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  10. So stinkin' jealous! And you are beyond brave to venture out all on your own in a foreign country! I don't think I could ever do that! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!

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  11. Your trip sounds amazing and it's only day one! I can't wait to read more!

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  12. I have to admit, I kinda got lonely.

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  13. No clue, but now I'm going to look it up.

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  14. I am excited to do the kensington palace tour tomorrow.

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  15. It was pretty and big but I had no patience to go through it...the parks and the greenery around it were calling my name.

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  16. I'm just a beginner and am enjoying every minute of it.

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  17. I would love to visit London one day! You covered a lot of ground on your first day! Love seeing your photos!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  18. I am living vicariously through you. Keep these posts coming. So great you have some time on your own. Cool to explore and work without kids or laundry nagging at you!

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  19. I love that you're just touring around seeing the sights!

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  20. Definitely nice working at my own pace

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  21. Covered so much ground that my feet hate me at the moment.

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  22. OMG! I miss this place so much. My heart is aching . LOL. I love that you are able to tour around by yourself and be completely confident. I've never gone on my own a lot, except for a few days in Serbia, but I've been with Logan since high school and we pretty much do everything together. I can't wait to read day 2 & 3. Have so much fun!

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  23. So proud of you to take on the town yourself. Interesting that all the British women were wearing mens wear. Do you think that trend will continue for spring? When we were in France, I felt like everything I wore screamed TOURIST. Was so envious of the gals wearing little sundresses while pedaling bikes about town that I had to buy two sundresses myself and swore I would get a bike as soon as I got home. I did!

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  24. I hope the trend continues for a long while because I love it!

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  25. I don't know if i'd say completely confident, but i definitely had fun. Also though, I found by the end of the day I started to get tired of talking to myself and missed the boys.

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Have a lovely day!