May 1, 2008

48 Hours In London

I was overly optimistic when I mentioned the sun peeking out yesterday morning. It did peek out - for about 2 minutes. Then it promptly disappeared, not to be seen again. It was also awfully cold - the bone-chilling cold that cuts through however many layers of clothing you've managed to put on.

Having said that, we still managed to have an excellent day of touring the city. We hopped on the double-decker, which was a stroke of genius in the cold and wet weather. Some of the buses have partially covered top decks, and much to their delight, the boys managed to secure front row seating.



We whizzed by the Parliament buildings, Big Ben looking awfully wet much to Little Ben's delight. We also saw Buckingham Palace (the Queen apparently in residence, but not available to wave to us), Westminster Abbey, Trafalger Square, Downing Street and Tower Bridge, before we stopped at Tower of London for a closer look.


(Yeah, it was cold!)

The Tower of London was a huge hit with the boys, for very different reasons. Christopher was enthralled with the collection of Crown Jewels, in particular the world's largest diamond. True to himself, he kept asking and speculating about how much money various crowns, ornamental swords, maces and staffs would be worth if sold. Here's a boy who likes his money! Sadly, the museum did not allow photography, but Christopher made sure to stack up on postcards before we left.

B boy, on the other hand, could not get enough of the Royal Armouries and its extensive weaponry displays. We spent a good hour just looking at swords, guns, cannons and armour, and by the end of it, he told me the museum was the best ever! Big words from a boy who wants nothing to do with museums of any kind.


(Rather anatomically correct body armour)

After a quick stop at the hotel, we made our way to the West End for a pizza dinner before hitting the theatre to see Joseph. The musical didn't disappoint. The stage production was fairly simple, but very funny, and we all loved it. The boys sang along to every song, and were thrilled to see Elvis perform twice. We even had a bit of drama when the production ran into technical problems part-way through the first half, but the issues were quickly resolved and the show continued without another hitch.

**********************************************************



Today, in contrast, has been much warmer and - dare I say it - sunny! We began our morning with a lovely walk along the river Thames, where street artists provided much amusement for the boys, especially B boy who couldn't decide which entertainer to support with his single coin.


(The chameleon was the lucky winner)

After a delicious lunch by the side of the river, we slowly made our way towards the London Eye, the massive ferris wheel assembled for the Millenium celebrations in London 8 years ago.



Despite Christopher's fear of heights, even he enjoyed the trip up in the capsule, with the most amazing views of the city of London.



Enticing the boys with promises of ice cream, we then proceeded to walk through St. James's Park towards Buckingham Palace. The tulips were out in full bloom and the floral displays everywhere lulled us into thinking that spring had finally arrived.



That is, until we were hit by a freak hail storm. Only in London will you find tourists sporting sunglasses AND umbrellas, all while taking refuge under trees because of massive and painful hail.



The hail storm only lasted about a minute, and shortly thereafter the sun was out in full force again. Odd, but I'm not complaining.

As I write this, we are getting ready to meet up with Mike's dad at Covent Garden for dinner. We have yet to have a bad meal in London, and I'm sure tonight won't disappoint, either. Not great for the diet, but oh-so-good for the soul.

Tomorrow we are off to Cambridge, before we slowly make our way up towards the Yorkshire dales. Keeping busy is the name of the game!

35 comments:

Anna-borderline-bonkers-banana :) said...

Oh Heidi!!! What an amazing trip. You are too cute in your 3/4 length coat and shades, whit-whew!!
Glad you had so much fun despite the weather, you are a trooper!

What an adventure, I love living vicariously through you and your travels. Of course this also serves to be a huge inspiration and now with the prospect of living out of the city mortgage free, global travel is looking like a reality far sooner than I imagined.

That armour suit, ha, ha that cracked me up!

Amy said...

I would love to be there now even inspite of the chilly temps!

Gina said...

So fabulous! I hope the weather cooperates a bit better!

And that armor is cracking me up!

Mrs. Annie said...

LOL funny armor! Funny!

Despite the drizzle you all had such fun. I know I've said it before, but what wonderful memories you are giving the boys!

carrie said...

My boys would love that armory stuff too - I'd have to hold onto them tightly because they'd probably grab the knight's swords and start dueling with each other!

Have a wonderful time with your family Heidi! Rain or not, it looks beautiful!

Lisa @ Take90West said...

Loved tha armour!
Thanks for sharing all the sights, hope the sunshine sticks around.
And keep enjoying all that good food!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is a great shot with the fog-shrouded castle.

Your adventures are so fun to hear about.

Julie Pippert said...

What a great experience---even vicariously. Love the photos. That ominous landscape of London across the river is cool.

LaskiGal said...

What a wonderful day! What gorgeous pictures. You know, I keep thinking about how awesome it is that you have documented in detail all these fantastic experiences! Wow!

*I used a lot of adjectives in this comment!

Mary Beth said...

Did you do the guided tour at the Tower of London? The guide kept making fun of us because we were Americans. Man, I wish I was there now! We didn't have nearly enough time in London. Enjoy Cambridge!

Candy said...

I hope you and Alyndabear are going to have tea!

Don Mills Diva said...

Looks like you had a great time despite the chill - I love that first picture with all the fog...

Amy Y said...

I love that you are letting us follow you around England ~ what a cool trip so far!

My boys would totally dig the double decker bus!

Great photos, too! :)

Karen MEG said...

Every time I've been in England ... rain!!! I guess that's why it's so green there!!

Those shots are great... and why was I not surprised by B-boy and his preference for armour LOL!

Sounds like you're enjoying it so far ... you've been so very, very busy!!!

kim-d said...

Heidi, you guys certainly know how to rock the traveling world! I am eternally thankful to you for actually going to the places that I only dream about going, and sharing your great pix. Expecially the anatomically-correct armour, and B-Boy and his chameleon...HAHAHA! I am so happy that you all are having such a fun time! Sigh...

Dawn said...

What fun! I think I would love to go on the London Eye, and see the jewels, and well everything else you did...it all sounds great ;)

Amber said...

What a blast! I love London and did a whirlwind tour of it in one day. I would LOVE to go back!

Alpha DogMa said...

Oh to be in England now that spring is here...

It all looks so amazing. And my boys would just loooove to check out all that killing stuff, too.

Have fun in Yorkshire! Years of watching Heartbeat on TVO means I'm AGAIN envious of you and yours.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Sounds like an ideal day to me. From the ferris wheel to the street performers to the ice cream. Lovely.

ewe are here said...

The weather really has been erratic these past few weeks... we're living in the same sunny but rain and hail, too, cycle as London. sigh

Sounds like you're having an absolutely brilliant time, though. One of these days, I'm actually going to 'do' London. ;-)

MamaGeek said...

Even with the cold temps, I am amazed at the adventure. Seriously, this is just so fantastic. The pictures, the experiences - EVERYTHING!

Aliki2006 said...

Oh London! I love, love London and it's wonderful to see it and read about it through you...

Beth said...

Wow! You guys are really packing a lot of great things into this trip!

jenontheedge said...

It all looks so familiar. Our hotel was in that enormous building next to the London Eye, so I know the river walk you described. In fact, we might have seen the same street performers.

Too bad about the rain and hail, but that's England for you. :-)

MadMad said...

It looks like fun - rain or no rain!

Stomper Girl said...

I missed the armour the first time and had to go back - glad I did, thanks for that!

Love that shot of you and Christopher clinging together on the London Eye.

Stomper Girl said...

Just went back for ANOTHER look at the armour, now I want to know if there is a similar 'arrangement' at the bottom? And I'm thinking that with the detachable codpiece he could probably have sex in his armour, because did you see that suit? You would not get out of THAT in a hurry!

Sue said...

How fun. You are giving your kids so many amazing experiences.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Ooh, my sons would just adore the museum, great boy fun!
Looks like you are having a terrific time, even some blue sky.
Take care, have fun.

Kyla said...

Looks like fun!!

Jennifer said...

And the adventure continues! What a fantastic trip, for all of you.

The armor is cracking me up!!

Cathy said...

I love London. Haven't been in years, and so I'm thoroughly enjoying these descriptions & photos!

Kathryn said...

It all just sounds so lovely and makes me want to go back to London RIGHT NOW!!!
Glad you are all having such a fabulous time.

I think you are all genius for taking this trip in between leaving your family and getting home. That way the boys will get really tired of all the touring and hotel living and maybe they will just be really excited to get home by the end of it. Yes? Well, one can hope. Either way, I think it was wisely planned. :)

painted maypole said...

we were in london this summer, it was fantastic! we had no hail, though. ;)

BeachMama said...

Wow, you guys saw a lot in 48 hours. Although it has been, gasp! 30 years since I lived in London. All the places you mention bring distinct memories back to me. We went to countless Castles and Museums so much so that we started to get bored with them all. Thinking we would never leave London and return home to Canada, my Sister and I stopped paying attention. Then one day we left and I have just snippets of each place tucked into my memory. Thank you for bringing them all back for me. And so glad you are having a fabulous time, depsite the weather.