Expat Life, Travel

Keep Calm and London On

I was back in London Town this past weekend (casual hair flip) and per usual, it was fabulous. Scott and I went down for a friends reunion for about 36 hours. It was a sans kiddos weekend and when your friends who have kids, are without their kids, everyone reverts to being 20.

We are so cool out in the club.

I will spare you all the details of our rockin’ weekend, but being down in the Big Smoke again made me think about all of my past trips to London over the years, and it inspired me to want to share some of my favorite touristy spots and experiences. Like the proper non-Londoner I am. 🙂

Tower of London– It’s a must, due to the simple fact that they have the crown jewels! And you can stand in all of the spots where every royal has been beheaded because they pissed off another royal. What more do you need in an attraction?

However, what I don’t like about this place are the pompous Tower guards. The dude, that guided us around, asked the crowd if there were any Americans in the house, and when about two-thirds of the people raised their hands he took that opportunity to yell out “Yeehaw!”. Because apparently all of America lives in an old western film. Big ass country, Mr. Beefeater, so let’s not stereotype. Because if I were to stereotype, I would ask why it’s only plump men that are chosen to be Beefeaters?

 

My view while I ignored the tour guide.

London Eye– I haven’t actually been on it, because I don’t have the desire to spend £35 to wait in an hour long line. I’m a Florida girl, and one thing us Floridians pride ourselves in is knowing when to go to Disney when you don’t have to wait in line, and fast tracking the hell out of everything. Therefore, I just don’t do lines. So until I master the slow season of the London Eye, this will stay on my bucket list. However, I have recently learned you can have champagne and wine tastings in one of those little capsules, so I may be making an exception!

Dreaming of bubbles.

Buckingham Palace- First of all, it’s a palace, so I’m already in. But it’s the one palace you see on TV all the time and dream of waving to the common folk from the balcony. Scott and I went there during my first trip to London and we were able to get a behind the scenes tour (shout out to my Aunt Kathy for hooking us up), skip the line (because I don’t do lines) and take a golf cart through the main gates. As in the main gates, I mean the gates that Will and Kate rode through in their horse and carriage after they got married. A golf cart is pretty similar and I remember waving to the people we were jumping ahead of as we strolled into the palace. We then had a private tour of all the rooms and learned fascinating facts about the art. Which I, of course, remember everything, but I don’t want to spoil it for those of you who have not been.

Scott in front of Buckingham with his pretty umbrella.

Westminster Abbey- Again, something you see on TV all the time. I remember watching Princess Diana’s funeral when I was a kid and then watching Will and Kate’s wedding. Yes, both times I woke up at 4am to watch from the states, because I’m that girl. Therefore, I was desperate to visit when Scott and I had our first trip together. I walked around and soaked up the atmosphere, fascinated by the history of events and tombs of Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. I loved the grandness of it all and the quiet serenity of the abbey.

That was until Scott decided it was a good idea to hop over some chairs in the center aisle and (because he forgot he’s a giant and his long ass legs aren’t hopping over anything) proceeded to knock over all the chairs and have them come crashing to the floor. This created the loudest noise that echoed throughout the entire abbey and hundreds of people turned to stare at him. I looked, burst out laughing and then walked the other way to avoid people knowing I was with him.

Notting Hill- I love this area! Not just because I imagine running into Hugh Grant (who accidentally spills orange juice all over me), but because it’s such a gorgeous neighborhood filled with beautiful homes. I have friends, who I have stayed with, that live there and my favorite thing to do is to walk along Portobello Road enjoying the market and humming “Ain’t no sunshine”. It’s such good people watching and shopping!

My future home.

Kensington Gardens- You can fly, you can fly, you can fly! Alright, it’s more than just the Peter Pan statue, but I mean, come on, that’s fun. The gardens are absolutely stunning surrounding the palace and I have enjoyed walking along the water feeding the ducks (ok, watching others feed the ducks) and imagining Will and Kate coming out for a stroll with George and Charlotte. It hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, we will be instant friends and I promise to remember the little people.

Don’t worry that’s not a giant duck, those boats are just miniature.

I could live in London in a heartbeat. The city life, the weather, the friends! Yes, I know I said the weather and I realize how sad it is that I now consider London the place for good weather. 

#MyNewNormal

When you go to London for 36 hours you should definitely try to fit in a boot camp, thai massage, all day drinking session and a dance club. So you can’t walk or move for multiple days following and are reminded that you aren’t 20 anymore and you need to calm the hell down.

 

2 thoughts on “Keep Calm and London On

  1. I have done none of these things except the ones that are on my doorstep (Kensington Palace Gardens, Notting Hill). Mainly because I hate crowds, but also because living in London makes me lazy about bothering to visit all the attractions. Perhaps I’ll get around to them one day…

    P.S. No I am not secretly Kate
    …or am I? 😉

    P.P.S. When I tried to click through to your website from Feedly I got a security error, because it tried to direct me to an https site. I had to replace ‘https’ with ‘http’ to make it work. Thought you might want to know!

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