I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

First Day in London

The sign that indicates a Tube (subway) station

The back side of Westminster Abbey

The side entrance of Westminster Abbey

Intricate details over the doorways

Hanging out around Andy prompts me to disobey rules and sneak pics. The inside of the Abbey.

Front of Westminster Abbey

Big Ben and Parliament

Big Ben

The face of Big Ben

our good friends and the reason for this trip, Andy and Laurie

The Apple Market inside of Covent Garden

Cooking Paella in Covent Garden

We liked this funky footbridge that linked the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House

London Bridge, not much to look at

Tower Bridge over the Thames...beautiful to look at

The Tower of London with the Tower Bridge behind it

Changing of the guard at the Tower of London

I thought Hallie would like to see these animals made entirely out of wire mesh

Old stone at the Tower of London

Stone against brick at the Tower of London

The old and the new

walking across the Tower Bridge

Zizzi's...chicken wrapped in prosciutto and basil, roasted potatoes and green beans

Zizzi's...pizza with prosciutto, rocket and cheese

Andy's Prawns

Andy's Calamari

Hazelnut torte

Warm chocolate melting cake...given a choice of ice cream, it had to be chocolate for me.
We arrived in London this morning after a series of uneventful flights. Delta has redeemed itself with me for the time being! We had to wait awhile for our pre-arranged taxi driver to meet us at the airport. He was very nice and said he was from Kurdistan. He liked the way I talked, but said to him it sounded nice but like blah, blah, blah. I slowed down my talking just for him and he said that was much better. For what it's worth, I didn't understand much of what he said either. We are staying at the Base2stay Kensington where I stayed the last time I was in London. It's a great location very close to a Tube station. We arrived at the hotel about 8:00 this morning and our rooms were not ready. We thought that might be the case and the hotel let us store our bags behind the desk. We left the hotel and stopped at Starbucks for a quick breakfast before boarding the Tube (subway). Our Tube station is Earls Court which is very conveniently located on the Circle and District lines. These are the lines I use the most when touring around London. Well imagine our surprise when we found out that BOTH of those lines were out of commission for the weekend! So we had to reroute our travel to get to the things we wanted to see today which was a lot more time consuming. We started our day with a visit to Westminster Abbey. This is the church where Prince William and his bride Kate were married. I had never been inside so this was a treat for me as well as every one else. The Abbey gives you a headset that you hold to your ear and press a number in the different areas of the church to hear a description of what you are looking at. It made the tour a lot more interesting and Laurie and I agreed it was much more beautiful in person than what we saw on TV for the royal wedding. I think I might just have to go back and watch it again. We were not allowed to take pictures inside which was disappointing to me. We left the Abbey and walked across the Thames River to look at Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament. It's quite massive. Danny is a great navigator when it comes to finding these Tube stations I am unfamiliar with. We were hungry and decided to try a recommended burger spot, Byrons Burgers, which had a location in Covent Garden. We had some delicious burgers and Andy discovered Portobello Mushroom burgers were actually a big mushroom. We had a little trouble finding the spot and when I took out my phone to check my map, Danny looked up and realized we were standing right in front of it! Silly us! After lunch, we wandered around a bit and snacked on some Thorntons ice cream. So yummy! The afternoon was progressing, but we still had some energy left, so we once again determined a round about way of getting to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. We went in the Tower of London to see the crown jewels and then walked about halfway over the Thames on the Tower Bridge. It was only 4:30, but we were so tired that we knew we needed to eat and go to bed. We ate supper at Zizzi's, my favorite little Italian place at St. Katherine's Wharf. There are locations all over the city, but this one was the most convenient at the moment. We had a great meal that seemed to take forever but ended in some wonderful dessert! Andy managed to perk up a little with a cold bottle of diet Coke to give him the added stamina for another round about way of getting back to the hotel. We checked into our rooms and I found a little anniversary gift and card from the management! We all agreed it was a great first day and hope that we succeeded in helping our bodies reset to this time zone by giving them lots of sunshine. We are having Internet issues and it may mean no pictures for awhile, but hopefully I can keep posting our days. Until tomorrow!

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