Wednesday, August 13, 2014

London Trip, Part Three: London Actual

We ate breakfast in Cambridge before getting on a train back to London. The innkeeper gave us a four-person table, so we'd have more room with Sadie, and I allowed her to sit on the chair next to me, with one hand on her, so I could eat a little easier. They were so impressed with how well she sat on the chair herself and how she wasn't even scared! Sometimes, I wish she were a little bit more scared of falling off of things.

Anyway, we got to London and checked in to our hotel. Hunter felt like it was either trying to be nice, or used to be nice. My first thought was the former, but on further reflection, I think probably both. Anyway, it had AIR CONDITIONING! And London was HOT while we were there. Like, in the tubes there would be warnings saying to bring water, get off if you feel sick, etc. Now, hot for London is like, low to mid 80s, but still. That A/C felt pretty nice when we got back to our room.

The first thing we I wanted to do was go to Kensington Palace. My not-so-secret, Mrs. Bennett-esque desire was that someone would see Sadie and be like, "That is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen! We must arrange a playdate for young Prince George at once!" And then Sadie would grow up and be a princess. I've looked into it and I'm pretty sure that would be possible. The royals can marry whomever they like, as long as the queen approves and the person isn't Roman Catholic (and you thought Alabama had some weird old laws). Edward abdicated but it wasn't because he married an American, it was because she was divorced and there were like, religious complications, so Wikipedia and The Kings' Speech tell me. So anyway DON'T KILL MY DREAM. Obviously she was caught on tape like pretty much constantly so someone may see her and be like, "Track down that baby!"

The exhibits in Kensington Palace were really cool. They had a special one with dresses of QEII's, Princess Margaret's and Princess Diana's, as well as things about King George N (it was about several of them) and of course Queen Victoria.

Anyway, here we are in front of Sadie's future home:

She's like, I know I belong here!

Ok so later that day, I really wanted to see St. Paul's Cathedral, mainly because I had recently read a book that took place there during the Blitz (Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis, highly recommend). It costs 16.50 to get in. That's in pounds, so like, 33 bucks. Per person. Yeah, I think there should be a Hofstadter's Law for this: London is more expensive than you think, even when you take into account how expensive London is.  But I was like, well I really want to see it, and we're here now. Since we were there near closing, the guy sold us the year pass--we weren't able to see the whole thing that day, and there's a pretty good chance we'll be back in London within the year. We hiked up to the second-highest level, and yes, I was carrying Sadie the whole time! I wanted to go to the top, but there was a bit of a line so we moved on. Honestly, it was expensive but it was also expansive. It seemed like the biggest church I had ever been in and it was just really beautiful. All of London is kind of like that. Just, massive, and monumental.

After that, we decided since it was kind of past closing time for actually like, going into things, we would just walk around a bit and see some things from the outside. First on the list: Big Ben.

Yep, that is a pretty big Ben.

After that, we hit Trafalgar Square, but none of my phone pics came out super well. It was also just really, really crowded. We sat down for a bit and then went to look at Buckingham Palace. We didn't see the changing of the guard--that only happens at 11am and I'm told it's quite a clustercuss--but simply took a look.

That night, I got a pleasant surprise. It turned out an old friend of mine was in London! Actually, London is one of the first places we ever hung out, about 15 years ago. Our families were on the same tour of Europe and we've managed to keep in touch over the years, even before Facebook! We made plans to eat lunch together the next day.

Monday night, we had an early night, mainly because of Sadie. We noticed that British Netflix had all of Season 5 of The League, which we hadn't seen yet, so over the next 2 nights we powered through that :)

Anyway, Tuesday the first thing we visited was Westminster Abbey. It was also quite grand and has a lot of interesting history, obviously. One thing that Hunter commented on was that yes, it's a church, but there are also just a lot of statues of random British heroes, further cementing our opinion of London as saying basically "yeah we were the biggest empire in the world, the sun still doesn't set on us, bitches, and we're gonna remind you every chance we get." 

We had lunch with my friend and then went to get some tasty gelato. Our next stop was the British museum, and we got a few pics in front of it:

The family

Sadie and I with Lisa

The British Museum has a ton of cool stuff, and I wish we could have spent even more time there. I think we need to start putting museums at the beginning of the day, just so we don't get too fatigued and have to power through them. Plus, it's free! Definitely the best value in London.

That night, we really wanted to get Ethiopian food to keep up our tradition of eating it in major cities across the globe. But we knew we couldn't go to a restaurant unless Sadie got a nap before. We headed back to the hotel and tried to get her to go to sleep, but she just wouldn't. So Hunter went and picked up some Persian food and we had that and watched more Netflix.

So anyway, that's our trip to England. We probably won't do another trip until October or so, for both financial and day-off reasons, but I have a few more things scheduled for the blog.

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