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Away to London!

When it rains it pours around here!  It seems now I am the one sick with pneumonia for memorial day weekend.  I put together a good number of posts early this week to get things rolling again, but things may get spotty again before we get to Paris.  Ugh.

After a few days in southern England with Brynn, we were off on a morning train back to London for some more adventures.

train ride to London @ BandBBuildALife.com

Yeah, that’s right, First Class.  That’s how we roll.  (Or it was actually only marginally more and so, why not?)

We pulled into Waterloo and headed to our hotel to drop our bags.  Then our first stop was Platform 9 3/4

Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter @ BandBBuildALife.com

Not my best shot but still a fun detour.  The dude who’s job it was to toss the scarf to get the ‘flying’ effect in the professional photos was hysterical!

Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter @ BandBBuildALife.com

Then we hit up the gift shop to try our hand at spell casting and to pick up a few treats too.  I could totes be Hermione.   …If I could just not fall asleep through at least one movie!

OK ok, enough of the movie related stops.  On to something real.  Something iconic.

How about the Underground?

London Underground @ BandBBuildALife.com IMG_3236_webSeriously though, the Tube system was so CLEAN and efficient and LOGICAL.  It was wonderful!

So we decided to head towards Westminster station.  And the moment we reached the stairs for the surface level I knew what we were facing.   It was….

Big Ben @ BandBBuildALife.com Big Ben @ BandBBuildALife.com

BIG BEN!  CHECK!   When I saw the side of the building on my way up I basically lost my mind.  I mean I’ve seen it hundreds of times in movies and on TV but THERE IT WAS, right infront of me!

Big Ben @ BandBBuildALife.com

And of course the House of Parliament too.  All right there in it’s architectural glory.

And then I was photobomed by a Ferrari.

Big Ben @ BandBBuildALife.com

I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED IT.  Some day I will have a pretty red one alllll my own.  (Or a pretty house…. you can bet which one I’ll actually get.)

Big Ben @ BandBBuildALife.com

Our actual goal was to reach a dock just across from Parliament for a boat tour down the River Thames.  Clearly we were enjoying the trip!

london eye @ BandBBuildALife.comThe London Eye, a HUGE ferris wheel of sorts was right across the river from us.  An attraction we planned to visit the next day. Tower Bridge @ BandBBuildALife.com

Down the river we went and saw quite a lot for a leisurely ride down the river – I highly recommend taking it as a first-look at London!  Tower Bridge @ BandBBuildALife.com

One of the favorite stops was a turn we took right infront of Tower Bridge.  Not to be confused with London Bridge, Tower Bridge is the iconic bridge that proudly displayed the Olympic Rings during the recent summer Olympics.

Tower Bridge @ BandBBuildALife.com

Just after we docked they stopped traffic on the bridge to open it!  Apparently that doesn’t happen too frequently, so we took this as a good sign that we were having a great day.

Tower of London @ BandBBuildALife.com

The dock was just down from the famed Tower of London, another stop we had planned for the next day.

London Bridge @ BandBBuildALife.com

A quick walk back to London Bridge brought us to this marker.  The iconic version now exists in Arizona as a tourist attraction.  But to learn more about the history of the bridge, and the lore around it, we went to the London Bridge Experience.

London Bridge @ BandBBuildALife.com

It was part exhibit and walking tour, part haunted house.  We learned about how the bridge used to be so large it actually had homes built on it, and that it was burned down several times.  We even heard about how Jack The Ripper played into the history of the bridge too, just before having to outrun him in the haunted house!

trafalgar square @ BandBBuildALife.com

Then we went back to more iconic sightseeing with a stop at Trafalgar Square.  (if you squint at the bottom left corner, that’s Big Ben in the distance too!)

trafalgar square @ BandBBuildALife.com trafalgar square @ BandBBuildALife.com

Unfortunately much of the square was blocked off with tents and grand stands for an outdoor concert to be held that week for the bank holiday.  But no matter, we still get to say we were there!  CHECK!

trafalgar square @ BandBBuildALife.com

Then it was back to the Underground to get to our hotel…. London Underground @ BandBBuildALife.com

And though I have nothing but nice things to say about the Tube, there are a few stations that really look like I should be in space and not underground!

London Underground @ BandBBuildALife.com

And then this sign greeted us at the station nearest our hotel.  Thank god for the sign or somebody’s liable to get lost half way up!

Once we were back in our hotel we hit up the Curry buffet at our hotel.  Let’s just say this trip has made me a Curry-convert.

tikka masala @ BandBBuildALife.com

And some souvinir stalking went down too.  I saw this Corgi stuffed animal ALL OVER and it was just so darn cute, but what am I going to do with a stuffed animal?

queen corgi @ BandBBuildALife.com

All well.  Until tomorrow!

~ Beth

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