A couple of weeks ago I got to check off a BIG item on my bucket list--I got to go to London! Taylor had a conference to attend there, so we decided that this would be our vacation for the year, and that I would go along with him and play while he worked! I do not take for granted being able to travel like this on occasion. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go!
I had to get the obligatory phone booth pic. This was just before setting out to do some exploring on my own. The conference photographer happened to be setting out the same time I was, and he asked if he could snap a pic of me by the photo booth:
There are two things that I love to do when traveling: go off the beaten path where possible, and use all different types of transportation. I feel like I accomplished both on this trip. This first day I took the Tube over to the Notting Hill area. I had heard it was quaint and charming, and plus, I love the movie Notting Hill and wanted to see the area it was set in.
I did a lot of walking, and happened upon this little bookstore which was the inspiration for the one in the movie:
There are few things I love more than a cozy, cramped, treasure trove of a bookstore!
The Notting Hill area was a big hodgepodge of street markets, with vendors selling all kinds of items. I thought these mushrooms were beautiful:
And the figs were giant!
Later that afternoon, when they were finished with meetings, Taylor and our friend Ben met up with me to rent some bikes and explore. Buckingham Palace was not far from our hotel, so that was our first stop.
We made it all the way down to the River Thames on the bikes so that we could see Westminster Abbey-but it was closed! I did, on my third try, finally make it inside later in the week. But I took this pic on this first day. So beautiful.
This pic is so cheesy. Believe it or not, I actually did not realize I was holding the map like that.
Pic behind the pic!
One of the items on my to-do list was the Imperial War Musuem, which covered the history of war from World War I forward. I would highly recommend this place:
The next day I took a bus tour to the Tower of London while the guys were in meetings. A bonus was getting a great view of Big Ben, the River Thames, and the London Eye.
I loved the Tower of London. If you are not familiar with it, this is where many prisoners of the state were tortured and beheaded, including the infamous Anne Boleyn. I have to confess that I am now slightly obsessed with British history, specifically the Tudor period. If you have any recommendations of good books for this time period, let me know!
As I mentioned, I finally got inside Westminster Abbey on the last day. No photography is allowed inside, but I snapped this of the courtyard on my way out. Such beautiful architecture and grounds.
I tried to pack in as much as possible that last day. I managed to get to the Tower of London, the Abbey, a really cool medical museum (my favorite!) called the Hunterian Museum, and Covent Garden, an outdoor shopping and festival area.
Excuse the selfie, but I felt the need to post something in a hat. A British trip would not be compete otherwise. I wanted to buy this hat but restrained myself since people in Jackson Mississippi would probably laugh if I pranced around in this:
I finished up the day by meeting Taylor at Harrod's Tea Room for a traditional tea. I thought the rose hips one I chose was so pretty:
It's a good thing for my pocketbook that I did not have too much time in Harrod's--that place is quite tantalizing to the senses! I did manage to grab a couple of Christmas gifts, and I got myself a cute set of warm flannel pjs to remember the trip by.
I have to say--I didn't think I could love a place more than New York City but--Big Apple, you have officially met your match. I cannot wait to go back!