Friday, April 26, 2013

London - Day 1

April 21, 2013

We landed in London at about 8:30am and was able to get through customs fairly quickly. I got to say I was there on holiday (vacation), which made me sound more like a local. We hopped on the London Express for 16 pounds and was in the city center within 15 minutes.

Our hotel is pretty nice! There is a big picture of the Queen above the check-in desk and I can't help but wonder why her eyes are shut in the photo. After an 8 hour flight, we wanted to clean up for our first real day abroad. The shower here has a half glass shower door (weird). It was hard to shower without the water going out of the shower area. We also couldn't figure out how to get the main shower head to turn on, so we had to use the hand shower head. As the tallest member of this traveling trio, it made it really difficult to shower! After we got cleaned up, we headed out on foot to explore the city.

We walked around the Food Hall and then hit Oxford Street to do some shopping. I bought a blazer and skirt at Uni Qlo, both of which were on sale! It's hard to restrain yourself because there the amount of shops is unreal. I didn't expect to see so many Gap, XXI, and H&M stores within 2 city blocks. They are everywhere.

After shopping, we took the Tube to Afternoon Tea at The Royal Horseguard. It was one of the most luxurious experiences I've ever had. We sat there for about 2 hours and ate mini sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and pastries. We also got to pick our own pot of tea (I chose the royal earl grey). The food was so simple and delicious. Maybe what made it so appealing was the fact that it was served on pink and gold china.

From there, we attended choral evensong services at Wetsminster Abbey. Yes, THE Westminster Abbey where William and Kate were married. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photographs inside the church. I tried to soak up as much as I could to remember the moment. The ceilings were high and grand. It was a rather spiritual experience and I am honored that I was able to attend the service.

The Abbey is right by Big Ben and the London Eye. It was freezing and windy, so we took a few quick pics and headed back towards our hotel via the Tube. 

We made one last pit stop at the Food Hall for a beer free beer tasting. Ashlee attracted a gentleman (not!) who was quite fond of her. After swooping her away from the old, creepy drunk man, we got to the free beer (amen). As my friend Sarah recommended,we chatted it up with some of the locals.

All in all, it was a fantastic first day!

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