Monday, April 29, 2013

London - Day 2

We slept in this morning until 8:30am, which was needed after the long flight from yesterday. Our first stop of the day (after Costa for a tea), was Shakespeare's Globe for a tour. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. The tour was mostly outside and it was snowing off and on.  I learned that the globe was was designed by an American and was the exacts size as the original, which burned to the ground during a show. The original fit 3,000 people, but the new one only fits 1,500. They obviously packed the people in back then. I hit the gift shop after and bought Colton a London ABC book.

Shakespeare's Globe

From there we walked over to the Tower Bridge and headed to the Tower of London.  The Yeoman  Warder live there and protect the Crown Jewels. Fun fact: they have their own bar on site! I didn't know the tour was going to be outside. I froze my bloody bum off. I'm surprised I didn't lose a toe. Seriously. This was the most expensive tour of the day and in hindsight, I wouldn't have done done the tour. However, I did learn a lot. The Tower of London was the sight of several beheadings. If you were lucky, you got beheaded inside the tower. For most, beheadings took place on a hill outside the tower. After the heads were chopped off, they would place the heads on sticks and put them out on the London Bridge to warn any potential traitors. Before we left, we got to see the Crown Jewels! I was slightly disappointed because we had to get on a moving conveyer belt to see the jewels. We didn't get to look at them for long and we weren't allowed to take photos. The queen's crown and scepter was gorgeous.

Tower of London

By now, we were starving. We hopped into a Pret (they are EVERYWHERE). Luckily I brought my umbrella because it started to rain. 

After a late lunch, we took the tube to shop. The next stop was Harrods! This department store was beautiful! We didn't get to spend much time here because we had 2 other places to visit. However, we did walk thru their food hall, tea/chocolatier room and the gift shop. I bought a pale pink id holder for only 7pounds. Before we left Harrod's, we saw the Princess Diana memorial.

Next up, we walked to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery. The oil painting of Kate Middleton was there (Read the controversy)! I feel lucky to have seen it because it's only going to be there until September. We also got to see the original painting of Queen Victoria and some of Vincent van Gogh, including the sunflower painting. Georges Seuret is an artist who paints by dotting. The paintings  were stunning.

By now it was dark, but we still wanted to see Buckingham Palace. We ended up walking there in the chilly mist that is London. I wish we saw it during the day, but it just wasn't in the cards. Finally, we went on the quest for dinner. We met a few locals at a beer tasting the night before who told us about a pub called Harp. It took us a while (30 min?), but we finally stumbled upon it. This place was hopping!  We walked through the lively crowd up a small winding staircase to only find no seating. Fail. We went to 2 other places until we finally found a pub that served food after 10pm. We thought we were doomed because the menu said they don't accept credit cards, but they did! What a relief because we were hangry. I've never had fish in my life, but when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, I had my very first fish and chips! It wasn't too bad. 

By now, it was 11:30pm and we headed back to our hotel to watch Scandal. : ) Ashlee downloaded it on her iPad. What a sight. 3 grown women on a king size bed watching Scandal on an iPad... we're loyal fans. 

After a quick Skype with Scott, it was bedtime. 

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