London's Calling

Trip Start Jun 04, 2010
Trip End Feb 08, 2011

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Where I stayed
Aunty Karen & Uncle Geoff

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We arrived in London the day the Royal Engagement was announced (again, and again, and again and again, in perfect British fashion)....after a 10 hour wait at Glasgow airport with our flight being canceled due to fog over Heathrow.
There was that afternoon gone.
We had set aside a short time in London for some much anticipated R & R - with the opportunity to stay with Samuel's Aunt & Uncle. And what a wonderful time we had with them!

As it was though, we were totally exhausted and slept the entire next day away - Samuel was rather sick. Even the following day was fairly blah but we were out from mid afternoon, enjoying the wonderful, dynamic company of Maria & Dimitri and co. in High Wycombe. We had a blast! Much of the evening was spent laugh and chatting while baking and decorating a cake in the theme of 'Teddy Bears Picnic' for a school event the next day.
A tad last-minute. ;)

By the Friday though we were ready to explore!
Bath has always been a dream of mine and it didn't fail the expectations. The sun was out in all it's brilliance and the whole place shone with a sense of antiquity and romantic charm, making for the perfect day-trip. The beautiful sandstone architecture held a grandeur of Regency elegance and an allure that filled me with anticipated delight.
We began our day unearthing some fascinating history visiting the Roman Baths and sampling 'the waters' at the Pump Room (an acquired taste, that is for sure). Bath Abbey left us awe-struck by it's stunning Gothic architecture and wonderful atmosphere ... and I enjoyed visiting the Jane Austen Centre (Samuel found a nice cafe at this point), followed by the beautiful Assembly Rooms; making her life and stories come alive.
To complete our experience we called into the oldest house in Bath: Sally Lunn's Restaurant & Museum, to enjoy the wonderful flavours of the original Sally Lunn Bun (much like a large, airy brioche) grilled with our choice of a rich cinnamon butter and accompanied by the infamously decadent clotted cream. Ooooo, it was good!

London didn't fail to absorb our eager attention.
We spent a couple of days wandering the streets and enjoying the monumental sights of the worlds most visited city. Exploring the delights of Borough Market, via the sites of the Southbank, was up there in the highlights of our tour of the Capital. We kept an eye out for Jamie Oliver (apparently he wasn't shopping that day) while tasting all the gorgeous delicacies in bountiful assortment that the stalls was simply wonderful! To top off the culinary delight that day, A. Karen & U. Geoff shouted us to one of Jamie Oliver's Italian Restaurants in Covent Garden. Amazing. I would go on to list off the exact details of all the stunning cuisine we savored, but that might sound just slightly obsessive. Needless to say, it was gorgeous ... and an experience highly recommended!
Sunday afternoon, after a pleasant stroll together through both Hyde & St James' Park, we enjoyed the wonderful occasion of attending Evensong at Westminster Abbey. Loved it! The service was lovely, the choir amazing, the building incredible, the experience wondrous.

We barely scratched the surface of all the fabulous things to do and see in London...but among the endless list of 'musts' we enjoyed wandering around the impressive buildings of Parliament with it's Big Ben, a little browse-shopping in Harrods, soaking in Trafalgar Square, captivating the childhood delights of Hamleys Toy Store - who were celebrating 250 years, weaving the stores down Oxford Street, savoring the delights of English Cream tea, taking in the amazing history in the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum with all their incredible artifacts, and enjoying the beautiful Westfield Mall - a massive construction which perfectly and tastefully captures modern design and apparently took over 13 million man-hours to build the 2 "1/2" level mall that boasts 96 escalators.

It was a great time spent with A. Karen & U. Geoff - and a wonderful opportunity to get to know them more. We had a truly fantastic stay.

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