London. Isn't she a beaut?
The truth is, it wasn't our final destination -- just a fun stop along the way. You see, we were headed to The Netherlands for spring break and it just so happened that the most appealing way to get there for us was to fly into London, stay a few days, and then take the Eurostar to our final destination. We call it "Trusty-fying" trips. If it's possible to squeeze in an extra stop/attraction/adventure we will do it!
I thoroughly photographed England last year, so I really took it slow behind the lens. I only shot a few things -- and feel good with it. Like these beautiful flower arrangements. They were just across the street from our hotel and I admired them during our short stay.
When the rain cleared, we made our way to some of our favorite parks. I remembered this chap from last year. I watched as he fed the local squirrels from his hand. All I could think about was RABIES. Seriously. Somewhere his mother's heart is breaking. And if not, my mother's heart is breaking -- she suffers from hydrophobophobia. Yup. A clinical fear of rabies.
The most famous residents of the park are the Queen's Swans.
But these little guys are pretty cute, too.
I found a quiet row of telephone booths and thought they were picture worthy.
Apparently, so did Dennis. He took this stunning picture of me with crazy hair and no-makeup. Thank you rain and red-eye flight for this smashing piece of artwork.
Chinatown! I stumbled upon it by mistake and was so happy I did.
It turned out to be one of my favorite finds this trip. I instantly regretted not having Katie along for this adventure. She is fascinated by all things Chinese and would have loved the decorations, restaurants and stores.
Just off of the main street, we ate at Joy King Lau. It was authentic and delicious and somehow transported me pack to China. A flood of memories came rushing back as did my desire to visit Asia again soon. Before leaving this part of town, we did partake in a little BUBBLE WRAP dessert. It's a must-do for visitors and locals alike.
Have I ever told you how much I like to walk? On this particular day, we did 14 miles on foot with a cool, soft mist. This is where packing smart comes in handy. We were prepared with umbrellas, rain jackets, base layers (think paper thin long undies) and boots. I trucked across London in Sorels and my feet never ached and stayed perfectly dry. The best part -- all of these items fit neatly in my carry on.
Here. Take a peek.
The Tower Bridge. Dennis loves it and he promised the kids a picture. They recently completed the Lego version a few weeks back so the photo held special meaning for the kiddos.
Last year my favorite tour was of The Tower of London. I loved it. Here is a partial view from across the Thames. What captured my curiosity was the small sign that read "Entry To Traitors' Gate." I have read about in books -- seen it in movies, but was surprised to see it as I strolled down the riverwalk with my love.
We stopped by the Borough Market for a snack to hold us over until our afternoon tea reservation. These mushrooms caught my eye. The texture was amazing and I found myself wishing I had a different lens. Aren't they beautiful? Dennis asked how I would prepare them and I daydreamed about soup or maybe a salad ....but the thought left as quickly as it came. You see, Granny came to mind. And that girl -- well, she would dip them in egg, roll them in flour and fry the ever living life out of them. Come to think of it, she fries just about everything her sweet, tiny hands touch. Don't believe me? Well, that's a different post.
Before leaving the market, I stopped by the fish mongers stall. I was looking for a gross photograph to send my kiddos. The orangeish-pinkish fish fit the bill -- the tentacles were a bonus. Nola told me it made her want to gag. Mission accomplished!
I really do love London. Favorite memories on this trip will include dinner in Chinatown, listening to a talented street performer sing her heart out under a bridge, visiting the British museum, scones at The Wolsley, and a walking tour across the city with Dennis. Oh, that bubble wrap was pretty good, too. Ok. Fine. It was delicious.