London 2011, baby!

Think about one of your favorite places in the world. Do you have one in mind? OK, now remember how magical that place feels to you and how euphoric you feel when you are there. Do you get butterflies in your stomach? Does all of your stress immediately melt away? Does that burned out feeling you had before you left disappear immediately? Do you seem to have more energy the entire time you are in that place?

Maybe that place is Hawaii for you.

Or maybe it’s Paris, LA, Italy, Germany or Brazil.

London is one of those places for me.

On Tuesday, January 25th, Rich and I left to go to my “Happy Place” as I like to call it. Here’s a snapshot of each day of our trip:

We arrived on the morning of Wednesday, January 26th after a long, overnight flight. I remembered the flight over being much more comfortable the first time I went to London. I guess forgetting to take a Tylenol PM this time may have played a role in that. Oh well! After a quick power nap, we were off to explore the city!

We took a long, beautiful walk through Hyde Park. Then we explored Harrods, a massive, multi-level department store and had a delicious pizza meal there! Afterward, we made the trek back through Hyde Park (even more gorgeous at dusk) and finished the night out with dinner at a pub around the block from our hotel. We made the right decision to go to bed early, so we could get much-needed rest and hit the day running on Thursday!

Rich in the beautiful Hyde Park

Lemonade at Harrods - from the town Rich's dad's family came from (Devon)!

Thursday morning was when Rich spoke at his event. While I was happy to support him, he told me that I had a ‘sleep in’ pass, so that’s what I did. 😉 When Rich arrived back from his speaking engagement, we headed out for shopping and sightseeing! We did A LOT of shopping, heading all around town via the tube, where we constantly heard “Mind the gap!” I just cannot get enough of British accents.

We also explored the exterior of Buckingham Palace. It’s exquisite!

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace...and me. 😉

That evening, Rich’s friend Paul Callaghan took us to Rules, the oldest restaurant in London.  It was delicious and such a lovely restaurant. I did not take pictures in there, so if you want to see some, click here. Thank you again, Paul!

We finished out the night with a glass (or two!) of cider at another super cute local pub. Actually, the night concluded with me hearing Keane, a little British band I love, at that pub. That was fun. 😉

Friday, January 28th was another fabulous day in jolly old England! Rich and I met up with two lovely ladies that I met thanks to Keane (the band I just mentioned) named Sarah (a very good friend that I talk to daily on Facebook (and Angela (a brand new friend). In true London form, we filled the day from beginning to end!

Ange, Sarah and me in front of the British Museum

This is actually a clock! (British Museum)

Some REALLY pretty jewelry (British Museum)

Russell Square

Sarah, Me and Ange at Beach Blanket Babylon, a really cool bar that was totally worth the long walk to get to it!

Sarah and Ange, thank you again for traveling to hang out with us. It was a pleasure spending the day with you!

After we sent Ange and Sarah off on their trains, we had dinner at, you guessed it, another cute pub. Sensing a trend here?

Saturday, January 29th was our day trip to the countryside. We went to visit Battle in East Sussex. Battle is a town rich in history and to say it is quaint is an understatement. It is the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William, Duke of Normandy, defeated King Harold II to become William I in the year 1066. It’s current population is just over 6,000. (That’s about an 8th of the student population at Michigan State University!) Yes, it’s small. It’s incredibly darling too.

Battle Abbey

Walking the actual grounds of the battle of 1066

An amazing view from the Battle Abbey walking tour

This was such a cool side trip! Besides London and Windsor, I had never been to another town in England. I’m so glad we went! That evening, we arrived back in the city and Rich was craving ‘real’ pizza (not the delicious thin crust stuff we had at Harrods), so we found a yummy pizza place in Covent Garden.

Sunday, January 30th was football (soccer) day! Rich and I were able to get tickets to see Tottenham Hotspur (our team) play Fulham at Fulham. To put it simply, our team got their butts kicked. They lost 4-0. Ouch! We had a blast though! There is nothing like the atmosphere at an English Premier League game.

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham

Rich and I at Craven Cottage


Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham - a loss for our team, but a very fun experience!

Monday, January 31st ended up being our final day in London, thanks to “Snopocalypse 2011.” Due to the blizzard warnings in Michigan, we had to cut our trip short by one day so we could get home before the storms began. I was completely bummed, but what are you going to do? We made the best of our final day with a full English breakfast, a tour of the Tower of London, dinner in Camden Town…and we had tickets to see Fran Healy, a great singer from Scotland!

Rich at the Tower of London

Me at the Tower of London

Fran Healy

I’d say that live music was the perfect end to a wonderful vacation.  🙂

To see more pictures, you’ll have to be a Facebook friend. (I’ll be posting about 200 pictures there shortly.)


5 responses

  1. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time. Some day, when we all meet up in England, Sarah can show us Rugeley and I’ll introduce you to Burnham-on-Crouch.

    London is my happy place too–England as a whole is, really–and if you’re ever bored with time on your hands, go back in my blog posts to 2004 and 2005–I started my blog because I was moving to England!

  2. Pingback: London 2011, baby! « Lindsay Warren's Blog | Discover the magic

  3. The pics are so great — thanks for sharing them. England’s on my list of places I must see, so one of these years we’re going to get there. Your trip sounds like it was lovely. So glad you were able to see Battle, and a Spurs game as well!

  4. (If you see a comment from me posted twice, I apologize — it seems my last comment was eaten!)

    Great pics — thanks for sharing them! Looks like you had a wonderful time. I love the pics from Battle especially, and I think it’s great that you got to see a Spurs game! One of these years I’ll get to visit England and I can be pretty certain it’ll be my Happy Place, too!

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