{ London Day 2-A Night time Stroll Through London }

Our dinner plans for Friday night were not very specific in our big Excel spreadsheet plan-we just knew we wanted to eat somewhere around the Tower of London. There seemed to be plenty of pubs in the area, so after a stop to the Tower of London gift shop for some souvenirs, we started down the main drag looking for some food. What we didn’t plan on was the fact that on a Friday night, there were many pubs that we couldn’t bring two kids under the age of 18 into. After wandering around for about 20 minutes, we went back to place we had stopped in before that was full, and were able to snag a table close to the front door. We were glad for some well written signs informing us of the British “etiquette” of ordering at the bar ourselves. It saved us some embarrassment and actually seemed much more laid back than some restaurants in the states that seem in a rush to get you seated and seem almost annoyed when you aren’t ready to order, just so they can get you back out again. We felt like we could take as long as we needed to order and stay as long as we wanted eating and enjoying the atmosphere.


The first thing we ordered was some hot chocolate to help us thaw out a bit. I ended up ordering some really good flatbread pesto pizza which was quite delicious. Aaron decided to have a real English meal of a pot pie and some mashers and vegetables. Austin ordered a chicken sandwich and chips (french fries), and Brianna got a steak and chips. It was kind of funny that even though we were in the only English speaking country of our trip, we still had communication problems-the waitress could not understand us wanting a steak knife for Brianna to cut her steak. After a few tries, and her walking off she finally came back with a knife. 

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That night we let Brianna and Austin navigate us around on the tube. We put them in charge of finding all the stops and the routes we needed to get to our last few sites, and then back home to the hotel. It made me feel so good that they were confident in getting around, being that riding the tube was an experience that was very much out of our comfort zone way of living at home. I love seeing my kids become independent and stepping outside their norm. Austin led us first, and we headed up to see Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery all lit up. We found some iconic red phone booths, that we had somehow missed a shot of during the day.

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We managed to help Brianna and Austin up on the statues of the lions that sit in Trafalgar Square right in front of the gallery, but after all their funny posing Brianna was too scared to get down. We had fun letting her sit up there for awhile, while Austin and Aaron took turns sliding head first down the railings. Good times.


We walked from the National Gallery down past Buckingham Palace and to the Westminster Abbey to see them both lit up at night. It was a nice peaceful walk, and refreshing to not have so many daytime tourist around. It was so much fun to be with our big kids, and see their personalities shine through. We had some good laughs as we watched someone attempting to drive down the left side of the road for the first time-I’m sure we would have looked just as slow and lost as they did, seeing a guy playing a orange traffic cone as a musical instrument for money, and people watching the many interesting people that were on the tube that night as we reminded each other to “Mind the gap”. Brianna led us back on the tube from there to our hotel stop “Gloucester Road”, where we walked our familiar few blocks back to our room, and then collapsed. Even though we had taken a lot of riding tours, we had walked a lot that day too. Our feet were feeling it, and once again I was so happy to see my soft hotel bed that night. Just one more morning in London before we were off to Paris.


{ London Day 2-The Tower of London }

After our walk through St. James Park, we headed over to the Westminster area to catch a boat for a cruise on the Thames river. Another activity that involved being in a warm area-lots of smiles about that one. We passed by some of our favorite sites like the London Eye and the Tower bridge on our way to see the Tower of London.


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Right inside the gate of the Tower of London is where the entertaining Beefeater tour begins. Our guide walked us through the main parts of the old fortress telling us funny stories, and letting his bold sense of humor shine through. I think his direct and rather blunt mention of how he doesn’t like kids had Austin’s attention. He wasn’t sure whether he should believe him or not for awhile. He was quite entertaining to follow around.

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I loved this small corner inside the fortress walls with it’s rows of timber houses. It had a kind of German feel to me, and seemed so quaint and quiet. It made me excited for our trip to Germany a few days later.


And of course I found some blue doors that I loved. They matched well my favorite bridge.


Austin and Brianna really wanted to try and make the guard break out and laugh, but after seeing his gun/musket/sharp thingy on the end/weapon we decided we better respect his territory and let him do his duty. He was stationed right outside the building which housed the Crown Jewels.


No camera inside for the crown jewels, so I quick security camera shot will have to do. We had to wait almost an hour to get inside, but it was well worth the wait. Those are some amazing jewels. They had them encased in glass with a moving sidewalk along side of them to keep things moving, but we were able to go around on it 3 or 4 times. I think towards the end we were just buying time until we had to go back out into the cold.

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Some history reenactments to entertain us…

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When we came out of touring the North towers, we were wandering down for a closer view of the bridge when we noticed some random little white things floating through the air. SNOW! It made me feel a little bit better that we were not exaggerating how cold it was-definitely cold enough to snow. We tried to catch a few in Brianna’s hair…


…and a few on our tongues-because that’s just what crazy Georgia people-who-never-see-snow do at even the slightest snow flurry.