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London in the Spring

 
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London in the Spring - 9 May 2010 18:33:53    
marie

 

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From: Bristol Rhode Island USA
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After a long day/night of traveling, my 10 year old granddaughter, Bailey, and I arrived in London to a nice sunny morning. I had arranged for a driver to pick us up at Heathrow. That really worked well and in just about an hour we were dropped off at our hotel.
The driver told us that the weather would be going down hill in the next day or so; therefore, after checking in, we headed out to the London Eye. I had hoped to do it after we had seen a bit of London so that Bailey could pick out a few places. She didn’t care, she loved it! It is worth the £17 (I think). The ride takes about 45 minutes; you hardly feel that you are moving. This is my second time; I still enjoyed it. From there we headed toward Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Bailey was amazed that people were actually buried in the Abbey. But the high point was the gift shop!! This was a recurring theme throughout the trip. This child lives to shop.
By 6:30 I was really dizzy from exhaustion; we had a quick dinner at the hotel and went to bed. I got 11 hours of sleep, Bailey had 12. End of jet lag.

Thursday, we headed off to The Tower of London. We joined a guided tour, free and worth doing. After a quick, terrible lunch – Bailey’s diet is very limited, she won’t try new things. All the major sites have wonderful, inexpensive cafes, but there was nothing to tempt her. Pizza 5 times, Burger King, Subway – you get the drift- YUCK – we hopped on a tour bus and got off at Regent St. for, you got it, shopping. Hemley’s was her destination – 5 floors of toys with lots of demonstrators. She loved it. We poked around some of the stores on our way back to hotel. After dropping off her bags we went to Covent Gardens. Bailey loved the street performers, so we went there most evenings.

Back at the hotel, we were tired and ready for bad. Our room was on the street side, needless to say, the noise was terrible. The first night we were so tired that I just did not notice it. The next morning, I went to have our room changed. I usually don’t complain, but we changed twice. I paid for a club room, first change was tiny, second one was a bit bigger, but no chairs. I had to settle for that as the hotel was full. I hate reading in bed. At least this room was inside. Makes a big difference.

Friday it was off to Harrods – do you get the theme here? Actually, it is really worth the visit. The food courts are the best. Every thing looks so good; the prices will make you eyes pop – Maine lobster for only $54 lb. But… there is a gelato bar…. Worth every single penny (£20 for a small sundae and 2 small scoops of the best ice cream I have every had). We then headed up to Buckingham Palace and the Royal Mews – closed on Fridays. That evening we went to see The Lion King. It was great; I loved it as much as Bailey.

Maintenance was being done over the weekend on the tube so many lines were down. I finally tackled the bus routes. Easy. Saturday was spent at the British Museum. There is not much I can say about, other than you must go see it. The artifacts are just impressive. The collection from Egypt and mid east is mind blowing. Plan on spending the day to see it all.

After the museum, we stopped in China Town where we had a good meal – yeah she likes Chinese! Walking back to hotel, we stopped at St. Martin-in-the-Fields and the Brass Rubbing Center. For not much money, it is a good place to entertain the kids – even I enjoyed doing a rubbing.

Sunday it rained, we headed off to Sea Life. There were several “Elephants” on the way. In total we saw 7 scattered around London. Despite the rain, the line for the London Eye was long. I can’t imagine how good the view would be. The aquarium was okay, but having been to Sea World and the Boston Aquarium, I was not impressed. Bailey enjoyed it though. In the afternoon we were back at the rubbing center. The rain kept us in for the evening.

Monday we went to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. Despite the number of times I have been to London, this is one thing I had not done. Of course we were in the wrong place to see the real action, but Bailey is skinning enough to wiggle her way to see what is going on. It rained on and off – tough to see with umbrellas. We did get to see the Royal Mews afterwards. The carriages were great, tour guide added to the experience.

Tuesday we went to Hampton Court Palace. I had hoped to go by river and thought the boat left at 10 – wrong, so we took the tube. We ended up in Richmond and took a taxi to the palace. The driver pointed out the train station across the river – quick trip to Waterloo Station. Oh well. The palace is great. Actors in character, special events planned for the day. It was the marriage of Henry VIII to Catherine Parr. We got to meet Henry. Costumes were interesting – poking through his tunic was a lovely embroider piece covering for the family jewels!!! Why do I think it was greatly exaggerated? We topped off the evening with a final visit to Covent Gardens.

After a little nervous flutter hearing that airports were closed in Ireland and Scotland due to more ash, we were off to Heathrow on Wednesday, with plenty of time to shop before I plane took off. Except for my Whittards tea and some travel books, I saved my shopping for duty free.

Despite the lack of decent meals and too many visit to gift shops, the trip was wonderful. I saw London through the eyes of a child and found more delights.
Post #: 1
RE: London in the Spring - 11 May 2010 13:19:01    
Tudor Rose

 

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What kind of souveniers did Bailey purchase?

Could never figure out why folks on the coach tours would buy nic-nacs that could be found in their local Wal-Mart I was always on the look-out for something totally unique to the U.K....and usually ended up finding something that couldn't be purchased from just around my neighborhood corner.

(in reply to marie)
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RE: London in the Spring - 11 May 2010 13:51:36    
marie

 

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From: Bristol Rhode Island USA
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Tudor - my shopping trips follow your line, Bailey is a whole different story. You know all the little things geared for children at museums - she loves it. A huge pencil, erasers, quill type pen. She did get a cute gargoyle .

I at least got my Whittards tea , hopefully it is enough to last me till the next trip.

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RE: London in the Spring - 11 May 2010 15:04:50    
Tudor Rose

 

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Did the pencil, for instance, have the west front of Westminter Abbey on it? How about erasers stamped with a likeness of Hal Eight?

Bet THOSE can't be purchased at Wal-mart

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RE: London in the Spring - 11 May 2010 18:19:23    
marie

 

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From: Bristol Rhode Island USA
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One eraser was of a crown - she was quite taken with the crown, several times I had to say it would not fir in the suitcase (beside, I wanted to put my tea in her case ) The pencil had nothing special, maybe the museum's name.

Henry had an embroided - have no idea what to call it - piece poking out of his tunic Protecting the family jewels? Bailey noticed! I had to explain that to a 10 year old

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RE: London in the Spring - 11 May 2010 19:27:56    
Tudor Rose

 

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And your diplomatic reply, Marie??

I so envy you the trip to Hampton Court. Were there any strolling folk in costume? I've been everywhere around the gardens, except the maze, and have only seen the big kitchens. Have never had the opportunity visit the magnificent rooms or to try and spot Kathryn Howard running towards the Royal Chapel screaming her head off.

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[Deleted] - 9 Feb. 2011 8:53:57    
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RE: London in the Spring - 15 Dec. 2011 6:13:06    
philpjohn123

 

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Thanks a lot for your information.I was also planning to spend my holidays in London as i am going there first time so i didn't have much information about there but you have helped me a lot by giving me such a nice information.
america visa

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RE: London in the Spring - 20 Dec. 2011 18:56:03    
Katie

 

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London any time of the year is fantastic, I always say try the Riverboat Tours...we took one down to Greenwhich...lots to see and places to explore. Also on the way down the Thames you get some fantastic views of the City, so keep cameras handy.

The Open Top Bus tours are also great, lots of routes and it gives you a taste of the History and Heritage. Another place we all enjoyed was the Tower Bridge Exhibition and Tour.....truly fantastic and views over the River.
The younger members of the family always collect picture postcards, so that they can write up a travel journal of their adventures.....years later they make great reading, as its the little things you may have forgotten....cheers and happy holidays Katie


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