They Came and They Went

They Came and They Went

July 27, 2014

It's hard to believe it's already been over a month since they were here. It all happened so fast ...  it seems like a dream. If you happened to see my last post you know that I recently spent a week in Barcelona with my sons, but our time together actually began and ended here in London.

For two of my sons it was there first time here and there was a lot we wanted to do and see. Knowing they would be here soon I saved many of the things people come to London for to experience for the first with them. Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the River Thames, Tower of London, Covent Garden .... we did it all and then some.

We began our first day out and about by making our way over to the changing of the guards and then on to a "hop on hop off" bus tour from there - a perfect way to start a tour of central London.

As you exit the tube and walk through Green Park towards Buckingham Palace you pass a funny thing, well at least I think it's kind of funny. The perfectly manicured grass is lined with some lovely deck chairs that scream "come sit in me!", but apparently if you do, they promptly come and charge you for the privledge of doing so - L 1.60 to be exact which is $2.75 in American dollars. Apparently this actually happened to my oldest son Arron and his wife Kimberly when they visited London a few years ago and they made themselves comfortable in these oh so inviting chairs as they passed by.

So we passed.

Buckingham Palace was jammed packed with people just as we expected. But even though I couldn't get as close as I would have liked it was definitely worth seeing and I was able to get at least one clear shot with a little help from my son who's head served as an excellent tripod.

As I was watching this very formal and extremely precise tradition of many years take place right in front of me, a UTube clip I had recently seen of some of the faux paux's that have occurred at this or similar events came to mind. If you want a little chuckle click the link below ... it definitely made me laugh and was a good reminder that sometimes we humans just shouldn't take ourselves so gosh darn seriously!

Guards Compilation

Once the guards completed their changing routine we moved on and hopped on off and on around town the rest of the afternoon. We lucked out with amazing weather that day and thoroughly enjoyed riding around town on the upper level of the open air bus.

Here are some of the sights we saw that day. My favorite is the one of the young man we came across sitting on the bridge with his cello. I'm not really sure what he was doing there as it really isn't such a good place to sit and hang out with your cello, but none the less it was a good photo op for me.

 
 
 
 

After traveling to Barcelona, and the boys on to Rome, we all met up again here in London for several more very special days. Arron was feeling like he'd seen enough "old stuff" for one trip but my younger two and I wanted to see the Tower of London so we parted ways for the day and off we went.

The Tower of London is steeped in history and also houses the Crown Jewels which are amazing. The term Crown Jewels refers to regalia worn by the sovereign of the United Kingdom during coronation ceremonies as well as other state functions. No photos are allowed so if you are interested in seeing some photos and reading more about their history click here:

History - Crown Jewels

Images - Crown Jewels

Walking through the rest of the Tower of London was equally amazing and I found myself being particularly moved by such things as standing on the exact spot where Anne Boleyn was beheaded so many years ago – in 1536 to be exact. I read the book Anne of a Thousand Days when I was a young girl and have always been fascinated by her story. Below is the monument that now stands in that spot as well as a few photos from the tower.

  Monument where Anne Boleyn was beheaded 

Monument where Anne Boleyn was beheaded 

 
 

These are what I thought were my contraband photos of guys with guns. As we entered the tower and I handed my ticket to the gentleman at the gate I asked him about what I was allowed to photograph and what I was not. His reply was “anything but the Crown Jewels or anyone with a gun”. I thought I was rather “cheeky” as the Brits would say, that is until I later found out that the guy was just jerking my chain, something I began to realize as I noticed that literally everyone around me where snapping photos with a second thought!

 
 

Our last day was spent together in an interesting part of town that I had wanted to visit for a while called Brick Lane which is known for its street art and vintage shops. The day we were there they were actually filming in the middle of the street although I have no idea what. I definitely could have spent much more time there then I did poking around in the shops, drinking chai and capturing the spirit of the neighborhood with my lens. I am looking forward to returning soon for an afternoon on my own.

Here is sample of what we saw as well as an interesting link to check out …

Brick Lane

 
 
 
 

And my favorite. A photo of the bagel shop spelled exactly how they pronounce it …. “beigel!”

Our final meal together was a the Truscott Arms, a gastropub in Maida Vale (about 20 minutes from our house) that serves gluten free British Pub food including fish and chips, bangers and mash and even scotch eggs. You name it, they have it. I was truly in heaven … not just because of the food but because I was with four of my very favorite people on this earth and feeling happy and satisfied down to my core. We even found out that the next time we come we can even bring Lulu. What could be better than that?

Here is my favorite photo which was taken that night. There are simply no words to express what that night, and this time with my kids meant to me.

 
 

Thank you to Arron, Brendan, Devin and Richard for making it so special!

Until next time!

XOXO, from me and lu

 
                        Arron

                      Arron

 
 
                   Brendan

                 Brendan

 
 
                       Devin

                     Devin

 
  Me and My Boys

Me and My Boys