#11 - Just Touched Down in London Town

Right below New York City is London.  It's my new 2nd favorite city and I've only been there once for 4 jam-packed days.  

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We started out our trip at the Tower of London.  I would highly recommend jumping in on one of the Beefeater tours - it was very entertaining and informative.  Our tour guide was also the raven master.  There's a myth that so long as there are 2 ravens at the Tower of London that the monarch will stay in power; so they always keep at least 3.

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Close by is the Tower Bridge which is commonly mistaken as the London Bridge, which is actually this pretty boring one on the right.

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The Borough Market is an awesome place to grab lunch, but all the vendors are only open Friday-Sunday.  So if you want to get the full experience, head over on the weekend.

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There were so many delicious smelling and looking places to eat, but we decided that the place with the longest line was probably the best.   We were not disappointed with these amazing sandwiches!

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We popped in the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, the oldest bar in London, for a pint and met some great people we chatted with for awhile.  Cask beer is the thing to get in London - it's not carbonated and is served at room temperature.  It wasn't exactly my thing, but Grant got some and I tasted it. :-)

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We met our friends that we were staying with for dinner and then walked over to the London Eye.

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The next morning we got up early and went to Notting Hill for the Portobello Road market that happens each Saturday.  There's some treasures to be found there, some crap, and a lot of great looking food.

P.S. Has no one ever heard the Portobello Road song from Bedknobs & Broomsticks? I would sing this and people would look at me like I was crazy.  It's a real song.  I did not make it up.

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Grant got a tie and I picked up a little silver pitcher for our souvenirs!

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We then took the tube to Buckingham Palace and caught the Changing of the Guards.  They perform the whole ceremony every day during the summer and then every other day the rest of the year.  Check their website before heading over so you don't miss it.  It was honestly a lot of waiting around, but I'm glad we can say we've seen it.

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My goodness we had some amazing food in London.  Indian, pub food, pizza.  Everything we had was amazing.

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Our friends Katie and Matt went and got us day of tickets for Billy Elliot which was hilarious! It was fun seeing this show set in England in London, and the child performers were crazy good.

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On Sunday we toured Buckingham Palace.  I LOVED it.  We've been to several palaces in all different countries and Buckingham Palace was my favorite.  As much as a palace can be, it just felt so homey and welcoming.  Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed, so I only got pictures going in.  If you're planning on visiting London in August or September definitely get tickets online and go - it's only open for tours when the Queen is not in residence.

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More amazing pub food.

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Holy cow, I love Liberty London.  It's 4 stories of amazingness and I probably could have spent half a day there.  I picked up a couple of Christmas ornaments to add to our collection and a cute Liberty print shirt.  I probably could have bought one of everything in the store.

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On our last day, we accidentally snuck into Westminster Abby.  I feel bad saying this, but by the end of our vacation we were just churched out, and the line was so long to get in so we just decided to check out the cloisters for free.  But then when we were peeking our heads in the guy told us to come in, so we just looked around for a couple of minutes and that was good enough for us.

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Then we went to the Victoria and Albert museum which was my favorite museum the entire trip.  It has something for everyone and over 12 miles of corridors - you could literally spend multiple days here seeing everything.  Down the street we went for high tea at the Ampersand Drawing Room.  It was such a cute place, both classy and quirky - just my style.

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I think that Grant was a little dubious of the whole high tea thing because it's not a cheap meal.  But we had so much food and it was all SO delicious.and those scones...oh my goodness, amazing.  The kind people at the Ampersand were so gracious to even give me the recipe for the scones! So, I'll be trying it out next week and sharing the recipe, so stay tuned!

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I actually made my poor travel weary husband stand in line with me for 30 minutes to get my picture at Platform 9 3/4 - which by the way is not on the actual platforms.  We walked around for a long time trying to find it because I somehow did not notice the line of people there.  It's free and it was a silly experience if you don't mind waiting a little bit.

I hope you enjoyed seeing our trip as much as we enjoyed going!