Oh London. I knew to expect greatness, I couldn't have fathomed just how great you really are. My goodness. This city is so full. Full of history, people, amazing food...I honestly think London has everything. Everything. For this reason, it's a favorite city to so many. If you're into any scene or hobby London has it.
We had one full day and two half days in London. While it wasn't enough time, as you can see, we still saw plenty. We flew in on Wednesday and after getting situated in our AirBNB, we hiked out to the Natural History Museum for Eowyn's Birthday. She's a big fan of Dinosaurs and all God's creatures. So, the museum was a natural choice. It's free. Plus, a little insider tip for those with youngins, if you go through the side entrance labeled for those with buggies/strollers. You'll skip an hour plus of wait time. This also means you'll go through the museum differently than the hoards of people. We were able to skip a lot of crowds and really enjoy ourselves. We really loved it.
We had a bit of time left before the museums closed, so we shot over to the science museum conveniently next door. The benefit of free museums is there is no shame in sampling. We went straight down to the bottom floor where they have a more interactive area for kids. It was recommended to us, so we just decided to go off such sound wisdom. Luck would have it, we also made it just in time for a bubble show! The little show was fantastic, and Eowyn held on to a 'bubble pet' (a bubble filled with carbon dioxide-so it cloudy looking and very cool.) She was thrilled. She reported that she had a fantastic birthday. The day ended in ice cream and with very tired feet.
While touring the city on our own would have been its own wonder-filled experience, we were in for a special treat. Some our favorite friends, Floss & Hazel drove up to spend the day with us and show us around. There are certain people that are, as another sweet friend of mine has said, "cut from the same tree." These two are just that for us-they're our kind of soul-friends. We were eager to see them again.
The following day was our day with our friends. We were treated to Fish N Chips and all the incredible iconic sites of London. Having a history buff-and an England native- lead us made for an incredible day. Nothing beats quality conversation while walking through such rich history. I think we ended the day totaling some 18000 steps-that was before heading home. We loved every minute.
[The following three days were Star Wars Celebration. That's the next post]
Our last half-day in London was a quick jaunt to the London Eye, since we had pre-bought tickets for that Sunday we trekked out. I think we may have decided against it after a long Star Wars Celebration had we not pre-purchased them. The Kids LOVED IT. Also, buying ahead meant we could skip the ticket purchase queue. We saw some breath taking views of London. We knew it was one of those things you 'just have to do.' I'm glad we did.
London is a really special place. Buy an oyster card in advance, and you'll be amazed at all the ways you'll be able to get around. Topping it up with more money is a breeze. And while transportation was the most expensive ticket on our trip, it definitely beats taking taxis. We, in the end managed to ride over grounds, undergrounds, a cable car, a river boat, buses, and using our eight legs to get us places. It was an adventure for sure.
It really is one of my favorite cities. I've already a pre-planned itinerary in my mind for our next trip It's just such a fantastic place. Super-kid friendly. Expect a lot of people, and bring a bit of patience and you'll love it as well!