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Jerry had to go to  Belfast and London for work so we made a family trip our of it and brought my little sister along. We flew into Dublin for a couple days, then took the train to Belfast, and then flew to London. Both of us were far more excited for my little sister Lydia, 11, than we were for ourselves. Here’s a summary of our London experience.

Day 1 in London
We stayed at the Andaz in London. The room was not ready for us to check in yet so we dropped our bags off at the hotel and went out to find something for brunch. We found a nice looking cafe not far from the hotel. Lydia went with a bagel and lox and I had one of their amazing looking dessert, a strawberry spongecake with peppermint tea. We then headed towards Old Spitalfields Market. We browsed the market and nearby shops until we got an email letting us know that our room was now ready for check-in. After checking in we got ready for dinner and headed back out on foot to check out Tower Bridge. I love Tower Bridge, it’s just so beautiful. We missed the cut-off for the last tour for the day by a few minutes so we continued across the bridge to Potters Fields Park. We walked around until we found a frozen yogurt place and enjoyed our frozen yogurt on the lawn with the most spectacular view of the Tower Bridge.
Lydia being a Kovalishin girl

Dinner was at Butlers Wharf Chop House. We met several good friends for dinner. The food was great and the company even better. That night though, Lydia got sick. I believe it was still from the sushi she had 2 days before because she said she never quite recovered from that.

I feel I should mention that we used Dream On Me stroller for the whole trip. Some friends of ours recommended it and it was the perfect stroller. It’s light (~14 lbs.), reclines pretty much all the way, and the foot rest goes up. The canopy on the stroller was pretty sucky so we purchased an additional canopy which worked very well. The additional canopy was very flexible so we were able to pull it down pretty far in the front to protect Cella from the wind when she was sleeping.

Day 2 in London
Lydia spent all night throwing up. In the morning she threw up a couple more times and then spent the remainder of the day in bed catching up on her sleep. Getting her to drink water proved to be next to impossible. I’d sit there at her bed trying to explain to her that the only way she’d get better would be to drink water, which would allow her to throw up whatever was making her sick. Cella and I left her to get some sleep and had breakfast at an awesome looking place close by. I had Eggs Florentine with rose and mint tea. We went back to the hotel to check on Lydia and it wasn’t until I told her I wouldn’t leave her bedside and would annoy her endlessly that she finished a small water bottle.

Lydia was feeling better that evening so we got on the tube and headed to Kensington Park. This was Lydia’s first time on the tube so I tried to teach her how to use the map and the tube map to figure out which station you want to get off on. In Kensington Park we saw Princess Diana’s Memorial. Her memorial was a park for kids. It was built in a way to be accessible to kids in wheel chairs and with other physical disabilities, such a neat idea. We saw Kensington Palace, Albert’s Memorial. Queen Victoria had the Albert Memorial built in memory of her husband who died of typhoid fever. It is a beautiful and very ornate memorial. We finished walking around Kensington Park and took the tube back to our hotel.

Kensington Palace
Albert Memorial
Beautiful Kensington Park

Day 3 in London

Lydia was feeling great by Friday and we headed out early to see as much as we could. We stopped for breakfast sandwiches on our way to the Museum of London. This proved to be another great museum. We then saw St. Paul’s Cathedral after which we hopped on the tube to see the Victoria and Albert Museum. The museum was amazing! It was unreal the amount of old stuff this museum had from all around the world. This museum is definitely a London must-see. They also had a huge fashion display from many different eras.

 Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial were our next stop. Jerry met us in St. James Park once he got out of the office and we all made our way towards the London Eye. As packed with tourists as it was, the London Eye was definitely worth is. The views from up top were spectacular. For dinner we went to an Indian restaurant back in Butlers Wharf. Indian food is just so perfectly hot and spicy.
The Lord Mayor’s Coach at the Museum of London. This thing is still used today believe it or not.
Outfits from the 18th century in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
An English wedding dress from 1851.
A dress from the 18th century.
Clothing from 20th century designers.
20th century Christian Dior stuff.
20th century bathing suits.
Enjoying lunch in the garden of the Victoria & Albert museum.
Lydia in front of Buckingham Palace.
Queen Victoria Memorial
St. James Park
Wee’s got the best seat in the house.
London Eye
This photo just turned out so good!
View from the London Eye.
View from the London Eye
Westminster Abbey & Parliament building from the London Eye.
Day 4 in London
Jerry joined a local group of cyclists for a group ride on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Lydia and I had breakfast and then took a water taxi to Greenwich. I was excited about Lydia learning about where time begins. We got off the water taxi in Greenwich and first walked around the University of Greenwich. The buildings were so beautiful. We then made our way to Greenwich Park and made the awfully steep climb up to the Royal Observatory. It must have been a 20-25% grade up that hill and I definitely broke a sweat  by the time I pushed that stroller to the top. 
We enjoyed the the Royal Observatory and made our way back down to have lunch near the taxi port. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant and it was delicious. I ordered a steak and mushroom salad and it was outstanding. We got on the water taxi and made our way to the Tower Bridge stop. We met Jerry a little later and got tickets to tour the Tower.
University of Greenwich
On the water taxi

The Tower tour was awesome. Jerry and I watched the Tudors (HBO series) and having all that in the back of our minds it was amazing to see where these historical events actually took place. The main building in the center, called the White Tower or the Tower of London was completed in 1100! Yes the year 1100! It was pretty surreal to walk in the walls of the tower and imagine everything those walls had seen. It was crazy to think realize we were walking in the palace where so many kings an queens had lived. I’m really glad we had the chance to tour the Tower.

For dinner Saturday night we decided on a Spanish tapas restaurant. Delicious. Because that’s just what Spanish tapas are, they’re delicious.
We made a nice little throne for the wee one to watch us as we packed our stuff up to go back home on Sunday morning. Traveling is great, but there is no place like home.
Lydia and all her creativity.
She’s ready to go home.

One comment on “London

  1. Marquita
    August 15, 2013

    This looked like such a fun trip! I'm sure your sister had a blast! How exciting it must have been for her!

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2013 by in Travel.
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