Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Break in London

I think it's time to share some photos from our amazing spring break vacation in London!

Thanks Grandma Cathy for taking care of our precious little girl for us!!

We left Los Angeles on Sunday late afternoon. Funny story... we went to a restaurant near our gate after getting through security and customs. I was a bit anxious about traveling so far from home without Em, so I thought a glass of wine might help take the edge off. I had just finished my drink (just one glass... just wine...) but as I stood up everything seemed to be moving. I immediately sat back down and said something to Pete about being surprised to really be feeling the wine.... and then I realized everything was moving--the tv in the corner was swinging, plates were sliding on the table--it was an earthquake! :) After calling home to find out that everyone was OK I was relieved and able to start relaxing. (Until we felt jolting aftershocks from a different quake in Northern California. The first one was all the way down in Mexico!)

We had a 10.5 hour flight on Virgin Atlantic, and it was amazing. Individual TV screens on the seat back in front of you with 60 some movies (new ones!) and hundreds of TV shows... for free. Free wine, fantastic food (relatively speaking), comfortable reclining seats, free eye masks and other travel accoutrements... it was wonderful.

We had a nonstop flight and then landed on Monday afternoon at Heathrow.
We took the tube to Leicester Square and then walked to our hotel.
At the hotel we checked in and they gave us some free upgrades.
Then we crashed for an hour or so, and then we were off to visit the Queen ;)

In front of Buckingham Palace, after our tour.

Tuesday morning. In front of Pete's old flat. On our way for coffee at Caffe Nero.

hm. still on our way to coffee. had to take a picture of this sign. there were people standing by it. it was awkward. having this photo is worth it though. besides...i'll never see them again.

After our ahh-MAZ-ing coffee--well, chai latte for me--we went to The British Museum

After a long day at the museum and walking around town we got ready to go to Les Mis.
It was at the Queens' Theatre (Which is also where Pete's show was).
Inside the theatre, after Les Mis

Wednesday morning. It was a little cold and misty out but we stopped for a few photos on our way to Westminster Abbey.
After Westminster Abbey we hopped back on the tube, went to Harrods, then a yummy lunch at an Italian restaurant, a quick stop in the Victoria and Albert Museum, then back 'home' to the hotel for a nap before going out to Lowlander's Pub for some Belgian strawberry beer and fish'n'chips.
Trafalgar Square on our way back 'home'.
Another wonderful morning at Caffe Nero.
Stopping at a park to write out some postcards to send back to the states.

Walking across the River Thames on our way to the Tate Modern.
After our visit to the Tate we stopped at the Ped bridge for a hot dog :)
You can see St. Paul's Cathedral in the background.
After a LONG, BEAUTIFUL walk back we went shopping at Covent Garden.

Thursday night we bought discounted tickets and went to see Jersey Boys..
then a bike taxi...
then more strawberry beer at our favorite pub...
followed by a beautiful walk home. :)
On Friday morning we took the tube to Hyde Park. We were walking to see the Marble Arch when I think the conversation went something like this:
Pete: blah, blah, something I don't remember...
Me: Uh, wait, Pete--check out that guy's butt!
Pete: Huh?! A guy's butt? You do remember you're here with your husband, right?
Me: No, yeah...I mean of course babe, & no offense to your butt, but LOOK! {take out camera}
Pete: You're kidding, right, you're not really going to take a picture... yeah, you did. Poor guy.
After our adventures in the park, we hopped back on the tube and went to Notting Hill.
We took a breather and had some gelato and then continued to Portobello Road.
We did some shopping at the markets and among our purchases was a copy of Charles Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities" (Pete's favorite book.)

Our wonderful hotel :)
Friday night we went to hear the Royal Philharmonic play an all Shostakovich concert. It was supposed to be conducted by Maxim Shostakovich, but he was "unwell" and hospitalized in Moscow. :( It was still a great concert though. :)
Our last night in this beautiful city!
:) Cheers!

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