Our Trip to Europe: London
I’m back and so excited to share with you some photos and details about our amazing trip to Europe! For those of you who may not know, my husband and I just got back from a 15-day vacation traveling to London, Amsterdam, Paris and Nice. We began planning this trip a few years ago; but unfortunately kept having to delay the date due to moving, the purchase of our home, and attending way too many weddings one year. It all worked out for the best though, as this trip came at a perfect time for us. It was just absolutely perfect. Everything.
Our first stop was London. It was the perfect city to begin with since there was no language barrier, and it gave you a chance to ease your new surroundings. Yet once we hit France…oh boy, parlevu anglais anyone?
I immediately fell in love, from the culture to the architecture; there was so much to take in and we only had four days to do it. If I were to start this trip all over again, I probably would have opted to jump on a red bus to take us from tourist attraction to the next, and than just enjoy the culture of the city. Since London is so spread out, you spend a lot of time getting from place to place just to stand in front of a building. Don’t get me wrong, there is so much history involved and I absolutely love that; but the bus would have given us a little more time to partake in non-touristy areas. Just something to think about when you are planning your trip to London. But man do the English know how to drink! The pubs were always full and by the time happy hour hit during the week, packed! It was fun to notice the difference between England and America. One major thing other than the food was their lingo. Instead of “that’s cool” or “awesome,” they would say “lovely” or “brilliant.” Everything just sounded more elegant as if everyone has manners, even if they didn’t. I loved that. We stayed in a hotel in Camden-lock, which is part of the historic Camden Market, and is the creative and cultural heart of London. Every day the market was filled with every type of cuisine and more options than you could even dream. A place I would definitely recommend visiting.
We took our first night by storm, with dinner and many drinks to follow with my cousin Jonathan, his wife Kat, and their little girl Lyla. I hadn’t seen Jonathan in years so it was really fun to be able to catch up and meet his family. Love them! The next day we slept in, moved rather slow and decided to take the scenic route along Green Park before accidentally running into Buckingham Palace. We only knew it was the royal home by the large crowd standing outside the gate and armed guards marching back and forth. Before dinner, we stopped by the famous Abbey Road and studio where the Beatles recorded nearly all their songs. The road was just a road with an iconic symbol behind it. Nonetheless, a fun experience as a tourist. That night we had dinner in The Shard with our friends Alex and Suellen, the tallest building in London. The view was outstanding, and food was absolutely delicious. A little pricey but the view and ombience was well worth it. JJ wasn’t as impressed with his steak as I was with my lobster. So when you to go to The Oblix… get the lobster! The best I have ever had.
The following day consisted of sports and relaxation. Unfortunately for JJ, who is a die hard Arsenal fan; did not get the chance to see a game while visiting England. Arsenal had a bi-week the one weekend we were there. What are the chances? Alternatively, we did a tour of Emirates Stadium with Arsenal legend, Charlie George. Even someone who isn’t a huge sports fanatic like my husband, I really loved the tour. Especially because I was able to watch JJ in his element. He was a happy guy that day!
The following day we went to visit the London Eye and Big Ben. Big Ben was stunning, while the surrounding area on the other hand was extremely crowded and we couldn’t wait to get away. We found a local pub for fish and chips and had a drink at the covent garden to see the latest art installation (100,000 white balloons). I was actually a little disappointed with the fish and chips. A well known popular dish in London was very bland with zero seasoning. We actually heard after the fact that the most popular cuisine to get in London was Indian food. We didn’t believe it. Next time we will have to try it.
The last day in London we walked to St. Paul’s Cathedral and had lunch close by at The Black Friar. Built in 1875, this building and interior detail was beyond stunning. The food was equally delicious, a top meal for us in London.
I imagine there are details of our time in London that I have left out, but overall we loved our experience in this beautiful city. The subway was fairly easy, uber was even easier, and be sure not to cross the road unless you are absolutely sure no one will run you over. Due to the busy streets and crowded attractions, by the last day we were excited to travel on to a new city. Amsterdam coming soon.
Next stop… Amsterdam. Stay tuned!