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The Year Trip We are on another grand family adventure. This time we are taking 10 months to circumnavigate the globe!

London, England

USA | Thursday, 16 November 2017 | Views [426]

In our original plan London did not make the list, it was just out of the way.  However, Elizabeth really wanted to visit Stonehenge, so London was added back to the list.  Our new friends we met in Madrid recommended us to visit the Sky Garden, which is free but requires reservation.  Reservations slots are release several weeks prior to the date, so we had already made the reservations.   So, as we arrived in London the only plan we had was to visit the Sky Garden, have dinner with couple we met in Madrid, and go to Stonehenge.

The day we arrived in London we made our way to our accommodations to settle in and make a plan for the next several days.  We know the following day we were headed to see the Sky Garden in the morning and wanted to schedule Stonehenge. Well, this was the first time we did not see something we planned.  We did not make it to Stonehenge.  Since we just could not fit into the three days reasonably we agreed to skip it.  We replace a day going to Stonehenge with a day walking around London, visiting Buckingham Palace and watching the changing of the guard.  We had completely forgot about the changing of the guard until we were in London, but we all were excited to see it.  We also planned to have dinner with the couple we met in Madrid.

Once we had a basic plan we decided to just relax and catch our breath for the rest of the day.  Plus, there was English TV!  It was a nice to just relax with a little TV and catch our breaths.  We did go out to do a little grocery shopping to cook a meal in our accommodations.  One of the ways we keep cost down is booking rooms with kitchenettes whenever possible.  When we arrive in town we go to a local grocery store and buy milk, cereal, and dinner for a couple of days.  Eating cooked meals in our accommodations is both a money saver and gives a bit of feel of home life. We tend to eat a lot of noodles, pizza, vegetables and other simple meals, but it works.  We have been fairly successful to only eat out 1-2 times per town.  Anyways, we spent our day off relaxing, watching Big Bang, and cooking dinner.  We called it an early night.

The next morning, we headed directly to the Sky Garden.  We had reservations, free, at 9:00 am when it opened.  It had some nice views of the city and a nice little garden, but it only took up about 30-45 minutes.  While we were at the Sky Garden we saw the London Tower. Seeing the tower reminded us one of our friends recommended visiting the tower, it was her top pick in London. So, upon leaving Sky Garden we headed to the London Tower. There was no line to purchase tickets, but always looking for a deal we searched online.  The search showed if you pre-purchase tickets online it is about 3 dollars per ticket cheaper. So, we got out of line, bought tickets online, and walked over to Will Call to get the tickets.  Every dollar counts! 

Everyone enjoyed London Tower.  The London Tower has a little bit for everyone a bit of history, jewels, armory, and many interesting stories.  Additionally, the museum has a kid’s guided audio tour, so we just followed the kids as they hunted for different objects. Anytime a museum has a kid guided tour or kid’s audio we have a better experience within the museum.  The kids stay interested and they are just excited as Elizabeth and me to see everything in the museum. 

After the museum, we had several hours before meeting for dinner with our friends, so we walked the river back to our accommodations to take in some of the sights of London.  London is a really neat town, because you never know what you are going to see around the next corner.  It might a passing view of Big Ben or market place full of people.  We slowly made it back to our accommodations just in time to get ready for our dinner. It was wonderful to have dinner with another couple!

The next morning, we woke up and headed straight out to see the changing of the guards.  Elizabeth found a great write-up about the best places to stand with kids.  It would have been almost impossible to get the kids close enough to see the changing at the palaces with all the people.  Following the blogs instructions where to stand, we got to see different parts of the changing of the guards around the palace area, but did not see the changing at the palace. We watched the band practice and march, inspection of the guards, the march to the change, and Cavalry as they came and went during the changing.  We think it provided better experience and views for the girls.  The gates where the guards change at the palaces is just so crowded, it was likely the girls would have seen very little of the event.  I would highly recommend following the website (if you want it let us know) over trying to smash in with the crowd to see one piece of the entire ceremony.

Walking back to our hotel, we stopped at the Household Calvary Museum.  It is a small, and relatively new museum, but great for kids. The girls got to do a scavenger hunt through the museum and got to dress up in the guard’s uniforms. One of the items in the scavenger hunt is to count all the medals, the girls were so close to the exact number, they were given a free book about the guards to keep.

We spent the rest of our time in London, just walking the city. We spend of good portion of time in St. James park, it has a large pond with all types of birds. Elizabeth and I liked the pelicans the best. The girls were excited to finally see a swan.

The second to last night in London was Elizabeth and my anniversary.  The girls decided to keep us out of the kitchen and make us a dinner. They made us stay in our bedroom, popping in every now and then to make sure we were not peaking.  After just over an hour we were finally allowed to come out.  They had setup the table and made us pasta for our anniversary.   Not only had they made dinner they were the waitresses for the affair and served us well.  Kaleigh was a bit hungry during the event and kept wanting to eat, as Brooklyn demanded she had to wait till we were done!  The dinner was for sure one of the highlights!  

Tags: london, london tower, world nomads

 

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