Sunday, September 29, 2013

Kasey and Jill Go To London!

FINALLY....I'm getting around to blogging about my amazing trip to London and Paris with one of my BFFs, Kasey. It's been a busy month and I will hopefully be caught up on this here blog before too long!

Kasey and I both landed in London around 8am so we had the whole day ahead of us. After a quick nap and a shower for Kasey we headed out for a Fat Tire Bike Tour. I did one of these in Barcelona and loved it and had been wanting to do another one ever since. Kasey was keen on the idea and I knew it would cover most of the big stuff making the rest of our days in London easier to plan once we skimmed the surface.

We started at Kensington Park making our way through Hyde Park and Green Park. The parks in London are amazing and it was such a great day just cruisin' through on the bikes.

Queen Victoria Statue

Kensington Palace

Buckingham Palace

Horse Guards Parade-site of the 2012 London Olympic Beach Volleyball tournaments, it was voted best venue; also the site for the Virgin London Marathon meeting spots and changing rooms

Westminster Abbey

The Elizabeth Tower which holds Big Ben, the bell, at House of Parliament

Saturday we headed out to Borough Market to treat ourselves to a bunch of yummy food from around the world. We shared everything so we could enjoy more and not feel quite as guilty.

Venison burger, goat's milk mint chocolate chip ice cream, fresh fruit juice and raclette cheese over potatoes

Yummy raclette cheese

We then made our way to Tower Bridge passing by London Eye, Elizabeth Tower and House of Parliament along the way to Madison Rooftop bar to meet Debbie and Luke before dinner and the theatre.

The show we saw was Once and I highly, highly recommend. It's wonderful, raw theater with an amazing music lineup as well as a beautiful love story with a touch of humor. I've seen 'big' theater productions and though I love them there is something special about the simpler ones. 

Sunday Debbie, Kasey and I headed out to enjoy a low key day in the park. We made a quick stop by the famous Harrods department store to get a quick bite of chocolate and then a trip up Wellington Arch to get a view of the city before we made our way to Greenwich Park. Greenwich Park is the home of the Prime Meridian but was also the starting point to the London Marathon which is why I wanted to head back. Greenwich Park is on a hill and there is great vantage point of the city. We got our pictures and then marked our spot in a open area near a cricket game to enjoy wine, cheese and lots of girl talk. This was probably one of my favorite days of the trip. I can't tell you the last time I sat in a park with my best girls talking over wine. It's the simpler things that make me happy.

Looking over Buckingham Palace

The Prime Meridian

Monday Kasey and I headed to tour Buckingham Palace. The Queen's residence is only open for tours from the end of July through mid September while she's at her summer vacation home in Scotland (just an hour from Aberdeen). This was a true treat! There is a great audio tour and other than being really crowded when we went, I really enjoyed it. I didn't expect the tour to end in the back garden of Buckingham Palace so that was a nice surprise. They even had a little cafe set up for you to enjoy your lunch in the Queen's garden. Highly recommend this if you're in London at the right time!

After touring Buckingham Palace we made our way to The Wolseley for high tea. We didn't have time to do high tea when Kasey visited Scotland last year so I wanted to make sure we got it in this trip. It was so yummy and we were stuffed by the end.

And that pretty much wraps up London town. That was my third trip to London and I love it more each time I go. There is so much to do and see in London that you can go and never repeat the same thing twice. And the fact that Debbie and Luke live there has me already wanting to go back! And I must give them a shout out for being the best hosts for me and Kasey. It's always fun staying with friends and I really can't thank them enough!

Next up....Paris!!