I’m sorry that I didn’t get a chance to come back and talk more about London while I was in London. I started to get a cold the last few days we were there: sore throat, swollen glands, headache but then on Saturday, it exploded into an awful sinus infection and I had aches & pains and a slight fever to go along with it. Let’s just say the plane ride back from Heathrow to JFK was not fun, nor was Sunday or Monday. I’m feeling better now thanks to a steady diet of Advil Cold & Sinus, Mucinex and NyQuil. My ears are almost unclogged!
But I digress. Back to London:
Monday, February 15, 2010:
I think Monday was probably my favorite day of sightseeing. We started out at the Tower of London where we got a tour from a Yeomen Warders aka Beefeater. Despite being freezing cold, it was sunny for a little while & glorious. While there, we saw all the famous towers and locations where people were held prisoner and beheaded (including Anne Boleyn) as well as the Tower Bridge. We also saw the crowned jewels which were pretty freaking blingin’, let me tell you. I think the biggest one was 500-something carats. However, my ring is still prettier 🙂
We were absolutely freezing after we left the Tower of London, so we headed up to the area where St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Millenium Bridge were. After a much needed lunch, we went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This place is awesome. We decided to climb up to the top of it, where there was a peephole that you could look all the way down at a center tile. We trekked up a winding staircase of 200+ stairs to the first tier, which was still inside the church. You could see all these beautiful statues and adornments from that level, as you circled around the inside perimeters of the church. Then we kept going. The winding staircase got a bit tighter but it was still walled in, so all was well. This lead to a viewing point that went around half of the outside of the cathedral. Great view; I could see the Globe Theatre on the other side of the Thames River. It was really cool to see London from above.
There was still one more set of stairs to get to the top level. This winding staircase didn’t exactly offer the same security that the previous two did. The higher we went, the more I started to freak out (and I don’t generally have height phobias). I believe I used the word “Mommy” a few times, haha. The first problem I had was that the staircase was one of those black metal ones that didn’t have great protection on the sides other than the railing and the little bars that came down to attach the railing to the stairs. In addition to this, the staircase was right in the middle of the tower we were climbing up – not next to a wall that you could reach out to grab. If you needed to grab a wall, you were going to fall down first. Oh – and you could also see all the way down to the previously level.
But, I made it to the top and it was worth it. Absolutely gorgeous view and it was snowing lightly! If you think you can handle the climb up, this is something that I definitely recommend you do.
We left St. Paul’s and walked over the Millenium Bridge to get to the Globe Theatre. Although we didn’t get to take the tour inside of it (it was almost 4:30pm at this point, I think), we did explore the front area a bit and of course, hit up the gift shop. We went out to dinner with Christie and her friend (also named Colleen) at Sticky Fingers, a restaurant owed by Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stone. Decent burgers.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010:
On Tuesday, Christie took Katelyn & I to Primark, which is basically a giant British version of Forever 21 that’s always crowded no matter what time of day. After Primark, Christie left us to go to class while Kate and I met up with my parents at Kensington Palace. It was pouring rain that day. We did a tour of the palace. What a huge place. It was cool to see some of Princess Diana’s dresses up close and how similar some of the dresses from some of the old debutante balls were to dresses people still wear to proms and formal events now. The upstairs of Kensington Palace showcased rooms of former royals such as Queen Victoria or King William & Queen Mary. If you like history and fancy things, you’ll like Kensington Palace. We walked around Kensington Garden in that awful pouring rain after we were done. It looked gorgeous but wet lol. Still, it was cute to see dogs running around and playing despite the rain. Since Strider got sick in early February last year and these weeks a year ago were filled with trips to the doggie cardiologist and many overnight doggie hospital visits, we were all feeling a little bit sad to remember. Next, we went to a pub for lunch, made a quick stop at TopShop (I assessed it to be a more expensive version of H&M) then went back to Primark because we were pressed for time there that morning.
Here’s where the fun starts! I decided to buy something I had discarded that morning, so I went up to pay by check card. This wasn’t working. Thinking that maybe this store didn’t take Bank of America check cards, I give them my credit card. Credit card doesn’t work either. The woman at the register takes my card to run it herself. Still doesn’t work. She checks the back and of course, I never signed it. So this raises a red flag for her, I guess. I show her my driver’s license to prove the names match but she still calls someone else over. While she’s explaining the situation to a superior, the woman at the register next to her informs her that it’s not my credit card, it’s the credit card machine at her register. She’ll have to input my card manually. Guess what?! She doesn’t know how to do this! Joy! After a long process, she gets it to go through. I sign my receipt and she seems to forget that we’ve been over the whole “back of credit card isn’t signed” thing already. I pull out my license again and show her the signature on it (thank you, DMV for your foresight). Finally, I was free to go.
And with that, I’ll free you from having to read any more of my drabble for today. Thanks for popping by!