Where I've Been Hiding

Way back in March I spilled the beans about the awesome Christmas gift my husband gave me and the journal I got to go with that trip. We spent four days in London and then six days in Ireland and had 2 travel days. We walked in the door of our house Saturday, but I have been trying to catch up ever since and still feel behind-not that it matters all that much because it was the best vacation ever...
One of the frustrating things was that I REALLY wanted to blog about it every night. However, we left the laptop with the kids at their Aunt Stacy's in Chicago to do their schoolwork while we were gone and I wasn't going to England and Ireland to spend the entire time in internet cafes. We emailed the kids a couple times, but outside that, we stayed away from computers.
I just loaded the photos onto the computer tonight. I admit to feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of sifting through the 800 or so photos that we took. It is nearly impossible to narrow the photos down to a few favorites. So, for the sake of my sanity and your boredom, I am showing the London portion of our vacation tonight and Ireland will have to wait until Saturday because tomorrow is Open Studio Friday.
Sit back, relax, maybe turn the lights off so you can imagine you are watching the annoying relative's slideshow. I promise to keep the number of photos to less than 400....
In London we stayed at Charing Cross Hotel. It was about a 2 block walk to Trafalgar Square (and the National Gallery). After passing out for 4 or 5 hours after checking in in the middle of the afternoon (I couldn't sleep on the plane!) We walked to Pitcher and Piano for dinner, then made our way to Trafalgar Square. It was so beautiful lit up at night.

We passed the "Texas Embassy" Restaurant (in the background of the photo). I found it humorous. No, I wasn't drinking. I just look drunk all the time. Just ask the lady at the post office that was doing the paperwork for me to get a passport....

The only reason we didn't die in London:

Standing on the steps of National Gallery looking out over Trafalgar Square. That was the only day it rained our entire trip.

We tried to eat local at pubs and restaurants. The only "taste of home" we indulged in was a single trip to Starbucks when we were walking from Charing Cross to the Tower of London. I think there are more Starbucks in London than I've ever seen anyplace else. I was holding my husband's cup while he was taking some pictures. I didn't need that much caffeine...

We walked 10-15 miles each day we were in London. At the end of our stay, we were looking at going on one of those tour buses. When I looked at the places they stop, I realized we had walked to all the places on the list! You get to see so much more on foot. We came across the millenium bridge while walking. We didn't know what it was at the time, we just thought it looked cool.

St. Pauls Cathedral. We didn't intend to stop there, but passed it while walking, took photos and went in during a service.

I just loved the name of this restaurant. We did not eat here-just admired the name.

We had breakfast at this restaurant one morning. I am sure they thought I was nuts because I took a ton of photos in here. I loved the bright blue and red and the light fixtures made out of giant fruit can looking things (not shown here)

I thought this was a very interesting tree with all those puffball things on it. "Discovered" while walking along Thames River.

I loved these light posts along the Thames.

Another shot of stuff along the Thames.

Tower of London and Tower Bridge in background.

I was excited to see the Ravens of the Tower. Perhaps you have heard the story of how if the Ravens leave the tower, the Tower and the Crown will fall? I thought it would be cool to see these ravens.

Except, guess what? It's a total tourist trap. They are kept in cages, fed, wings clipped. How dumb is that? Of course they will never leave. These cages are right next to the bird shown above.

I make it a goal to witness or attend a demonstration whenever visiting a new city-especially in a foreign country. Once my family started a riot in a foreign city (Seoul) just by being in a park. This was pretty calm in comparison.

Oh please! I have to show Big Ben and my husband's handsome face!

I noticed the moon after taking the previous photo and had to zoom in.

This is my handsome husband inside Westminster Abbey. I love history and looking at the tombs of dead people as much as the next person. However, I can only take so much before I start getting reallllllllly tired of trying to read every memorial. I didn't know DH would enjoy it so much. We spent hours here. My favorite part was the old chapel inside with the medieval mural on the wall that is fading. Obviously, no picture taking allowed of that gem. I had to touch the oldest door in London while we were there. There wasn't a "do not touch" sign on it or anything...

I can totally see a design inspiration here.

Buckingham Palace didn't excite me all that much. I was more impressed with the ballsy people wanting to get their picture taken with these guys:

DH was more impressed with what this guy was carrying. I took this one on the sly. I didn't want him to aim that thing at me...

OK, kids, that's enough for today. Tomorrow is Open Studio Friday and then Saturday I will show some pictures from the Ireland portion of our vacation.



Wow! What an awesome trip so far! I feel like I was there! Great photo's! Loved reading about it. Can't wait to see Ireland next. It's a dream of mine to go there, would love it if I can go with my 100% Irish mother, who would also love to get there someday! Thanks so much for sharing!

Rebecca Cameron

Jenny--What wonderful photos! I am anxiously awaiting family slide show night! We'll bring the popcorn! :)

Liz (made in lowell)

I love how you talked about each (great!) picture. So many people just post pics and then I have so many questions, this was so satisfying, thanks for sharing!

Jennifer Cameron

Kristen~our neighbor had a parent that came here from Ireland and he has never met his relatives there! He wants to go too. It is definitely worth the trip because it is an amazing place.Rebecca~extra butter please. haha!Liz~I agree, but I sometimes go on and on too much. I have to really self edit so I don't bore people to tears.

jeanne @ Inspiring Ideas

What a lovely trip! Great photos!

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