Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our England Trip ~ Day 7 ~ London

From my travel journal: "After spending a whirlwind day in Paris yesterday, we were a little slow moving this morning. Our feet/ankles/legs were so sore {turns out that walking on cobblestone takes some getting used to} and we were just plain worn out. I knew we had a lot of ground to cover today, so I insisted that we get up and moving early! There will be plenty of time for resting when we get home."

Even though this was day #7, we hadn't really seen a whole lot around London. Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from Trafalgar Square, so we headed there first.

Oooh...did you see that? A little peek at blue sky?!?! We enjoyed that while it lasted, and then saw falling snow later in the day. ~sigh~

Ooooohhhh it was cold! As in, ice beard cold:

Next up was Buckingham Palace, so we figured out our route and started walking.

We made it to Buckingham Palace in plenty of time to see the Changing of the Guard at 11:30. But, after waiting for about 15 minutes at a sweet spot right up at the fence, someone came out with a sign that read, "No Changing of the Guard Today." ~sigh~ Really? we dropped a strawberry off and headed toward Westminster Abbey for our next sight-seeing adventure.

Friends, Westminster Abbey is one of the coolest places I've seen in my whole life! The architecture was simply breathtaking, and the inside of the cathedral just blew our minds! We were both disappointed to learn that photos were not allowed inside - there was so much to see in there. We lit a candle for my mom, and I slipped and said a bad word as I set it back in its spot and burned my thumb. {oops! sorry, Mom. and God.} And there was a little brat boy standing there blowing the candles out and fanning them with a brochure, even after I sternly told him not to. Where was his mother?!?!

It was totally cool to come out of Westminster Abbey and hear Big Ben chiming. It was magical and very surreal. We headed out from the abbey, both of us getting a little grumpy and short tempered - it was lunch time and we needed food.

I found a cute little pub nearby that looked fine, but Carrie wanted to press on. She was on a mission to get us back to Hard Rock Cafe {where we'd already been once} because she knew she could get a good burger there. Turns out, there was a wait at HRC so we ended up around the corner in a pub with a menu that looked exactly like the one we originally passed up.

Using the GPS on Carrie's phone had been really convenient, but for whatever reason we couldn't connect to the pub's free wifi, so we spread out the paper map. We got our bearings and planned our next stop, then folded up the map.

At this point Carrie said, "Hey, where's my phone?" and we spent the next 30 minutes looking in every pocket and bag we had with us. We each emptied our purses twice, and it finally dawned on us that her phone had been stolen. {~sigh~ We are so naive sometimes!} It was difficult to fathom - we'd been sitting right there, looking slightly to the side as we searched the map, and we never even saw anyone walk by our table, much less snatch Carrie's phone {a new iPhone5!!!} that was maybe 3" from her elbow! {See above photo, taken just minutes before that phone was taken. Crazy, right?}

I have to say that I was very proud of the way Carrie handled this bump in the road. She was really upset about her phone, but she took practical measures to take care of things. Using my phone, she was able to "find" hers {tracked to one mile from the pub where we'd last seen it}, remotely lock it, erase its contents, and later completed a police report with all the pertinent information. Even though it was upsetting, ultimately it was just a phone, and we still had two more days in ENGLAND. There would be other phones in her future...

{Another proud moment: Even in her upset state, she still had the presence
of mind to ask me to take her photo, being sad about her phone. That's my girl!}

Our final full day in London had been really fun, up until Carrie's phone was stolen right out from under our noses. We were trying to shake it off, but I'll admit that it did take the wind out of our sails a bit. We decided to head back to our hotel room for a while, get warm, freshen up, and then go back out.

It didn't take us long to regroup, and we set our sights on a trip to Harrods - a large swanky department store in London. Oh.My.Goodness. What a great place to forget about a stolen phone! And we both really wished we had more time to spend, as there was a LOT to see there. So very posh in so many ways! All kinds of departments, all very elegant and beautifully arranged.

And when we came across the Godiva Cafe at Harrod's, it was a hands-down no-brainer that we'd wait for a table and share an order of chocolate fondue. Yum!!!

Travel journal: "All except for the phone issue, our day exploring London was fantastic. And it's amazing what chocolate fondue can do for your spirits! We loved sight-seeing in London so much, and we have a big day planned for tomorrow..."


helena said...

what a bummer having the phone stolen - but made me laugh that Carrie recorded the moment

glad to see you made it along to Trafalgar Square

Auntie Bliss said...

I enjoyed that read! Except for that stolen phone maddening!!
Wish you could have choked that child who blew...I MEAN taken photos inside the Westminster :)

Robyn said...

The little boy blowing out candles made me chuckle…only because I'm always using the line "WHERE is this boy's MOTHER??" with my very own children. :)

Anonymous said...

These pictures brought back great memories. I got a chuckle out of Carrie wanting her picture taken after having her phone stolen but sorry about it. Sounds like you did our walk in reverse. :)

Abi said...

It makes me so sad that someone stole Carrie's phone. I'm glad that the rest of your day in London was so good. Harrods is wonderful isn't it!

Beverly Dyer said...

Hi Deb,
Looks like you are having fun! Beverly Dyer here from in North Carolina! I received your lovely postcard!

debs14 said...

So sorry that you had to cope with a theft during your stay but pleased it didn't spoil the rest of your day. I hunk you've seen more of London than I have!

scrappyjacky said...

Sorry about the theft [kudos to Carrie for taking it so well]...but apart from that it looks like a great day. It's many years since I've been to Harrods.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love the ice beard (brrrr!)
I don't think I ever made it inside Westminster Abbey, but I did get to see the changing of the guard.

Amy said...

Your girls must have been exhausted by the time you left!

Irene said...

Ugh, so sorry to hear of the phone but I really do like Carries pouting picture.

tainted with a positive view said...

So sorry to hear about Carrie's phone - However, somewhere down the road it will be a memory packed in with all of London. So glad you had a wonderful time.

Becky said...

I was so sorry when I heard about Carrie's phone, but I love the photo!

alexa said...

Your zest for exploring, fittings lot in, and taking disasters in your stride is so admirable! Yes indeed, where was his Mum!

Karen said...

It's so sad that someone would snatch Carrie's phone! But it's a reminder to me to keep a close eye on mine while we're traveling next month! Your photos are just awesome. Many of them rival postcards I've seen. And I just love that one of the fence.

Jimjams said...

So sorry that Carrie's phone was taken - but glad that you managed to render it useless to the thief!! Your day was packed with sights and experiences - glad most of them were great!

Carrie Rosalind said...

This was an awesome day and a terrible day all mixed in one, but mostly just awesome. I wanna go back now. :(

(and nice cropping of the picture with me and the map.)

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