When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. -Samuel Johnson
London was the first stop on our adventure in Europe and happens to be one of my favorite places we had the luxury of visiting. Unfortunately though, our trip was cut short due to inconvenient work related issues for my husband (one of the cons of traveling for work – they can pull you home just like that). We were very disappointed that we would never make it to Germany or Italy but more importantly we wouldn’t get to see my in-laws who arranged a special European vacation of their own to meet up and visit with Greyson. However, in always trying to see circumstances as the glass half full, at the very least we had the opportunity to enjoy new places and cultures together and my in-laws are currently enjoying a much deserved holiday.
When we arrived in London it didn’t take us long to get through customs and we opted for a taxi to take us directly to our hotel. I’ve come to find that London is a very busy city and even at 7am they experience rush hour traffic much like we do here in the States. After a bit of time driving to our hotel we finally arrived and got settled into our new digs for the next four days.
A Rolled Ankle
After we got settled and took a little nap my husband and I were eager to do a bit of walking around with Greyson and get a lay of the land near our hotel. As we were walking, with Big Ben just in the distance, we crossed the street and without noticing the step down from the curb (my mind was concentrating on always looking right for oncoming cars) I slipped and caught myself but rolling my ankle in the process.
I was completely devastated and in so much pain that I had to stop and make our way back to the hotel. I was so angry with myself and couldn’t help but cry as my husband worked diligently to make me as comfortable as possible. My fear was that my ankle would prevent me from enjoying London since walking is an integral part of this trip. Thankfully though my husband is amazing and immediately ran out to get me a brace as well as Icy Hot cream while I rested, iced it, and kept it elevated. Within 24 hours, with my brace on, I was able to strap my sneakers on and walk – albeit slowly – but walk nonetheless.
A Walk Around London
The first full day my husband had to work and meet with customers which left the day open for Greyson and I to do a bit of exploring. We got situated and made our way outside, taking the same route we did the day before when I rolled my ankle. I made sure to cross that same street to prove to myself at least that I will not let this affect my time here in Europe. We made our way and got to see Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and just take in the gorgeousness that is London in autumn.
Changing of the Guard – Horse Guards Parade
One of the cool things Greyson and I happened to stumble upon was the changing of the guard at the Horse Guard Parade. Here, as you see in the photo, are the calvary horses and every few hours passerbys can watch the change of the guard from one group to another. Greyson loved watching the horses and I was fascinated with this custom. Definitely a cool memory to have from our time here.
This square was literally just a couple of blocks from our hotel and always seems to have something going on. People gather during their lunch breaks to eat, young artists are always around creating something, and Instagram-husbands are busy snapping the perfect photo for their wives.
On one of the days where the husband had off from work duties we wandered a bit, considering he hadn’t seen much of the city due to his work schedule. I really enjoyed walking around and snapping a few photos myself of Grey and him playing and running around. As we made our way I noticed some chalk and Grey loved scribbling a little something – somewhat of a memory that he was here. Even just wandering, there’s something special about it. And it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with London.
The Queen Victoria Memorial which is center of the front gates.
Although my plan for London didn’t really include the touristy attractions, I had to make our way to Buckingham Palace. It was pretty cool to see, I must admit, despite the numerous tourists attempting to capture the same photo op. Nonetheless, we Greyson and I made our way around, saw as much as one can when standing near the front gate, and pressed on. My ankle was holding up well so I decided to walk to the nearest park – hoping to find the Princess Diana Memorial.
The excitement is purely overwhelming for some, haha.
The Stick Connoisseur & Green Park
If there’s a stick or rock this kid is all over it. After our walk around the front gate of Buckingham Palace Grey and I wandered off to a nearby park so he could stretch his legs some. I’d definitely learned how important it really was for Greyson to have multiple opportunities to run around and enjoy doing something all toddlers love – to not be confined to a stroller.
One of my hopes while we were in London was to visit the Princess Diana Memorial that is located at Hyde Park. Grey and I spent a good 45 minutes walking/running/playing around this park (which is beautiful) but all-the-while not realizing the memorial wasn’t here….because we weren’t at Hyde Park. We were at Green Park right next to the Palace. Since my ankle was still recovering from when I rolled it a couple of days prior, after almost two hours or so of walking around I was ready to head back to the hotel and get off my feet. So, I didn’t get a chance to see the memorial but I look forward to another opportunity to return to London and eventually get to visit it.
Running around London is tiring business…
London Cocktail Week
To finish out our time in London we opted to visit The Village where 30+ pop-up bars from all around the city converge to this one place and serve their best cocktails for a yearly event in October called London Cocktail Week. I happened to find this event online before our trip and booked tickets – later realizing that The Village is free during the weekday and you pay £6 per drink anyways. So next time if we’re in town during LCW I’ll know better 😉 Nevertheless it was so much fun to walk around and try these delicious cocktails and learn a little something new about how these master bartenders made their drinks.
Although we were only in London for a few days, it was a fast but a fun time. I can’t wait until we find another opportunity to return and really get to see what all the city, and England, has to offer! All I know is that I need to find me some HP Sauce as I fell in love with it during our stay. I could literally put it on everything – and I did!
Check back for part II here on the blog where we head off to Luxembourg!