15. Yellow. A very bright reminder to watch where you out your feet! #decemberreflections2018 #pamdarlissummeradventure2018 #london #londontube #mindthegap #yellow
17. Sparkle. Not my tree, but one of the two in front of City Hall across from the Sunken Gardens. #decemberreflections2018 #christmastree #christmas #sparkle

Summer Vacation 2018: London and Beyond!

So this past August I took an amazing trip to London and Paris with my two friends Pam and Darlene. We had a blast, saw tons of awesome stuff, and walked miles and miles and miles!  I know I probably should have written all this stuff down sooner, but we did a LOT, so the prospect was a bit overwhelming! However, with Holidailies, I figured what better time to finally get all these great memories recorded for posterity!



My friend Darlene was already in London with her brother visiting family, so Pam and I travelled together. We flew on British Airways which I highly recommend as it was probably one of the best flying experiences I've ever had! Even in coach the seats were comfortable and there was plenty of legroom. We had two large meals, free wine, and new movies to view on our own personal viewing screen (also free!)! Since the flight to Heathrow was overnight, however, I only watched 1 movie (Avengers: Infinity War) and spent the rest of the time trying to sleep. We arrived early afternoon to beautiful sunshiny weather. Originally Darlene was going to meet us, but she was not able to, so Pam and I decided to just take a cab to the hotel rather than fight the Tube with all our bags and stuff. It worked out perfectly, and we were able to see a lot of the city as we were driven in. 





The hotel Darlene chose (Park Plaza Waterloo) was really nice and in a perfect location just around the corner from Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and Parliament, and the London Eye. The Tube and bus stops were all right across the street! Pam and I had a chance to unpack and relax a little before Darlene arrived and we hit the ground running! The Hotel had a free evening reception for the upper three floors which included salads, snacks, and wine or soda. It was really nice and there was lots of food to choose from (we did learn , however, that it is best to get there right when the reception starts, as if you're even a half hour late there will be very little food left!), and the view from the observation deck was spectacular! After eating, we went for a walk and headed down towards the Thames river to check out the London Eye (but didn't ride it ... not yet!). We spotted Big Ben on the other side of the Thames all covered in scaffolding as it's undergoing a refurbishment at the moment. It is also silent, as the famous bells have been shut off while the work is being done to protect the workers. It will only chime on special occasions such as New Year's Eve, and the refurbishment is expected to take until 2021. We've already decided we have to come back to London that year so we can hear the "bongs"!

London eye2

London eve2

After wandering around until after sunset, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for the adventure that awaited us! In just over a week we will visit London, Warwick Castle, Windsor Castle, Bath, Stonehenge, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Paris!