Super Blood Wolf Moon! I was thrilled it stopped raining in time to see this amazing lunar eclipse! #superbloodwolfmoon2019 #lunareclipse #slocounty #nightsky
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On our last morning in London we were greeting with a really pretty sunrise! Darlene left to catch her flight at around 4:30AM, but Pam and I left later in the morning, so I was able to get this shot out our window. We had the chance for one more meal at the amazing buffet breakfast before finishing our packing and making our way to Heathrow airport to fly home.
Oh, here is that amazing buffet I've been talking about. If you ever stay in London, I highly recommend the Park Plaza London Waterloo. The staff are fantastic, the room was lovely and the beds were comfortable. The décor is really cool, fun, and modern, and the food is great! I always enjoyed the free evening reception (for the upper three floors only), although they could've done with more food because they ran out quickly and often, but they more than make up for it with breakfast!!
Pam and I elected to take a cab back to Heathrow, and I managed to get this one last shot of London from the window.
Heathrow Airport is a madhouse - in a good way! I wish I'd had more time to eat and shop and people watch! The one thing that was annoying was that they would not give you your flight information until about 20 minutes before boarding! I mean we had boarding passes, so we had a general idea of when the flight would take off, but we didn't know what gate it was leaving from until nearly the last minute! Still we had time for a quick cocktail and a little shopping before we left.
Once again we were on British Airways, so we had two very large very delicious meals. The flight was almost 10 hours, I think, and since it was not an overnight flight, I managed to see five movies before we landed in the US. I watched Ready Player One, Unsane, I, Tonya, Ghost Stories, and Rampage.
All-in-all this was one of the best vacations I've taken in a long time, and it's mostly down to my two travelling companions, Pam and Darlene. They are so much fun to be with and when we're together life is always an adventure! I'm looking forward to our next adventure!
Our last full day in London was beautiful with sunshine and blue skies! Darlene booked a tour of St. Paul's Cathedral that also included a Thames River Cruise, and we had tickets to tour the Houses of Parliament later on, so we had another full day of sight-seeing to look forward to. Since we'd already enjoyed a river cruise with our London in a Day Tour, we skipped that activity, and headed straight to St. Paul's Cathedral. Photography was not allowed inside the cathedral which was a pity because it's absolutely stunning! However, it is a house of worship, so it's understandable. We were present for a morning prayer which was lovely and really enhanced the experience. We had the option to have the multi-media guide - an small cell phone-like device that had audio information as well as a visual tour. I started with that but elected to eventually stop using it and just look around the magnificent building. After our tour, we enjoyed some tea and cakes in the cafeteria before exploring the beautiful grounds.
We caught the Tube back to Westminster Palace for our tour of Parliament. The tour was interesting and it was really fun to go through the House of Commons and the House of Lords where the lawmakers work. I've seen it on TV, but to see it in real life was impressive. It was especially fascinating to learn that when it appears a lawmaker is hunched down sleeping on the job, they are actually listening to small speakers that are imbedded on the backs of the benches! We also saw the Central Lobby containing statues of the Kings and Queens of England, the Robing Room where the Queen puts on her Imperial Crown and ceremonial robes before going to the House of Lords, St. Stephen's Hall, and throughout were treated to lots of beautiful paintings, statues, frescoes, stained glass windows, and murals.
After the main tour, we went through the Voice and Vote exhibit about Women's Suffrage and Women in Parliament. It was a fascinating display that contained photos and papers from the women's struggle to get the vote and fight to participate in Parliament. The exhibit concluded with photos and video displays showing how women's participation in Parliament has grown over the years.
After these two amazing tours, we wandered down Whitehall to find a pub to sit and relax with a beverage and maybe something to eat. We settled on The Lord Moon of the Mall, and had a nice table by the window so we could do some people watching. After a while, we made our way back to the hotel past the heavily guarded 10 Downing Street, and arrived in time to enjoy one last evening reception before returning to the room to pack and try to sleep before rising early to head to Heathrow the next day.
On the sixth day of our vacation we got a bird's eye view on London by taking a ride on the London Eye! The London Eye has 32 enclosed pods that can each hold up to 28 people. It turns continuously so you have to jump on and off fairly quickly. It will only stop to allow wheelchairs on board. The whole ride takes about 30 minutes to go around once, and the views are spectacular! You can see all of London and a bit beyond! We had fairly nice weather - a bit cloudy, but no rain! - so we were able to see a lot!
After our amazing ride on the Eye, we crossed Westminster Bridge and walked along the Victoria Embankment stopping into the Pub on the Thames for a refreshing drink. We continued along the walk and checked out the various War Memorials, New Scotland Yard, and the Metropolitan Police Department.
After a lovely walk we made our way back towards Big Ben, and spotted information where we could get tickets to tour Parliament. That sounded like a lot of fun, and since the plan for our last full day in London only included a tour of St. Paul's Cathedral, and some shopping at the gift shop for Westminster Abbey (because we didn't have time on Day 1), we decided to add one more attraction to the list! Once our tickets were procured, it was time to head towards the West End to grab some dinner before seeing the musical Wicked! We found the Shakespeare Pub near to the theater and enjoyed some great drinks and food. I had the fish and chips with peas, and a couple drinks - a Cosmopolitan and a Pornstar Martini - and it was a really delicious dinner.
The show was amazing and highly recommend it if you get the chance to see it! My friend Darlene bought these fun souvenir sunglasses from the show and let me borrow them for a selfie! I didn't think we were going to get to see a show while we were in London, so I was thrilled we were able to fit one in! We only have one more full day in London before heading home, but we still have a lot to do and see!