Monday, August 30, 2010

london thru my eyes....

After we dropped our bags at the hotel in the late
afternoon, we asked the staff at the hotel which
way to head to get some food and drink.
Mind you it was early morning for us, but we wanted
to get ourselves on London time really quickly.
This pub turned out to be one of our faves - it is
in the West End (right around the block from our hotel)
and it was fun to listen to some live music there and do
some people watching as alot of the people stopped in
before going to the theater.  Afterwards we walked a
bit down to Leicester Square on Charing Cross Road.

The next morning we just started walking down Charing Cross
Road and ran right into Trafalgar Square - so gorgeous!

I am an outdoorsy person and love, love, love parks - we spent alot of time in Hyde Park (and Regents Park too).  Just watching everyone enjoying their day - be it rowing, biking, roller blading, sitting in the sun, hanging out with friends - was just fabulous.  I loved how there are chairs for anyone and everyone to sit on the lawns at the parks too!!

We then strolled over to the Queens place - and as you can see
we weren't alone.  So definitely no invite to go in for us.  Plus
I think she was at her vacation home anyways - so she is forgiven!  :)

So many beautiful statues everywhere we went.

A photo of a guard is a must - I think this was near the
horse stables - not postive though.

Serpentine Lake at Hyde Park

One of the gardens there.

Another lovely fountain. We passed by the Princess Diana
Memorial Fountain - but it wasn't on.  Very crowded though.

Can you tell I loved Hyde Park - I have many more photos of it!

The Museum Tavern near the British Museum.  I loved how
the pubs were so ornate with chandeliers and lovely textures
and draperies.  When one of our local pubs burnt down and
was rebuilt - it just wasn't the same for all of us, as we loved
the rustic, old look of it before and the new owners made it all
bright and modern. 

This subway, underground, tube map (whatever you want to call it) was my friend.  I know how to get around really well in London - thanks to this handy map.  I am so envious of cities that have this type of transportation.  We live in a driving city.  Sure there are pockets of quaint neighborhoods and a very small subway system - but in NYC, Chicago, London and Paris - you can get around pretty quickly without the hassles of sitting on a parking lot of a freeway for hours at a time to go 30 or 40 miles.  Loved my week of riding these rails!

Of course our vacations wouldn't be complete without some sports. We secured some very good seats at the season opener of The Tottenham Hot Spurs vs. Manchester City.  We have friends that are Man City fans and wanted us to wear the gear, but we were sitting on the home team side - so that was not going to happen..haha..We were very impressed at how organized things were at the stadium.  When we went to get our seats, the usher was hugging everyone that came in - even us!  Loved one sign that said "Mind your Language - or you will be kicked out immediately."  We would have empty football stadiums at home if those were our rules.  We truly enjoyed this experience, it was so much fun!

The Tower of London

A quaint little Marina near the Tower of London called St. Katharines Dock - it was very lovely and a quiet reprieve.

Another pub on Villiers Street, I believe.  By the EmbankmentUnderground Station.  We spent alot of time walking around there, Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Oxford Street.

This is one awesome statue


I didn't visit enough of these places - as we had some FABULOUS
desserts at our hotel that we couldn't get enough of.  Can
you say CHOCOLATE TOWER to just mention one.
I also found some delicious ice cream bars at a store by
our hotel - dark chocolate with vanilla ice cream and caramel.
Yum, yum, yum!!  Thankfully we did alot of walking so we didn't
gain any weight - I couldn't believe it!

I couldn't leave London without a photo of one of these!

I was in bookstore heaven.  There were quite a few in my area and I didn't get to peruse them nearly enough!

This was a cute pub that I found down a narrow alley while I was exploring one morning.  We met a nice young student from Germany that is going to the University nearby -he is majoring in the same exact thing that A. does for a living, so they got along great and I slipped out for a bit and went about my way exploring all the shops while they were talking shop!  haha...

A building across from the Pub

All week long we were talking about going to this show, but we were so enjoying not being on a schedule that we didn't want to commit to anything - it looks like a wonderful show though! Maybe, someday!!

Our last day in London, A. decided he wanted to go to Wimbledon. So we hopped on the subway, asked a few questions and had a nice walk to the stadium.  It was a beautiful day that day.  What a gorgeous place!  It's funny as every time  we asked directions, people would say - "it's just a 10-15 minute walk down the road" and we would happily head on our way. We were laughing about it, as we wouldn't even think of walking 10-15 minutes down the road where we live in our town.  We'd just hop in the car.  I loved all the walking though.  So I want to try and do more of it here in my town.

We also went to the British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum - so gorgeous and Harrods - that is a world of it's own and the food and bakerie marts - well I could just live very happily in there!  :)

I am sure that I am leaving alot of things out, but all in all we had such a FABULOUS time and are already talking about visiting again in a few years. (Next summer Spain & Italy, yeah!) Everyone we met was so friendly and kind to us, we ate our way thru London - with the local fare, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, French food - it was delicious!  We visited enough pubs to satisfy our taste for any kind of alcohol for awhile.  As Jackie would say - we were only doing it "to be sociable"   haha...In the next few days, I will relive our one day Parisian adventure - it was a dream and the train over was so great!!!  If you're still with me, thanks for putting up with such a long post!!! 

Have a great day everyone!

P.S. The Window's at Harvey Nichols were FABULOUS!

(photos of Patisserie Valerie, Wimbledon & the Underground Stamp are not mine)


olivia rae said...

lovely! sounds like you all made the most of it! london is such an incredible city. xoxo

Tracy said...

Wonderful photos, Cathi. Thanks so much for sharing! xxoo

Lori said...

This was a wonderful post ~ I wanted to read more and see more!! What a fabulous vacation you had Cathi ~ loving all the pictures and hearing about your trip. Now I want to go to London ~ well.... I would be lying if I said that it was not already on my list and I want to meet dear sweet Simone ~ we have been talking about it now for quite a few years!

*Simply Colette* said...

Great post Cathi! i just love that yellow sunshiny lighting behind the Queen's Palace! Did you go on the London Eye? I barely made it. I was the last one on for the day! And I practically had to beg... it was such a horrible day... after I got locked in the stairwell. Sounds like your trip was much brighter than mine!

*Simply Colette* said...

Thank you so much sweetie for being the first to Like my new PHOTOgraphy Getaways facebook page! It accidently linked to a duplicate when I set it up. If you don't mind redoing it, it should go to the right one now. It's been so frustrating trying to figure this all out. Anyway, I also want to mail you a Thank You token for being such a sweet friend... please email me your address.

Kristin said...

I'm so glad you found me! I love your blog and will of course follow you! Looking at your beautiful London pictures bring back so many nice memories from July. I think we did a lot of the same things! Have a beautiful day!!! xoxo Kristin

Simone said...

I LOVED reading this Cathi....I really did!!!

So many great photos - you guys really got around....I am impressed!!!

Harrods Food Halls are incredible, my children love going there....glad you got to Wimbledon too! And all those pubs!!

Looks like you had great weather too, everyone has been telling me how the weather was terrible - it rained torrentially last week, all week long - looks like you picked the perfect weeks!

You are great tourist, I'm proud of you :)

Christina said...

your photos and words make for the perfect description.

and you know what?... you have a photo with the Eiffel tower behind you. now that is a beautiful thing, my dear friend.

Anonymous said...

I love all the pics, Cathi. THANKS. I'm glad y'all got to do that.


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Looks like you had a lovely time! I love Hyde Park too! Your photos are really great!!!! Thank you for stopping by!!!

Jacqueline said...

My dear friend, Cathi,
I LOVE YOU !!!! You have shown everyone gorgeous London in beautiful pictures and with so much passion. Although I'm biased, I think that London is the BEST city in the world. There is so much to see....don't the pubs look wonderful with all the flowers outside ? .....AND, you went to see my football team Tottenham Hotspur. My family have supported them all my life. My dad lived 'till he was 91 and used to go and see them when he was a schoolboy. I think that he was one of their oldest fans !!
....and, isn't Wimbledon great ? I have had tickets to the championships many times and there is nothing better than the atmosphere there. Did you go to the museum ? ....and aren't the houses lovely? It is very expensive to live there.
I am so pleased that you had such a good time. Did you go on the London Eye and did you go to the Oxo Tower ? If you want any help with the Italian stage of your next holiday, I might be able to point you to some places.
Thank you for loving London as much as I do. XXXX

Jacqueline said...

P.S. I had a few drinks in Italy....just to be sociable !!!!

Simone said...

I had to come back for another look!

LOVING the new header.....VERY nice :)

I love that you went to a Spurs game....they are my husband's team's arch-rivals in north London :) I loved your comment about language/swearing....I'm sure there was plenty of that ;)

And Patisserie Valerie is gorgeous - there are 5 of them in town I think.....they are actually owned by my husband's cousins!

I know you had been to London before, but had Alex?

Have a great day :) xoxo

Tracy said...

cathi, your new page looks fab!

Michelle said...

Oh that was a little mental vacation for me Cathi. Loved your pics and it brought back so many memories of when I lived in Paris. Can't wait to take my girls there one day (esp. my eldest who is really into the idea of traveling to foreign destinations). Her new room is going to be "travel-inspired". I remember one of my fave things to do on a free day was buy a 10F Coca-Light and a 60F American magazine and plop myself down under the Eiffel Tower for a couple of hours :-)


Michelle said...

Oh that was a little mental vacation for me Cathi. Loved your pics and it brought back so many memories of when I lived in Paris. Can't wait to take my girls there one day (esp. my eldest who is really into the idea of traveling to foreign destinations). Her new room is going to be "travel-inspired". I remember one of my fave things to do on a free day was buy a 10F Coca-Light and a 60F American magazine and plop myself down under the Eiffel Tower for a couple of hours :-)


Tracey said...

Hi Cathi! I had to come by and see your London post. What fabulous pictures you took!!! It sounds like you really had a wonderful time and you've got me so excited for my trip now! :))

Loved this post!!

Hugs ~

:) T


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