Have you ever been somewhere you’ve never been before and felt right at home? I have never really gotten that feeling until we went to London. When we got into England it was about 8:00 p.m. We landed in an airport an hour outside of London so we had to take a bus in. When we were buying our tickets the man selling them welcomed us to “the worst part of Europe” he followed that with, “We just have a really great P.R. team.” That little piece of sarcasm made me feel right at home. 😉 Then, we missed our bus. The next bus wasn’t for another 45 minutes. For obvious reasons I hate getting into new cities late at night. So, we sold our bus tickets and went to the train station. Two trains and a taxi later, we were in our flat. Once we arrived at our flat I went to the grocery story down the street and bought fruits and veggies for dinner.
I also have to mention how great it was to be able to communicate with people in my first language, English. Over the past few weeks I have picked up quite a bit of Italian but I still have to think really hard about some words. I found out that I really took for granted everyone knowing English in America. I think everyone needs to go to a place they don’t know the language. It humbles you and makes you more considerate about people who might not speak your native language.
Our flat had the CUTEST balcony and since I wake up way earlier than Braxton I was able to have tea and grapes in the morning. It was so peaceful and perfect! We knew we only had one full day in London so we needed the best way to get around. We opted for the cliché double decker bus tour. It was about 25 euro but that was all day transportation + a river cruise. We started at Buckingham Palace. I personally would have rather lived in Versailles but thats just me! The Palace was huge but not as beautiful as Versailles in my opinion. Next, I wanted to see the London Eye. The views were amazing and the line was not bad at all. We then took pictures around Big Ben and The House Parliament. Right across the street was the start of our river cruise to the Tower Bridge. Of course, we got more entertaining Brits as our tour guides. They warned us about proposing on the top of the London Eye because, “It will be a long, awkward ride down with 15 strangers if she says no.” haha. We also went under the London Bridge. Now, I was born in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. LHC is now home to a former London Bridge that was sold to a few developers. On the tour they had mentioned, “The last one is in the middle of the desert somewhere.” I chuckled knowing that I was from the middle of that desert.
Once we arrived at the Tower Bridge we walked across it to a pub called, The Anchor Bankside. This is one of the oldest pubs in London. Supposedly Shakespeare even wrote about it. We had a couple beers (and by this I mean, I had a cider and Braxton had a Guinness) and traditional fish and chips. I am obsessed with the ambience of English and Irish bars now. We snapped some more pictures then we were off to finish our bus tour. The nice thing about doing the bus tour is that, at the end of the day when you don’t want to walk anymore, you can still see all of the other attractions from a bus. We did exactly that. The bus dropped us off back near our flat and we walked from there. It was a super long day in London but we had seen everything we wanted to in only 12 hours! Then we were off to our next adventure in Dublin, Ireland. Stay tuned for my next blog post and video. 🙂
With Love, Elizabeth Ashley
P.S. Check out our video down below of our travels through the city of London!