Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Friday, August 17, 2012

Helloooo

Goodness. It's been a while. With all the traveling madness of the past week, I inadvertently had a blog break. Actually, I didn't even turn on the laptop for the last three days of our trip which was rather nice.
Thursday and Friday were spent in London, and Saturday through Tuesday in Manchester with family.
Two days in London will never be enough, so we opted to stay at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge to maximise our time. Talk about central! Here is a shot from inside our hotel... 





We arrived tres early in London, so dumped our bags and headed out for a walk. The plan was to get to Buckingham Palace in time for the changing of the guard. Lucky there's some fairly interesting architecture on the way...








Once we crossed Westminster Bridge (you can certainly linger there all day) we headed to St James's Park. Most of it was sectioned off for the beach volleyball so we wandered alongside it in the shade. Poppet complained for most of this lovely walk, but did stop to jump for leaves at one point. I managed to catch a smile on her face! Typically for my kid, she doesn't care about being a tourist and finds her own fun. There's no forcing her to admire the scenery...





Made it! The crowds were starting to build up and the sun was beating down. The changing of the guard commences at 11.30 but most people arrive an hour beforehand (some are obviously there way earlier than that) so it's a long time in the sun. We remembered our sunblock but wished we'd remembered an umbrella to shade under. Long wait ensued...
Finally, the band could be heard in the distance and there was lots of marching and drums and guns (and bear fur hats, courtesy of Canadian bears apparently) and horses and crowds. Over the next hour we watched as much as we could from our vantage point up on the fountain, then Poppet was done. As we searched for an exit, we managed a closer look at the Horse Guard and then Princess Anne went past in a fancy Range Rover with a police escort. I didn't catch a shot of her profile, but she appeared to be texting (or tweeting?) and was no doubt heading to an Olympic event of some description.









We escaped the madness by cutting through Green Park and heading up to Piccadilly. I knew ice cream would put a smile on everyone's faces. It was really hot! Fortnum and Mason was our destination, they have a fancy ice cream parlour on the third floor and I wanted to have a peek at this completely British hamper-oriented department store. Gorgeous! I could have spent a whole day in there, but we had to push on.







It felt good to sit down and indulge for a bit, but it was almost time to check-in to our hotel. We also had an appointment with the London Eye so we walked fairly quickly back to the hotel. We vaguely batted an eyelid at Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, but did stop to look at this war memorial. The statues dotted around London are amazing...





That's probably enough photos for now, and I've only covered til lunchtime Day 1! We checked into our gorgeous hotel and had a rest before heading to the London Eye. But more on that later...






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