Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Another Wild(er) Adventure! London: Part I

As some may know.. Momma, Grandma and Papa arrived in London last Friday morning to a cold, wet, and yucky day. I have been awaiting their arrival for months on months by now and seeing their driver pull up was so exciting, I wanted to just yank them out and start off on what I've been calling our Wild(er) Adventure.
(Momma's maiden name is Wilder, so it fits.. right?)
So day one, off we go to tour my neighborhood of South Kensington. I know they must have been very tired but I was so excited, I really didn't care! I eagerly popped their umbrellas and just about pushed them into the freezing weather and rain with the hopes that they'd just 'get used to it'.. as I claimed I had months ago.
Well after about two hours of walking in the rain - we covered Hyde Park, my school campus, my flat and a local breakfast place - my trench coat, my hair and my dignity were completely soaked through. I was a wet cat who needed warming up so naturally, we stomped off to Harrods's! Harrods is overwhelming as it is but add in horrible weather and you've got a mess of people and a mess of slippery floors. Grandma and Papa enjoyed the food halls (as everyone does!) but this made us realize how hungry we were.. next stop, fish and chips!
The pub was a well needed break from walking and a pint or two later, we were off again! The day ended with a perfectly appropriate trip to Da Mario's (my favorite in the world) and the family's introduction to the infamous Carly and Kate! Eventually, the yummy dinner and great company came to a close and we felt our early bedtime was well deserved...
The next day was slam packed with our tour guide, David. A completely typical scarf and trench coat-wearing, quick-witted and snappy Brit - he was just about the most knowledgable person we'd ever met! The day included St Paul's, Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, Westminster Abbey, Parliament and a ride along the River Thames. It was a lot to do in just one day but I'm so glad we tackled it all! My favorite part about the day was realizing many of my "unique facts about London" are, in fact, just not true. Basically, I think everyone's just been fibbing with me the whole time I've been here. David was quick to tell me, "No, now I'm not sure that is true" or "Oh, someone has been telling you a story!". So for anyone who I've ever told a Did You Know...? to.. I do apologize, please just erase all my incorrect facts from your memory bank!
Saturday night finished at a steakhouse where we finally celebrating Momma's 51st birthday and Grandma's 76th! Delicious steak, an egg ordeal and of course a good ol' Beef Wellington, topped off the night for us.
Sunday held the "Lisa's London" tour which obviously was just a tour of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. We sped pretty quickly through each room in the NG (even though I think Papa would have read every single wall text had I given him the chance.. and he would have remembered it all too!) but I was able to show them my favorite paintings as well as see a few I had skipped over in my past 100 visits to the amazing building. We then sauntered on over to the National Portrait Gallery to see my boy, Henry VII, and a few of his wives. As well, we saw the new portrait of Kate - looking quite strange/old/tired, I must say! She's young and beautiful but I really did not see that in this new portrait.. but I guess beauty's in the eye, as they say.
We left the art museum world and headed into the world of Winston Churchill in Churchill's War Rooms near Horse Guard's Parade. What a place... not only can you tour the whole set of underground maze-like rooms, but also an entire museum in honor of Churchill and his interesting and complicated life! This is the kind of spot you could stay in all day if you had a wheelchair and some food/water provisions. The museum and war rooms were very well done but after about two hours, Grandma and I were about to kick the button! Enough sassy Churchill quotes, enough guided audio tour voice commanding us around, enough running into people because the walls are only two feet apart... We were worn out.
Sunday night rounded up with the usual trip to church and delicious dinner at Wildwood with Carly, Kate and friends. I think Grandma and Papa enjoyed my 'rocking', loud church and I'm so glad they were able to experience something that has been so important to me while I've been here in London. Church can be tiring, surprisingly, so dinner and a comfy seat were welcomed as we sat down at Wildwood. And in the end, it was a baked brie and peri peri pasta that helped put me to sleep on our last night in London before France.
Soooo much more to come on our seriously wild(er) adventures in France, it has definitely kept us on our toes (and in our hotel!). Til then!
Cheers y'all, Lisa xo

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