Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Part II of London Wild-er Adventures

And so we continue our Wilder Adventure...
Friday afternoon, we arrived back to the lovely Holiday Inn and got settled in.. again. We then quickly headed out for the Wallace Collection in Manchester Square. This collection is a lot to look at - with paintings, amour, porcelain, and so much more - so we spent a good chuck of our time just meandering around the Wallace townhouse. From the Wallace we walked around Covent Garden (one of my most favorite spots in the city - perhaps the world) and found a delicious place to eat dinner before our West End show.. I can't wait to go back there with Dad when he comes! Our next stop was one I'd been looking forward to for so long.. seeing Warhorse in the West End. The show was quite an event. We saw massive horse puppets, guns shooting, bombs exploding, dead bodies, thunderstorms and even a fast paced goose to top it all off. It was an excellent show of just how talented people are, I was so impressed and I think the fam was as well. Overall, it was a great, warm (ish) Friday night after a long week of snow and cold in France.

Saturday started off somewhat late as we bounced off to Hampton Court Palace on the District Line to Richmond and from there a bumpy bus ride all the way to Hampton Court. The palace was originally built and owned by Cardinal Wolsey until my main man Henry VIII basically ripped it out from under him before sentencing him to the Tower. As well, the palace is one of the three Tudor locations that I am researching and analyzing for my thesis so I have a lot invested in this place! Most of the day was spent exploring the massive rooms while listening to the amazing audio guides.. and as it stopped raining we were able to see the beautiful gardens and even get lost in the oldest maze in Europe! We survived the maze and eventually hopped a train back home in time to watch the Six Nations Rugby tournament: England vs Wales. Sorry to say, England bit the dust in the end but Mom and I had a great time chatting up some locals and enjoying a pint!

The next day we trekked out into the non-stop rain to watch Buckingham Palace's Changing of the Guards. Two hours later and a few close calls with eyes and umbrellas, we had seen it. A band, horses, guards (obvi), and tons of tourists.. pretty much what you'd expect but hey, gotta do everything at least once right?! As it was St Patrick's Day, we headed to the pub for lunch where we were bombarded with the crew of the HMS Westminster that had just docked on the River Thames.. they were definitely ready for a St Patty's pint!

Another trip to Harrod's for some yummy souvenirs and then we ventured onto a River Boat Cruise to Greenwich. There is just something about seeing the city from the river, it is quite magical even as it is pouring raining and there are some smelly people sitting too close to you. After spending about 3 minutes in Greenwich, we returned on the boat to Westminster for one of my favorite parts of the whole trip: the London Eye at night! Sun had set and we had fast track tickets so we just sauntered up to the big bubble ferris wheel and climbed aboard! The whole thing takes about 30 minutes, just enough time to see all of London's amazing skyline but not long enough to get bored on the barely moving bubble thing. London at night is better than London at any other time and I absolutely loved seeing it from above! From the Eye, we headed straight to the world's best restaurant.. Da Mario's for round two!

Momma, Gma and Papa's last day was not going to be wasted, even if it was raining cats and dogs. We hit up the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum as well as Le Pain, one of my favorite lunch spots. After much contemplation, we decided packing and such would be a good use of time so I packed a massive suit case of winter things from my flat for Momma to take home (thanks, Mom!) and then for dinner we choose the world's best restaurant, again! Da Mario's was glad to see us for our third trip of the week and I was oh-so glad to have my Gnocchi Sorentina again.

As they left me at my flat, I might have shed a tear (or two) in hugging goodbye but I really could not be more grateful for the 12 days we all had together. It was a trip I will never forget because of how much we laughed, the amazing and beautiful things we experienced, the food we enjoyed, the new family stories I learned (Philip, we have much to discuss), and the overall sense of love that I get when I'm surrounded by my family. I'm so blessed to have a family who won't drive me nuts after 12 days of traveling - as hectic as it may be - and to feel so supported in what I am doing, over here so far away. London has been such an unbelivable and 'growing' adventure for me that being able to share and show my family exactly what it is I have been doing since August was such a gift. I know believe that they can better understand my love of London, of art and of travel. So thanks Momma, Grandma and Papa.. you put up with Tour Guide Lisa for 12 days, I hope now you can finally get some rest!

Next up, Momma and Daddy hit London in late May... already planning that GrisWaugh Adventure and what a hilarious adventure it will be!

I don't know what I'm going to do now that these peeps aren't following me around!

Cheers y'all, Lis

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