Well, the kids and I made it to London with no mishaps, so my anxiety was all for naught. I met some wonderfully helpful people and it was a nice reminder to me that people were praying for our journey.
The place we stayed in was a perfectly located central location in a small neighborhood called Bloomsbury. There were cafes and shops all around. As for the place, it was a lot of space for what you get in London…that’s about it. It smelled horribly musty and the kitchen floor was rotted underneath the linoleum, so it was super spongy right by the sink, dishwasher, and washer and dryer. All that to say is with all the spectacular reviews on that particular property, it concerns me when I read things like, “I’ve stayed at many Airbnb’s in London and this one was by far the best one”. What in the world were the other ones like?!?
Anyways, I have 2 favorite things we did. First off, we went and saw the changing of the guard. We got to the soldier barracks around 10:30am and watched the soldiers practice marching and they played 3 songs. The second one of which, was Michael Jackson’s Thriller. That was fun! As for my other favorite moment, my husband and I went over to Saint Paul’s Cathedral to watch a concert. It was lovely—and that church, wow! It is absolutely spectacular!
We went on the London Eye—and after spending $180 for the six of us to watch a really cheesy movie and then go on the London Eye, we felt it was a bit of a rip-off. Once in a lifetime is probably all we’ll do. The views were pretty, but not any prettier than seeing the buildings on the ground. We went on Friday night, and there was no line, which ended up being a bonus and lessened the disappointment!
Big Ben was spectacular. We went over to the House of Parliament hoping to get the audio tour of it, but the guard said it was closed because the queen was speaking there on Wednesday. So, we were not able to see the inside, but man, the outside of that building is majestic! Hopefully, we can do that audio tour next time.
We found Uber to be extremely helpful. Taking the underground with all 6 of us was expensive and cumbersome and the taxi service there is expensive too and it can take a while for the taxi to get to you. Having Uber as an option, where we could see exactly what we would be paying before we called the driver, where we could pick what size car we needed, and where we could see where the driver was in relativity to us, was convenient, easy, and it actually felt cheaper. And it’s all paid for online, so you don’t have to handle cash or cards with the driver. Thank you, Uber!
We went to the National Museum of Art—a place I would love to go back. We saw paintings from the 1500’s…and later I saw that they had some dated as far back at the 1200s, but unfortunately, we didn’t have time to see those. Our children were quite bored and tired, so after the screaming meltdown of the century heard around the museum by our 5-year-old, we decided the kids were probably ready to go. So, like any good parent, we left.
Something I learned while in London was that I actually like English beer. It goes down smoothly and you don’t get that bitter after-taste. Yay for English beer! We visited a few pubs, one of which was re-built in 1660. Yes, re-built in 1660! That’s older than the USA! I love how old these places are! If walls could only talk, I could sit there for hours listening to the tales they had to share!
One day is not long enough to be in London. I hope we can go back someday!