Posted by: jwhiff | July 10, 2012

Big Day in London

Boy did we ever pack it in today! I want to talk about everything at once, but I suppose it is more logical to simply tackle things sequentially.

Ok! We spotted some locals finally on our way to London Bridge. We were in a Starbucks (pee emergency) and the thing was full of John Cleese look-alikes! All of these men in black business suits…it took me about ten minutes to realize this would make a great photo! After a satisfying Nikon moment, we were off to London Bridge. I filled the kids’ heads with images of heads on spikes, only to disappoint them with the shining specimen which is actually Victorian and not what I was thinking. The bridge was beautiful and the area surrounding the bridge is polished, modern and open. Not a servered head to be seen!! On the way over, however, the boys spied a bloody severed arm on an outdoor stage. I’m pretty sure (although not completely sure) that it was a prop!

We then made our way to the London Tower, which was completely worth the 55 pounds entrance fee. I have never seen so much history (the kind I seem to know about) in one place!! I was expecting famous King Henry VIII victims rendered in wax and some dungeons, but what I got instead was exhibit after amazing exhibit of London history. It took us several hours to get through and the time flew, it was so interesting! The kids were completely engaged, too. We spent most of our time in the White Tower, which is largely an armament museum. At one point, Quentin wondered if a sword belonging to King Henry V was the one pulled out of the stone. The feeling was close, I can assure you. We did see some things related to torture and visited the green where poor Ann Boleyn was beheaded as well. We would easily pay to go again.

Next was Westminster Abbey. We saw the outside yesterday, but returned for the inside today. Again, worth the time and money. What a crazy monument to the history of Britain! It was stuffed to the brim with the tombs of ancient kings and queens, plus a who’s who of Britain’s past greats…poets and scientists and leaders. And those with status and money. It felt cluttered like no other church I have ever been to. Like the house of a rich, eccentric old lady.

We finished up a very full day with the promised jersey shopping spree (what a sale!) and then a great meal shared with Emily and Dom (Stephen’s cousin and her husband). The time flew again. We had a great time. Quentin’s parting advice to Emily: Never feed dog food to hedgehogs. They will get sick and die.

The photos will have to wait for another time! It’s late and we’re off early to get our first taste of driving on the wrong side of the road. The thought terrifies me, but Stephen is excited.

Ah! I forgot to mention tea! We squeezed high tea in as well. We went to the St. James Hotel (an honest la-dee-da outfit) and they were kind enough to accommodate us despite our soggy tourist appearance, wiggly young boys and lack of a reservation! It was perfect. Just what I’ve always imagined! A great day.


  1. Jeanie and Doyle are here visiting, they say “HI” Glad you had a great time, we are looking for those pictures especially the one with the guys in the business suits. Will is over working at Jeanie’s, he and the family are here for two weeks. Our weather remains warm and sunny, may it stay that way until, Jeanie’s roof is back on. Miss you guys lots. Hugs and kisses to the boys and you too!

    • Miss you too! The boys are well. Quentin has been right on track and feeling well. Glad we have that stool softener.

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