Tags

, , , , , , ,

Over the last month, a ton of stuff happened. Desert Bus, for one – and my Craft-Along item made $225 for Child’s Play Charity! I’ve never sold any of my crafts before, so that was a big deal for me.

Then, right after Thanksgiving, I got myself involved in a local production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Helena. I had an absolute blast and I’m looking forward to the next time I can get involved.

All that to say I’ve been meaning to post the latter half of my London Adventure, and so here we are.

On Wednesday (hard to believe that it was three months ago), my sister and I took advantage of a hop-on/hop-off bus tour of the city. We used it as an opportunity to see most of the city’s sights that we hadn’t yet seen on Monday or Tuesday.

Our first bus driver was so kind (and probably used to excited tourists), so he pointed out various landmarks and once even stopped early at a traffic light so I could scamper up to the upper deck and get a picture of the gates of Kensington Palace. Even though all the signs said not to talk to the driver while he was operating the bus, we were the only two riders, so we chatted about all sorts of things, including the most English of conversation topics: the weather. 🙂

The gates of Kensington Palace, once home to Queen Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales, and currently the London home of Will and Kate. Photo by me.

We saw Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and drove over London Bridge and Tower Bridge. We also saw Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

One of the benefits of these city bus tours is that you have a ticket that is good for an entire day (or two), and you can get on and off as you please, which allows you to stop for lunch or to take in the sights up close. We used this to our advantage and went to Abbey Road Studios.

My sister and dad are massive Beatles fans (the rest of us less so), so we were well aware of a webcam trained on the famous zebra crossing. Much like when we were at the Eye, we used it to our advantage and arranged a meeting with everybody back home. We stood in front of the camera and waved and texted back and forth with the family. We ended up crossing the street three times while Dad took screen captures on the home computer. We also saw a lot of groups of four people try to recreate the Beatles’ album cover, right down to the third person in line removing their shoes. We didn’t feel like trying to block traffic or ask someone to take our picture for us, so Dad’s screen captures are all we have. Shannon also took the opportunity to autograph the walls outside the studio, as Beatles fans from all over the world have done. There wasn’t much room (and all we had was a ballpoint pen), so she merely wrote our last name as a reference to all of us.

The Abbey Road Studios webcam. You can see all the graffiti on the walls below it. Photo by my sister.

After Abbey Road, we went to nearby Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, where we saw all sorts of figures from history and pop culture. We kind of blazed through the place, stopping only when we found a figure we thought worth posing for a picture with. Naturally, my favorite room was the room full of royals: I got my picture taken with the Queen, Prince Philip, Will and Kate; Diana, Princess of Wales; Henry VIII; and Henry V (subject of my favorite Shakespearean historical play). I also got my picture taken with Sir Patrick Stewart, best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but also an excellent Shakespearean actor. I wish the museum didn’t have just one path, forcing visitors to spend time in each room (or at least allow us the option of bypassing any rooms we’d like to skip, e.g., the “Chamber of Horrors” or the history of London presented as a ride), but we had a pretty good time.

Me and Sir Patrick. Photo by my sister.

After Madame Tussauds, we traveled back to the Tower in order to take a river cruise on the Thames, which was included in our city bus tour. It was cold and windy, but a nice and leisurely way to end our day. Next: a trip outside the city.

Like I wasn’t going to get my picture taken in an authentic London phone box! Photo by my sister.

The famous Abbey Road zebra crossing. Photo by my sister.

Driving over Tower Bridge. Photo by my sister.

Me and Henry VIII, potentially one of the most notorious kings England has ever had. Photo by my sister.

With the Royal Family. No, I can’t explain what’s up with William’s figure. Photo by a Madame Tussauds employee.

Just before our cruise on the River Thames, and wearing snazzy London sweatshirts. Photo by a kind fellow passenger.

Advertisements