Jan 30, 2015

Wanna Go To London

 Cathy and I were neighbors in another neighborhood when my two older girls were in preschool and before Barrett was born.  Our children played together, we carpooled to preschool, we babysat for each other, we were good friends.  Both of our families moved out of that neighborhood around the same time. Since then we've bumped into each other  here and there, exchanged Christmas cards and occasional emails. We have always made plans to get together, but it just never happened.

I bumped into her at Costco about ten days ago.  We made plans to meet for lunch the next day and this time we actually followed through. We had such a nice time catching up and talking. As we were saying our good-byes and getting ready to leave she asked what I was doing the next week (this week).

After mentally running through my very overbooked schedule (sarcasm), I replied, "Nothing."

She quickly came right back at me with, "Wanna go to London?"

And so we did!

Let me explain:  Cathy has been a flight attendant for thirty years. She works out of Raleigh and only works one flight - the direct flight to London. She has been flying back and forth to London for fifteen  years, several times a month. She usually has a three day trip, leaves Monday afternoon and comes back Wednesday. She thinks of London as her second hometown and knows everything about it. The trip this week was a little unusual because her layover was until Thursday.  So she had all day Tuesday and Wednesday in London.

Since Brooke (my daughter) is a flight attendant with the same airline I get some great perks. Brooke was able to add me to the stand by list and I was able to fly for a very small fee.  And since the flights each way were only half full, flying stand by wasn't a big risk.

So long story short, I went to London this week!

I packed very light, just a carry on and didn't take a "good camera". I only took pictures on my iPhone and really didn't take a lot pictures like I usually do - I was too busy marathon walking!

I got three seats all to myself and notice I had no neighbors across the isle! 
No complaints here!

Cathy brought me the "good food" from the front of the plane along with the tablet and headphones Business Class uses to watch movies.

We landed around 6:30AM.

 After dropping our stuff off at the hotel and freshening up,we headed out to see Kensington.


Who knew there was food in Harrods?

I was fascinated by the food displays in Harrods.

So let me get this straight, 
 after you go and purchase a Saint Laurent or Alexander McQueen dress,
the latest Salvatore Ferragamo shoes
and a Chloe bag, 
you can head on downstairs and pick yourself up a meat pie, loaf of bread or whole chicken to roast for dinner!
How convenient! 

The tribute to Dodi Fayed and Princess Diana in Harrods.

After Harrods we walked to the 
Victoria Albert Museum to look at a wedding dress exhibit. 

That night we went to eat at a french restaurant called Cote. It was really good. 
On our way there we had to stop and smell the flowers!

The next morning we dropped by to see if Kate and William were home, aka we walked by and gawked at Kensington Palace.

Will and Kate live in the shorter section on the left.
Their area of the "yard" has a wall around it. You can barely see it through the gate.

This is the gate where all of the flowers were laid when Princess Diana died.

(from the internet)

This is the street in front of Kensington Palace. 
I was surprised at how close other houses mansions were. 
(the palace is on the right)

We then took the Tube (subway) to the Covent Garden area of London. 
We walked through Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

(my first peek at Big Ben)

We went to see the Les Miserables matinee.
We had better seats then what the picture shows. I took this while standing in line for the loo.    

After the play we headed towards Big Ben

and walked around Westminster Abbey.

We almost made it in time to go in. The last people were just coming out when we got there. 

We then took the Tube back to Kensington.
I wanted to get some English cheese to take back and  Cathy wanted me to see how awesome the Whole Foods was, so we headed there. 

We have a nice Whole Foods here in Raleigh, but ours does not have a CHEESE ROOM!
Does yours?

I loved the display and variety of eggs. 
You can't tell from the picture, but these are green, blue and pink eggs 
(and of course the brown eggs too).  

 We then finished up our two days in London with dinner at Bumpkins

We got back home yesterday around 3:00PM.

This week has been.......

Did you get to do anything exciting?


I have tried to fix the centering issues 100 times.
I am not sure why they don't update! 


Katie Clooney said...

THe most amazing part of the story is that you had 3 seats to yourself! Kidding! How fun! Great pics with the iphone. What a great way to catch up with an old friend. PS I have the same jacket in red. Have a great weekend!

MCW said...

Um. I went to the gym. Nothing is as exciting as London! So cool and such sponianity. I saw Le Mis when I was in London too. We had just graded college and were poor. Our seats were so bad we had a better view of backstage then the actual state. Ha.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

This is amazing - a spur of the moment trip to London! Love all your pics, especially the ones at nighttime.

Joyce said...

What a fabulous mid-winter getaway! I'd love a trip there right about now. Or anytime : ) I love the food halls at Harrods. If you are in NYC the Plaza now has something similar there now on the lower level. You can access it from outside on the park side. They're great! Not as great as Harrods, but still a fun place to check out.

've been in Kensington, it was unoccupied at the time (this was before Wills and Kate married), and they had a display of Diana's dresses.

Covent Garden is definitely one of my most favorite spots in the whole city. Sounds like you managed to squeeze a lot into your visit.

cathy said...

Lucky you! Sounds great. You must be exhaused!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh you know, just another week! Good grief girl…what a week!!!! Living thru you this week!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh you know, just another week! Good grief girl…what a week!!!! Living thru you this week!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh you know, just another week! Good grief girl…what a week!!!! Living thru you this week!

3 Peanuts said...

Such an exciting last minute trip. I know I am very late to comment on this but I am in awe of your spontaneity.