The trip started in London, a city I'd never visited. I'm lucky to say that due to parents who prioritized travel and also lived in Europe, I've lost count of how many times I'd been overseas. This was my 8th or 9th trip, I believe, and in all those visits to Europe the only part of England I'd seen was the airport terminal at Heathrow. When my youngest sister announced that she would be studying abroad in London this Spring, I knew it was time to change that fact.
We flew out of Chicago late in the evening, and arrived in London around 10am on Thursday. We wanted to make the most of our time, so we dropped our bags off with my sister, and headed out to start seeing some sites. After a stylish lunch at All Bar One, we went across the street to visit the famous London Tower. A sudden rain and hail storm disrupted those plans, though, so we decided a museum was a better option during the questionable weather.
|Do we look tired, or what?!|
|Approximately 5 minutes later, it started hailing! |
Luckily, they refunded our £22 entry fee, since we'd just arrived.
|Onto beautiful Trafalgar Square, where it had mostly stopped raining.|
(I should mention the rest of our time in London was full of amazing sunny weather)
We spent some time drying off inside the National Gallery, enjoying the gorgeous building and some impressionist art (my favorite). Then it was off to meet Colleen at her internship in the super posh neighborhood of Chelsea. On our way we popped into a fancy market, Daylesford, for a caffeine fix and a slice of bakewell tart.
After meeting up with our Air BnB host to drop off our luggage and get some keys, we went back to Colleen's flat in South Kensington. (Air BnB was a GREAT experience, by the way! We got to meet a local and stay in a room in his flat. It felt more comfortable and authentic than a hotel, and was cheaper, too!) The rest of our night involved a little eating and drinking, and by 10 pm we hit the wall and had to crash. We were pretty proud of ourselves for making it that late, considering our only sleep the night before was a few hours on the airplane.
|Sampling various English ciders.|
|Ending the first night at a classic English pub. Cheers!|
|"Mind the Gap"|
|A peek at the food hall at Selfridges.|
|Only the best...|
Pierre Herme Macarons
|We can't afford to shop on Old Bond Street... but we can still dream!|
|Tea time at The Wolseley|
Charming, posh, and perfectly British.
|Happy 21st Birthday Colleen!|
|Thanks for being our tour guide Colleen!|
And now, it's my day off, and the sun is shining strong in Chicago! Time to go soak up a bit of this lovely spring weather. Until next time...