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London: Touristing with Big Ben & Bond

I’m back home!  It’s also my birthday!  All I’m really doing to “celebrate” is coping with jet lag and eating food we’ve missed since we’ve been gone with my family today (so far that’s a surprise Porto’s delivery from the husband this morning, pho for brunch, and In-n-Out for dinner!).  It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks, so I’m more than happy to take it easy.  I’m honestly very excited to get to go through all of the vacation photos and documenting everything the next few weeks, so I’m sure a good chunk of time today will be dedicated to curating photos to share 🙂

We didn’t waste much time in London and kicked off day 2 with a lot of touristing.  It was amazing to see some of these famous landmarks in person – including all of the double decker buses!
Throughout our whole trip, we used public transportation, which I’ll give tips and review once I recap all of the days.  Anyway, once we got to our first stop on the tube, we exited and Big Ben was just staring at us in the face.  It was pretty overwhelming to see it just after walking up the steps since we were expecting to have to walk around to “find” it; it really is a beautiful and majestic site to see.  We took a walk across the bridge, took a few snaps with the London Eye, then walked around on a walkway across the water where Dominic once again showed off his joy of leaf collecting.

He was not amused lol^
 

 

Little guy feeling bummed that he wasn’t free to roam for a bit.  He LOVED the open spaces everywhere we went, so we would let him run around and explore.  Once we were ready to move on, he was always a little down.  This guy has so much energy – I don’t know if he would ever really have his fill of exploring!
We headed over to Parliament Square where several statues stood tall.  Tristan got a photo with the Winston Churchill statue which was one of eight in the area.

 

Nearby, we took a look at Westminster Abbey.  My goodness, there is just something so beautiful about all of the buildings here.  There’s just so much character.  Pretty much all of the tourist attractions, we just admired the architecture, took some pictures outside, then moved on.  Unless we had a real attachment to a location and needed to see more, we didn’t understand the point of waiting in a long line when we could be exploring and experiencing more of the city.

 

Yeah, waiting in this line?  No, thank you. ^
 
After that, we decided to go take a peek at Trafalgar Square, but on the way we passed through St. James’ Park which re-affirmed my love for parks out here.  Every single park was so beautiful and lush.  Dominic even made a friend with one of the ducks (I think it thought Dominic was carrying a bags of chips or something.  Sorry, buddy.  Just veggies).

 

 

 

 

 

Find Tristan and Dominic in the mass of bicyclists!  This was right across the street from Trafalgar Square.  The square is a great place to people watch.  We let Dominic run around here for a bit where he went up to people to randomly say “hi” which I think is one of his favorite things to do these days.

We also made a stop at St. Martin-in-the-Fields right across the street which was an interesting spot Tristan found out about.  There is an elevator behind the church that takes you down into a real crypt.  You’ll first see a gift shop, but to the left, there’s a cafe that’s a little dark and eerie, but apparently pretty popular.  Actually, maybe it would’ve just been cool if I didn’t know it was a crypt.  We didn’t eat here since we weren’t really hungry, but it’s called “Cafe in the Crypt” if you’re interested.

Every building is so picturesque.  The streets and the stores along here reminded me a lot of the East Coast – that’s aside from the fact that there was a Five Guys, McDonald’s, and other American chain restaurants everywhere.  Seriously, if you’re ever homesick for some good ol’ American fast food, you’ll find it everywhere here.  On one ride on the tube, a guy was sitting in front of us chowing down on KFC chicken which I thought was kind of funny.  Who knew you could fly 10 hours away, cross an ocean, and find yourself sitting in front of someone eating fried chicken from an American chain?  It did look good though. Haha.

One big thing that Tristan really wanted to see while we were in London was the London Film Museum.  Luckily for us, the current exhibition is “Bond in Motion” which showcased several of the cars from the James Bond films as well as a bunch of items from the movie sets including props the actors used.  I thought it was pretty cool, but if you’re a big Bond fan (and car fan) like my husband is, you’ll probably love it.

 

 

 

 

Once you’re done with the museum, you head up a flight of stairs to exit, and it plops you on the other side of the building.  Thought this was a great area with pubs lining the street and street performers doing their thing.  It just felt so lively and moreso filled with locals vs. tourists.

Of course, we had to take some of the typical phone booth photos…

Dominic having a grand ol’ time!

We went back to our flat and rested for a few hours.  We did this at least once or twice every day to unwind and let Dominic get a good, solid nap in.  Since we were still adjusting to the time change, we decided to go out once more to check out Picadilly Circus at night.  Let’s just say it wasn’t our cup of tea.  It’s pretty much like Times Square, but for some reason, there were a lot more rowdy people.  We took a few snaps then just walked away and headed to the next station to get back home, of which, the walk was actually very nice.    We got to see some streets lit up, and just observed the locals as they passed by.  Yeah, Picadilly Circus?  It was just flooded with tourists.  It was like the land of selfie sticks.  We were planning to see it during the day on the next day, but we just removed it from our daytime plans altogether. I suppose if you’re a young couple or group of friends planning for a night out, it may interest you a bit more.

 

As we headed to the station, we walked into the square above from the Royal Academy of Arts thinking it may be where a scene from Fast & Furious 6 was filmed.  We found the spot where the race actually took off, but we weren’t sure about this spot.  Who knows?  It still looked awesome at night.

If you missed it, see London Day 1 here, or you can head over to London Day 3 and Day 4 or head straight to our Travel Guide!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Kayla Greenstone

    #familygoals #travelgoals #photogoals

    So awesome, Vy! Thanks for sharing your trip….truly inspirational to see how you guys travel, and so well with a little one! 💙

    Kayla

    May 27, 2016 at 2:10 am
    • Reply Vy

      You're too sweet! We are very lucky to have such a great little traveler with us – sometimes I wonder if it's hereditary 🙂 Traveling with Tristan was something that really sealed the deal in our relationship once we realized what great travel partners we were to each other!

      May 28, 2016 at 3:17 am

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