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Our Journey In: London, England

We’re currently on our last day in Paris, and I’m just getting through some of our photos from our trip to London.  I have to say, I miss it already!

Sometimes I look through the photos and still find it all a little surreal. Tristan and I have been saving up to visit Europe for quite a while. In fact, we had actually placed a deposit down for a Mediterranean cruise and were looking for flights a month or two later until we found out I was pregnant. Since I wasn’t sure how comfortable (or uncomfortable) I’d be by the time the cruise came around, we ended up cancelling the trip. Now, we’re out here with this little guy we made, and I still have to pinch myself every now and then. Seriously, is this real life??
Anyway, this may sound ridiculous, but there was a part of me that wasn’t that excited to see London.  I knew it wouldn’t be quite the culture shock I was itching for since the language was English, and the cuisine isn’t very far from American.  It was all Tristan’s choice, but he had legitimate points. One – Being able to speak English removes one travel barrier we would have to worry about making it a little easier as our first international trip with a baby. Two – He’s a huge Fast & Furious fan, and it’s one of the main locations for one of the recent films.  Totally reasonable, right? At the end of the day, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  There really is a beauty and richness to London that you just can’t fully grasp until you’re there.  The history and the royalty – it was all so present everywhere we went.  It was worth every hefty pound we spent.  Most people say it’s a great place to ease into traveling – especially easing into traveling through Europe – and I will definitely second that.
We arrived in London around 11am, went through the longest line we’ve ever been through for customs (Dominic fell asleep – that’s how long it was), and found our cab driver at arrivals.  My husband booked a Cab-It driver in advance for this – super easy and made life easier once we arrived.
On our first day pretty much anywhere, we like to just wander around and get to know our neighborhood.  We decided to stay at an Airbnb for this portion of the trip (and I’ll share more on that later), so getting “lost” helped us to get a better idea of where everything was and get a better idea of how the locals live.

There were so many cute streets like the above.  I probably took way too many pictures of streets and buildings, but I couldn’t help it.  This is also going to sound really lame, but since we had never been to England before, we kept thinking of how it reminded us of the New England states (for obvious reasons).  It should really have been the other way around, but it brought a nice sense of familiarity for us and a refreshing appreciation for a city we just met.

Something we noticed throughout our entire trip there is that you’ll almost always see people rolling their luggage around on the streets.  It’s oddly common.  Whether for business or for leisure, you won’t look out of place getting your luggage from point A to point B on the sidewalks.  We probably would have been doing the same if this was life pre-baby 🙂

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There’s an 8 hour difference between California and England, so we were a little jet-lagged.  Neither of us slept well on the plane (Dominic seemed to sleep pretty well though), but we couldn’t sleep so we decided to head over to Kensington Palace.  This is where Prince William and Duchess Kate live.  They were a 15 minute walk from us!

 

 

 

 

To get to Kensington Palace, we went through Hyde Park which is an incredibly massive Royal Park.  I was a bit overwhelmed by how large and beautiful it was.  We just don’t have parks like this at home, and anything remotely close is not nearly as green!

 

 

 

We didn’t go inside as we were starting to get hungry, so we took a walk around the pond nearby and headed out for dinner.  Such a beautiful place, huh?
The photo below I just took for hubby.  He said it reminded him of chips, particularly Ruffles.  When I realized that was kind of true, I had to take a picture.  He’s so silly.  He dared me to speak with a British accent until our vacation was over.  I definitely didn’t agree to it, but that had be cracking up.  I love that he can make me laugh over the weirdest things.

 

At some point between when we entered the park to when we arrived to the palace, Dominic fell asleep.  Getting adjusted to the time change wasn’t too bad for him, but we’re also fortunate that he sleeps well in the stroller.  Anyway, he woke up when we were about to leave the park, so we decided to stick around a little longer to get some photos of him wandering around.  He sure loved all of the open space (although when it came time to take some photos, he loved standing in that circle on the floor).

 

Above are also images of the Albert Memorial which sits right across the street from Royal Albert Hall.  The memorial was brought about by Queen Victoria in honor of her husband Prince Albert who died of typhoid.
We headed over to spot called Byron which sold “proper burgers.”  It wasn’t particularly special, but we let Dominic try an olive, and that moment when he tasted it made the decision to eat here totally worth it.  Funny thing is, he continued to bite pieces of it and continued to make this face.  He eventually popped the whole thing in his mouth. Haha!  I had to get it out because they weren’t pitted, but that was adorable.  I guess olives are just one of those things we hate to love.

 

Head over to see London Day 2London Day 3, and London Day 4 or head straight to our Travel Guide!
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