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What I did on my summer vacation

It’s taken a while, but I’m finally back into some sort of routine after our AMAZING trip. Now the plan is to get some of the highlights written down here instead of just in my travel journal. I figured I’d start today with our stopover in London….


We started out from Miami on the upper deck of a British Airways 747. I had my ritual pre-flight Bloody Mary, a couple of glasses of champagne, and 2 sleeping pills…all before they served dinner! Once fed, we stretched out and got a little bit of sleep (side note: the beds are actually more comfortable than the guest bed at my in-laws house. Seriously). 8 short hours later, we landed in London.

One of the great things about flying Club World on BA is the Immigration Fast Pass; we got to avoid the crowds and waltz right to baggage claim. Our car was waiting for us, and we went to the hotel to drop our bags. After a little breakfast, we walked through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park over to Speaker’s Corner. We had a little bit of time before lunch, so we hit the Tube (side note: lots of stations are closed on the weekends while they make improvements for the 2012 Olympics) and went over to see Big Ben, Parliament, and the Eye.
Big Ben

We had a wonderful lunch at Maggie Jones, and by then it was finally time to check in to the hotel. After the second best shower of my life, we ordered a little dinner and then collapsed into bed. Sunrise came at 4:15, and it was magnificent. We had a lovely view from our room of not only Kensington Palace and the gardens, but also of the torch that’s being built for the Olympics. It was truly spectacular. We got an early start and headed over to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace

We then took a little stroll through St. James’ park on the way back over to Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben (again), 10 Downing Street…..Yeah, we did a lot that day. The Abbey was an unplanned stop, and we were both glad we saw it. It was breathtaking, and not a little awe-inspiring. We saw tombs of kings and queens, of poets and adventurers, and we even saw the Coronation Chair (it’s REALLY little!). It was especially cool for me to see the tombs of Stanley Livingstone, Charles Darwin, and of course, Henry V.

We hit the Tube again for the trip over to The Tower of London, where Kevin FINALLY got his picture taken with a guard, and where I got to see the spot on the Tower Green where the privileged lost their heads (Anne Boleyn may be the most famous to die there, but I was always more interested in Lady Jane Grey, and it was nice to see their names etched on the memorial). It was surprisingly calm there, and people were actually very respectful. Of course, the trip to the Tower would not have been complete without a visit to the Crown Jewels…All I can say is WOW. We managed to leave a few things behind in the gift shops, but not much 😉

We headed back to the hotel around 4:00, and then ALLEN came to visit!!!! Drinks happened, then dinner (where our group met up with MORE people from back home), then more drinks. We had a wonderful visit with him, and I’m so glad we got to see him even though we weren’t there nearly long enough to really catch up. I could have stayed up all night talking with him, but it’s probably best I didn’t….especially since I ended up with the mother of all hangovers the next day!

The next morning came excruciatingly early, but the fine folks at British Airways were kind enough to supply me with a new eye mask and earplugs…and a LARGE bottle of water to wash down about 5 aspirin. I slept it off on the 8 1/2 hour flight to Nairobi….

One Response to “What I did on my summer vacation”

  1. Kevin Donahue Says:

    You forgot to mention that everyone was a little jet lagged… except for me (as promised!)

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