Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 1 -- London


After 8 and half hours of flying we are finally here and London is amazing! To start off I would like to shout out to all of the moms reading out there and say that everyone is safe and sound and has everything that they need....except if you all wanted to maybe add a few more dollars to our accounts, we wouldn’t mind.

Well everyone, today has been a long one! We started our journey in Des Moines with a 90 minute flight to Chicago where we had a four hour layover, and a forty-five minute delay. Up next came the horribly boring, uncomfortable eight hours from Chicago to our first destination on this adventure, and now that we're here in London I can honestly say it is definitely worth it. We got on the plane in the afternoon and magically landed in the early morning, successfully fulfilling my lifelong dream of time traveling. 

As soon as we landed we all learned a real life lesson about standing in line and the joys of public transit thanks to the airport and the London Underground trains. As soon as we found our quaint, adorable, little hotel we all promptly stuffed our faces with the massive and delicious complementary breakfasts put on by our hosts at Hotel St. Simeon. 

Unexpected breakfast, yummy!!
Second ride on the tube.
Our first adventure of the day was the legendary changing of the guards at the Buckingham palace. The place was packed and we didn’t have the best view, but we all enjoyed the ceremony and the famous red uniforms and big bushy black helmets. The next item on our agenda was a walking tour of Harry Potter areas around town including sites in and around Piccadilly Circus. The tour showed places that inspired the books and places where they filmed the movies. The guides were very energetic and had a lot of great information and fun facts about Harry Potter. The tour even featured a sweets shop with Harry Potter candies, and we all got free samples, YUM. After the Harry Potter tour we hopped on a red double decker tour bus and saw and learned about a few of the many historically significant and beautifully architectural buildings around London. 
Near Buckingham Palace
Changing of the Guard

Outside the National Gallery
Jill and Amber trying out for the next Harry Potter movie!!

Practically everywhere you look here there is something to see! We're not in Cedar Falls anymore people! At this point we were all pretty tired and grumpy, so we stopped back at our hotel and settled in a bit. We all ended our nights by going out to dinner at the local pub down the street from where we're staying :)  It was a long, tiring, amazing start to our adventure! Check back tomorrow and for the next two weeks to see what we are getting up to everyday.