Ok, we didn't actually do a tea party (although that was an option on my sister's grand itinerary...not enough time), but we did have quite a party in this awesome city we adore.
Since I lived here for 3 1/2 years growing up, I have such a deep-rooted love for this place. (Which is funny considering the last six months were pure misery for me! So great how hard things can turn out to have the softest and most revered spot in your heart. Lots more about our time there back HERE with links at the end to other posts with more details about that dreaded/glorious six months) So it was extra exhilarating to have Elle by my side who grew her own awe and love last summer when she did her internship there.
Her excitement was tangible which made mine (and everyone else's) even more that way.
We arrived to England on the train on a gloriously sunny morning.
That little pose was the best Claire could do to show we were in London, ha!
We took the beloved tube to Seven Dials near Covent Garden to unload our stuff at our airbnb (which was close to my sister Charity's flat...we decided not to try to cram us all in her tiny one-bedroom flat). It was such a joyous reunion with that great girl of ours, especially since we got to "meet" her sweet baby bump for the first time and soak her in in her new home-town:
She took us on her "epic walking tour" of London and it didn't disappoint.
Stopped to see these amazing musicians at COVENT GARDEN near where we were staying:
I have to put the video in here because wow.
So everything was decked out special for the birthday festivities. All the main streets were lined with British flags.
We walked by BUCKINGHAM PALACE:
Next we walked by TRAFALGAR SQUARE (which unfortunately I didn't get pictures of since it was being set up for a special event).
We checked out BIG BEN:
We walked by the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT:
...and on to WESTMINSTER ABBEY in all it's glory:
We saw the LONDON EYE:
Excited because we knew we'd be going up in that thing in a couple days.
And we ended our day with a stop to explore Charity's London apartment:
And then let Charity join in our traditional night-card games.
The next morning we headed to BOROUGH MARKET...
Headed to TOWER BRIDGE:
...where we met up with Elle's friend Sophia who she stayed with her first few days when she came last summer.
We visited the TOWER OF LONDON
...and had a grand tour from one of the "beefeaters" there:
Charity took everyone but Lu and I on a bike tour over to KENSINGTON GARDENS...
The bikes were too big for Lucy (much to her dismay) so I took her on a double-decker bus to meet them, which helped her cheer up.
We checked out Kensington Palace:
And then got to PORTOBELLO ROAD only in time to see everyone packing up their goods for the day, gosh darn it!
Apparently we also added another "grumpy tourist" to our mix:
Charity, Claire and I split off to see the Church Hill Arms pup I'd been wanting to see ever since Char posted pics of it on Instagram.
And then we met up for dinner at Covent Gardens where we finally got to see Ian (Charity's husband).
Love those two...and that new little baby who has now made his grand arrival!
To be continued (again). Happy Monday!