(if you know Jess, then you know how utterly perfect this is)
Oh my lands, where do I even begin. This month I had the glorious privilege of spending five days in London with Jess and her brother Damien. I have more pictures than I know what to do with, so I am subjecting you all to two, possibly three, posts about London. I know. How shameful. Yet I have no shame. Because London was incredible and stunning and definitely the highlight of my England trip so far and I just want to go back and live there forever. Yes. I want to live in London. Actually, the three of us discussed it, and we all want to rent a flat in London for at least a year... Probably more.
We saw and did and experienced more in those five days than I think any of us could have planned or imagined. We didn't just tour London; we lived it. There were many London "musts" that we skipped over (we didn't ride the London Eye, go into Madame Tussaud's, or see the Crown Jewels, to name a few) because we wanted to explore London our way, and that's exactly what we did. We beheld the big sites as well as discovering out-of-the-way places and little corners most tourists probably don't see. Instead of riding buses or taking the typical public transports, we walked (though we did take the underground a few times, which was both scary and exhilarating). One day we literally walked from one end of the city to the other and back again (to say our feet were tired would be a tremendous understatement). But I wouldn't have traded a single step for the world because now I have seen London, in all of its heavenly entirety. I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around that. I was there. I saw all those places with my own eyes.
These photos are from our first two days. Shockingly, it wasn't only my first time in London, but Damien's as well. So while Jess smugly enjoyed our reactions to all of London's glory, he and I were having a competition as to who could say "wow" the most. It wasn't that difficult, but I was actually shuffling between a stunned silence and sudden bursts of repeated wows. Guys. London is magnificently beautiful. There is no way to describe it. Every time I turned a corner, I was greeted with even more majesty. Everything is so crisp and lovely, with buildings that look like they belong in a period drama. And then of course there's Big Ben, whom I will be marrying next spring because he is perfection itself. The second night, we were walking along the River Thames and I just stopped in my tracks, pointed to Ben, and said, "Can we all agree that he is just stunning." I couldn't stop looking.
Our first two days in London included (but not limited to) walking along the River Thames in both the daylight and evening; eating sausage rolls and ice cream-covered waffles in front of Big Ben; seeing all the Sherlock Holmes sites; strolling through Borough Market and the London Bridge Farmer's Market; walking over Tower Bridge; eating lunch on the Tower of London lawn; touring the inside and underneath of the oldest church in London; having coffee at an amazing coffee house called Dose; seeing St. Paul's Cathedral; and OH. I don't know if anyone will believe me because I have no pictures to prove it, but I saw Richard Armitage. No, not just the poster. I legitimately saw him in person. He was having a live interview at the Old Vic Theatre, which was literally a two minute walk from our hotel, so Jess and I popped over and listened to him talk for an hour. It was so weird yet so thrilling to be sitting in the same room as Guy of Gisborne and Mr. Thornton, and to hear that trademark voice for real instead of on-screen. But they wouldn't let us take pictures in the auditorium, so that's why we have no evidence. Yeah. So you'll just have to take my word for it that I have in fact breathed the same air as Richard Armitage.
Guys, that last paragraph doesn't even scratch the surface of everything we saw and did, even in just those first two days. There's too much to fit in a blog post. We watched the sun set over Big Ben. We discovered a tremendously tasty Italian sandwich bakery. (Giuseppi's near Borough Market! Look it up if you're ever in town.) We walked right underneath the London Eye. See, here I go again. There's just no end to the adventures we had.
To be continued...