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Sister Euro Trip, Part I

by Christa on September 18, 2013

in Daily Digest,Travel Bug

I know I said I’d write a recap of Costa Rica first, but I lied. These pics are readily accessible!

Sooooo a long long time ago, I told my sister Steph that for her college graduation we would take a sister trip – wherever she wanted. She picked Paris!! When I started planning the trip it just made sense to visit somewhere else too, since we’d have enough time – we should maximize the trip overseas, right? I was of course crossing fingers for Germany, but in the end London made the most sense – it is a TWO hour train ride…how easy is that? Plus London is super fun, and they speak ENGLISH there. So that would definitely ease her into the European way. AND Aimee got to come too – so fun to have both of my sisters on this adventure!!

Steph had never been out of the country, and this was definitely the longest flight – she does not fly well. But it wasn’t so bad when we were up in the air on the Dreamliner – I think she would agree. Tons of movies and TV shows to watch, but since we had an overnight flight, we all tried to sleep.

Everyone knows when you get there you should take a nap. But we didn’t wanna!!! So we toughed it out the entire afternoon before crashing at 7pm, hah.

I hadn’t been to London since March 2008 – Shane and I decided to take a trip before his parents moved back to the states.  He remembered it like the back of his hand and was an excellent tour guide, so I really got to see a lot the first time around and wasn’t too stressed about getting to everything – just hit the highlights for Steph! And Aimee had been there many times so she was able to give us a LOT of history along the way.  We got educated fo sho.

We walked through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace. I distinctly remember wishing I had brought running gear. So many runners and cyclists out and about! London Marathon is definitely on my race bucket list.

Checkin’ out the palace.

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Needed a rest break.

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And we checked out Harrod’s – they had this sign out!

harrods

AND PRINCE GEORGE CUPCAKES.

cupcakes

That store is too rich for my blood, though.

Afterward we were absolutely zonked from jet lag and got our dinner at Marks & Spencer – salads and sandwiches, easy. Took them back to the hotel, ate, and SLEPT.

We stayed at Thistle Marble Arch, in a family room. It is quite uncommon to find a room with 2 queens like you do in the states. Kind of strange. So we had 3 twin beds. It was a fantastic location, and a few of the reviews on TripAdvisor made me nervous, but it was very clean, in my opinion, which is all I really ask for. Reasonably priced by London standards. I would recommend it and stay there again.

The next morning we retraced our footsteps so we could see the changing of the guard at Buckingham.  On the way we took our now-famous bench pic.

bench

Twas anti-climactic.  But it’s still kind of hard to beat being in London – with baby and Costa Coffee!!

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And then ventured to some of the other must-sees on our list.

Westminster Abbey – “Hands down, best abbey I ever saw.”

westminster

Big Ben

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Steph, I want those pics of the three of us in front of the Thames!!

We went north to St. John’s Wood in search of delicious fish and chips at the Seashell, but alas it was closed. Another meal of sandwiches, but not so bad. We had a tea date later (one of my must-do’s was afternoon TEA!).

And Steph crossed Abbey Road.  No action shot, traffic wasn’t happy with all the tourists doing the same!

abbey

Walked around Baker Street, went to a local market and park until it was time for tea at the Landmark Hotel. We really enjoyed the sandwiches and pastries too – delish! This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

TEA TIME!

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tea1

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We made it back to the hotel for a brief respite; already had big plans for WAGAMAMA for dinner. If you have never been to Wagamama, I highly recommend that you check it out. I think the only locations in the US are in Boston, but they have many locations abroad. So freakin good. We all walked off those noodles by trekking back up to the Maida Vale area to go to the Prince Alfred Pub. Met up with my friend Lori, who I met while training for Nation’s Tri – she lives in London now! The Prince Alfred is really cool. It dates back to 1863 and you have to duck under little doorways as the different sections were used to separate the classes. Oh, and we made Steph order something other than Bud Light. Hah! You may have also seen the pub featured in The Wedding Date.

Pub

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With Lori.  SOMEONE is trying to photo bomb!!

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After another good night’s sleep, we had a half day to kill before we caught the Eurostar to Paris. We ventured down to Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

Relaxed in the square a little!

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There was a BBC – Big Blue Cock.  There is a restaurant here called BRC (big red cock) so naturally this one is BBC.

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It’s art.  Apparently.

Fish & chips were also a must – with vinegar, natch. Steph wasn’t impressed, so I got to finish hers. YUM.

Post-lunch brought us back to the hotel to gather our stuff and make our way to King’s Cross.

To be continued….

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Sister Euro Trip, Part II
October 10, 2013 at 7:11 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany Breaux September 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Love Wagamama! There stuff is so good. I also like Pret – wish we had some chains like that here!

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Brittany Breaux September 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Their* haha, I can’t spell

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Christa September 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Did you know Pret is owned by McDonald’s? So *technically*…we DO have chains like that here! HAH, not the same, I know. I def wish Houston had a Wagamama though. YUM.

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Jess September 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

The only time I’ve been to London happened to be the day of the marathon! It was great because so many streets were closed and we just happened to walk past Buckingham for the changing of the guard and were the only people there…as in I got to jog next to the guards who were marching down the street from the guardhouse to the palace. I can’t wait to hear about Paris. It was my favorite stop on our Euro tour.!

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Christa September 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm

That is awesome!! I am jealous, hahah! Did you do any impromptu race spectating?? I am not sure which I love more, racing or spectating. Ok, racing, but spectating is def a close second.
I’m so glad we found each other in the blogosphere!

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terra September 24, 2013 at 7:40 am

Andrew walked across Abbey Road when we were there last year too and I can’t even imagine how annoying it must be to live there and have assholes walking across the street all goofy all the time. It was pretty hilarious though, watching a few people nearly get run over.

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