Prairie Wife Goes to England: London

Posted May 31, 2019 by Prairie Wife - 2 comments

I’ve been thinking and thinking about how on earth to do this post!

I have SO SO SOOOOO much to say and about a million  billion pictures I could share.

But, I don’t want this to turn into a boring slideshow presentation lol.

So, I think what I’ll do is share my overall thoughts and fav moments with pictures and text and then pop onto Facebook LIVE this afternoon to tell a few stories. After that’s done I’ll stick the video at the bottom of this post so you can listen/watch if you want.

You can also find more pictures on our Instagram feed!

The Cowboy and Prairie Wife at Victoria & Albert Museum

First, I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful it is to know that The Cowboy and I can spend 10 days together and truly enjoy every part of it. After day two you can’t really talk about the kids anymore so it’s reassuring to know that we can still come up with interesting things to do and say. Add to that all the fun memories we created and you can understand why it’s SO important for a marriage to make the time to get away from your kids for more than an overnight trip!

Portobello Road Market

My first impression of London is that it is an absolute melting pot of culture. As we walked down the streets we heard dozens of different languages spoken, and the people weren’t tourists! Admitably it took me a few days to get the hang of British English spoken in so many accents…but I eventually got it figured out.

Kensington street views

London was clean! I thought that it would be like NYC where there were towers of trash piled up, litter all over, and the subways had a certain…odor…Nope. Not in London. Of course, we didn’t walk in any sketchy neighborhoods but we did walk 5 miles a day, got lost numerous amounts of times, and took the tube/underground (their subway system) everywhere. There was a lot of time spent wandering off the beaten path and I felt 100% safe the entire time.

The Underground or Tube Station

London street views

Between the traffic going the “wrong way” and the busyness of the London streets it was a bit like a real-life game of Frogger to cross the streets. Be alert and move quickly lol!

Fish and Chips and Meat Pie (steak)

We ate at a few pubs, but upon the advice of our hotel staff, we mostly ate ethnic food. Fish and chips and meat pies were good but they couldn’t hold a candle to the curry! Because London is a melting pot of cultures you can find fabulous Italian, Lebanese, and Asian food (just to name a few). The Cowboy ate amazing ice cream every day, and it’s definitely worth eating at the little local bakeries and sweet shops.

Rose and Raspberry Macaroon

Touristy stuff is a must. There is a reason why everyone goes to see it! That being said, only go to the ones that appeal to you. Churches, museums, and historical stuff is totally our jam…modern art and the theater not so much, so we skipped that.

Westminster Abbey

St. Paul’s Cathedral was The Cowboy’s favorite. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside but it is for sure worth your time. An interesting fact about the view from the top (we climbed 500 steps to get there and The Cowboy almost got stuck in the tight places) that you can see below. If you look at the skyscape of London there is a lot of old and new mixed together. It tugged at my heart when our guide explained that some of that had to do with needed to rebuild after the bombings of WWII.

View of London from St. Paul’s Cathedral

Speaking of, The Winston Churchill War Rooms are a must if you are a WWII history buff, wow did I learn SO much!

Winston Churchill War Rooms

The Cowboy and I were able to get into the sold-out Dior Exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum. It. Was. Stunning.

Dior Exhibit

In case you were wondering, yes we were able to meet up with Mary Poppins and her mom while in London. It was an amazing day and I will truly treasure the time we were able to spend with them!

Mary Poppins and Nan

After 5 days in London, The Cowboy was over the hustle and bustle of the city (even though there ARE lovey parks throughout) and we headed out to the English Countryside. I’ll be posting all about that next week.

St. James Park

NOTES

We had our own blue badge tour guide Rob Quail and it was a custom experience that was phenomenal. He showed us how to use the Tube, got an idea of what we REALLY wanted to see and made it happen. Rob was extremely educated on a wide variety of topics and we were really excited when we learned he was our guide for both days. He even took me to a few special Harry Potter filming sites!

Scene from Harry Potter

Many of these museums and exhibits require tickets. The perks of having a travel agent (see info below) and a guide is they took care of all that for us!

Taking advice from your hotel staff on where to go or what to do is a must!

Knives are illegal in England, even a pocket knife, so leave yours at home.

Restaurant service is very different. Many places you order at the bar or counter, then they bring you food. The servers generally leave you very much alone to enjoy your meal and company. They won’t check on you and it’s a tricky game of catching eyes and subtle nods to get your check.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions, I’m also wondering if it would be helpful to create a what to pack for international travel post?!

If you’re interested in your own trip to London feel free to contact our travel agent Patti Peddem pattip@travelsociety.com (303)503-7034

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2 thoughts on "Prairie Wife Goes to England: London"

  1. Bennie says:

    I went to England a good 20 years ago and we did a bus tour. It went from London all the way up past Stonehenge up to Scotland and circling back around to London. We needed a vacation after that. It was tiring to go to a different town every day but we got to see the countryside which was great.

    I agree with you about the food and restaurants in general. It was a different experience for us trying to decide which restaurant, which cuisine and deciding, did we like that? Sometimes you weren’t quite sure, stewed tomatoes for breakfast? We also noticed that portion sizes were much smaller which technically that’s probably correct. Here in the states I think we go way overboard with the portion sizes.

    We pretty much had to place an order, find a seat and then the food was brought to us. It was a little bit confusing figuring each different place out. We stayed at a couple different hotels somewhere new some are older I’m not sure which one I like the most. Some of the older ones are funny because they were cocky and cute But the newer ones were nice because they had maybe some better amenities.

    I get a kick out of watching British movies with people like you grant and I’m blinking of the guy who played Mr. Darcy and Bridget Jones diary. I just like all the architecture it’s very cute and like a story book. I’m glad you had got to visit with Mary Poppins, did she take you any place that may be the most recent movie was filmed in?. It looks like you had ia great experience and now it’s back to the usual for you and the cowboy

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      We thought about going more than two places but decided (like you mentioned) that it would be fun but not as relaxing as we really wanted. We will just have to go to Scotland another time 😉 and yes I think we never did totally get the restaurant thing figured out lol. When we were with our guide he showed us a few places where the second Mary Poppins film was done, I should have thought to get pics with her there lol! And yes it’s totally back to the regular rush and crazy!

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