London!

I have been wanting to give you some recaps from my vacation (we got back two weeks ago) but will be perfectly honest and say I have also been dreading it! It’s so darn overwhelming. BUT, I want to share the goodness of my adventure so I pulled myself together and got to work. I decided to break it down city by city to keep us all from getting too overwhelmed.

I’m kicking it off with London because that’s where we began our journey. Oh, glorious London how I love you. When people ask me my favorite part about London, I almost immediately want to answer “the people.” To begin with, everyone spoke so properly with their beautiful English accents, but the best part was, everyone we encountered was so friendly.

On our first day, we were those tourists walking around the city with our luggage pulling behind us, wandering fairly aimlessly as we searched for our hotel. We knew the vicinity, but just couldn’t find it. Finally, I asked a gentleman if he could help. He wasn’t sure of the exact location of our hotel but he pulled out his smartphone and got searching. He pointed us in the right direction and wished us luck. Considering the lack of sleep and jet-lag at this point, a friendly person who could help us find our hotel (and get some food in my belly) faster, was someone we were lucky to find.

Once we found our hotel room we quickly ordered room service and loaded up on a burger. We needed fuel fast or we weren’t going to make it too long. Before heading back out to explore the unknown, we decided that a nap was a must if we wanted to appreciate anything the rest of the day. We both conked out for a good two hours.

K, I’m done narrating every detail. Let’s move on to the good stuff.

The sights

Our hotel neighborhood in Trafalgar Square. Our hotel is on the far right of this photo. The Hilton Trafalgar. I really enjoyed this place. The location was incredible. We were able to use FF miles for this hotel otherwise it was out of our price range FYI.

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The London Eye. As touristy as it is, it was worth it. It was fun going up in the little bubbles and getting 360 views of the city.

london

london

Big Ben. I’ve never seen a more beautiful clock. london

Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards. So, we went there on our second day and found out that in the colder seasons they only do the huge presentation of the changing of the guards every other day. We came back the next day though and saw the whole thing.

It was so cool thinking that at that moment we were there, the royal family could have been hanging out by the fire, sipping on some coffee in fancy cups, and chatting about the weather.

london

london

There were two marching bands involved in the changing of the guards.

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london

The parks. This one is called St. James’ Park and was right outside of Buckingham Palace. Hyde park is a popular one as well. They are all beautiful.

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Neat buildings at every turn.           DSCN7042

Fancy shopping at Harrods. Obv I didn’t buy anything there except for lunch there. This store houses every chic brand you can think of.

Check out the well-dressed doorman! Fun fact: Princess Diana’s boyfriend Dodi’s dad used to own Harrods.

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Westminster Abbey. A major highlight of our trip. This is where the royalty get married, where they have their grand funerals, and where many of them are buried. Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin are also buried here, among many many others. The detail in this church is indescribable. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside.

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I felt the magic when I walked down the same royal aisle as Prince William and Princess Kate had just years ago.

royal wedding 2

 

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Of course, The FOOD!

London had some of the best food! We found a cute restaurant called Happenstance after both being freezing cold from the rainy London day. We nestled into our spot and I ordered a Butterbean burger and Dana ordered the duck flatbread pizza. We shared a side of mushy peas. When in London!

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Hot chocolate and coffee. Their chocolate is just incredible and makes for the perfect hot chocolate. It’s perfectly sweet, rich, smooth. Oh my gosh I want one. I tried having one back home and they just aren’t the same. Dana thinks it’s because I’m not on vacation that they taste different at home, but I think it’s because of the chocolate! It’s probably a combo actually.

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My favorite dinner the whole trip: Indian Food. We met up with some friends of Dana’s who live in London and enjoyed and absolutely delicious dinner together. We all split a cauliflower dish which was to die for, naan, and I ordered chicken tikka masala. So insanely good!

london

london

 

Fish n’ Chips. We haaaaad to get fish and chips. We found a whole in the wall little Fish n’ Chips place, split an order of the fried cod, and were both super happy with our meal. The fish was amazing, the fries were just meh. Actually I found that pretty much every where. They served a lot of fries or “chips” in Europe. They weren’t salted and they were thick cut compared to what we see in the U.S. They were all just okay to me but that didn’t stop me from eating them.

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That was a bit of a “in a nutshell” London recap post as you can see, but in order for me to keep this from becoming a novel, that is what is going to have to happen! I adored this city. If you ever get a chance to visit London, please do!

Back and Jet-Lagged!

Oh, heyyyy!

I’m back…and I’m jet-lagged!

I told you I wanted to “unplug” for a while but what I didn’t tell you was that I was going to be unplugging while in Europe!

Last night we arrived home from a 12-day vacation to London (four days), Bruges (one day), and Paris (seven days). Holy cow I don’t even know how to recap this trip.

The palaces, the churches, the art, the food, the crepes (!), the people, the stinky metro, the views, the beauty, the history, the 60°F weather.

st.chapelle sacre coure  eiffel tower

french onion soupthe top of arc de triumph

 

There was so much beauty seen on this trip.

 

It may take me some time to gather all of the pictures and recap these amazing memories, because this was indeed a trip of a lifetime.

I am keeping it short and sweet for you all today; I really just wanted to say “hi” and let you all know what I was up to. As much as I loved being on vacation, I always enjoy coming home to family and friends and the comforts of home. I missed my normal American food. I missed my smoothies for sure! I missed my bed. But mostly I missed my family, friends, and puppy.

My body will be thankful once it is back on central time zone time, well-rested, and back to a clean whole-food diet! Waking up at 3:30 this morning with a cough and feeling like it was 9:30 am in Paris meant my body was ready to be awake = not enough sleep for me last night. But waaah waaah I was just on vaca for 12 days. I’m not complaining.

Oh, and one confession. I didn’t completely unplug. I did check facebook, read up on a few blogs, and check email in the evenings in the hotel however I tried SO hard not to participate in any FB, twitter, or Instagram action. Meaning, I had to sit on my hands so I wouldn’t hit like on all of your photos. So even though I didn’t 100% unplug, it was a huge disconnect compared to what I am used to. I didn’t have my phone with me at all during the day! 🙂

I missed you all! I hope you have all been well. What did I miss while I was gone?