OkieWineGirl

A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Off the Vineyard Trail #7: Wrapping up the London Trip

I’ve been home from London for over three weeks and a lot of life has happened from then till now or I would have posted this sooner. Several trips back and forth up the turnpike after my dad caught the flu. Long anxious hours waiting in plague infested ERs trying not to catch anything else. Trips to doctor appointments and hanging out in hospital rooms. In the middle of that, my precious mother-in-law had her own unscheduled hospital visit. This left our kids to parent themselves for a few days while my hubby was on the east coast with his mom and I was with my dad. Add all the back to the school ‘new semester’ meetings and various other activities like Christmas decor cleanup, first of the year check-ups, car repairs and laundry and it’s been a little crazy. You know, regular life.

With the anxiety-filled start to the new year, a gloomy, grumbling spirit has settled over me and I’m in desperate need of a reminder of the good parts and a heavy dose of cheering. 

So pretend for a minute you came over for dinner and we’ve now retired to the den to sip port or sherry while I pour the coffee. Then suddenly, my husband rolls out the old slide projector and says “We’ve got some amazing pictures from our trip! I just know you’re gonna love them.”

And I hit the lights . . . 

 

One early rainy morning, we cruised the Thames down to Greenwich like the Kings of old to the Old Royal Naval College and gawked at the fastest sailing ship in the world, the Cutty Sark, walked around the University of Greenwich and hiked up the hill to the original Royal Observatory where I planted my boots in two separate hemispheres. 

The closest I came to the London Eye.

 

Lambeth – Waterloo

The day before, we’d stopped at the Albert Memorial to take in the continents . . .

Albert Memorial

On to Greenwich:

Cutty Sark

Commodore Goodenough. He must have been cause they made a bust of him!

Queen’s Mansion which sits in the middle of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The White House is modeled after it.

Royal Naval Academy

Prime Merdian

Old Royal Observatory and Greenwich Mean Time

Me trying to take a selfie while standing in two hemispheres.

The farthest siblings can get from each other. (Picture taken by our thoughtful Director Ms. Neely)

 

In the afternoon, we toured the Tower of London, which by the way has never been captured in a war. Interesting fact, ravens are housed on the grounds of this imposing fortress because of an old superstition but with the overcast skies, they were creepy so I didn’t take a picture. 

The White Tower. A wooden staircase is the only way in and can be burned encase of attack. Once inside, be prepared to climb and climb and climb multiple stairs.

Home to the Crown Jewels. The line for viewing the Queen’s bling was almost two hours long and time was limited so we toured the torture towers instead. Priorities!

 

 

View of London Bridge from the fortress courtyard.

 

View of The Shard from the Tower of London as the sun set. Currently, the tallest building in Europe.

After the Tower of London, we hopped the tube and raced to the National Gallery before it closed. The art was a feast for the eyes! I love the fact you can visit all the national museums for free. 

It really exists! Van Gogh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On New Year’s Eve, my roommate and I along with another friend celebrated with a mini pub crawl starting in our neighborhood at The Old Swan and my first taste of mulled wine. Then to Notting Hill and The Champion to ring in the new year with the locals and glasses of sparkling wine. 

 

The Champion

The next day was New Year’s and the reason we were in London – the London New Year’s Day Parade! Despite being a city of almost 9 million, the parade had a charming hometown feel. Each borough enters with their version of the parade theme with singers, elaborate floats and intricate costumes. These people take it seriously and are highly entertaining.  However, I eagerly awaited the last act, our high school band. 

Early arrivals across from our Grand Stand.

 

Our Band preparing to march! Picture by SFHS Directors

Teresa somebody or other, almost as important as our Band.

An amazing day in a charming city. It was a brilliant trip! And I leave you with these random snaps. 

Who wouldn’t want to go to the Mad Hatter???

 

Inside Christ Church

Grounds of Windsor castle

Oxford

 

The Churchill Arms is somewhere under all that greenery.

 

MIND THE GAP

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. A great way to start my Friday morning! Thanks for sharing your travels.

  2. I just had a mini-trip to London – thanks so much! And I’m morbidly intrigued by the idea of the ravens at the Tower. Halloween trip? 🙂

    • Lol! That would be perfect! Supposedly the ravens protect the the reigning Royal from invasion. The guide kept mentioning their ‘blood treats’ ewww. The ravens even have names. Gotta love traditions.

  3. You sure made the most of your time there. Thanks for the port and the photos!

  4. Boy, you sure packed in the sights! And I spotted the mulled wine!!!

  5. Looks like an amazing trip!

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