Marathon Day

Today was a marathon!

We started with Jane’s breakfast – a fabulous spread of meats and cheeses, cereals, pastries, juices, and a hot breakfast of essentially whatever you want! Shane had a lushy looking omelet and I filled up on cereal, meats and cheeses. Yum!

We started at the Tower of London, early, we thought. We thought wrong! The only “win” of the Tower was our plan to see the Crown Jewels first. There was no queue to get in but there were plenty of people inside! Not too many that we couldn’t see and appreciate the beauty of the jewels and other treasures. We went down the people mover twice to try to see every bit of bling!

The yeoman warder tour was great – with 50 of our nearest and dearest! We pushed to the front like always and were able to hear all of his stories. This was my third time in the Tower and I learn something new each time. Shane was in awe of the history and the majesty of the buildings and the secrets within.

Next was the White Tower, home to kings and queens and now, their armor and weapons. Of course this was to be Shane’s favorite! The only downside was the amount of people. It was definitely overcrowded so it was difficult to see without being “those people…” After that, despite missing a good chunk of the tower, we headed out. We had to get our money’s with on the London Pass so we made our way to the Tower Pier to catch a City Cruise.

The touring boats are covered with the London Pass so we decided to take a long trip down to Greenwich and back. The trip was so peaceful; we were able to really relax and enjoy seeing London from a different perspective in a peaceful way. We saw the Docklands, The City, a lot of different types of boats, lots of different converted warehouses and mills and foundries, and of course Greenwich.

At that point, however, we realize that Westminster Abby was due to close before we would make it back on the boat. We panicked but then came up with a Plan B that would involve taking a couple of different Tube lines but would get us there before the Abby would close. We booked it through the stations and got there in plenty of time to enjoy the gorgeous building. We pretended to be Will and Kate on their wedding day – it wasn’t too difficult with the many people there to serve as our witnesses! My favorite thing to see when I go to Westminster is Queen Elizabeth I’s tomb. It’s equally creepy and amazing. Shane really loved the Royal Air Force Chapel. It was really beautiful and both modern and classic – a lovely tribute to sacrifice.

Next was Churchill’s War Rooms – one of my favorite museums in London. It’s the preserved bunker from where Churchill ran England’s defenses/offenses in World War II. Shane loved seeing how the headquarters were set up – the maps, the way things were run…it’s all so interesting. My personal favorite is the transatlantic phone room – disguised as a toilet/WC. The dial always displayed “Engaged” leading passerby to believe it was just a frequently used loo…but it was actually Churchill’s means of communicating with FDR. Amazing.

After that, we took another jaunt up the river, killing time before one of my surprises for Shane…a champagne flight on the London Eye! It was dark when the flight started – perfect for seeing the lights of London – and the beam of light into the sky in tribute of the World War I anniversary. The capsule was full of couples doing the same thing – sipping champagne and enjoying the view. It was the perfect way to see London and experience the Eye. A fabulous cap to a marathon of a day!

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