Saturday, March 21, 2015

God Save the Queen

Today, we took on two of London's most famous attractions: Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. We've seen both of them before, so we got to set a fairly leisurely pace.

I was pretty excited to find Russell Crowe
in the tube station 
Me attempting to recreate Alyssa Campanella and
Torrance Coombs' selfie outside Westminster Abbey
Unfortunately, you're not allowed to take any photos inside Westminster Abbey. I quite enjoyed seeing Mary Queen of Scots' grave, lighting a candle inside the nave, and freaking out over all of the people buried and commemorated in Poets' Corner (Laurence Olivier, Lord Byron, the Bronte sisters...)

Then we took a quick cab ride over to the Tower of London...and headed straight for lunch! I had a delicious cottage pie and Hannah wolfed down some fish and chips. But she was mostly excited about her chocolate cake...

The Tower has a fascinating and very long history, as lots of it was actually built in the 13th century! At one time, it housed the royal menagerie...hence they have artistic renderings of some of the animals that lived there. It's somehow become my tradition to take a selfie with the polar bear.

I discovered the Snapchat filters by the Tower Bridge!
One thing the Tower is known for is being the site of many executions and a popular place to keep prisoners. Elizabeth I was briefly imprisoned in the Tower during her sister Mary I's reign and it was there that the "Two Princes of the Tower" were probably murdered by their uncle, Richard III (who is know known as the "car park king" because his remains were found last year in a parking lot). I always love seeing Traitors' Gate: it's the site where Anne Boleyn was brought by boat from Hampton Court Palace to await her execution.

A monument to honor the seven people executed near
this site, including Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard
After a long and crowded tube ride back, we finally found one of Carrie Hope Fletcher's Eponine photos in the tube station! It was one of the things that I most wanted to see in London so I was super happy.

One of the things that's been hilarious has been seeing how the maids will arrange Hannah's stuffed animals every day. Today, we found them like this:

For dinner, we went to our favorite restaurant in London: Taormina. It was an interesting evening, featuring an ambulance (not for us), a spilled plate of spaghetti (not at our table, thank goodness), and meeting the original owner's 15 year old grandson (it's a family owned restaurant) but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tomorrow is going to be a difficult day, as I have to leave two of my favorite things: London and my family. Doing either one is difficult, but doing both at the same time? Wish me luck. xx

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