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X & J go to London!

And now to begin my much delayed recaps of our adventures in the United Kingdom!

On an unusually cold Friday in May, I took Amtrak from New Haven to Newark Airport, while J came straight from work.  Our flight departed without any major delays, and J and I each took half an Ambien to help us sleep through the flight (except it didn’t quite work).  A little under 8 hours later, we arrived in Heathrow, where we found our way to the Underground Station, bought tickets, and hopped on the subway tube.  After an hour and one transfer, we popped back out at Blackfriar’s Station and walked a short distance to our hotel – the Club Quarters St Paul’s.  A shower and a change, and we were on our way!

See St Paul's Cathedral in the background?

See St Paul’s Cathedral in the background?

We walked across Millennium Bridge, then alongside the river for a bit.

Thank goodness for Google Maps.

Thank goodness for Google Maps.

Our first destination?  None other than Borough Market for some foooooood.  Lots of people, lots of good smelling food…and did I mention lots of people?

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J quickly spotted something that he wanted, so he got in line.

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Scallops!

Followed by a Portuguese egg tart:

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And then a Chelsea bun from The Flour Station:

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And because our eyes were too big for our tummies, we finished with a grilled cheese sandwich from Kappacasein:

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Why yes, those are stacks and stacks of soon-to-be grilled cheeses!

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Oh wait, but we weren’t done.  J got a meat pie (which we saved for later), and then noticed that I was beginning to look overwhelmed from the crowds and sleepy from jet lag and suggested that I pick up a coffee.

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While I was doing that, he ran to a shop next door and got a yogurt.

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And then we really need to get moving, for we had bought tickets for a 3:30pm tour of the Houses of Parliament.  We walked back along the river, snapping a few quick pictures along the way.

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Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

No pictures allowed inside the Houses of Parliament, but here’s one of Big Ben (except technically Big Ben is the bell inside the clock tower):

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After our tour, we walked along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square.  Did you know that drinking in public is legal in the UK?  J and I quickly figured that out when we saw everyone having beers by the fountain.  And so J picked up a Stella Artois cider from a nearby Tesco, which we enjoyed by the fountain.  Afterwards, J thought it might be a good idea for me to get a fleece or something, since I had clearly forgotten what 40ish degrees feels like and underpacked.  And so we headed to a H&M, taking in the sights along the way.  By this time, both J and I were getting low on energy.  After browsing H&M unsuccessfully, we decided to head back to the hotel (first on bike, but that was a bad idea, so we ended up taking the tube).

For dinner?  The meat pie that J had bought earlier in the day.  And then we fell fast asleep.  Day 1 complete!

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