London has been calling my name for quite some time now. I’m not sure why, it just has. So, when I decided to take a two week vacation to visit Europe, I decided to add London to the mix. I thought this would be a great place to start. This was going to be a world wind for my daughter and her friend.
We started our day at 3:00 am to catch the train to Chicago. The plan was to get some sleep on the train and enjoy the day in the Windy City before we had to catch our flight. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much sleep. When we got to the train station, we put our luggage in storage while we explored the city. It was my daughter’s friends first time so had to go see the Bean and Navy Pier and then anything else we could fit in before we caught the plane (we tried the Skydeck at Willis Tower, but the line was way too long).
Now here is where the excitement begins. We get to the airport about two and a half hours before our flight, we get to the counter to get our boarding passes and they tell us our flight has been cancelled. Thankfully, they told me that our flight has been booked with another airline. The downside is it is in another terminal. Anyone that has been to O’Hare knows how huge that place it. We hop on the tram to the next terminal and go to the next counter. I get up to the counter and hand them my passport and they do not find me in their system. At this time, I’m starting to freak out. My daughter’s friend hands her passport over and they found her and my daughters. I’m thinking “where the hell is my ticket to London?”. My daughter reminded me that I had an email from the original airline. I totally forgot about this with the busy day of fun we were having. I went to sit down and look for the email. There it was…an email from the original airline. They booked me on one flight and my daughter and her friend on another. By this time, the girls had just about enough time to get through security and get to their plane. My plane was leaving about two hours later. This is the only option we had at this time. I had to hop on tram again to go to another terminal to get to my flight. All went fine there. The girls were going to be in London for two hours prior to my arrival. My daughter has traveled with me many times, so she knows what to do. However, this was a first time without me and me being a mother, I was worried. I didn’t get much sleep on the plane. I had ordered wifi, so I could track the girls plane and make sure it landed safe. Yes, I’m that mom.
I land at Heathrow and text the girls to let them know where to meet me. We met at the underground since we landed in different terminals. One of the reasons I chose Heathrow is because of the underground. This will take you all the way into the city center. There is two other airports in London, but neither of those have it. Before we got on the subway, we got our Oyster Pass for our stay. The hotel I chose was right across the street from the underground, Megaro Hotel. I booked this hotel so it was close to both the underground and the train station that was planning to take me to my next destination after London. I didn’t have to worry about any other type of transportation because of this.
We knew we wanted to see a Broadway show while in London and because of our short stay, the day of arrival is the only day it was playing. We got dress and headed over to the show. We went to see The Lion King. Let’s just say, we were all so tired, we left at intermission. Our heads were nodding off during the show. What we saw of the show was fantastic. One day, I will go back and stay the whole time.
We got back to the hotel and I think all of us were dead to the world for the next eight hours. We did not get much accomplished on our first day there, except see a beautiful sunset from our room.
The next day, we were all refreshed. We were ready to conquer London. We hopped on the train and headed to Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace is a beautiful place. To be honest, I expected it to be bigger, but I still enjoyed seeing it. Next trip, I will watch the changing of the guards. I heard that is a must see. Since we only had a day and it was too early, we decided to miss it.
When crossing the streets, you will have to make sure you look on the correct side of the road before crossing. Thankfully, the streets remind you.
After having breakfast, we walked around and seen Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and that area.
This is where we found the bus for the hop on/hop off. We stayed on here to learn some history. A few of the things we saw were The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, The Royal Courts of Justice, and this is just to name of few things.
We got off the bus at Tower of London and Tower Bridge. We wanted to see the Royal Jewels at Tower of London. The line was a little long, but it was nice to see the crowns jewels that go back to the 14th century. They even show video footage of when Queen Elizabeth became Queen back in 1952. You can check out some of the prison cells too. We walked around the property before catching a transportation bus.
Our next destination was going to London Eye, but taking public transportation. Wasn’t the best idea. We started going the right direction, but we didn’t get off the bus on time. We ended up taking another bus to take us another direction. By this time, we were lost. So, I decided we needed to get off the bus. After we got off the bus, we asked some locals the direction to the Eye. It was about a mile away. We decided to make this a little adventure by renting some public bikes. To be honest, I can’t tell you if we were supposed to ride our bikes on the sidewalk or the street. We did a little of each and people driving on the other side of the road, was a little nerve wracking.
We made our way in one piece to the London Eye. We bought our tickets in advance and the lines were still a little long. We finally got onto the Eye and there were some great views AND some rude people. This ride is a 30 minute ride and some people do not have any consideration. We got bumped and pushed so people could take pictures. I would still do it again though.
After we got off the Eye, we decided to eat. We tried this little fast food fish and chips next door. It was time to walk it off. We enjoyed and stopped to take a few pictures on the bridge. We were enjoying ourselves a little to much with the pictures.
We walked to an underground to get back to the hotel. It was time to pack so we could get on the train to our next stop on this two week world-wind.
I hope you enjoyed my story. We made the best of this trip with the short stay we had. I will be going back in December for a few more days to enjoy it. Please leave comments below on places I need to see when I go.