Our first full day in London. It is so fun that Heidi and her whole family are here in Europe at the same time as us! We decided to head over to Buckingham Palace to see the Royal Mews and the changing of the guard together.
Robin woke up at 4:30. Jet lag is hitting us. I actually woke up around that time too. It was already light outside. She tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. So around 6:30 Erik headed out for a walk with her. The other kids got up around 8-ish. We went over to the Georgian House Hotel lobby and then down to the basement for the breakfast that came with our apartment rental. We had lots of choices, from a full English breakfast (which I got) to pancakes or croissants or fruit and toast.
After that, we got on a bus toward Buckingham Palace. We took a short tour of the Royal Mews, which is the working stables for Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, most of the horses were out getting ready for the changing of the guard ceremony that happens every morning around 11:30. But we saw many of the ceremonial carriages that are housed there. It turns out that 150 people live in this area of Buckingham Palace and help the stables run smoothly. We had met up with Heidi and her kids. So we spent the next few hours together.
We had a front row view outside the gates. But it was a drawn out affair. My favorite part is just the red and black uniforms and pageantry. After that, we headed through Green Park toward a bus and went to Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. We wanted to let the kids play for awhile. So we found the Princess Diana memorial park near Kensington Palace and the kids played for awhile. We found some sandwiches and pizza and drinks. It was fun to be there with the Mickelsens.
Heidi and her kids headed off to Westminster Abbey, and we decided to go see the grounds and take a tour of Kensington Palace. I have never been there. The palace was interesting, the exhibits were very creative. This is the palace where Princess Diana lived most of the time. When we were nearby a helicopter came in and then took off. Prince William and Kate live here sometimes too. Queen Victoria lived here when she became queen and reigned for years.
All throughout the exhibit they had recordings that told about secrets from the palace. So we would sit down and listen to the recordings that told of tragedy and loss and royal intrigue.
There were interactive exhibits and people playing card tricks. Very entertaining.
We relaxed in the park, spent some time talking about how we can all be kinder and more respectful to each other, and then decided we needed a change of pace. So since we had just started using our 6 day London pass we noticed there was a bowling alley nearby where we could play a free game of bowling on our pass. It seemed like a good diversion from walking and touring.
We found the tube back, grabbed some cereal and milk and croissants and Hobnobs to take home, and headed back to our apartment. Maybe after tonight we will be over jet lag. Tomorrow is Harry Potter Studio tour!