For those of you who didn’t know, my parents grew up and met in England. They were happy in England until they decided to come to Canada to have a better life and gain more career opportunities in 1990. Most of their friends and family members still live in England, save for my mom’s mom who lives in Grenada and a few people on my dad’s side who are sprinkled around the world. Every so often, we go to England to do a big tour of Greater London to see friends and family, but we hadn’t been since 2005. Thus, we decided to pick up and leave at the beginning of October, and we were there for just over two weeks. We didn’t get to see everyone, but we did a pretty good job of seeing most of the people we wanted to see and somehow balancing some touristy time in there, too. The tourist stuff was really more for me, as they grew up there, they already know the place! However, I barely remember the first two times I went, so I was really looking forward to taking loads of photos and actually being able to recall the people and places my parents talk about on an everyday basis.
I’ve been meaning to share some photos of our trip with you, but seeing as I took over 1700 photos in a 15 day span (WOW), it’s taken me a while to comprise a group of my favourites. However, we’re finally here! Again, due to the sheer number of them, I’m going to break this into two parts…just to save you and your computer from that frustration, haha! Anyways, without further ado, here are some of my favourite moments from my trip to London, in no particular order. 🙂
Our flight out of Canada got delayed by about an hour, so we were given some more relaxation time at the luxurious gate (that felt a lot more like a lounge). This was by far the nicest airport gate I’ve ever been in; there were iPads everywhere, nice, comfy seats to lounge on and you could even order food directly from your table using the iPads! As it was almost 1 am at this point, most of our fellow travelers were taking the extra time to sleep or to eat, but not me, no. Your girl was busy catching up on some quality blog reading! 😀
Photographed above is the view from our hotel after we moved rooms THRICE (long story, I’ll save that for another time). It was beautiful because an old airport was not too far in the distance and we could always watch tourists going to visit it.
We went to THE Oxford Circus to do some shopping, of course…
…and apparently it’s the year of the bus in England! Who knew!?
In our two week stay, I went on the underground A LOT and by the end, I was beginning to master the super complex map, zones and stations of Greater London. Whenever I shared my newfound pride of getting to know the underground with my extended family or family friends, they’d always laugh and ask, “don’t they have an underground in Canada?!” My answer is…well, kind of embarrassing. Yea, the major city closest to me does have an underground (subway), but it has a total of four lines and 69 stations, which is quite frankly, comical when compared to London’s eleven lines and two hundred and seventy stations. Then again, London’s population is MUCH larger than a lot of the bigger cities in Canada, so I guess there’s that to consider, as well. Anyways, my family and I went to Waterloo station on one our last days in the UK and I must say, it was my favourite! It was super modern, clean and like something straight out of a 007 movie. Plus, they had super cool glass doors between the trains and the platform to protect people from falling (or getting pushed). My dad informed me that this isn’t revolutionary, and that when he went to China 3 years ago, they had this in place at most stations, but I’d never personally clapped my eyes on one until then, so it was pretty darn cool to me!
The above photo was taken when I was on the London Eye and absolutely love it! It’s not perfect, because you can kind of see the reflection of the glass in it, but to me it’s the quintessential London photo. You have the dreary day, the bus in the left hand corner, the signature black cabs behind the bus, a snapshot of the River Thames, and of course, parliament and Big Ben. Going on the Eye was amazing and I was super happy I dragged my parents there against their will (haha, just kidding…kind of), because they enjoyed it too, despite my mom’s fear of heights (it goes at a snail’s pace and doesn’t rock like most ferris wheels)!! I only wish I had a chance to go on it at night…I bet the view would have been breathtaking!
Oh, and here’s a panorama shot of one side of London for your viewing pleasure…
…and a shot of me on the Eye! 😀
Food in England and Paris was UNREAL. Seriously, I think I gained about 10 pounds in two weeks. Food doesn’t get better than when you’re on vacation, anyway, but when your parents and you make a list of food you must eat before you go because they are ex-pats and they can’t get the same food in Canada?! It’s much, much worse. Or more amazing, whichever way you want to swing it, haha. I might even make another post in the future just about the food…YEA, it was that good!
The best food in England was actually the cakes and the sweets (which you will see a snippet of below), and baking supply sections in the department stores are WAYYY better than they are here in Canada (gotta store all the good stuff in an appealing way, you know!). I took loads of photos of the creative, cute and/or GENIUS cake, cookie and sweet tins, but the one below is my favourite!
Always. On. The. Same. Page.
I think I actually would have bought this bad boy as I actually love to bake myself, but the size of my suitcase wouldn’t allow it. -.- Boo.
Fish and chips in London. Need I say more!? #impeccable
The very famous black cabs outside of a train station! We actually rode in a couple of black cabs and trust me when I say that they are worth the hype. I felt like a movie star in the back of one of those things!
Remember that list of food I mentioned earlier? My mom LOVESSSSSSS Polos (a brand of mints) but can’t get them in Canada anymore. Thus, when my dad and I saw them one day when my mom was at my aunt’s house, my dad grabbed a huge bunch and bought them. Happy doesn’t describe my mom when she saw the eight (8!) that we delivered to her!!
We also went to Margate, a cute little seaside county one day and some of my favourite photos from the whole trip were taken there. They are some of my favourites mainly because it was sunny, but also because we had some really good family moments on this day trip. Yay!
While on our trip, I learnt a valuable lesson: don’t travel to Europe in October. It was always, and I mean always, raining. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it rained 13 of the 15 days we were there. Yowza. However, as much as I absolutely cannot stand rain, it made for some pretty sick rainbows…
…and speaking of beautiful things in nature, we were lucky enough to have watched a few amazing sunsets while in England…
…and even see some awesome cars! Okay, okay, that’s not nature related, but I’ve really never seen so many pastel/funky coloured vehicles in my life! My favourite, though, was this pink Fiat 500 that I saw at least 7 or 8 times! 😀 #pinkloverforlife
Finally, we have Coughlans Bakery, which was a favourite of my parents’ as they grew up in England. They even told me that when they were teenagers, a lot of their “dates” would include a trip to Coughlan’s. It is unbelievably cool to be able to see where your parents got their start at life, and I loved stepping inside Coughlans and being able to taste a bit of the past.
Plus, the food’s not half bad.
Oh my goodness, I’m totally kidding, the cakes from Coughlans were beyond amazing. Delicious cakes and cookies that literally melt in your mouth?? Yea, that’s what I’m talking about!
Pictured above is just a little section of the Halloween section at Coughlans. One thing I learnt while I was in England is that the Brits sure do love their Christmas, as most stores already had their decorations in full swing by the time we left and some stores even began playing Christmas music. So, that being said, can you imagine what the Christmas section of Coughlans looks like right now!? OMG, take me back, please…. *starts dreaming of mouthwatering morsels of chocolate chip cookies and peppermint sandwich cakes….mmm…..*
So, there you have it! I’m sorry if you expected more from this post, it was really hard narrowing down my favourite moments from 1776 photos (!). However, I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the photos that you did, and I will be back super soon with part 2, which will feature more of London’s greatest sights.
Have a wonderful day, friend!
ps – thank you to all of the people in the past who sacrificed yesterday for our freedom today. You and your bravery will never be forgotten. ♥ Be grateful this Remembrance Day. #lestweforget