Oh wow so I have gotten a little behind on my blogging. Oops! Anyway a few weeks ago I got to meet up with my lovely parents in London! It couldn't have been better timing because it was right in the middle of my time here and I was ready to see them again. I left on a Wednesday right after taking a midterm to get to the airport in time, talk about a stressful day. Traveling there went smoothly and I got to fit in a nap on the plane! I arrived pretty late at night so we just relaxed and got to bed so we could enjoy the day ahead.
Thursday I was woken up at the crack of dawn since I was with two early risers. My dad was busy all day with his work conference so mom and I decided to go explore the town. This was my third time being to London so we made it a more leisurely trip. We started the day with Starbucks!! I was so excited since Italy seems to be the only country on the planet that doesn't have a Starbucks. Unfortunately, they did not have Pumpkin Spice Lattes, which was what I was really craving. After getting our coffee fix we headed to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. I was quite crowded and it was hard to squeeze to the front to see anything. We watched that for a little bit before deciding to move on to our next adventure. Since I had been to London before, I decided I wanted to see the whole town again briefly. In order to do that, we hoped on a tour bus and rode around the city looking at all the major monuments again. It was a double decker bus and we chose to sit on the top even though it was pretty cold outside. After riding around for a while we decided we were too freezing to handle it anymore and hoped off at the Tower of London. This has always been my favorite place to visit while in London so I convinced my mom to tour it again with me. We did the usual tour with the hilarious Beefeater and then toured the Crown Jewels. That tour is always well worth it.
After we were finished we had to get to tea at Harrods. We took a cab but with the crazy London traffic it seemed to take forever! It wasn't too much a bother though since the London cab drivers are always so chatty. They are much different than Italian cab drivers. Once we arrived we had a little time to spare so we shopped around on all the floors and went through the food hall. Walking through the food hall is like a dream for me, especially the chocolate and cupcake areas. We finally made it up to tea and it was scrumptious! I always feel so classy and ladylike when drinking tea. The sandwiches, scones and pastries were to die for too! I obviously follow in my mother's footsteps by loving the English scones and clotted cream! Yum, yum, yum! What made tea time even better was the self-playing piano that was blasting Christmas music. I always say, it is never too early for Christmas music. Never.
I had been talking about seeing a Broadway show the whole time I had been in London and knew I wanted to see a musical. The only musical that was playing that I wanted to see (besides Wicked again) was Shrek: The Musical. We decided on a whim to go and get tickets to see it. It ended up being a pretty good musical, despite its corniness. Most of the singers were pretty decent and who doesn't live the story line of Shrek. Some of the songs seemed to sound very, very similar to songs in Wicked…hmmm. Tricking the audience into loving it eh? Overall, it was fun to see a musical but of course it made me miss performing (just like watching Glee does each week). After the show we just headed back to the hotel to meet dad after he was done with his work meetings. We headed around the corner to get a 4th meal at Lanigans. I had fish and chips; I had forgotten how good they are! We had a full first day and I was tuckered out.
On Friday my dad had more work meetings so mom and I planned to go on the London Eye and tour Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Both places were neat but pretty anticlimactic. One of the best parts was when we found a cute sandwich shop near the Globe Theatre. I had been craving a good sandwich for a long time. Italy doesn't really have normal sandwiches. We then walked along the river to the Borough market, which had delicious looking vegetables, fruits and pastries. We then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Rules, my family's favorite restaurant! I had a delicious butternut squash soup and fish and chips again of course. The food was scrumptious but I was already starting to miss my lovely, fresh, Italian food. I never realized how much butter is put on everything in most other countries. After dinner my family and I met up with some of my mom's friends for drinks. They were old friends from when she lived over in England for a year. It was fun to see them again, since I had not seen them since I was in junior high.
Saturday was the day we were heading out to the Windsor area to see the Le Marchands. They are also old friends of my mom's from when she lived in England. They have three daughters that are close to my age and we have always stayed in touch. We spent the day shopping and eating and walking around in the crisp fall air. It was a lovely, relaxing day to spend catching up with old friends. We ended the day eating a delicious meal of Lamb, potatoes and some delicious fruit crumble, all made by Lynne! We headed back to London after dinner because we had to catch a really early flight back to Rome the next morning. Overall, I had a fabulous weekend in London; I would say it is one of my favorite cities in Europe. I could visit there every year and never get bored!
More to come soon! I need to be more diligent!