Ok, we didn’t actually do a tea party (although that was an option on my sister’s grand itinerary…not enough time), but we did have quite a party in this awesome city we adore.
Since I lived here for 3 1/2 years growing up, I have such a deep-rooted love for this place.  (Which is funny considering the last six months were pure misery for me!  So great how hard things can turn out to have the softest and most revered spot in your heart.  Lots more about our time there back HERE with links at the end to other posts with more details about that dreaded/glorious six months)  So it was extra exhilarating to have Elle by my side who grew her own awe and love last summer when she did her internship there.
Her excitement was tangible which made mine (and everyone else’s) even more that way.
We arrived to England on the train on a gloriously sunny morning.
That little pose was the best Claire could do to show we were in London, ha!

We were right at Kings Cross so we had to check out Platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter.  We weren’t willing to wait for our own special photo there because look at that line?!  Yowzas.  It was fun to watch those line-waiters-for-a-photo-op though…they sure came up with some pretty great poses, with a Harry Potter scarf and plastering themselves on the wall like they were stuck.

We took the beloved tube to Seven Dials near Covent Garden to unload our stuff at our airbnb (which was close to my sister Charity’s flat…we decided not to try to cram us all in her tiny one-bedroom flat).  It was such a joyous reunion with that great girl of ours, especially since we got to “meet” her sweet baby bump for the first time and soak her in in her new home-town:

Oh man, so exciting!

She took us on her “epic walking tour” of London and it didn’t disappoint.

Stopped to see these amazing musicians at COVENT GARDEN near where we were staying:

I have to put the video in here because wow.

We were in London at the perfect time, we found out that day, because the coming weekend was the celebration of the Queen’s birthday (her birthday was actually back in April, but they waited for us for the grand celebration. ha!  Much more on that soon because it was our favorite).

So everything was decked out special for the birthday festivities.  All the main streets were lined with British flags.


Grumpy tourist had to pretend he wasn’t overly impressed…

We let Charity join in our jump.

Next we walked by TRAFALGAR SQUARE (which unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of since it was being set up for a special event).

We checked out BIG BEN:

…and I’m pretty sure there is a rule that you must take a total tourist picture when you’re in that spot.

We walked by the HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT:

…and on to WESTMINSTER ABBEY in all it’s glory:

We saw the LONDON EYE:

Excited because we knew we’d be going up in that thing in a couple days.
And we ended our day with a stop to explore Charity’s London apartment:

…had dinner at a delicious spot called Nandos.

And then let Charity join in our traditional night-card games.

(Her husband had late meetings so we didn’t get to see him until the next day.)

The next morning we headed to BOROUGH MARKET…

…because rumor has it they had the best donuts on the whole planet.

I’m not a donut kind of a girl, but everyone else was pretty enamored by those puppies.


…where we met up with Elle’s friend Sophia who she stayed with her first few days when she came last summer.

We fell in love with that girl and loved that she stayed with us overnight…wish we could have kept her the whole time!

We visited the TOWER OF LONDON

…and had a grand tour from one of the “beefeaters” there:

Charity took everyone but Lu and I on a bike tour over to KENSINGTON GARDENS

The bikes were too big for Lucy (much to her dismay) so I took her on a double-decker bus to meet them, which helped her cheer up.

We checked out Kensington Palace:

And then got to PORTOBELLO ROAD only in time to see everyone packing up their goods for the day, gosh darn it!

But we did see this gigantic rose bush which made the trip worth it.

…and added Sophia to our jump:

Apparently we also added another “grumpy tourist” to our mix:

Charity, Claire and I split off to see the Church Hill Arms pup I’d been wanting to see ever since Char posted pics of it on Instagram.

Check this place out:

Does that explain more why I wanted to go?  Isn’t that a magical spot??

And then we met up for dinner at Covent Gardens where we finally got to see Ian (Charity’s husband).

That night they both joined us for cards and it was so great to catch up.

Love those two…and that new little baby who has now made his grand arrival!

To be continued (again).  Happy Monday!

Similar Posts


  1. Oh Churchill Arms! I drove by that every Sunday on the way to church. They have AMAZING Thai food there! My family and I lived there for 6 months while my husband did study abroad for BYU. Did you see my heart? I left a piece of it near Bayswater and Palace Court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *