Friday, December 7, 2012

You Are a Very Beautiful: London Day 4

He was finally with me! We actually ate breakfast together and he soon learned to love my map as much as I did (do NOT deny that you mocked me a little for that map at first T. Love)

I waited to do all of the major sites in London for when I was with Tom. It was worth the wait. Today was our, "see and do all of the things that London is famous for" day. And ohhhhhh brother, did we ever pack it in. It...was....AWESOME! This is how Brannings do trips: whirlwind, don't miss anything tours.  Which I have found is NOT the way that Morrills prefer to do trips. Poor husband.  It helped that it was a ridiculously beautiful day, or at least it was after the clouds burned off when we left the Tower of London. It seems only fitting that a place as infamous as the TOL had what we would consider gloomy weather around it. Yikes. I feel ya Anne Boleyn.

So, we started the day with the Tower of London. It was unreal. We didn't know what to expect, so it was always a great surprise after another. A bad surprise? The cost of admission: 25 pounds a person! Barf. I almost started another American Revolution with those prices. Still worth it? Yeah.

The crown Jewels were something to behold. I am not much of a jewelery person, but even I got a little Gentleman Prefer Blondes in there. We actually went through the conveyor three times and got tricky with the security guards...and STILL the picture quality was horrible. Shucks.


The rest of our time was spent touring the different towers, and for some morbid reason I was really excited to see the torture chambers...afterwards I wasn't. The Rack got very real for me. After that we toured all of the war-y stuff, such as medieval (and modern) armor, swords, guns, cannons. And I have to say, Henry the VIII's psyche is not difficult to understand when you see his sword. Uh oh, compensating for the fact that you couldn't produce a son and killed all of your wives much? I think so.
O, Henry!...I mean, oh brother!
King Henry VIII's 'burly' Armor 
Because these places wouldn't be complete without Sean Connery, I mean dragons..

By the time we got to the top of the tower on this one, I realized that it was going to be a loooooonnnng walk down a small spiral staircase...a little too late. I swear we walked down - spiraled down - this stone staircase for an hour. Tom led the way, and I got nauseous - seriously nauseous - and right at the end I exclaimed to Tom's amusement, "Just shoot me in the face already!" right as we walked into the artillery room. And there was a cannon, staring right at me. The universe was happy to oblige. And Tom was happy to take the following pictures.

And from there we had enough of the Tower of London. We took our first real couple picture with Tower Bridge that ended up being a little blurry and little dark....but alas, there it is. 

And then we were hungry and ready to get to Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster, etc. Tom had promised me REAL fish and chips for a week, so I was pretty much ready for the experience when he took me to this place right outside of Big Ben and Parliament (it actually faces it). It was the best fish and chips I've ever had...ever. 

The funny story about Big Ben (and the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, unfortunately) was that I didn't know I was about to see it when I did. Tom was very good, or at least very lucky, in the way that he would spring it on me. We got off the tube stop and he says, " Quick! Look up!" I did, and I said, "Oh, cool!" I had NO idea I was looking at Big Ben...I couldn't see to the top I guess. So then we get all the way to the restaurant and he turns me around and says, "Pretty neat huh?" I turn around and jump, "Whoa! There's Big Ben, Tom!" D'oh!

One of my favorite shots of the whole trip. Love the motion. 

This next one captures the moment pretty well. This is 10 seconds after I realized it was Big Ben...

I pretty much fell in love with Parliament and Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I won't lie: my love of Kate Middleton got the best of me.  When I tried to do the royal Princess wave like Kate outside of Westminster, Tom REFUSED to take a picture of me, and seemed to be avoiding me. I have no idea why? Isn't that what cool people do?

The history of this place almost overwhelmed me. It still does.

After Westminster we took in Parliament at dusk. Incredible. It was serene and almost romantic if I could have stopped talking about Sherlock Holmes.  

But of course, we had no time to dilly-dally since I bought us tickets to see at least ONE show in the West End. And since Tom had not ever seen this show, it was the show we HAD to see. The tickets were a total steal...criminally cheap. They were 'wicked' awesome you might say. 

I have now seen Wicked three times and Tom really enjoyed it for his first time. He'd like to see it again with American actors so that he can feel/hear the difference when it comes to the accents. "Dancing through Life" became, "Dahhhncing Through Life." We loved it. Great cast, great voices, great night, great day. 

Basically we died ourselves to sleep that night. We were pooped and Tom's cold was just beginning to unleash it's evil wrath. And I just remembered that we ordered the funniest dinner from room service that night because I was being obnoxious to Tom. It was this mishmash of everything the kitchen could put together at that late hour.

The next day was our own mishmash and a lot of fun. Stay tuned because we move HOTELS all the way to the other side of London! Oooooooh. 

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