Thursday, August 10, 2017

Travelogue: London (part 4): Buckingham, Hamley's, Posh Tea, and an Old Enemy

After our fun family times on Thursday, we were ready for some sightseeing over the next couple of days.

The scene while waiting for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

OUR LONDON TRIP

This post is part of the travelogue of our London Trip 2017.
If you'd like to read the posts in chronological order they are below.

Part 1:Travelogue London: Arrival
Part 2: Travelogue London: The Tower of London/Golden Hind/Play That Goes Wrong
Part 3: Travelogue London: Hampton Court Palace
Part 4: Travelogue London:  Buckingham, Hamley's, Posh Tea, and an Old Enemy
Part 5: Travelogue London: The Making of Harry Potter (coming soon)
Part 6: Travelogue London: 48 hours of very hard travel by train.

FRIDAY: BUCKINGHAM IS A BUST AND MY OLD ENEMY SPOTTISWOODE


Waiting for the Changing of the Guard
 We got up and got ready to go to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard.  It was supposed to happen at 11 am.  We got there early (about 45 minutes) and there were plenty of tourists waiting around, and we saw some Beefeaters on the inside of the palace.  About 25 minutes before the changing was supposed to start, we saw a coterie of Horses come by across the road, and we thought they were getting ready for the changing.

While we waited, we talked about our upcoming plans, including how to get our stuff over to the train station during the giant Bike London event that started the next day.  AA climbed the statue of Victoria in the center of the square while we waited.  It was quite sunny and beautiful and crowded.

Surely the guards would come and change soon!

More waiting for the Change. 
11 am came and went, and nothing.  11:30 came and went, and nothing.  Finally, Stephanie looked it up on her internet device and it turned out that they had changed the Changing of the Guard to 7:30 am.! There was going to be no ceremony for today!  We decamped quickly before the crowd discovered it and became unruly.  There were lots of Americans in the crowd, and we didn't want to get sued!

We then walked over to the Green Park next door to meet my other college friend Spottiswoode.  (I call him my enemy because his band is appropriately called Spottiswoode and His Enemies)  He and his daughter (age 1.5 or so) came to meet us in the park.  We walked around, had lunch, walked around some more in the park.  It was great to see him.  I've known him for 25+ years, we rarely see each other, but we manage to pick up where we left off somehow each time we see each other!

I did manage to get a photo taken with him, but it is on my wife's phone, so I may never see it! (and neither will you!)

Here's a picture of the statue of Queen Victoria instead.  She looks NOT AMUSED.
"We are not amused."



HAMLEY'S AND POSH TEA: LONDON TRADITIONS



We kept on walking and got over to Hamley's Toy Store, which bills itself as the finest toy store in the world.  It lives up to its billing! 7 floors of fun!


 (Spode and his young daughter left, as she had just fallen asleep, and the toy store was loud and full of surprises.)

We were agog with all of the cool toys.  Many of them were similar to our toys, but there were lots of other toys we had never seen before.  We bought a couple that they had on display.  They also had magicians and demonstrators on every floor, and their own brand of magic stuff.  AA got a magic set, of course, and some other stuff as well.

I highly recommend bringing your kid to Hamley's the next time you are in London.



What's on tap at Hamley's.

The queen and I have an audience. Or should I say, The queen was my audience!


Here's a sample Magic trick from one of Hamley's resident magicians!
Yes, we bought a magic set.



After Hamley's we had a  posh tea at Fortnum and Mason.  While it was not exactly what I was dying to do, my wife and son were really into it, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  As I have mentioned before, traveling with your family means a lot of compromises, because everybody has different things they want to do.  But the good news is, you get to experience things you might not otherwise experience!

Posh Tea was one of those things.  Basically, you go to a very fancy place with very fancy teas and all different kinds of sandwiches and little pastries, and you gorge yourself until you can't eat anymore.  It was fairly pricey, a very touristy thing to do, and yet somehow I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.  Maybe next time my wife suggests something I might not like (Mani/Pedi ?  RomCom?) I should take her up on it.

Fortnum & Mason has been doing this forever.  It works for them!

One of the fabulous sweets at Fortnum and Mason

My family is simply too full to even eat any more sweets!  (I on the other hand, was just very full.  I ate some more anyway.  :O(  

After High Tea, we went back to the room for a siesta.  Then we packed everything that we could into our 3 big suitcases and took a taxi over to St. Pancras and left them with the Left Luggage people there.  We then took a night bus back to our hotel, and got up very early for the next day's adventures.

The Making of Harry Potter! (see next post for that!)

1 comment:

writemy-essay biz said...

Reading this blog made me wish I could go to London too! Maybe, I will get to visit it sometime in the future, and if I do, I'd probably use this Travelogue as a guide (if I remember.)