Oh. My. Goodness. What a whirlwind! So Chris and I just said farewell to his parents who, luckily, we’ll be seeing again for our wedding celebration in Australia in just five months. This apartment always feels so sad and lonely when they leave.
While they were here we took a trip to London, Chris ran the marathon and we headed upstate for a little Magnanini Winery wedding celebration with my mom’s side of the family.
It was a fast and furious two weeks, to say the least!
And that’s why I’m a tad late on my London posting. Of course it’s nowhere near faded from memory yet, but I do like to get my thoughts down on the blog as soon as possible, so I don’t leave any details out.
So about that, it was late last Thursday when we left for our little journey ….
We had all decided that it would be best to catch an overnight flight to London so that we could spend all day Friday and Saturday putzing around before Chris ran his race on Sunday. So we hopped on our Virgin flight (very nice, by the way!), and ended up touching down around 7 a.m.
Before I go any further, I thought I’d give a little shout-out to some new travel products that I ended up using on this trip. Especially since I knew that we would be hitting the ground running on Friday morning (probably without even having a chance to check in at our apartment, since we’d be getting there so early), any face washing or make-up-putting-on I wanted to do would have to be done in-air. I had read about a couple of products in a magazine recently and decided to try them out … and I’m so glad I did.
- The awesome La Fresh Eco-Beauty Beauty Wipes for Tote & Travel provided me with individually sealed, paraben-free pouches of waterproof makeup remover, nail polish remover, instant body smoother, face cleanser, hand sanitizer and face cleanser. This means I got to wash my face both before passing out for the evening and upon waking up to de-plane. Essential when you’ll be making no stops before hitting the town.
- The second item I got was the Cabana Glama travel make-up kit from benefit, which comes with a mirror, bronzing power and brush, poppy-pink tinted lip & cheek stain, medium foundation and a triple eyeshadow palette. Everything worked beautifully, which essentially means I’m not ashamed to share any photos I was in that first day …
Anyway, moving on. After arriving, we left our bags at our house (the Connors’ hooked us up with an amazing two-bedroom apartment at the Clarges Street Apartments in Mayfair, which were amazing! Also, for anyone from Australia or the UK, Mayfair is, I’m told, the top of the Monopoly board for the games made in those places. Fancy schmancy!) We took a little bit of a stroll around then, stopping to meet up for lunch with some of Chris’s old friends.
After our quick tour along the Queen’s Walk and through the Westminster area, we headed back to the apartment to get ready to head to the Queen’s Theatre to see Les Miserables, which was my first time seeing it.
Friends, if you are ever in London and have a chance to see this amazing play, I highly, highly recommend it. It’s beyond beautiful.
The next day we had to get up early for Chris to head over to the expo to pick up his race bib. Marathon expos are always fun, because they’re full of such energy and excitement (and really fun running products to purchase!):
After picking up his bib, we headed over to catch up with our reservations at The London Eye. If you plan to take a go-round on this now iconic ferris-wheel type attraction, I’d honestly recommend making reservations to skip the line. If we hadn’t done so, we probably would have had to wait for hours and hours. Instead, we bypassed all that and hopped right on. Here’s a bit of what we saw …
After the London Eye we decided to wander a bit, and we happened upon the Embankment Cafe along the Victoria Embankment. It was a gorgeous place to grab some beer and food and sit outside in the sunshine:
After our drinks, we took in a few more of the sites before Chris and I headed home to relax and get dinner ready for his marathon the next day while his parents took a quick bus tour around the city:
And so we woke up Sunday morning to Race Day!!! Chris got all ready and headed to the start line at a little after 9 (his particular leg of the race started at 10 a.m.), and his parents and I set off to hike it around London with our map to catch him at the exact miles where Chris thought he might really need the cheering:
And although that husband of mine had just finished running a full marathon (in 2 hours and 52 minutes, no less!), you know he rallied and was able to meet up with some friends that evening at the Founders Arms, an awesome little bar/restaurant along the river Thames. We practically closed the place down that night:
On Monday we needed to catch our flight home around 2, so we planned to get up early, grab some coffee and breakfast and walk over to Hyde Park.
Of course, that was the original plan. However, on our way over to the park, we happened upon a row of Barclays Cycle Hire bikes, which are available throughout the city, that Chris had been interested in riding since the day we arrived and his friend mentioned them to us. So we did it. We grabbed four of the bikes and cycled our way around the city:
So about the bikes. It was the most fun ever to be able to rent them and drive around for a while, but there is a minor flaw with this bike system. Allegedly there is a map that you can see when you rent the bike that shows you where empty spots are available around the city to dock your bike again when you’re done, but unfortunately we didn’t know that. Instead we tried parking the bike a little closer to our apartment at a dock Cath had seen on the way to Hyde Park, but those were all used up. (It might be nice to provide a few extra bike slots at the rental areas around the city for those who wish to drop their bikes off at different spots from where they rented in the first place. Just a thought.)
We probably ended up taking an extra 20-25 minutes cycling around trying to find empty spots before returning back to the place we originally got them, running back to the apartment and very nearly missing our flight home. (Which, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have been so upset with.) So let it be a lesson to you all–if you happen to rent these bikes in London (which I would highly recommend), just be sure to double check the maps before cycling all around the U.K. to find a place to park.
Okay friends, that’s about it! Our London 2013 trip in a nutshell! It went by too fast (as it always does), but we really did manage to pack quite a bit in while we were there.
So next up, we’re off to Delaware next weekend for a wedding, then to Arizona on July 4th weekend to catch up with an old friend of mine from elementary school.
And lastly, I’ll leave you with this super fun (if I do say so myself) photo of myself and Chris from the party my mom and step-dad threw for us this past weekend in upstate NY.