Monday, 19 September 2011

American Suburbanite in London, Part II

It has taken me ages to get the master suite painted, infact, I have only taken a short brake to finally post again.  It is such a large open plan room, that I don't like having part unfinished and everytime I turn around, there is another surface to paint!  I have decided today will be a day for all things other than painting (mostly) and give my shoulder a bit of a break!

Last month we spent a couple of days in London while touring a bit of the South Coast.  Our first day was crammed full of activities, and our second day was much the same.   It was my husbands birthday, so we started off lazing around the hotel room where he opened cards and gifts.  He was about to pick up his electric razor when we decided to treat him a bit and let him get a wet shave.  Now that we have added a bit more to our day, we got dressed and headed out to take on the city.  

(c) ASRE  So Cute!
First stop, Primrose bakery.  I received their cupcake cook book as a birthday gift from my husband so we incorporated a visit to compare my baking to the original.  It was also a way for my husband to get a bit of birthday cake, even if it was for breakfast!  I have to say, I have not done too badly, first batch I made were spot on, second, not quite as good, but I know my mistake!  The originals were yummy, a bit sweet, even by American standards, but still not a bad breakfast.

(c) ASRE Tea, teacakes (toasting) and a cupcake for my husband
(c) ASRE Water (old habits) and 2 cupcakes for me :)

(c) ASRE
Our next task of the day, to find the barbers wet shave place we spotted the night before whilst walking around Covent Garden.  We soon found Murdocks,  but discovered they were booked for the day.  They must have seen how dissapointed we were and immediately suggested we tried another one of their shops.  Uncertain at first, we walked out the door and took a few steps, but turned around and booked into the Mayfair shop.  My husbands appointment was in an hour and it was only a short walk to Mayfair so we had a relaxing stroll, a nice change from our typical holiday where we are high paced and energetic much of the time.  My husband had a fabulous experience for his wet shave, and he looks forward to doing it again. 
(c) ASREA good look for my husband?

At this point we were famashed and had a quick bite to eat from the sandwich shop across the street.  You can just imagine English gentlemen on this street 100 years ago getting their shaves, stopping to have their suits made, and stopping in a similar shop for a bite  to eat.


Not much time to dilly dally before we were off for our bit of playing the tourist, off to the Tower of London.  On my first vist to London, we walked past frequently, but could not fit in a visit.  So again with our Tesco club card rewards, we were able to see an attraction with very little out of pocket expense.  We knew we were in for lines due to the timing of our visit (smack in the middle of school summer holiday), so prepared ourselves and headed in. 

(c) ASRE, photo from first visit to London
We started with a Beefeater guided tour, but there were so many people in the group, we wandered off on our own.  We quickly decided to get in to the loooong line to see the Crown Jewels.  I was quite impressed with how the line worked through many different rooms with different films and bits of history playing.  It is one of the few places in the UK that understand queing has to be as much of the experience as what you are queing for, seems they have taken a lesson from the numerous theme parks in FL and elsewhere acrosss the States. 
(c) ASRE I even managed a terrible towel picture!

We also visited the Torture Chambers where prisoners were stretched, squished and various other likes of punishment for their crimes.  It was very interesting to see to what extremes torture was considered acceptable. 

(c) ASRE Raven habitats and the entrance to the dungeon...
With little time left we strolled around and viewed the beasts of the Tower, some live some not live!  These very impressisive lifesize sculptures were throughout the Tower. 

(c) ASRE Lions, bears, monkeys, and even a partial elephant throughout the grounds

Our favorite animal has to be the live ones, the very famous Ravens of The Tower of London.  Legend has it if the Ravens leave the Tower of London the Kingdom of England and the Tower will fall.  While they were enclosed in habitats most of the time we were there, a pair was released with their Yoeman guard on one of the lawns as we were leaving.  It was a pleasure to see them out, although the crows would not agree!  For now, the Ravens stay and the Kindom of England still stands!

(c) ASRE

The night was capped off with a lovely Indian Curry for tea and then early to bed and early to rise... next stop Paris!

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