Chris and I went to London this past weekend and it was with purpose. We were finally going to see family! We've been away from the states for over a month now and this was like a little breather before our Christmastime return for two weeks (Two months to go!).
We arrived at night to the same place where Harry Potter first boarded a train for Hogwarts. (Sorry. The kids movies just came flooding back as soon as we stepped off the train. Peter Pan, Harry, and others seemed to be everywhere I looked.) It took us a good 45 minute walk through the streets to find our hotel and meet up with the Maloneys and it was pretty cool to experience the night life first thing. I still can't get over being in places that I've only seen in pictures, movies or tv shows before now. I'm not taking it for granted for a minute. We ate a quick bite and I had my first English hot chocolate (pretty good but no whipped cream to be found anywhere, so Belgium's got them beat there).
Notting Hill was our first destination in the morning since Chris' dad had to work during the day and it was the market we were heading to, (lots of shopping), probably something he didn't mind skipping.
Turns out the market we went to was Portabello Road. It was chock full of real WWII bomber jackets. stamps, tea cups and saucers, and anything you might need from the past. It also had a pretty great food section where we found some Belgian waffles. Chris and Mom split one and he verified that it was pretty close to authentic. We arrived there between 10-11am and it looked as though it was still being set up. I guess in Europe we're early risers.
The rain held off while we walked and browsed, it was such a beautiful area. If I had to live in London, I think this might be close to a perfect spot. Probably not the best locale for my wallet though. I'll show you the treasures I found in an upcoming post.
Everywhere we've gone we're surrounded by scarf-clad men and women. Less so in London but still, they're e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. I did buy one on the weekend but not from the place on the left. Wait til you see it. Wait, though, seriously, I'm not showing it to you today. I would have loved to get the shirt on the right for my sister but alas it was a little too expensive for a shirt covered in Bean. (I'll keep my eyes open though, Megs)
In the middle is the interior of what was at one time the Travel Book Shop for the movie Notting Hill. If you haven't seen the movie and you're a girl, you should. If you're a guy, just ignore the next two sets of photos because you won't care.
Here are two shots (1,2) from the film, the locales as they were then.
And today ^ They changed the name from "Travel" to simply "Notting Hill" because honestly, the movie is outdated by now and it's not profitable to only sell travel books. The right side is where the interior was filmed. It took us awhile to find the second of these two gems. I actually stumbled across the exterior one by chance because the little white car grabbed my eye and then I noticed what it was parked in front of.
Oh my gosh. These boots. I'm hunting them through ebay, etsy and more to get a better price but I love them. Too cute.
To head back to the hotel we walked through Hyde Park and stopped to take a look at Kensington Palace. I'd like to go back in the months when Buckingham Palace is open. I wish we'd been here when it was open and Kate's dress was on display. Her dress was my dream dress. (Too bad the Queen didn't like the display) It started to rain as soon as we passed Kensington but we still took the long way through the park to see as much as we could.
With that I'll end the post to give you all your own breather and bring more tomorrow from our tour of the sites. See you then!