London England Big Ben

London England got mixed reviews from my family

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We visited London late October thru Early November 2016. We were house sitting about an hour away and came to the city quite few times as a family and just as twosomes. We were around the area for 3 weeks in total.

Upon arriving in London Gatwick airport we had to take 2 Underground Trains and 1 above ground train to get to our House sit location. Read my post on how to get around London

It seems like it took us forever to figure out what the hell we were doing, what direction we were to go in and it was just chaotic. Finding someone to help us took quite a while and most people couldn’t be bothered.

Welcome to London!

Once we figured out what direction we had to go in we started hustling to get there as we were on a schedule.

While walking this fella and I stared at one another intently as we passed one another. He was odd and looked exactly like the guy in the picture – except he forgot to put the tape over his mouth.

Tape Face in London Underground
Tape Face in London Underground

Alex comes RUNNING up to me excitedly saying “THAT WAS TAPE FACE!”

I was like Who? No idea who this guy was but if he was famous it wasn’t surprising because definitely was magnetic. Maybe he thought I was famous too since he was staring back intently

The kids showed me some videos of him performing on America’s Got Talent. He was a lot of fun and has such a unique act. You should check him out.

Since we don’t rent cars we use public transportation to go everywhere when we can’t walk there. That means we took Subways, Trains, Trams, Taxi’s, Uber and walked our butts off. We didn’t take any buses for once since the Subways were perfect for our needs.

We traveled on 8 different Underground Train (Subways) lines and after the 1st day (which was super chaotic and confusing) we felt pretty confident by day 3. It’s not that hard to figure out once you get used to how things work, how to get around people and how you need to squeeze together and get up close and personal with people during peak hours. We have some TIPS to help you manuever as well as keep costs down while using the Trains and Subways on another post.

Of course we went to the typical tourist sites like Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, The Eye, Buckingham Palace, Leicester Square (make sure you pronounce it Lester!), etc.

Our favorite thing to do though is Eat our way through a town. We went to several Markets in search of awesome street fare and the Borough Market was our favorite.

We went there twice because of the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches we found at Kappacasein. Their Toasted Cheese sandwich in the Borough Market at the London Bridge was fantastic. It’s a must try! 4 cheeses, leeks and onions, on a thin brown Sourdough. Grilled to perfection. I couldn’t get enough. Go in search of Kappacasein if you are in London.

Kappacasein Toasted Cheese Sandwich
Kappacasein Toasted Cheese Sandwich
Raclette Cheese from Kappacasein

Shawn and Alex decided to also try the Raclette cheese and Potatoes the 2nd go round. Who can say no to grilled cheese?

Our son is a dancer and as such he’d been counting down the days and minutes until he could dance at Pineapple Dance. At 15yrs old he dances in all genres except ballroom – which he’d like to learn someday.

Pineapple Dance in London
Pineapple Dance

Anywho, many times either my husband or I would take Sam on the train into Central London so he could dance. Our daughter also dances but not at the same level Sam does nor the same range of dance styles.

Sam had amazing experiences and instructors at Pineapple and said he would go back to London in a heartbeat as it’s been his favorite place to visit thus far in our travels.

We all had very different feelings and experiences in London. Sam loved it the most. Not just because of dancing but he loved the vibe of the city, underground trains, the sights, sounds and just everything.

Alex didn’t care for London which is sad and interesting all at the same time.

She had always thought that London was going to be the place of her ‘people’. She’d dreamt of going there, breathing in the air and then saying – Ahhh, I’m home!

Alas… this was not to be the case. While Alex loves the hustle and bustle of NYC and Seattle there was something about London she didn’t care for.

People were so busy getting to where they were headed that most didn’t look up or at you or even acknowledge when they banged into you. We always said a passing “Oh, I’m sorry!” anytime we barely touched anyone but the same cannot be said for Londoners.

Whatever the reason, I think we need to go back for a ‘do over’ just to see if we have different feelings the 2nd time around for us – and the 3rd for her. She had actually went to visit a friend for the weekend in London when we were staying in Sheffield.

For Shawn, he liked the city but he too was maybe not in love like he thought he’d be. It’s not like anything in particular happened bad except we didn’t like the house sit we were in during our stay. It was very isolating and there was an issue with the home owners that was very nasty.

Anywho, we are thinking of coming back late Spring to see some West End Shows, get some more dancing in for Sam an to also head back to Ireland, Scotland and perhaps visit Wales since we never made it there.

We are Foodies but didn’t eat as many great foods as we had hoped to here. Again, maybe we need to come back to eat our way through the city.

Here are some of our favorite photos of our visit here. Sorry that this is one of my more lackluster posts on our travels.

Shawn and Sam headed to the Eye of London
Shawn’s picture of the City of London from up on the Eye
Big Mistake to choose to walk UP the Stairs at the Covent Garden Underground Station. They really should say how many steps there are to exit and that it’s 11 floors up without any exits. It was Insanely hard when you weren’t physically and mentally prepared. Alex VOMITED after we emerged. Good times London, good times
Trafalgar Square
He was thirsty…
Alex loves Kitty Cats
He made it up on the Lion
Trying to get off the Lion’s Butt
He did it!
Fun at Trafalgar Square
I give it a Thumbs Up
Buckingham Palace
The Gate at Buckingham Palace
Sam holding the Lions Balls at Buckingham
Boys trying to be proper Gentleman in front of Buckingham Palace
Leicester Square – The M&M Store. We were off by ourselves for a couple of hours and found this… And had to take a picture to rub the kid’s noses in it as they had wanted to go here
Big Ben isn’t really all that big

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