November 8, 2013
At the London Eye chatting with “David Beckham”
England swings like a pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two,
Westminster Abbey, the tower of Big Ben,
The rosy red cheeks of the little children…
Lyrics from the song “England Swings”
By Roger Miller
Don’t get me wrong; my education from the Ames Community School District of Ames, Iowa, was excellent, truly excellent.
(Except for their misdirected, though well intentioned, decision to teach arithmetic via the “new math” method in the 1960’s, but that’s another story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Math , http://www.gocomics.com/peanuts/2012/10/02#.UnsPaJHc_wI)
But despite such educational advantages, my early mental images of London were mostly formed through the influence of Roger Miller’s catchy ditty “England Swings” and TV sitcom’s The Beverly Hillbillies’ visit to London in season six,(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD6DmCYjXXk) not from school lessons and textbooks. Yep, sorry teachers (As once one of you, I feel your pain.), but the media can impact more quickly and deeply than a laboriously well-planned, thought-out, multi-paged lesson plan. Over this past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to match the reality of London to my mental “canned” version. I am happy to say, that some of that version was actually correct, but there is so much more!
Though far from being Rick Steves, travel expert and host of the show Rick Steves’ Europe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5GKDUK0cLk), I have been blessed with the privilege of traveling on a few occasions to London, the land of the Union Jack. (…once for fun, but mostly due to my hubby’s work.) London is a great city, and to paraphrase my daughter, “I liked Paris, but I loved London!” I invite you to join me on a leisurely pictorial tour of London, as I revisit some of my favorite spots. (in no particular order. :o))
Martese-our daughter, myself-Annette, and my hubby-Dale
Starting out our visit to London by enjoying a tour via a double decker bus tour.
This was a great overview of London, and helped familiarize us with the city.
Big Ben is visible just over Dale’s shoulder.
The always-impressive Big Ben, with the Union Jack flags flying proudly
(…or as Roger Miller calls it, the Tower Big Ben)
I couldn’t help, but think of Disney’s Peter Pan when seeing Big Ben
Photo courtesy of Martese Hoffman Ehm
Big Ben in the evening
The Peter Pan statue in Kensington Garden
Photo courtesy of Martese Hoffman Ehm
Martese and the statue of Paddington Bear in Paddington Station
Paddington Bear is famous from the children’s books by Michael Bond.
We like to stay at the convenient Paddington Hilton located just beyond this statue.
London’s Tower Bridge on the River Thames
Chandler and Martese, our son and daughter, on the Tower Bridge at night
A quick photo with the local “Bobbies”/British Police
in Piccadilly Circus
(…although, not on bicycles as Roger Miller described)
Not actually a Ringling Brother’s type circus, the term comes from the Latin origin of circus, meaning, “circle”
due to the traffic roundabout situated there.
Piccadilly Circus is similar to New York City’s Time Square area.
Piccadilly Circus and double decker buses
An impressive display of pageantry at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
We were surprised at just how long this “changing” took.
It took more than the thirty minutes suggested in our guide books.
Near the Tube/Underground station, London’s subway
Me, outside of Harrods’s, after a nice lunch and a little shopping.
Note the British taxis to the right of the photo.
Martese and Chandler on the Tube/Underground
Me, having just gotten off the Tube/Underground (London Subway)
I am headed down the escalator outside
in a much different manor than Daniel Craig / James Bond in the movie “Skyfall”!
When in London, Harrods is a must!
Shopping and lunch at Harrods with Chandler, Martese,
and Dale (taking the photo).
We were surprised at the variety of dining choices at Harrods.
Martese and I love shopping at the UK’s Cath Kidston, too!
With daughter, Martese, aboard the London Eye
Admittedly, I was apprehensive about going, at first,
as I am not a fan of heights.
It was fun, not scary, and afforded us a wonderful view.
Chandler, on the London Eye
A view of Parliament, Big Ben, London from the London Eye
The London Eye along the south bank of the River Thames
When built in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world
at 443 feet tall.
No trip to London would be complete without fish & chips (fries)
and mushy peas,…
…or a crumpet!
My first crumpet was here at Harrods. Yum! :o)
Thank you for allowing me to share my London photos and memories with you.
I believe that it is time for me to say good-bye, and prepare myself “a spot of tea”. :o)
Thanks for reading! :o)
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London Phone Booth