In true Rice fashion, we set the “leave flat” time at 10ish and we left at 11.
We set off to the tube station and went to through many stations to the Tower of London. What is this tower, my American friends ask? It’s pretty much where all the beheadings happened during the 17th and 18th Century and where the Crown Jewels are held. At the Tower, one can see the the jewels, Bloody Tower and a bunch of creepy ravens. There is also a supposed creepy torture museum that was too much for my mom and sister. If there are any Mary Kate and Ashley movie fans out there, this is the museum where they go with their British boyfriends in Winning London. So I guess the “scavenger’s daughter” is to be seen during the next trip.
After some brief souvenir shopping and contemplating buying a Henry VIII and wives ornament set, we get yet another coffee break at Pret A Manger. The Rice girls seriously need to write a thank you note to this Panera-esk restaurant. It’s super healthy and has gluten-free options, but kinda pricey. But hey, any place with free WiFi is a place for me. We then looked up how to get to the Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, which didn’t matter because we inevitably got lost anyway, and on we went!
There were so many people good Lord. Now granted it was in the more “touristy” side of town, but gosh so many people walking here and there and bumping into you. Weirdly enough, Allison ran into one of her cheer friends who is here to perform in the New Years Day parade. A city that has collectively 8 million people in it and Allison finds her one Houston friend. Truly baffling. We walked with him and hit all of a sudden BOOM Big Ben.
It is so much cooler in person. I personally didn’t realize there is so much detail in the clock and thankfully we were there on the hour so we heard the massive GONG ring through the city. After countless selfies, we walked toward Westminster Abbey and just missed the last tour. Bummer. But the gift shop had possibly the funniest gift of all time, and we are for sure going back just to buy it because we were stupid enough to leave it behind. It was a coffee mug with Henry VIII and all of his wives and as soon as you put hot water in it all the wives disappear. Absolutely genius. And at the Abbey gift shop of all things.
Then dinner time and after getting lost (again) and walking for what felt like five miles, we caved in and got a cab and found this random restaurant near St. James Place and Piccadilly. It was at the end of the street, but it turned out to be super nice with phenomenal service and have decent food. I got fish and chips because “when in London…” and they were really great about getting actual good gluten-free options for my mom and sister. It’s called Le Caprice if anyone is in London and wants to try it.
Tonight is our West End night where we saw Shakespeare in Love. It was a little slow in the beginning, but Act II was hilarious. I mean I was crying a little in my seat it was that funny. It mirrored the movie very well, so if you are a fan of the film try to see the stage production. It may only be in London, but details, details. And after getting lost (that’s the third time folks) we made it safely to our flat and now can’t sleep. Jet lag is a mysterious thing.
Shoutout to the guy who photobombed us. Sneaky.