My Trip to London – Part Three

Welcome! This is Michelle, daughter number 3. Now that the blizzard is over and the weather has calmed down… Dad invited me to continue my guest blog about our recent trip to London:

Once again…we chose London for several reasons. I work for a subsidiary of American Airlines. American has a strong route network at London Heathrow Airport, flying directly to quite a few American cities. As employees, we travel on standby based on space available. Lots of flights mean lots of opportunities to find an empty seat or two. Another reason we chose London is because I’ve been there before. That was about 15 years ago, but at least I had a head start on my bearings. We flew from Grand Rapids to Chicago to London to get there and from London to Chicago to Grand Rapids back home. We were fortunate to find unsold seats on each of our aircraft.

Wednesday, we headed into town on the Piccadilly line. This time, we switched to the Jubilee Line to head to Waterloo and the London Eye. They do offer advanced bookings, but I wasn’t sure what time we’d get there because we were staying far from the city center, so we bought on site. Waiting has its drawbacks as well, so I don’t think there is a best way to do it. From the top of the eye, we can see St Paul’s Cathedral and a great view of the River Thames.

View from the London Eye – Giant Wheel (Ferris wheel, big wheel) – view of London with Big Ben on the right.
Here is the view from the top of the London Eye – here is Michelle (author), me (Bell) and Priya, also an American Airlines employee and Michelle’s friend, who came with us on the trip.

After Al Ain, we crossed Westminster Bridge. We tried 10 Downing Street, but it was blocked and we couldn’t see it.

St. James Park – Notice the waterfowl in the pond

Then we took a stroll through St James’s Park. Dad managed to order a sunny, warm October day in London, so we were comfortable in just our T-shirts. Leaves were mostly still on the trees and there were more than several species of waterfowl, as well as pigeons.

Bill in front of Buckingham Palace. There were hundreds (thousands?!) of tourists and everyone was waiting in line to have their picture taken at the main gate.

At the end of St James’s Park was Buckingham Palace. According to internet wisdom, Changing of the Guard is full of tourists, and you need to be there early to get a good view, so we didn’t try to do that. We took our pictures of Buckingham Palace.

Bill with apple juice at Pret a Manger

Next, we walked through Green Park before stopping for a refresher at Pret a Manger. Pret a Manger is everywhere in London! Try not to stop, you can’t. They have a similar presence in New York City. After a juicy toast to London, we moved on.

We went to Harrods, where I bought my husband Dan’s caramel, his favorite. As we continued to get around, we stayed virtually on track of the Piccadilly Underground line so that we wouldn’t have to change trains on the way back to Heathrow. We wanted an Italian restaurant, and found Pierino’s near South Kensington tube station. There was no empty table here. My dad had salmon salad, and I had spaghetti. We stopped at Trafalgar Square. Then we headed back to London Heathrow, having covered another 6.7 miles of walking on the second day.

Last post on our trip… hopefully it will be posted in the middle of the week.

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