D A Y 1
[First impression of London – I mean, WHY can’t our taxis be this adorable?! I already love this city.]
[Then, the unthinkable happened. I took this picture literally minutes before a drunk homeless guy came over and spilled his alcohol all over my pants. Like, I’m not kidding you when I say I reeked of alcohol and my pants were drenched. Long story short, it led to new pants from Zara and … ]
[… finding this place, The Cockpit. We ended up missing our pub tour we’d booked, but instead we found this pub that was so quintessentially English it was amazing. There were no tourists, Rugby World Cup was on the TV and most importantly, the beer was flowing. Probably our favorite place from the entire trip.]
[Pub stop #2. We just decided to make our own pub tour.]
D A Y 2
[Our Rick Steve’s recommended hotel was so adorable. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Not to mention we had a full, traditional English breakfast every morning. Not pictured: The baked beans that came with this and were SO good. (For breakfast! IKR!) Pictured: The most amazing bacon and grilled tomatoes you’ve ever had.]
[Tower of London, Crown Jewels and adorable husband – check!]
[And awesome views of the Tower Bridge – check!]
[My favorite thing we did in London was the Sunday afternoon church service at Westminster Abby. The choir was PHENOMENAL. I’ve never heard anything like it before in my life. Also, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Will + Kate got married here, sooooo that was pretty cool.]
[Favorite photo from the trip! Thanks random strangers from Chicago. <3]
[Next up – The London Eye. Which I did not like. So I promptly rewarded myself with ice cream. And as mom later reminded me, she always use to reward me with ice cream too.]
[After a loooooong day of walking, we decided to stick near our hotel for dinner. Come to find out the restaurant literally right next door was highly rated on Yelp. We both had great meals, but it was the dessert that left an impression. This orange creme brulee was TDF. Tiny, but TDF.]
D A Y 3
[Waiting with thousands of other people for the changing of the guards!]
[And the wait was totally worth it. Next time I have to go in Buckingham Palace!]
[Churchill War Rooms was Kyle’s favorite thing from London. It was literally the secret, underground bunker Churchill used during WW2, and it was fascinating.]
[Not Pictured: The National Gallery museum – highly recommend!]
[Tower Bridge selfie on our hop-on, hop-off tour bus! We loved this. It was a great way to see the city and fun to sit on top!]
[Dinner: The Thomas Cubitt
This may sound crazy, but this was the best soup I’ve ever had in my life – white onion + thyme with wilshire truffles and croutons. Like, I can still remember exactly what it tastes like, and I’m not even a soup person. Also, our appetizer got messed up and instead we got smoked quail, and surprisingly it was delicious.]
D A Y 4 – L A S T D A Y I N L O N D O N
[Kew Gardens was just gorgeous, and the weather was so perfect. My pictures don’t do it justice (and of course I took like a million.) But I had to share this one of the peacock that just walked right in front of me on the path – it was incredible! We were like, where are we?!]
[Mid-morning cake + cappuccinos.]
[Not Pictured: Victoria + Albert Museum – also highly recommend!]
[One thing we did not get to do that I really wanted to was go to Notting Hill (I will just have to re-watch the movie and go back!). This was the closest we got – Churchill Arms, a famous pub full of flowers and plants inside and out that also served delicious Indian food.]
But before we headed to Paris, there was one more thing we HAD to do …
[JK, we’re not going to Paris, we’re headed to Hogwarts!!]
You might also enjoy: Aldermans Go Global: There’s No Place Like Home
Y’all, trip planning is hard, and I love it.
In 60 days, husband and I will be embarking on our first European adventure together and I could not be more excited. [London, Paris, Munich + a spontaneous night in Salzburg] (Side note: is it really spontaneous if I’ve already planned it? But I hadn’t originally planned it, so it feels spontaneous!!)
But it’s hard.
If you didn’t know, I’m super planner, especially when it comes to trips. My favorite thing is to find the amazing local restaurants. Food is too good to skimp on when traveling!! But it can get overwhelming fast when planning for a two week vacation in several cities. I’m starting my itinerary spreadsheets now (go ahead, judge) and I’ve taken a lot of recommendations (go ahead, send me more). I’m already thinking about packing, and the shoes I need to buy, and my passport that still has to come in, and the train tickets I need to purchase, and the adapter I can’t forget, and the budget that needs to be solidified, etc. etc.
Like I said, a girl can get overwhelmed.
But I love it.
And like they say, anticipation is half the fun. I’m already learning new things about the cities and their cultures just from reading up on what to do. I seriously get giddy if I think about how much we are going to get to experience together.
When I realize we will land in London on the anniversary of our engagement.
When I realize I will get to eat macaroons at Lauduree.
(and also at home, in my bath, just like Blair Waldorf)
When I realize we will be in Munich for Oktoberfest. OKTOBERFEST!
When I realize our last night will be in this adorable lakeside hotel.
When I realize I’ll get to go to Platform 9 3/4 and take a cliche picture, all the while praying I will somehow end up at Hogwarts.
When I realize I will get to stroll hand-in-hand with my love beneath the glittering Eiffel Tower.
It all sounds magical. And it will be here before we know it. 60 days.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”