London: Day 2 (Changing of the guards, afternoon tea, Billy Elliot, and wanderings)

Day 2 began with breakfast! The hotel breakfast was SO GOOD that we looked forward to it each day. It had quite the spread, including all components of a traditional English breakfast (no thanks) + pastries, cheeses, smoked meats, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, etc.

While I tried what they call bacon once, I pretty much stuck to a steady diet of smoked salmon. And cheese.

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Following breakfast, we grabbed a bus and trekked to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guards. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what we saw (or missed!) due to the crowds but I’m glad we went. With crowds like that, I’m so thankful Jason is tall enough to see/photograph over most people.

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The Queen was home but didn’t come out to greet us. Rude.

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The weather was GORGEOUS so lots of people were enjoying the many parks and green spaces.

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After Buckingham Palace, we went to Leicester Square to the TKTS Booth and snagged tickets for that night’s performance of Billy Elliot.

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Along the way, we saw The National Gallery:

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Covent Garden (shopping, wholelottatourists):

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St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden:

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And we found our store!

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The street performers were all doing this weird floating thing that I was entranced by:

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I NEED TO KNOW HOW THEY DO THAT.

Picadilly (gorgeous architecture, shops, restaurants, tourist traps):

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We stopped for afternoon tea at The Wolseley:

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I was traveling with 2 guys but I told them that it was a MUST and unlike afternoon tea at The Grand Floridian, I was sure it wasn’t a female dominated event. I was right! It seems like everyone enjoys afternoon tea, and what’s not to love? Americans, we need to embrace this. Along with a siesta.

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My favorite was the smoked salmon. Surprised?

We were tucked into a booth facing the street – this was our view:

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Following tea, we decided to head towards the theater since it really wasn’t in the West End like most theaters but instead down near Victoria Station.

Once doors opened, we found our seats and realized it was not going to work. The seats were so close together that Jason couldn’t get his knees to fit – and it was a 3 hour show! I decided to ask about changing seats, even if it meant an upcharge. The ushers were SO helpful – one walked me to a manager who again, was so kind. She offered us a box seat that had actual chairs so we took it! The view was a bit weird but having space was worth the trade-off.

This was the view from our box seats:

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The show was AMAZING and I’m so glad we got to finally see it!

Steps walked:

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More later!

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