Monday, April 29, 2013

Jolly Ol' England!

Eight days of bliss...even the rainy cold weather made me happy, and is especially simpatico with my hair! There were colorfully painted shops and ancient lichen spotted castles on the same street, followed by modern sleek, glassy buildings and skyscrapers...London was a feast for my tired of looking at ordinary things eyes, and a welcoming wake up to my atrophied muscles who haven't walked or climbed stairs in months, not to mention a feast for my ears with the hearing of proper English and words I've never heard (I love the proper gentlemen cab drivers!) thinks myself dumb for sure!  Then, came the beautiful countryside! Can one of you lucky Brits give me the name of a great realtor? I'm thinking an early to mid 1800's castle will do just fine, and since I'm dreaming, money is no object!
Here are a few...cough cough...okay, a lot of photos of the places, people, and things I loved in England, and this is not even close to all the pics I took.
The view from my hotel room.
I had to zoom in.
I had to memorize this so I would know this is my stop to get off of "The Tube" or Underground Railway, which was very easy to use. All those stamps that I have that say "Mind the Gap", "Way Out",and "Underground" now all really make sense to me. I also find it refreshingly fascinating how there is no political correctness in the public broadcasting at the railway stations (Or published news in general.). They just tell you things exactly as they are,  "Please be mindful and keep your property close to you at all times as opportune thieves are about." I sure appreciated that and we all giggled, but certainly not at this, "The train is experiencing delays as there is a person under the train." We heard that one probably everyday we were there and it would send chills up our spine.
After a few minutes, you would emerge into a new part of town. Here we are at Covent Garden...
...Where I met up with Hels, and spent the most gut splitting and sweet day!
We shopped, we ate, we drank, we shopped some more, and ate and drank even more, all the while talking, talking, talking, and belting out into what people thought were witches cackles I am sure! I couldn't resist this phone booth in Covent Garden. I think I was telling my husband to send more money!
As Hels and I walked I saw this for the first time on a building (Seen everywhere after that.) and took the photo. Hels said she never even notices it, probably because she sees it all the time, but I was so intrigued with the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom. It's so symbolic. I took many photos of it along my journey.  And, at the end of our day, it was sure hard to say good-bye, but we did so between Tubes...hers going East, and mine going West, all while listening to the guitarist set up near by playing for tips, strumming "Stairway to Heaven". It was all we could to restrain ourselves not to help him out, as we both know every word of the song!
Trafalgar Square...before the riots broke out about Margaret Thatcher's funeral...yikes!
Loved this homage to children everywhere.
Admiralty Arch...leading into The Mall...not the shopping kind either.
This is The Mall...a stretch of road almost 6/10 of a mile leading to Buckingham Palace that acts as a ceremonial route. Instead of black top, it is painted reddish to act as a red carpet of sorts...very cool!
St. James Park runs on the south side of  The Mall. It was covered with gorgeous bulbs of tulips.
Alas, Buckingham Palace!
Queen Victoria Memorial
Gorgeous golden gates...but wait... they's the Changing of the Guard.
Fantastic ornamentation...WOW!!!
Westminster Abbey
I could stare at the detail of this gorgeous cathedral for hours!
Palace of Westminster and what I've been waiting for...Big Ben!
Officially called The Elizabeth Tower, she is the largest four faced chiming clock in the world, and the third tallest clock tower! I LOVE her...always have, and I have a thing for clock towers and large clocks in buildings in general. I take photos of every one I see in every city I visit, but THIS IS THE ONE I've been waiting for! This made my trip. I shot so many photos, trying to get every detail, and just couldn't. There is so much ornamentation on her that you don't realize until you see it. I tried to zoom in on the crests that are so colorfully displayed, but my shaking hands, the weather, and poor zoom just couldn't do it very well. This was my best shot. You can barely see them, but there are eight on this side, mostly green and a red one in the middle. Oh how I love all this gold! My middle name should be Midas!!!
The London Eye
Love these lamp posts!
Tie up your boat to that lion why don't you! WOW! These are all along the Thames River.
Every once in a while, you'd see a building with a sign on it...
YUP..."Purple Haze" Jimi lived there, and George Frideric Handel next to him...different eras of course! Could you imagine if they were there during the same time? ;0)
Heading to Windsor!
What? No flying frogs???
It's no big deal to have a magnificent castle sprawled out in the middle of your town in England!
The Queen's quarter's...and YES, she was there!
Another Changing of the Guard.
The moat turned garden.
Here they come!
There they go!
A church off in the distance.
How's that for a yard?
Queen Elizabeth's quarter's again.
Back in London, at Tower Bridge.
What a sight!

Across on the south.
Across on the North.
The Tower of London
These are made out of chicken wire to depict the animals that used to be housed on the grounds at The about Art!

More shopping!
Hugh was not working that day. ;0)
All made from cookies at a shop in Notting Hill. Awesome and tasty!
Off to the countryside again....this time to  Newbury to see Highclere Castle, aka, Downton Abbey!!! WOOHOO! What a thrill, and it was the last day to do so before the new season started filming and all would be closed to the public. The cast was staying down the road at a hotel.
Michelle, Tiesha, Laura, Me, Debby
"Ung je serviray" was the Carnarvon's family motto, and is French for "Only one will I serve". I've linked to any interesting read on the Castle dating back over 20 years.
There is always a black sheep in the family!
Then it was on to Bath for the remainder of our day, but sadly we got there late and most things were closed. We did get to walk through the town though and see the most gorgeous sights and eat fantastic food!
A lot of restoration has been done in Bath to bring back these gorgeous Medieval buildings.
My last day in London was spent sight seeing at Kensington Palace first, some shopping, (Liberty and Harrods), and then finished off with high tea at the Browns Hotel.
The Princess Diana Memorial Garden

Cherrio for now!
I hope your hands get creatively dirty soon, or your bags get packed for a fun filled adventure!


  1. So glad you had a wonderful time in our fair land. There are times when we take it all for granted so it is wonderful to see it through fresh eyes. Love your eye for detail in those photos.
    Next time you come over you will have to take a trip to the beautiful Norfolk coastline/Broads, pop over to us at the foot of the Peak District, head on up to The Lakes, take tea in a proper Yorkshire tearoom, breath in the air on the Northumberland coast before hopping over Hadrian's Wall and heading into the gem of a country that is Scotland. Oh yes, and a suggestion for property - the Chatsworth Estate could suit your needs, although you'd need to convince the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire to move out!!!
    Hugs, Jenny x

  2. Looks like you had a fabulous trip, love the photos - when you live here you take so much for granted and sometimes need to see it through a fresh eye. Here's to the next time xx

  3. Anita, so glad you had such a wonderful time. It is funny how we take our own heritage for granted sometimes. It was fab to see our lovely old buildings through your eyes. We always treat ourselves to a trip to Harrods each year - to see how the other half shop! I love their Christmas Display. Thanks for sharing your fab photos.

  4. Really enjoyed reading your London post. It's really great to hear all your positive comments about London, I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and when I next see A cheap castle for sale I'll let you know!! X

  5. Wow really packed it in. Brilliant photographs and the details are so clear. Hels is right there are some things that us Brits just dont notice. So glad you had a fun time.


    Annie xxx

  6. Wow Anita, you really did pack it in on your trip! How fantastic that you were able to see so much in such a short time. I love all your fabulous photos, especially the changing of the Guards and Big Ben. What a holiday for you to remember, just wish the weather had been kinder to you. Hope you will come back for another visit soon! Hugs, Anne x

  7. Holy crap, what awesome pics! lol... and it looks like an absolutely fabulous time! Glad it went well!

  8. So pleased to see you hold your teacup correctly!! Seems funny to see all your pictures of London - I live only 12 miles from Central London and I still love to look at it. I went to College in Bath for three years and it is a dream of a city - shame it was mostly closed when you went but it still has a lovely feel to it and I adore to go back from time to time.
    Glad you liked our cold, wet but lovely places that you visited, looks like you had such fun!

  9. Oh wowsers - looks like you had a ball Anita! Your head must have been in such a spin with so much to absorb - wonderful memories to treasure. Nicola x

  10. I'm so pleased you had such a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing the experience with us, the photos are terrific.
    Two things; it's Covent GARDEN, not Covent Park. And south of the river is the Southbank. Get those two right & you won't be mistaken for a tourist next time. :) :)

    1. LOL! I knew it was Covent Garden, just typed that wrong, and have fixed it. I didn't know about Southbank...I am a TOURIST! A proud one, camera ready at a moments notice! Thanks for the correction!

  11. Hi Anita, Thanks so much for taking the time to load all of these photos and share them! Loved them all! It looks like you had a great time!

  12. wow you got some fab photos and you obviously had a great fun pleased to see you kept your little pinky up in the last very ladylike.........Hugs Annette x

  13. Awww Anita I loved looking at your adventure!! Wow you did so much!! Love love your pinkie photo! One must always stick ones pinkie out while sipping the finest tea! Lol xxx

    Kaz x

  14. Thank you Anita for these great pictures. What fun....I loved the lampposts in Windsor with the little crown at the top! What a kick. They were all lovely and it looks like your trip was wonderful and it was all good until I read the last slide that you went to Liberty. Then that was it. I was jealous. They have THE most amazing fabric. Not only the color and the patterns, but the feel of the fabric. Hope you got something wonderful!!! Welcome back.

  15. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all the pics. I am so glad you managed to have a wonderful time despite the sickies. A trip of a lifetime, for sure.

  16. So happy you got to do this! Love your photos...and I can't wait to see how all this will find its way into your marvelous artwork. xoxo

  17. It's so refreshing to see so many of the places I take for granted through a visitor's eyes... fabulous photos, and I'm so happy you had such a great time! You've certainly done London proud... and I'd completely second Jenny's list of places you should take in NEXT TIME you come!! Hope you didn't have to buy an extra suitcase to take home all your shopping!!
    Alison x

  18. Wow! So fantastic photos. Thank you that you shared them with us. London is a beautiful city and it is even more beautiful in your photos. Beautiful scene scenic spots. I'm so glad you had a great trip to London. Greetings Asia :)

  19. Ooooooh, so much eye candy! Thanks for sharing your photos and memories. What a lovely trip!

  20. What a tale! I can tell you had a blast!!


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