This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, March 28, 2008

London Day Three

Our last full day in London was a blistering, windy day. Oh, and a bit of rain too.

The funny thing is we knew it would be rainy throughout our stay in London, then Amsterdam. We bought each of us an umbrella from the dollar store. Thursday, when we went out, we didn't bring any of our umbrellas, so we purchased two more.

Fortunately, we brought our umbrellas with us today, or we'd have to purchase another bag just for all the umbrellas.

Anyway, today we went to see the changing of the guards. We had to get there early to grab a spot.

Obviously, the changing of the guards happens at Buckingham Palace. I can't imagine why these people need a house so big. My Super Size Me post does not apply to royalty.

This picture is of the monument that is in front of the Palace. Later, this gets completely filled with people, in which the very patient police reprimanded several people to get down from wherever they climbed up to:

The wind and rain is picking up and I get excited because I can see some guards coming from the right of the palace:

Now this is what the monument looks like after the crowd gets bigger:

But that's the last we see of anything for another 20 minutes and it's freezing cold!

But in the background, I can hear music and then we see a marching band. I'm excited again:

But after that, that's it for several more minutes and then we have yet another band, this time, in different attire (and a better view):

Next come the guards on the horses (and by golly, I am putting all these videos here...I took 'em, you see em):

And then we're done with this part of British tradition. Within Buckingham Palace's gated area, the actual procession takes place, but since we were on the other side, the crowd has gathered to gawk at the gates and there's no way we could get through to see it. Plus, we had been out there for about an hour of waiting and we were just done.

We hit The Underground and grab a coffee at Costa Coffee. Funny, every corner has a Starbucks. I, the ugly American, want London fare.

The girls had hot chocolate, both with a chocolate spoon (not pictured because they were eaten pretty quickly).

After our coffee break, more shopping ensued. This time, it was Tim's turn. I pulled butt loads of clothes for him to try on. The store we hit this time is called Primark, which apparently is extremely competitively priced. It was for us -- I was dumbfounded: jeans for 6 pounds. I did NOT go to the women's department because, well, I would never leave the store.

The Londoners all are very smart dressers -- very, very fashionable. Again, I felt like an American slob because these folks take great care in their appearance, even in their blue jeans. Tim said it's no wonder that they can dress as nice as they do since the prices, especially at this particular store, are so good.

We meet Jhun again for lunch. As we vacation, everyone else still has a life and must work. Poor Jhun. He wanted the days off but apparently, there are some upcoming events (boat races, i think) that didn't allow him to take days off, but he was able to take half days to spend time with us. He thought he was going to be able to join us for a bit in Amsterdam, but that too, didn't work to his advantage.

But nonetheless, we stopped at a pizza place for lunch. We needed to since my poor picky eater, CJ, was just not eating anything. Well, I exaggerate. She enjoyed the fish and chips and then while we were at The Ritz, Jhun had taken her to go to McDonald's (sigh) but apparently, stopped at a local chicken joint and picked up some chicken wings (yay!). But today, I think the most she ate was a bit of cereal and a chocolate muffin at Costa Coffee.

We order and the girls each get a cheese pizza. I opted for their lunch special, which was a salad (or soup) with pasta. Not bad although Joyce later told me she was embarrassed to have us eat there. She was not happy with the food.

I was thrilled with the salad as it had a 'whole' half of an avocado (picture is ghostly, as my kids smeared the lens goofing off with the camera):

At that point, Joyce and I decided that we would head back to the flat, as I wanted to get some laundry done before our trip in the morning. Plus, I had to re-pack since my bag was now broke. Fortunately, we had brought an extra bag on our trip for souvenirs and such, so this was now the bag I had to fit all my crap in.

Tim and Jhun headed to the Museum of Natural History and these are some of the pictures he was able to get:

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