Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Lights of London

Scott's parents are here for a visit with us right now. They arrived last Friday after a short stay in Ireland. On Saturday, we all headed to London for a long weekend. The highlight of London for me was seeing all of the Christmas Lights lit up throughout the city. It was magnificent. This trip is Craig & Cris' (Scott's parents) first visit to England and so we took in as many sights as possible during our stay in the city. 
Scott, Craig & Cris at our train station waiting to board the train to London. 
After we arrived in London and checked into our hotel in Trafalgar Square, we wandered across the Thames river (near the EYE) and found a German Christmas Market.
Oohh....the sweets at one of the food stalls at the market! Yummy.
Scott with his parents with a view of Big Ben, Parliament and the River Thames from the area by the German Christmas market. 
We then made our way closer to Big Ben and the rest of the attractions.....I was trying to add historical tidbits with our London guide book! 
In front of Westminster Abbey before a tour of the inside. 
Walking en route from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace, we encountered a large parade of protesters....I think these protesters follow us - ever since 40,000 of them showed up next door to our wedding, we get caught up in these parades more often than expected! 
Craig & Cris in front of Buckingham Palace. Sadly, Liz did not greet all of us. 
Saturday night, we enjoyed traditional English pub food and then went to see a musical. 
Scott, Cassie, Cris & Craig dining pre-theater....
A stop before the theater to see the light display in Covent Garden.
We went to see Billy Elliot! It was very neat....
The next day, we traveled around more of the city (by foot), did our fair share of shopping, and saw lots of Christmas decor....
The Christmas decor inside Harrods. (Plus HUGE crowds). 
A side street off of Oxford Street lit up with snowflakes.
The Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square very close to where we stayed for the weekend.  
Regent Street lit up with nets of lights in the shape of stars. What a pretty sight at night! 
Great big festive snowmen balloons and snowflakes floating all over Carnaby Street. 
Craig and Cris riding the Tube. (Giving our feet a rest after a long day on them!). 
On Monday we had a bit more breathing room, as the weekend city crowds seemed to go home. We toured the Tower of London for a few good hours and did not even face any queues there! 

Scott in front of the Tower of London.
The "White Tower" which was the central tower inside the tower of London. It was built by William the Conqueror and was where the medieval kings of England lived with their families and their court.
Listening to the audio commentary as we tour the Tower grounds....
A reenactment of Edward II and Isabelle in Edward's bedroom at the Tower. The neat part is that we believe Edward II is Scott's 22nd or 23rd great grandfather! 
Scott trying out the bow and arrow that the English army men would have used to protect the Tower. 
Would he have made a good English solider????
Craig, Scott, Cassie & Cris at the Tower of London - London Bridge in the background. 

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