Live from London – Day 1

If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, we’re headed to Israel!

First – a stop in London to meet the rest of our group. We decided to come the day before we needed to be here because Brian and I have NOT had good travel luck in the past. Ohhh the stories we could tell you about planes being diverted and such…I just couldn’t imagine missing a flight or connection and not being able to join our group to enter Israel. Nope. I’m not headed to the Middle East without our people!!

Here we were all excited after barely making our flight scheduled to leave at 8:15 from Charlotte last night (not 8:50 as I had thought).

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And here we are all bummed after sitting on the plane for almost 2 hours when they discovered an electrical issue right before take off.

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They had just informed us that everyone needed to get off the plane – but not to worry, they had another plane for us! Yay! I’m all for flying in a plane with no issues, amen?? Amen!

Fast forward 5 HOURS. The other plane they were getting for us? It had electrical issues as well. We finally started to board the plane around midnight.

We get all settled with the dark lights and quiet of a plane that is in the air, then BAM! They turn all the lights back on and announce that DINNER is being served. I. Kid. You. Not.

Dinner. 1:37am.

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We sure did. I told Brian to wake up and eat!

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They finally turned the lights back off and they had my FAVORITE movie on the playlist:

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Oh yes, that’s Meg in You’ve Got Mail. I lasted all 7.3 minutes and fell asleep.

At around 6:00am Charlotte time, they brought us breakfast! Ha!

This is what flying all night does to you. Hot mess right here.

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Time to get a British Taxi! And to put on a hat because that hair was not happening.

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After the most expensive cab fare we’ve ever paid, we arrived at our hotel right across the street from Buckingham Palace.

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Our room is called the King George III suite.

And here he is.

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Lovely view from our bed, right? And there is a fancy light that we can leave on all night shining on his beautiful face as he overlooks us in our bed! So British 🙂

Speaking of Buckingham Palace – the Queen invited us over for tea!

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Today was a “Bank Holiday” in London. We aren’t sure what that means. Is it because we have a holiday for our banks so they give themselves a holiday too?? At this point Brian says, “I wonder if they get mad every July 4th???” HA!

So lots of places closed early and we missed out on the majority of our day we had planned because of our flight delay. Our hotel guides recommended and drew out a walking tour for us to cover the 2-3 hours of remaining daylight we had.

After passing Buckingham Palace we walked along St. James’s Park. It is right beside the palace and simply beautiful with wildlife and ponds and gorgeous trees! Think Central Park in NYC. But much more wildlife and water.

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Every single time I saw a pigeon, I broke out in “Feed the birds…tuppence-a-bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence-a-bag!” Every. Single. Time.

After finishing our walk through the park, we came up on this beautiful building which I thought was a church. It is officially called the Houses of Parliament.

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This clock is called Big Ben. I didn’t know that. The clock started on May 31, 1859 – which means that as of tomorrow, it will be 157 years old!! How cool is that?

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And there were red telephone booths everywhere!

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“Hello….can you hear me??”

And at this point we decided to try out the “Go Live” feature on Facebook. Hilariousness.

Our first live video experience:

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My phone died mid video. So, then we came back for Part 2 of our first Facebook live experience! The man finally started playing again and it was Amazing Grace!! And WE DID TIP THE MAN! His name is not Big Ben, by the way! It is Don.

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Our journey continued as we set out to find Fish and Chips.

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The green stuff is smushed peas. They were actually good!

A friend told me to find Ben’s Cookies. We did. But they closed early for the “bank holiday”. Maybe we’ll get some tomorrow!

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They do however have Krispy Kreme! Wonder if they’ll take my coupons for a free dozen???

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We finished up our short afternoon in London with my absolute favorite part of the day. This road is lined with British flags and leads from Parliament Square all the way to Buckingham Palace. It. Was. Stunning.

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We got there at the end of the day and the streets were starting to empty. I love quiet peaceful walks on cool crisp days! Look at this view!!

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And the gardens that surround the palace – wow!!

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We’re finally back here with King George III – and it is 12:50am local time – whew!

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Goodnight, George.

We’ve got a few hours remaining tomorrow before we meet our group and fly out to Israel – so watch out for Day 2 coming soon!

~Starr and Brian

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