London getaway in a day

Yesterday we took off for London for the day.  We woke up “early” and headed for the rail station.  While sitting on the platform waiting for our train, I realize the one we had tickets for was cancelled due to work on the tracks.  We made a quick decision to jump the the next train which was going to the same station where we needed to switch over.  Turns out that one was run by a completely different company than the one we had tickets for.  Thankfully, no one came along to check out tickets, we got off at our stop, changed to the correct train and made it to London without anyone being the wiser.

We started off the day at the Spitalfields Market.  It is amazing, chaotic, overwhelming and so stinking cool!  Apparently Sunday is the largest day for the market so it was a great day to go.  They had mostly fashion items such as dresses, scarves, tops, purses, jewelry and coats.  But they also had hats, wallets, socks, see-through shoes, baked goods, artwork, records, used books, etc.  You name it, it was probably there.  After fighting the crowds, and my urge to buy several items, we sat down for lunch.

Spitalfields Market

Approximately 1/5 of Spitalfields Market

After lunch, we headed off to explore the British Museum. It was huge, beautiful and overwhelming.  We walked in without a game plan – big mistake.  For those unfamiliar with the place, it covers anything in history you could imagine from the Egyptians & Greeks to American Indians, Mexican tribes to European history, Chinese dynasties to Indian gods.  We wandered through several exhibits but eventually got tired and overloaded with information.  My favorite exhibit was the various artifacts from Mexico including some amazing mosaic pieces.  C really enjoyed an exhibit on the history of money (go figure, right?), various jade artifacts in the Asian history areas and some warrior exhibits from different areas.

In the Great Hall

In the Great Hall

Native American totem pole

Native American totem pole

C checking out the money display

C checking out the money display

This had a 50 billion dollar note - it was a political statement about the currency issues in Zimbabwe

This had a 50 billion dollar note – it was a political statement about the currency issues in Zimbabwe

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The British Museum

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We were pretty tired afterward so headed off in search of a pick-me-up.  We stumbled on this cute little cafe and sat down for a spot of tea.  Feeling refreshed we walked through Soho, Chinatown, Leicester Square (where all the London movie premieres are held) and Trafalgar Square before stopping for dinner.  We passed by a Cantina Laredo, 2 Chipotles and a Freebirds on our walk.  It took all my will power not to stop for some chips and salsa….

Too bad we already ate lunch and had plans for dinner...

Too bad we already ate lunch and had plans for dinner…

Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square

Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square

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For dinner, we met up with a friend of C’s who is currently attending TCU and studying abroad.  They met on a TCU fan site and when they realized they were both in the same country they decided to get together.  Despite him making me feel old (he’s just finishing his junior year) we had a great time.  C loved chatting him up about all things TCU especially baseball, football and basketball.  I enjoyed listening along, occasionally inserting my two cents and sipping on my quintessential British summer cocktail – a Pimm’s & lemonade.  It was a great way to end our day out in London.  After a seemingly endless train ride back and dark harrowing drive home, we collapsed into bed, exhausted but happy.

Enjoying my Pimm's & Lemonade

Enjoying my Pimm’s & Lemonade