Dear Team Tipsy,
This one is dedicated to you since I kidnapped my mom for the week! On that note, my mommy came to visit!! I picked her up at Heathrow airport in London and, go figure, she cried…. It’s strange to think that this has been the longest I’ve gone being away from home. I miss my family and friends (and In n Out) but I’ve been staying so busy that I hadn’t really realised that it had been so long. Having her here was amazing even if I had to be studying and writing papers for a good chunk of the time. The trip began with Afternoon Tea at Tiny Tim’s Tearoom in Canterbury. Tiny Tim’s is located in the most haunted building in Canterbury, which you don’t realise until you go to the toilet and see the plaque telling you to watch out for the local ghosts. It is an amazing tearoom though, and we ventured to try the crumpets. They were… interesting, kind of a pancake mixed with an English muffin with an egg on top (they don’t actually have English muffins here). Yeah we were a bit confused but it was still good and the tea was of course lovely.
After tea, we set off to find the Inn where she was staying. She was look enthralled looking at everything and “taking it all in” that she kept tripping on the cobblestone (this happened the entire trip). The Miller’s Arms Inn was great and quaint, perfect for her!
The next day, despite the rain, we went on a trip to Dover. This is a town famous for the Dover White Cliffs, Dover Castle, and the view of France. Well, since it was raining, we couldn’t see across the channel. We did see the cliffs which were pretty impressive, but when we began our hike up the hill to the castle, we read a sign that it was closed during weekdays. We strolled the premises and made friends with some guard sheep, but didn’t have much else to do. Before heading back to canterbury, we had tea at a little place called Dickens Inn. We had a lot of tea on this trip.
What we did in Canterbury: explored, the Cathedral, ruins, shopping, and eating. With our time in Canterbury, we mostly walked around so she could “take it all in”. As I’ve mentioned in the past, its the cutest little English Village there is. Walking through is like time traveling or entering a fairy tale. The building are almost all old, leaning, and filled to the brim with character. Almost every ally way you can see the Cathedral rising above the other buildings. When we did make it to the Cathedral, it was breathtaking: the hight of the ceiling, the details, the history. Everything about it makes you feel holy. Stepping outside into the courtyard, and you instantly feel like you’re in Hogwarts, which is kinds cool I guess…. Also in Canterbury is the remains of the old Roman city wall from, well, forever ago. We walked on top of these to get to the Norman Castle remains. Since it was later (everything here closes at 4 or 5, and it’s dark at 4 now) the garden was closed, but it was still awesome to see close up. On the note of food and drink (I’m legal here!!) we tried all the local delicacies. The Old Butter market Pub right next to the cathedral is said to have tunnels underneath to help the bishops escape from the cathedral in desperate times. It also had some great fish n’ chips. (On a side note: “chips” are what we call “french fries”, and our “chips” are called “crisps” by the British) We also had the best ever fish n’ chips at The City Fish Bar. My mom would like to add that she had more fish n’ chips here than she will probably have for another year. WE ventured to try pasties at the West Cornwall Pasty Co. which were pretty darn delicious. Alright so I think you get the point, we ate a lot of food!
Now for London!! My mom continued her “taking it all in” as we arrived in London and took a stroll through Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace to St James’s Park. We hoped on the tube (of which she is now a “pro”) to Covent Garden. Since they don’t have Thanksgiving here, Christmas decorations are in full swing! Covent Garden has lights all over the surrounding streets, giant ornaments hanging from the ceiling, a XXL Christmas tree, and a lit up rain deer statue. If that’s not enough to get you in the Christmas Spirits, try some of there festive mulled wine or hot apple cider. Basically, it’s a winter wonderland! There, we met up with Kayla for some dinner! As my mom would say, “How lovely!”
We began the next day with breakfast in Hyde Park, watching the swans (and less desirable birds) on the Serpentine. We strolled right on over to Harrods. There, we browsed, shopped, and got lost. When it came time time to head off to get our tattoos, we couldn’t seem to find the way out! If you’ve been in Harrods, then you’ll understand, but after some directions from a clerk, we headed off to get our tattoos! The area of the tattoo parlour was super trendy. Sparing you the details of the tattoo, we went to a local pub afterwards for some lunch and drinks. Making the difficult decision to site see rather than shop at the Doctor Who Store, we made our way back to the centre of london! We took pictures with the phone boxes and Big Ben in the background. We walked around Westminster Abbey. We walked back through all the parks, past Buckingham Palace once again. It was as soon as we entered Hyde Park, that the rain began. Thinking that it would pass soon (like fools) we continued on. By the time we reached our hotel room, on the opposite side of the park, we were walking in puddles in our boots, soaking from head to toe. We literally had to peel our clothes off and change. As tired and drained as we were, we had a show to go to! Les Miserables was waiting for us! Arriving by there, looking for dinner, we quickly realised we had little time and every place was packed. We ate some sandwiches standing up and headed into the theatre. Wow. WOW!!! It was the most amazing experience of my live! The singing and acting was so on point I cried. Now happy and amazed, we headed back to prepare for our full Sunday.
Our day in Windsor! We began with a tour of Windsor Castle which was, like everything else here, amazing! It had a touch of everything. There were rooms you could see old fashion knights in, rooms you saw kings and queens living in, rooms you saw balls taking place in, and rooms that could have been from Downton Abbey. The whole castle is beautiful with its interior and exterior. The views from every room were just breathtaking and “fit for a queen”. The town itself was cute as could be! We took a tour, on a double decker bus, of the area, which included Eton. We learned about Eton college, where the princes went to school! We even got to see one of the young students! (note: here college is equivalent to high school, university or “uni” is our college) Once again, it felt like time traveling to see it all. Exhausted, we hoped on the train back to London. For dinner, we made our way into the heart of London for the ever popular, Byron Burger! Yummm! Last but certainly not least, we concluded our London visit with a trip to see the Tower of London (with all the red poppies) and the Tower Bridge, because really what would a trip to London be without those? Or a trip to England for that matter!
Even after all this, my mom’s trip just touched the surface of everything England has to offer! There is so much to see and do! I am so glad, however, that we got the time we did! Now I put this on you, Team Tipsy, when my mom misses me, remind her that I will be home for Christmas!
Wish you were here,
Guard sheep of Dover Castle
What would Big Ben be without a red double-decker
The view from St. James Park
She got her picture with the guard