This is my tenth post about our family's first trip to Europe. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the educational US travel we have done here.
We spent three full days in London, which I'm going to break into two separate blog posts. First, Wednesday, April 17. Mom, Dad, Steve, Trevor, and I started our day with a Hop-On-Hop-Off tour. (My sister's family took a side trip to Paris Disneyland, so we didn't see them Wednesday or Thursday.) Kari had chosen the Amba Hotel at Marble Arch mainly because of its excellent location, including a very close HOHO stop. Unfortunately, there was no way for her to know that Marble Arch would be the headquarters for the Extinction Rebellion protests, which closed streets and prevented the bus from reaching that stop.
We asked a police officer for help figuring out where to catch our bus. He made some calls and directed us to a stop about a mile away.
Sigh. So much for the convenient stop near the hotel. At least our walk was scenic. And the weather was perfect. And we do like walking.
I really appreciated all the painted crosswalks in London reminding me to look the correct direction before crossing. All my life I've done the "look left, look right, look left again" pattern that I learned as a kid. It was really hard to remember to do the opposite, even with it painted right in front of me.
Overall, our tour was fine. The commentary was interesting, but it didn't match up all that well with what we were seeing. I think this is because so many streets were blocked because of protests and the bus needed to divert from the usual route. That's certainly not the fault of the bus company. However, some things were. For example, at least two of the headphone jacks on the upper deck were not working. Anyway, we were glad we'd only bought 1-day passes for the HOHO. My parents bought the 3-day passes and did a bunch of the other routes over the next two days. They had mixed reviews - some drivers, commentary, and routes great, others not.
Anyway, when we finished our HOHO loop, we tried to find a (very) late lunch. We ended up at Burgers and Lobster.
The food was delicious and the service was excellent. We'd ordered blackberry lemonade, which was listed on the menu by the glass or "to share." We were imagining a pitcher and separate glasses and were quite surprised that we were sharing the glass as well as the lemonade! It was so good.
By this point, it was late afternoon. We strolled back to the hotel, passing many embassies along the way.
After resting and doing homework at the hotel, we went to the delicious ASK Italian restaurant near the Amba.
We split a pizza, some breadsticks, fondue, and a warm cookie with salted caramel gelato. Yum!!
On the following day, Thursday, April 18, we split up. My sister's family was still in France, my parents did the HOHO, and Steve met up with his good friend, Mahendra, who lives in a London suburb. Steve and Mahendra had an amazing day of sightseeing, eating, and exploring. Check it out:
Tomorrow I'll tell you what Trevor and I did.