Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of 2012, Last Day in London

Greetings from London! Sadly, we don't have Internet at our London hotel, which has made it rather difficult to post an update. Luckily, we're right next to the British Library, so we have settled in to answer e-mails, write a post, and read. Let's back up a little, to our last day in Paris and the trip to London. You can also check out our first few days in Paris here and here.

Our last full day in Paris focused on museums. Fun fact: Paris is absolutely dead on Mondays, so we had to squeeze in a lot more on the other days. So on Wednesday, we managed the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay (another art museum, similar to the Louvre but smaller), and the Army Museum. We also enjoyed another wonderful meal, more crepes, and more wine before finally saying goodnight to Paris. The next day, before leaving, we continued a tradition from our honeymoon where we create our own version of a pub crawl, except, since it was Paris, we made it a pastry crawl.

Finally, we enjoyed a glass of wine and a sandwich, picked up some champagne for New Year's, and headed to Gare du Nord train station to take the train to London. The ride was gorgeous and peaceful, and far more comfortable than a flight.

And then we were in London! Since we just spent a week in London in July for our honeymoon, our focus here is pubs, relaxing, and celebrating the New Year. We checked into our very nice hotel, Novotel London, squealed (ok, that was just me) at our awesome view, and headed out. First stop: Mable's Tavern for a pint and dinner, which consisted of sausages and mashed potatoes for me and steak and ale pie for Terry. England does not carry the healthiest food units taverns and pubs, but we did find some kale buried beneath the mashed potatoes on our plates. Then we walked to another nearby pub, The Rocket, for one more pint, sticky toffee pudding, and a rousing darts match on TV. Seriously, we wouldn't leave until it was over.

 The next morning, feeling a little guilty about all the pastries and pub grub, I took advantage of the hotel's workout room. I completed the following:
  • 10 minutes on the elliptical at incline 10 and resistance 10 
  • 10 minutes on bike at level 10 
  • 10 minutes running at 6 mph 
  • 2 rounds of: 10 push ups, 12 overhead tricep raises with 20 lbs, and 15 tricep dips
 It wasn't much, but it made me feel good enough and got a little sweat going. Then Terry and I grabbed Lara bars for breakfast and headed to Harrod's, London's famous department store. They have a huge sale the days after Christmas, and I had a blast shopping for gifts for our families. We also bought another ornament, which is another tradition for anytime we travel.

 We stumbled into the Tea Room at Harrod's, and, since there wasn't a line, we decided to make it lunch. Tea was one of our favorite parts of our last trip to London, and it was wonderful the second time, too. We each had a pot of tea and then shared a bunch of sandwiches, mini-desserts, and the world's most delicious scones, complete with clotted cream. Stuffed, we wandered around Hyde Park, where London has a huge fair/Christmas market with food, shops, carnival rides, pubs, and thousands of people. Plus an ice rink!

After some shopping near Buckingham Palace, we got ready for our evening: more pubs and pints, Wagamama (a Japanese noodle bar) for dinner, and a showing of Sherlock Holmes. Such a fun, satisfying day! This morning, we enjoyed breakfast at a nearby pub. I had scrambled eggs and toast while Terry enjoyed a full English breakfast: potatoes, poached eggs, bacon, Cumberland sausage, tomatoes, beans, toast, mushrooms, and black pudding. Delicious and super filling. Now we're off to enjoy our last day of vacation, including lunch, more pints, maybe walk Tower Bridge, and ring in the New Year. We'll be back home tomorrow, so you can count on more recaps, pictures, and a far more regular schedule of postings!

 Wishing you a very happy New Year! Start thinking about those resolutions!


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