Ahh what wonders nearly 10 hours of sleep will do. I wouldn’t say I’ve been sleeping well… I keep waking up in the middle of the night…but finally slept for more than 5 hours. Had breakfast again in the hotel – mmm potato cakes! I wanted to go to Covet Garden/Jubilee Market but didn’t really know what time things got going on Sunday. It’s only a 5 minute walk from the hotel so I went over there – it was closed still, vendors were just getting set up. I kept going up the street, I didn’t realize just how many cool shops, restaurants, pubs and little side streets there are in this area! I went as far as Shaftesbury Avenue before turning around. One of the places to scratch off my list was right around the corner, Neal’s Yard. There isn’t much there – but it’s pretty impressive to see the colourful courtyard in person.

After a bit of browsing at the market, I headed toward Buckingham Palace. I love sitting on the Queen Victoria statue and watching people. The best part about that area on Sundays… The Mall is closed to traffic so you can walk, run or cycle right down the middle of the road. I took some pictures, one of myself standing in the street. A group of older women started laughing at me. Clearly they’ve never been on vacation alone and haven’t mastered the art of the selfie like I have. Anyway, there were so many people – that is something I’ve noticed this trip, a lot more tourists than the last one. Granted I was in London two weeks earlier but I still wasn’t expecting such a big difference. I should have double checked what time it was as I ended up smack dab in the middle of the march from St. James’s to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. To avoid the throngs people, I cut through St. James’s Park, up to Horse Guards Parade and down Whitehall. Not quite as busy until I got up to Parliament but I just love to hear Big Ben gong the time. It was then just over to Westminster Abbey, my all time favourite attraction in London. Being Sunday it was closed for tours but that didn’t stop people from gathering outside and taking pictures. I just kept on my merry little way until I got to the other side of St. Jame’s Park and walked along Birdcage Walk – it’s such a lovely street to wander down. The beautiful big trees, shading the sidewalk with their green leaves, the gorgeous, old houses and of course the great park.

Not really knowing where I wanted to go, I walked toward the Royal Mews. The actual Palace was closed for tours (it’s only open for a few weeks every summer) and I had done the Queen’s Gallery last time. I ended up in the gift shop and that’s where my ‘tour’ ended haha! I fully intended on doing the Mews tour but after all that shopping I just wanted to put my bags down. The Mall wasn’t quite as busy on my walk back which was nice. I got to take my time and enjoy the sunshine.

After a brief break in my room, I went back up to Covet Garden but this time it was to shop in some of the great stores in the area. I love shopping and I especially love shopping in stores I don’t get at home! LK Bennett, Whistles, Hobbs, Topshop … I could go on! They have the perfect blend of higher end and more affordable stores.

It was so hot outside! It was great, I kinda wish I stayed in the park but the air conditioning in the stores was a welcome break. I also needed something to eat before I continued on my adventure. The Sussex in Covet Garden looked like a very cute spot to stop in. Had myself a big pint of whatever the speciality on tap was, I love trying new beers, again especially things I know I can’t get at home. I also ordered nachos. Now anyone that knows me, knows how much I love a big, heaping plate of ooey, gooey nachos. So you can imagine my disappointment when I saw what came out of the kitchen. It’s a good thing I like jalapeños and cheese.

After my odd lunch and shopping excursion I went back to my hotel to get freshened up. I had to head up to Bloomsbury for a pub date. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting some great people on Trip Advisor London Forums. Once a month they hold a pub meet and anyone who is London can join in for a pint and meet fellow travelers. I met the group last time and was looking forward to seeing them again. The usual meeting spot is The Lamb on Conduit Street, which has become one of my favourite pubs in the city. It was nice to see some folks again and meet some new people on their travels. There was me, an American, a German, a Czech and then the locals. We had some drinks and dinner…my outstanding choice of food continued…I ordered fish and chips, how can you go wrong? My fish came back with scales still on it.

I got a little tired of the noise and people we’re starting to leave so I did too. It was a nice night so I thought I’d walk a bit and then grab a cab or something. It’s an area I’m not familiar with so I enjoyed seeing a new neighbourhood. But I ended up getting a little turned around though and while I wouldn’t say lost, I would say in an area where there seemed to be no taxis and no other people. I have a pretty good sense of direction so I eventually ended up what seemed like a kinda major road. Do you think a cab would stop for me? I started to panic a little lol. Finally, I managed to wave one down! It turns out I was headed in the right direction, if I had just kept going I would have been back in ‘my area’ but I was incredibly grateful to be back in my safe little room. And VERY excited for day five!

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