A much more quiet day today. I was going to go to Hever Castle but didn’t feel like making the journey. On my last trip to London I spent so much time rushing and trying to see as much as I could, this trip I just wanted to take my time and enjoy the city.

Anyway, I went down to Westminster Abbey to do the tour. It was my favourite part of of my trip last time so I had to do it again. The line was already long – it was still well before the Abbey opened. I ended up in line behind an American woman who asked what coast of Canada I was from (um neither) and how cold does it really get? Behind me was a Japanese man and his family. He asked me where the War Rooms were, I think I shocked him when I was able to point out everything on his map, give him directions and tell him there was no they’d be able to do the Abbey and make it in time for the Changing of the Guard.

Back to the Abbey, I remember being so overwhelmed, in a good way, the first time I stepped inside, it’s just stunning. It makes me tingle! All the old tombs and some of the amazing people that are inside! My favourite is the one Elizabeth I is buried in. I really could spend hours and hours walking around and looking at everything. I can’t express how much I love Westminster Abbey and we would be here forever if I started listing other favourite parts ect. I enjoyed seeing everything again but this time it was quite a bit busier. I felt a little rushed and pushed around. It’s all good though, I will be back! Maybe next time I will use one of the private tour guides. I saw a few people using them, I listened in on their conversations a little bit, something I think I would enjoy.

After the Abbey I headed up to Paddington. The journalist & monarchist in me was beyond curious to check out the media circus that had already assembled itself outside of St. Mary’s hospital. I’ve been working in my business for quite a while now and I can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything like that! It was packed already and it was still at least 10 days before Kate’s alleged due date. I took a couple picture of the little squares all taped off for different outlets and watched more arrive. Oh, I can’t forget the man and his painting he made for Kate. It depicts her as a saint, clutching the royal baby with a corgi at her feet. I’m sure William & Catherine are going to love it! šŸ˜‰

From there it was off to check out another love of mine. Shopping. Today was Oxford Street. I’d been once before, I bought an enormous hat at Debenhams to wear in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. Today we were going to go into every store we could and take a look around. The best part, all the fantastic sales! After several hours of walking around and trying stuff on, it was time to hit the road home. I did buy some clothes – at Debenhams. I found that kinda funny actually. I could have bought a lot more. There was a dress I left behind that I kinda regret now and a cute tank top that said ‘no hugs’ on it. My family bugs me that I don’t like hugs, entirely untrue, but I thought I should have bought it. Also had to convince myself not to buy a brand new, great big, over the top hat. I reallllly liked it though!

After dinner I made myself get out of the hotel and go on a walk. I’d always wanted to see Big Ben and Parliament lit up at night. I was a little anxious, being out at night alone but I figured there was going to be other tourists and it wasn’t that far. I waited for quite awhile before it really got dark. I realize it’s summer but it seemed to take forever! I finally got to see them, as well as the eye glowing in the night! Well worth the trek and wait. I decided to walk along the Thames and back. It was so pretty, lovely fairy lights in the trees, lights reflecting off the river and up ahead St. Paul’s standing out against the night sky. Other than the creepy Ukrainian, gypsy type folk who harassed me briefly, it was great. Finally got back to the Strand Palace and headed for bed. I had to get up early for a boat race!