Wednesday, July 2, 2014

London 2014 Day 4

Our fourth day in London was a bit chillier than it had been so far, so we had to layer up a little which is totally fine to us Floridians. We welcome the cooler temperatures. The plan for today was some touristy stuff. Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, Picadilly Circus, and the London Aquarium. 

I had created this pendant before our trip and to when I showed it to my teenage daughter Jamie she said it was tacky to wear this in England. I was disappointed to hear this. Is that true? I then posted it on Facebook and asked your opinions and 99% of you said to go for it. Wear it proudly. So I did.

(thank you)

At first glance you may wonder why I posted such a bad photo, but if you look again you'll see that it's actually pretty interesting. Jamie and I are inside a breakfast cafe seated at a window and Paul is taking our picture from outside. So which photo did you see first? Jamie and I eating breakfast? Or Paul standing in front of the brick wall taking our photo?

We walked A LOT today. In the morning we walked to Picadilly Circus where we found a place called Japan Centre. We agreed to head back there after our visit to Buckingham Palace. So on to the palace we went. There it is off in the distance. Such a big beautiful place to see in person. Lots of people were headed there as well.

This is a look in the other direction. I loved the flag-lined street, and as you can see this is a very, very long street. Can you imagine the number of people it takes to fill up the length of it when there is a major event going on at the palace? A glimpse of the royal couple, for instance? 

Lots of people asked if we saw the changing of the guards, but we didn't. We weren't really interested in it, to be honest. I had seen it back in 1985 and then showed it to Jamie and Paul online before we came here and asked if they'd like to see it in person and they declined. No offense to anyone, I assure you. Just wasn't something we wanted to take the time to do.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a big beautiful park on the palace grounds called St. James Park. Being Floridians, we aren't used to such beautiful flowers growing everywhere. At least not in our yard. (I have a blacker than black thumb when it comes to gardening.) Here Jamie is taking photos amongst the flowers.

I love this selfie of Jamie. I don't know how she does it. My selfies never look this good.

After over an hour of walking through St. James Park taking photos of flowers and enjoying the cool weather we headed back to Picadilly Circus.

Back to Japan Centre. This was a fantastic store. There at the entrance is a small food vendor where they were making fresh pork buns and tai yaki (those yummy fish-shaped pastries I mentioned the other day). Then an escalator took us up to the second floor where we found a grocery/deli/newsstand and small eatery. Everything was very authentic Japanese from the food choices to the book selections to the cups & dishes. We loved looking at everything. Didn't buy anything, but enjoyed looking.

Here Jamie is taking her first bite of the SUPER delicious big pork bun (nikuman). The texture of this lovely dough is like nothing I've eaten before. Thin and delicate yet sturdy to hold its contents, soft and a little chewy, filled with ground pork, vegetables, and the typical Japanese flavorings such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil. Once stuffed, they are steamed perfectly. We absolutely loved it!

Then we had to get another tai yaki. These were really big. This time we tried the sweet red bean paste filling. Even better than the custard ones. 

After our lovely Japanese treats, we headed via the tube to the London Aquarium located near Big Ben as you can see.

It was Jamie's wish to see the aquarium. She's always loved sea life and hoped to see some good jellyfish here. 

Once we got through the very long line to purchase tickets to get in, we found it to be quite nice inside. (Although it's hard to please Central Floridians who go to Sea World Orlando all the time.)

We loved how the lighting in the jellyfish tank changed and lit them up. Not bad for iPhone photos through glass, eh?

We spent about an hour in the aquarium then headed back toward Soho for sushi dinner. Jamie was pretty tired so we dropped her off at the hotel then Paul and I took the tube to Victoria Station to purchase train tickets for our trip to Brighton tomorrow. We decided to walk all the back and along the way we stopped in a pub and had a shot of whiskey. Cheers!

We made our way past Buckingham Palace again. It was about 9 p.m. and it was total daylight out. As you can see, it got even chillier on this particular evening and I had to pull on the fleece jacket.

Her Majesty's Theatre. What a beautiful building as evening fell and the lights glowed softly.
One final stop for some delicious gelato then we settled in at the hotel for the night.

Stay tuned for Day 5 when Jamie meets her year-long internet pal for the first time in Brighton.


  1. Great touristy shots Annette and I'm delighted and proud you wore our Union flag as a sweet pendant. The aquarium is a world away from Seaworld but a fun place, I'm glad you were'nt too disappointed. Looking forward to Brighton, I went to Southsea this week with my daughter and granddaughter, another English seaside resort but rather less busy than Brighton...I do hope you went to the Pavillion? ;0) x

  2. This might be my favorite day so far! We head to Japan in Sept, so hopefully I can do as good of a job updating as you did while you were in London.

  3. Another lovely day! Jamie's selfie is gorgeous! What a beautiful girl! And you necklace is cool Annette and I'd wear it too! xo

  4. What a fun day! You got some great pics. Love the selfie.

  5. I've enjoyed seeing your vacation adventures...You've taken some cool pics Annette...Glad you have been having Fun in London (My birth town!)x

  6. A great round up again Annette. Love the look of the Japan Centre. They are always adding new places to visit and that looked fascinating. Jenny x


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