My first official day in my 30s. We enjoyed breakfast at the hotel club lounge – free is good. Marriott upgraded us to Gold level in their rewards program just before we left, which amounted to a nice room and more importantly free breakfast, sodas and bottled water – definite cost savings! The hour time difference amounted to us getting up at a more reasonable hour of 8:30.
After breakfast, we walked through Green Park to Buckingham Palace just in time to see the changing of the guard, which started at 11:20 instead of 11:30 as scheduled. The ceremony included lots of pageantry – horses, machine guns, and uniforms plus a rousing musical ceremony. The music included “Yesterday” and “Dancing Queen” to our surprise. It lasted almost a full hour with huge crowds.
From there we walked to Big Ben (one of the things D wanted to see). It was under renovation, but thankfully not the clock tower. We walked halfway across Westminster Bridge for a glimpse of the London Eye where D was accosted by a lady wanting to poke something in his shirt for good luck – we avoided her on the way back to Westminster Abbey. Many famous people are buried there although at 15 Euros each, we decided a peek inside was good enough.
Then we walked to the Red Lion for our first British pub experience with a couple of pints and a jacket potato plus chicken wings. Then we headed to Trafalgar Square passing by Downing Street. We continued onto our hotel where Dave opted for a brief nap and I headed to check out New & Old Bond Street where everything was too expensive although I did get some chocolate at Charbonnel et Walker. Hmmm, I think we’ve gotten more chocolate than anything this trip.
This evening we enjoyed my 3rd birthday dinner. Grandma and Grandpa treated us to dinner at Sirena, a charming Italian restaurant, before seeing our first London show – Sister Act. It was fantastic with lots of singing and dancing.
We walked back towards our hotels. D and I stopped for some Chinese takeout to try to cure Dave’s cold/allergies at Princess Garden of Mayfair. Between the tremendous amount of people smoking and the weather changes, he is feeling a bit under the weather.