June 18, 2013
We got up early today and rode the tube across town to get on the “hop-on hop-off” tour around the town. We got on by Buckingham Palace with the intention of riding the entire loop and arriving back at Buckingham Palace for the “changing of the guard.”
The bus tour took us around all of central London and had an interesting commentary on many landmarks. The kids enjoyed the special kids commentary, which kept them entertained about 90% of the time. Traffic was fairly heavy today, so we didn’t make it the around the entire loop before we abandoned the bus and hot footed off to Buckingham Palace to try to catch the changing of the guard. I think that is where all of the tourists in town were at that given moment. We didn’t make it up against the gates to see them handing off the keys, but we did see the band and horses and marching foot guards with their big black “bearskin” hats. From there we went on a wild goose chase (not literally) for lunch and then headed for Westminster Abbey.
The girls enjoyed a scavenger hunt for trivia question answers with the promise of a free chocolate coin prize if they completed the questions. (They did it!) We were even able to borrow monk costumes for the girls to wear for some photo ops in the abbey gardens and cloisters. My favorite part was the tomb where Queen Elizabeth I was buried with her half-sister (and rival) Queen Mary. From Westminster we decided to head back to the hotel for a little downtime in the room and some dinner at the hotel. After some rest, we walked up to the West End to take in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Royal Drury Theatre. It was FABULOUS!!! Both girls loved it (maybe even as much as Jeff and I).