As I write this post, I’m finally regaining control over the jet lag beast after a whirlwind week in London, and what a little adventure it was. My first time out of the country (passport stamp to prove it) with six days of listening to those lovely British accents and heck of a lot of tourist moments to prove it.
When I found out there was a chance I would be heading across the pond for business, I purposely kept my excitement level at about a two all the way up until the point I crossed through international security on Thursday evening – from there, all bets were off.
I traveled with two of my favorite coworkers, making the journey that much more exciting. We started the trip with a stop at Ecco for a drink – a Long Live the Queen seemed appropriate enough.
Side note – how sparkling are the floors of the new international terminal at Hartsfield? Maybe I’m the only one who is dazzled by them every time I’m flown out of that are.
We landed around 7 AM London time, so I was beyond grateful to our hotel for the early check in around 9:30 AM. Bags dropped and we headed off to find food – sleep later. After lunch, we wandered over to Tower Bridge and Tower of London. In honor of World War I, there is currently a poppy installation that is absolutely breathtaking. I had caught a glimpse earlier in the week through US media, but was more drawn to Duchess Kate’s coat that time around, so it was such a pleasant surprise to see the grand scale and painstaking detail in person.
The next few days continued with more adventures, which seemed to also conveniently align with either champagne or sunshine. Rather than give you a play by play, here are the highlights broken into three categories.
1. Activities that included a glass of champagne
First up, a champagne tour of the London eye.
Second, a stop at Harrod’s.
Finally, not a champagne stop, but this adorable little owl drink at Night Jar – a fantastic speakeasy.
2. Tourist stops I wasn’t afraid to obnoxiously photograph (which was everything)
During the month of August when the Queen is away, Buckingham Palace offers tours inside. I would highly recommend it.
I couldn’t resist a double decker bus begging me to share with the home state.
3. Morning run routes that allowed me to see more of the city (and look like a sweaty, lost tourist)
Run club over Tower Bridge – at a balmy 6:00 AM.
While the 40 kid line kept me from an actual photo of platform 9 3/4, I couldn’t resist making a trip to Kings Cross.
While the week has been packed with work as well (hello sixteen hour days), I was so thankful to get to spend some time making the most of this incredibly gracious, welcoming and charming city. My next international adventure will be to Belize in just a few short months with a slightly different travel agenda and companion (hello honeymoon) and I cannot wait.
Until then, I’ll be dreaming of those delightful British accents and tiny tea pots.