The week went by so quickly, I felt like I had accomplished nothing! After coming back from my Euro blitz, I had to really organize and get things ready to move back to Canada. But before I could even pack my life away into two suitcases, my parents were coming to London for a week and then we’re off to Italy for a week. How on earth do I manage this?!
I was able to pack one suitcase and leave it safely stored in a closet at the flat. I’d be staying with my parents in the hotel across the street (The DoubleTree London – West End). If I had forgotten anything in the suitcase I had packed, I wasn’t too far from the flat. I can always run back to get whatever it is I’d need!
So the day was finally here! My parents’ flight was set to land first thing in the morning. I was beyond excited for them to cross the pond and visit this amazing city! It seemed like they had been planning this adventure for years, but in reality, it was only 9 months.
I arrived at Heathrow to snag a good spot so they could see me as soon as they walked out those arrival doors. Their flight ended up being delayed – I waited 3 hours at the airport . Eventually they finally came through and I climbed over the railing to meet them in the midst of all the frustrated travellers who were delayed. It was so, so good to have them in London!
Since they had just come off a long flight, I decided to keep this day pretty easy going. We checked into the hotel and dropped their bags off. I took them over to Pizza Express for a nice lunch and catch up on things. Afterwards I took them to the flat so they could see where I had been living all this time. We wandered a little bit that day, but definitely didn’t get them to any major attractions. There would be more than enough for them to see this week that I didn’t want to wear them out on their first day!
Let the sightseeing begin!
We woke the next day refreshed and ready to get the day started. I took them to the British Museum because I know Dad wanted to see it, and it was one of my favourite places to visit while living in London. Knowing Mum isn’t too keen on museums, she tagged along for the gift shop. The British Museum does bode some amazing gifts. The museum is so large, I knew I couldn’t show them the whole thing in one day! We would have been there all day if that were the case! A few hours easily passed as we wandered through the Egyptian, Roman and Chinese artifacts. Eventually we found our way out.
I took them around the city, showing them my old haunts. We walked through Leicester Square down to Piccadilly Circus. I’d fill them in on some touristy information about each area we visited. From Piccadilly I took them down to the Mall. They could see where the beach volleyball was held at the Horse Guards Parade, although you wouldn’t know it since it’s all been put back to its original state.
Being detoured off the Mall, we walked through St. James’ Park to get to Buckingham Palace. Mum and Dad were a bit underwhelmed with Queen Lizzie’s residence, so we moved on. A slight detour through Green Park brought us back to Piccadilly. A quick stop in Fortnum & Mason (a must see!) along the way, we eventually made it down to Trafalgar Square.
I decided we should call it a day at this point because we could have easily seen all the attractions in one day! But I would need to have something to do with them tomorrow, haha. It was going to be another full day of walking. Poor Mum and Dad. They’ll sleep well tonight!
On our third day, Chloe joined us for breakfast at the hotel. I was so excited for Mum and Dad to meet her since she’d become such a good friend while living in London. Obviously they loved her! Today we decided to see Parliament and Big Ben. We walked down Whitehall so I could show them Downing Street. While touring around Westminster, we were suckered into a mini-tour of the area by a local bum. Although he looked like a groundskeeper of Westminster, we quickly realized he wasn’t. Either way, he did give us a great tour! Some of his facts were a bit off, but all in all we saw some things we likely wouldn’t have seen on our own. Like Queen Anne’s Footstool….no, not an actual footstool. It’s a church that is notably called Queen Anne’s Footstool because while the design of this church was being discussed, Queen Anne had been suffering from ill health and kicked over a footstool, implying that the church have four towers. Whether or not that’s actually true, I’m not sure. But it makes for a great story and the church does look like an overturned footstool.
Anyway, our makeshift tour guide eventually brought us back to the Thames, just down from Parliament. We made up an excuse to get away from him, but my dad did give him a few quid for the nice tour. From there, we decided to give Mum and Dad a proper London experience and get them on a double decker bus. Chloe suggested we take them down to Spitalfields Market. We jumped on the bus and made our way down Fleet Street. We showed them Old Bailey — where Chloe and I met. Mum loved Spitalfields. She still talks about it today. Chloe and I then decided to let my parents in on our Nandos experience. They loved it just as I hoped they would.
From Spitalfields, I wanted them to experience the Underground. Mum was a bit nervous. She hated how far up the escalators went, and how low they’d go. I just told them to follow me. They were amazed how well I navigated the Tube. It’s not so bad to be quite honest. Just always be looking ahead at signs and know where you’re going before you go! It’s difficult stopping to look at the Tube map while thousands of people are buzzing about.
Another day complete and my parents were in bed early again. I’ll walk them to an early grave at this point! With their first few days under their belt, I was wondering if they’d last the next few! I made sure they were back at the hotel early in case they were tired or needed to put up their feet. They’re such troopers though. They were having as much fun being shown about as I was showing them around. I love when I can experience the city in a new way through the eyes of newcomers. I’ve managed to squeeze in a lot during their first few days in London. The next few days would prove to be just a packed!
Stay tuned for more London, a day trip outside of the city and a dream come true for Chloe and I!
Until next time…