Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Europe Adventure: Day Thirteen, Part three- London, King's Cross, British Library, Hamley's, and more

After leaving the Globe Theater we began walking toward the Millennium Bridge. 
If you have watched the Harry Potter movies you will recognize this bridge as the one the death eaters swirl around and destroy. 
It is a very cool looking bridge. 

As we walked up onto the bridge, we saw this cool guy. 

Walking across the bridge...
with St. Paul's in the distance. 

We didn't go into St. Paul's Cathedral but we walked by it to get to our tube station. 

A lot of the tube stations go down really far. And these escalators are steep.

Here comes our train...

We rode the train to King's Cross station. 

Then we went to find Platform Nine and Three Quarters. 

We decided not to get in line to get a picture with the trolley since we already did that at the Harry Potter studio tour. 
And this line was LONG.

But we did go into the shop. It was a fantastic shop but so crowded it was hard to move around. I had promised to get Maddy a Hedwig stuffed animal and had not found one at the studios and was able to get one in this shop! I also got Abi a Hermione wand pen that came with a bookmark. 

They used King's Cross in the movies but the outside of it was not King's Cross station. King's Cross is actually quite modern looking and they wanted the outside to look more magical or old fashioned so they used St. Pancras station across the road for the exterior shots. 
We went out of the station to go for a little walk...
and ;while we were walking toward St. Pancras station this group of people all of a sudden ran into the square and began performing. Yay! A flash mob. It was very cool. 

St. Pancras was a beautiful station. 

We walked right by on our way to our next destination- The British Library.

The British Library is free and very cool to visit. 

We went into the treasures exhibit which was amazing. I couldn't take pictures unfortunately but we saw so many cool things. Among them, the Magna Carta, the Gutenberg Bible of 1455, Leonardo Da Vinci's notebook, the handwritten Handel's Messiah, the original manuscript of Beowulf, and so many more things. I wish I would have written down everything we saw in there. It was amazing. 
I found this little video on YouTube by Rick Steves: 

After leaving the library we walked down the beautiful roads of London....

Next we were visiting Hamley's toy store. 
I promised the girls that I would go in there and pick some toys for them. 
Unfortunately there wasn't much in there that we couldn't get at home that I knew they would love but I did get a few things. And my mom got them some things too. 
It was a huge toy store. 

toys I got them: 

toys my mom got them: 

We then took the tube back to Notting Hill Gate where we were going to go to a pub for dinner. 
But every pub had a line out the door and hours wait time. 
This was really disappointing but we just kept walking to our hotel to see if we could find anything. 
We dropped our things off at our hotel and then went back out to visit some nearby shops and ended up just getting Mcdonalds again. My mom wanted ice cream for Sunday dessert and we figured that would be the best place to find it. But then they were out of ice cream. What? Haha. 
We took our food back to our room and watched some more Pride and Prejudice while we ate. 
We were very tired and it was nice to be able to relax and then go to bed!

Meeting Susan Branch

 In May we had an awesome thing happen! 
I have loved Susan Branch's art and cookbooks for years. 
Then over the last few years I discovered her book about her trip to England and then her memoirs. 
Her second book in the memoirs was being released in May and she and her husband went on a book tour to promote it. 
I have wanted to meet her forever so I was so excited when I found out they were going to stop in Salt Lake City!
My mom, Abigail, and Madeline all wanted to go with me so we made it a girls night out. 
When we got to the venue I was surprised at how packed it already was!
We got seats in the back so we could sit on some soft benches. 
We were in a great spot because then we were able to see her when she came in!

 It was the cutest thing when Maddy noticed her. She stood up and waved and Susan noticed and waved back.

Susan was so fun to listen to. She spoke for a while and then took questions. 
Her husband was back by us a lot taking pictures of the event. There he is by Abi.

After listening to her speak it was time to go to the bookstore (they did the first part in the art studio next door) to get in line for the signing. 
It was a very long line and we were standing in it for a long time!
But we had a good time chatting and her husband Joe came by talking to everyone and signed our books as well. 
Finally we were meeting Susan!
She was very sweet. 
Maddy loves her because she is an artist and Maddy drew a picture that she wanted to show her. 
She asked her if she would sign it. And she did. It was so nice of her. 

 I had to get a picture of their cute van outside too. 

It was such a fun time! And I am so glad I finally got to meet her!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Europe Adventure: Day Thirteen, Part Two- Tower Bridge and Shakespeare's Globe Theater

After leaving The Tower of London we walked by Tower Bridge to get a better look at it and take some more pictures. It is such a beautiful bridge. I love the colors!
A lot of people mistake this for London Bridge. They are not the same thing. 

We knew we were heading for Shakespeare's Globe next but instead of walking or taking the tube we decided to take a boat!
It was really fun to slowly go down the Thames being able to just relax and look at everything. 

After getting off of the Thames Clipper we walked down the road to the Globe. 

There is the Millenium Bridge!We will walk across that later!

The Globe!

We really wanted to see a play here but they weren't opening up until after we left so we settled for a tour. 
If you can call it settling. 
It was such a great tour.
We went through the main building first, bought our tickets, and looked over the display they had about the theater and about Shakespeare. We didn't have time to read every display but it was cool to see them and pick and choose a few that really interested us. 
Then we met our group for the tour. 
We were taken through the theater whilst being told about the history of the first theater that burnt and the building of the new one. 
We got to walk around the stage and also go sit up in the seats while our tour guide was talking to us. 
The stage was being prepared for their first play of the season- A Midsummer Night's Dream

It was a very interesting tour and well worth our time. 

Next up: More London!