So I woke up early today so I had a chance to explore the neighborhood and hopefully grab a cup of coffee from the local Caffe Nero. I need some alone time this morning because I won't have my own time and space now that the kiddos are here.
It's amazing how far I will go for a good cup of coffee. Yes, I know I have a problem, but I cannot start my day off with crap coffee from the hotel. Bad breakfast I can handle, but bad coffee?? Hell no.
I still had time on my walk back to the hotel, so I decided to take my Americano and me to the park to see if I can get a bit of exercise in. It won't be that long of a walk, but it will be nice scenery.
We met with our guide this morning, Nigel, who has taken us to the Science Museum. I have to admit that this is not a museum that I would think to come to, but it is kind of cool. Although the medical history portion is a bit scary because it has a whole bunch of mannequins.
The museum was cool for a bit, but now there are a truck load of children who have taken over. Tons of kids means it's times for me to find the museum cafe for an Americano.
This is the second time I've visited Westminster Abbey, but I realize that I missed or forgot a lot of it. Some of the things we saw I remember and others made me think I did not take enough to time here. That, or maybe they added stuff? Is that possible? I hope they did add more stuff versus evil just forgetting it.
So it's funny. I didn't ever particularly love fish and chips when I was in London the last two times. However for some reason I have a hard core craving for them on this trip. So the first opportunity to have them for lunch I took it. So here I am in front of the Tower of London, dining al fresco with my sparkling water. Mmmm....
It seems that London has fallen pray to the random animal art craze that has taken over other cities. Seattle was the pig, San Diego was the cow, and London has it's sheep. Shaun the sheep is the name of this curious creature. They are at least cute cartoon-y sheep, but still sheep. Some of them are pretty cool. I don't plan on looking for them, but if I see them I will definitely take a picture.
I have been dying to come to the Tower of London, since I first came to London 12 years ago. It was just too expensive for me to justify. I am so glad to have waited to come here though because they have extensively renovated it. Plus having Nigel as our personal tour guide will make this visit.
As soon as we got in the gate, Nigel put a show on! He yelled at the top of his lungs told us the doom that awaited those who try to break into the Tower. He caused quite a commotion and his act was punctuated by the Welsh guardsmen who passed behind us.
I was really tired by this time and so were the students. However the chance to see the Crown Jewels powered us through. And let me tell you the jewels were totally worth it. I mean the largest diamond in the world is in the collection. How awesome is that?! I can't believe that someone has actually worn all of that jewelry. I'm jealous.
So in my wander to try and get tickets to Matilda directly from the theatre, I accidentally found the only Mexican restaurant in London when I first came here. I didn't think it would still be here. But here it is.
I never normally crave noodle soups but today was cold all day and we spent so much time walking in it that hot soup was thoroughly called for. I looked up Ramen in London and came across the restaurant called Tonkatsu. The reviews seemed good but, then I read on one review about a restaurant called Koya. He said that the noodles were much better there. Both of them were in the same area so I decided that Koya was the restaurant I'd go to.
The restaurant was very simple inside and on the blackboard, it said that this is one of the last weeks it was going to be open. So that pretty much sealed the deal for me, even though it was Udon and not ramen. A couple next to me suggested that I try the Kinoko, which was a vegetarian udon with mushrooms and walnut miso. Boy was I glad I did that. It was so yummy and the miso was surprisingly sweet. But still in good contrast with the soup.
This is exactly why I needed. Now I only have to go home, take a shower, and apply heat patches to my spazmatic back.