family, holiday, travel

jilly does jolly old england

True story: While I was across the pond, not only did I not count a single Weight Watchers point I didn’t even think about them. I ate what I wanted when I wanted without ever worrying about calories or points or any of it. Most of the time I made pretty good choices but, c’mon, it was the holiday season and I was on vacation in England. Y’know, the land of shortbread and mince pies.

So, even though we were doing a ton of walking I was still a little worried about what I would see when I finally got home to my scale. But apparently all of that walking paid off because when I weighed myself this morning I had lost 1 pound!

Like I said, we did a bunch of walking and of course I wore my handy dandy FitBit the entire trip. We left Sunday December 22nd and arrived back in Cleveland late last night. In that week I walked just over 77,500 steps and roughly 33 miles! Not too shabby, eh?

My family (minus Sissy and BIL — long story) arrived in London Monday morning. Yay for overnight flights, seriously. We had rooms at this super sweet extended stay type hotel. Mine was basically like a studio apartment, small kitchenette included so we stocked up at the local grocery store and were all able to just make our own breakfasts each morning. The hotel was a block away from my aunt and uncle’s flat and there was a Tube stop right around the corner so it was ridiculously convenient.

Monday and Tuesday were spent walking around doing some shopping at Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, two of London’s most well-known shops. Both are also known for their window displays and they went all out for the holidays.

Then, as I mentioned, our Christmas started by attending a service at Westminster Abbey.

Not gonna lie, I spent the entire service staring up at the ceiling, studying the architecture just imagining what it took to build the entire thing. It really is awe-inspiring.

After doing a bit more sightseeing while in that part of the city we headed back to the hotel for a bit of downtime before we went to my aunt and uncle’s for Christmas dinner.

Well, my parents did. I went on a super-secret mission.

It wasn’t until this trip that I realized that pretty much all of my fandoms are British. Don’t really know how that happened, but so be it. One of these is, of course, Doctor Who and I knew there were a small handful of blue police boxes still standing in the city, one of them even being on Google Maps. That would be the Earls Court Police Box and when, out of curiosity, I looked it up online I realized it was a mere half mile away from our hotel.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

Obviously a TARDIS selfie was required.

One little walk later, I made it back just in timey wimey to meet my parents for a lovely Christmas dinner.

Thursday was Boxing Day and while my dad, uncle and cousin attended a soccer football match, my mom, aunt and I went on one of London’s famous Walking Tours. The tours are a great way to see London and learn about some of its history (when my family came ten years ago we went on a Jack the Ripper tour). You basically just show up at the appointed time, pay, and off you go. They all meet at a particular Tube stop and this one was the stop right by the Tower of London.

This was a special seasonal walk inspired by Charles Dickens, Christmas traditions and the novel Christmas Carol. One of the places we stopped was this adorable shopping arcade that was used as a filming location in the first Harry Potter film for the street Harry and Hagrid are walking down right before they enter Diagon Alley.

I may or may not have watched the movie while writing this blog post just to see if I recognized it (I did).

Now, okay. So obviously London is fabulous and up until this point I had been having a fantastic time and a great trip. But Friday was, without a doubt, my MOST FAVORITE DAY EVER. Because Friday was the day Papa G. and I took the train out to Hampton Court Palace.

I feel pretty confident saying that roughly half the pictures I took on this trip were at Hampton. Because I am a complete nerd when it comes to the Tudors and have been for nearly a decade (I mean, hello, I quoted Elizabeth I in my MOH speech at Sissy’s wedding).

(Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone, but for years I’ve contemplated getting a Tudor Rose tattooed on the back of my neck. True story.)

Just to walk those halls and see and imagine all of the history that took place within the walls. A painting of Henry VIII’s family that I’ve seen a million times in books, just hanging out in a gallery. They also had reenactors on staff, walking around the grounds, which was pretty cool.

Saturday we had one final lunch at my aunt and uncle’s before packing up and going to Heathrow. We had changed some travel plans so that instead of having a two hour layover in DC, we actually spent Saturday night there so we could visit Sissy and BIL who, again, long story, were unable to join us on the trip at the last minute. It was nice getting to see them and having that sort of “buffer” day between London and home helped get me back on schedule for the most part.

Overall I had a wonderful time, ate lots of yummy yummy food, got to see family, bought some fabulous souvenirs for myself and friends, and spent time in a gorgeous city. But for everything we did get to do there is still plenty that we didn’t have time for so, gosh, looks like I’m just going to have to go back sometime soon! (I’ve also decided I’m going to have to marry some older rich man who owns a flat in London so I can just go back and visit whenever I want.)

Don’t forget! Today is the last day to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean so be sure to enter!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

1 thought on “jilly does jolly old england”

  1. What an awesome trip! I'm glad you had a good time, I don't know that I could ever get the guts to travel abroad. I just can't but I totally admire people who do! I live through their pictures and recaps 🙂


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