Thursday, December 19, 2013

Visitors! The Buisson's

Actual date of this event: 23 Nov to 1 Dec

Over Thanksgiving week, we had visitors! 
Luke's dad (Andy), step-mom (Sara), littlest brother (Michael) and littlest sister (Andi) stayed for 8 nights with 8 days of London fun. Luke had a few extra days of vacation days left for the year, so he was able to take off of work the whole week. That was the first time Luke played tour guide for a whole week - I am usually the guide for our visitors. He was exhausted after two days which left me pleased that he now knows why I am always so tired after playing host. In no way am I complaining about about it, though. I absolutely LOVE seeing how excited people get when visiting famous sights and seeing unique things... it reminds that this opportunity Luke and I have been given is a blessing and should not be taken for granted! Plus, I get to spend good quality time with people we love and miss so much who take the time (and spend the money) to visit us overseas! So what did we do all week???

Saturday, November 23
Arrival day was a very very long day! Without any sleep on the airplane, the Buisson's were troopers! Much more than I could have been for sure!
-arrive at 10am at London Heathrow
-tube back to the flat in Wimbledon
-a few minutes of rest and freshening up time
-train to Waterloo
-first pub stop at The Wellington for food and drink
-tube/bus to Upton Park
-attend the West Ham vs. Chelsea football match
{Luke, Michael and Andi so into the match!}
-tube back to Wimbledon

Sunday, November 24
Sunday was a pretty cold day, but once we started moving, we warmed up a bit more.
-train to Waterloo
-visit and eat at the Real Food market on the Southbank (delicious sausages, pork, duck confit, crepes, mulled wine)
 {we added pear, apricot, and cherry schnapps to each of our mulled wines}
{this Duck Confit was one of the BEST things I have ever eaten!}
-visit and shop at the Southbank German Christmas Market (yummy mulled wine)

-cross the Golden Jubilee Bridge
-see Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column, Big Ben from a distance, and watched street performers

{Michael and Andi still don't know how Yoda was floating.}
-pub stop at The Chandos
{They loved posting pictures on Instagram of themselves at pubs.}
-walk through Leceister Square, Piccadilly Circus
-pub stop at All Bar One
-walk up Regent Street, up Carnaby Street, and along Oxford Street
 {Seriously the cutest Christmas decorations ever!}
-walk through Soho
-dinner at Wahaca (but of course!)
-tube/train home from Piccadilly Circus

Monday, November 25
-lunch at Sticks-n-Sushi in Wimbledon
-tube to Blackfriars
-pub stop at The Blackfriars
-see St Paul's Cathedral and Temple Bar
-drinks and tapas at Madison's at One New Change (rooftop bar)

{tourist pose!}
-see the Gherkin
-drinks at Sushi Samba at Heron (39th floor of the skyscraper)
-dinner at Pizza East
-walk through Brick Lane (street with loads of curry restaurants)
-tube home from Algate East

Tuesday, November 26
We had plans to see a show and debated between Jersey Boys and Lion King. In the end, Lion King won, so we called for tickets during one of our pub stops and luckily found 6 seats together. The show was terrific!
-train to Waterloo
-eat lunch at Southbank German Christmas Market
-ride the London Eye
{to see more pictures of our experience, click here} 
-pictures in front of Parliament and Big Ben
-cross Westminster Bridge
-see Parliament up close
-see Westminster Abbey
-pub stop at The Feathers
-tube from St James' Park to Embankment
-walk through Covent Garden Market
-dinner at Opera Tavern
-see the Lion King
-train home from Waterloo

Wednesday, November 27
We decided to make Wednesday a 'rest' day and stay in Wimbledon. We slept in which felt nice.
-walk to Wimbledon Village
-lunch at Lawn Bistro
-see the Wimbledon Tennis Championship Grounds
-grocery store visit
-cook a "Thanksgiving" dinner of wine and martinis (first things first!), roast chicken, pork loin, stuffing, green beans
-watch V for Vendetta

Thursday, November 28 -- Thanksgiving Day
Since Thanksgiving is not a holiday in the United Kingdom, we had no plans to "celebrate" Thanksgiving. The whole week we were thankful to be together which was better than a day of celebration.
-train to Waterloo, bus to Tate Modern
-walk along the southside of the Thames River...
-see Tate Modern
-see Millenium Bridge
-see Shakespeare's Globe
-pub stop at The Achor for snack (pie) and drink
-walk through Clink
-visit and eat lunch at Borough Market
-see Southwark Cathedral
-pub stop at The Barrowboy  & Banker
-see The Shard
-continue walking along the southside of the river...
-see Hay's Galleria
-see HMS Belfast
-stop for family pictures

-see City Hall
-walk across Tower Bridge
-walk around Tower of London
-double-decker bus ride
-pub stop at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
-double-decker bus ride to High Street Kensington
-pub stop at Prince of Wales
-dinner at My Old Dutch (pizza on top of a pancake)
-tube home from High Street Kensington

Friday, November 29
We had plans to go see the Changing of the Guards, but unfortunately in the winter, it only happens on even number days. Even though we got up early (left by 9:30am) to see the changing, we still filled up our day!
-tube to Green Park
-walk through Green Park
-see Buckingham Palace and Victoria Memorial

-see Royals Guards up close and personal and take a million pictures and videos :-)
-walk through St James Park and almost get attacked by fat squirrels, swans and ducks
-walk down Constitution Hill and see Royal Guards' Horses marching
-see Wellington Arch
-pub stop at The Nags Head
-ladies and boys split up
-shop at H&M
-afternoon tea at Millennium Hotel in Mayfair
-visit and eat at Camden Market
-drinks at BrewDog
-drinks at Connaught Bar
-walk by US Embassy
-go into Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland (Christmas market, festival, and fair)

-enjoy drinks, sausages and each other's company

-tube home from Hyde Park Corner

Saturday, November 30
We planned to check out the antique market as Sara was looking for a unique souvenir. Even though she couldn't find exactly what she wanted, we enjoyed checking out other antiques. In the evening, we went to a concert at what has been named 'one of the best concert venues in London'.
-tube to Notting Hill
-visited Portobello Road Market
-pub stop at Portobello Gold
-souvenir shopped
-early dinner at Electric Diner
-tube from Ladbroke Grove to Highbury & Islington
-attended concert at Union Chapel
-tube home from Highbury & Islington

Sunday, December 1
The Buisson's had an early flight on Sunday, so we were out the door by 6:30am. Luke and I rode along with them to the airport and said our thanks and goodbyes.
We had such an enjoyable time together, and I am so glad they were able to come visit us. With the kids still in school and so active in sports, I was not expecting them to visit. Michael was the biggest trooper of all as he was on crutches with a broken knee. We did the best we could to keep the walking to a minimum, but like I have said before, it is impossible to not walk a ton in London. I hope they enjoyed their visit as we enjoyed having them here with us! Thanks again for everything, Andy and Sara!!

**To see more pictures of the Buisson's in London, visit the #BuissonsInLondon page on Instagram. We all kept track of our pictures throughout the week... the kids had so much fun hanging out in pubs (completely foreign concept to them as they were underage), taking selfies, and making silly videos.

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