Maybe it was the fact that I’m a vegetarian and the mere thought of kidney pie or bangers and mash tends to turn my stomach.
Or perhaps it was the fact that most English speaking countries have never seemed all that exciting to me. Where’s the fun in knowing whether those few words you muttered to your taxi driver will get you to the museum or the mausoleum?
Whatever the reason, London was just never very high on my “Must See” list.
That is, until I re-watched “Notting Hill” one day and became obsessed with the montage of Hugh Grant walking through the Portobello Road Market whilst (see, I can speak British!) “Ain’t No Sunshine” played plaintively through the scene.
I was hooked. Let me clarify- I was hooked on seeing London at Christmastime! When Hugh flips the collar up on his coat and makes his way through the Christmas trees in the market, I’m a goner!
Every. Single. Time.
A few years ago when planning my first European Christmas Market trip, London was first on the list. When my niece Noelle developed a serious case of FOMO and happily decided to come along, London got swapped out for Vienna and Hugh Grant would have to wait a couple more years.
This past year when planning our Christmas Market trip, I was determined to keep London in the mix.
I was incredibly excited to see “A Christmas Carol” (it’s my favorite book!) at the Old Vic Theater. And by excited, I mean, on a scale of 1-10, I was an 812.
I knew I’d love the play, the Christmas lights on Regent and Oxford Streets and the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the city!
When planning “The Sisters Tour”, it took us quite a while to narrow down the choices. As I’ve mentioned, this trip has been more than two years in the making. When we first put London on the list (never having been there and this NOT being a Christmas trip) I was a bit nonplussed.
I knew a couple of the sisters were big fans of Princess Diana and would love to see Buckingham Palace et. al. and that it was #1 on one of the sisters’ lists. So, I acquiesced.
After the December trip, I couldn’t wait to get back to London!
In a few short weeks, we’ll again be strolling through Hyde Park, stopping for photo ops at Trafalgar Square and HOPEFULLY, squeezing in a little time for The National Gallery.
Most of The Sisters will get their fill of fish and chips and the two vegetarians will….well, we’ll find something to eat!
London is an incredibly vibrant city. There is an energy there that is different than New York or LA.
I feel just a wee bit more sophisticated in London. Like I could be asked at any moment to have a spot of tea with the Queen’s seventh cousin fourteen times removed.
This week I answered a few questions about, for example, whether a curling iron will need a converter and an adapter or just an adapter. The answer is, if your hairdryer/curling iron/straightener is dual voltage (check the manufacturer’s website) you will only need an adapter. If it is single voltage, you will need a converter as well. Apple Products require only an adapter, as they are dual voltage. So, your iPhone and iPad are safe!
The Sisters are getting together next Friday in my hometown to flesh out our final itinerary. I won’t say which sisters (Wendy and Crysty) believe they will see Meghan and Harry, which (Mary, Carry and Teresa) will chase down any minor celebrity they might see, and which one (ME) will take so many photos and video that her Facebook friends will want to un-friend her, but I WILL tell you I don’t know how we could be any more excited for this trip!
Heaven help us all if I spot Hugh Grant.
Til next time!