A short stay in London

IMG_4687 IMG_4690london eye big benIMG_4689 IMG_4688 IMG_4684 london thames walkcarousel londonThinking about:

Walks along the Thames.

Books under a bridge.

Soft light over the London Eye.



A sister’s first carousel ride.

Happily in one place for now, it’s still nice to reminisce about recent trips taken, sights seen, necks hugged. We spent two days in London. Two days squeezed into two months of travel, mostly in the UK, might strike a person as measly. But believe you me, I fought hard for those two days. Luke believes that no person in their right mind visits London willingly; if you go to London it’s because you have no choice. Passport updates, medical specialists, someone you really, really, really love lives there (who you haven’t seen in 10 years). Those are reasons to go to London. Kicking and screaming, mind you.

Though I agree with my husband that a city, wherever you go in the world, looks like a city — it’s the countryside for us, please — I wanted to make up my own mind about London. Which was proving difficult. In the thirteen years I’ve been visiting the UK (three times to London, briefly), I’d yet to have a good London experience. Not the city’s fault, mind you. Once I was too jet lagged to see straight, once was for a brief 24 hours when London was submerged in a heat wave, and once I went after attending a wedding where an ill bridesmaid infected half the guests, myself included, with a violent stomach bug. I spent the majority of that visit staring into the basin of a Piccadilly hostel toilet.

While none of those events were the city’s fault, I still felt owed a decent London experience. Thankfully, this go-round, we had a very good reason to go: Luke’s brother and sister-in-law.

My new sister gave us the grand tour, focusing on sites she perceptively knew we’d love (parks and green space, mainly). What a rockstar she and Luke’s brother were! So much so that I realized after one full day of walking, site-seeing, and laughing, capped off with a 4 hour dinner in a jazz bar under a bridge that rattled every time a train went past overhead, that a good London experience has nothing to do with the city. It’s all about the people.

Friends, I’d love to know: Where have you been this summer? Going any place exciting? Luke and I have traveled very little in the USA, so we get extra swoony hearing about trips taken around this country. So, please, bring on the wanderlust!

  1. Iris said:

    Love the photos and the books sale looks like something I’d like. I’ve always wanted to go to London to take in the sights and visit people I know. Maybe someday…

    This year I’m likely going to Hong Kong in late October.

    • Erin said:

      Oh wow, Hong Kong sounds dreamy. Have a great trip!

      • Iris said:

        Thank you!

  2. Ahhhh….open air book markets. I run around those singing, “A fair is veritable smorgasbord, orgasboard, dorgasboard…” when I find them. It’s been a decade since I’ve seen London, but I fell in love with the place. I remember a tour guide telling us that a certain wall we passed still bore the smoke marks and scars of the Great Fire of 1666. All I could think was, “Holy crap, that wall is older than my country!” It totally changes your perspective on things to be in a place like London—such a mash-up of people and places. Love it!

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