Hello! This is Michelle, daughter #3. Now that the snowstorm is over and the weather has calmed down…Dad invited me to continue my guest blog about our recent trip to London:

Once again…We chose London for a few reasons. I work for a subsidiary of American Airlines. American has a robust route network at London Heathrow airport, flying directly to quite a few U.S. cities. As employees, we travel standby on a space available basis. Lots of flights means many chances to find an empty seat or two. Another reason we chose London is because I’ve been there before. It was about 15 years ago, but at least I had a head start on my bearings. We flew from Grand Rapids to Chicago to London to get there and London to Chicago to Grand Rapids coming home. We were were lucky to find unsold seats on each of our planes.

Wednesday, we headed into town on the Piccadilly Line. This time, we transferred to the Jubilee Line to head to Waterloo and the London Eye. They offer advanced bookings, but I wasn’t sure what time we would get there since we were staying so far from downtown, so we purchased on site. Waiting has its drawbacks too, so I don’t think there’s a best way to do it. From the top of the Eye, we could see St. Paul’s Cathedral and had a great view of the River Thames.

View from the London Eye – a gigantic wheel (Ferris Wheel, Big Wheel) – view of London with Big Ben on the right.
This is the view from the top of the London Eye – Here’s Michelle (author), me (Bill) and Bria, who is also an American Airlines employee and friend of Michelle, who came along with us on the trip.

After the Eye, we crossed Westminster Bridge. We tried 10 Downing Street, but it was blocked off and we couldn’t see it.

St. James Park – note the waterfowl in the pond

Then, we took a stroll through St. James’ Park. Dad managed to order a sunny, warm day in October in London, so we were comfortable in just our sweatshirts. The leaves were mostly still on the trees and there were more than several kinds of waterfowl, plus the pigeons.

Bill in front of Buckingham Palace. There were hundreds (thousands?!) of tourists there and everyone waited in line to get their picture taken at the main gate.

At the end of St. James’ Park was Buckingham Palace. According to the wisdom of the internets, the Changing of the Guard is tightly packed with tourists, and you must be there early to get a good view, so we didn’t try for it. We took our photos of Buckingham Palace.

Bill with apple juice at Pret a Manger

Then, we walked through Green Park before stopping for a refresher at Pret a Manger. Pret a Manger is everywhere in London! Try not stopping, you can’t. They have a similar presence in New York City. After a juice toast to London, we carried on.

We went to Harrods, where I bought my husband Dan his favorite caramels. As we continued to wander, we stayed roughly on the path of the Piccadilly tube line so that we wouldn’t have to transfer trains on the way back to Heathrow. We wanted an Italian restaurant, and we found Pierino near the South Kensington tube stop. There was not an empty table here. Dad had the salmon salad, and I had spaghetti. We stopped at Trafalgar Square. Then we headed back to London Heathrow, having logged another 6.7 miles of walking on day two.

One last post on our trip…hopefully, I’ll get that posted midweek.