We’re back from London after a 10-day trip with the 2 babies.
So here’s the story to this London trip. Tickets to U2’s innocence + experience tour opened up for sale sometime in December last year. Why is this important? One thing you need to know about the husband is that he is the biggest U2 fan this side of the world and right at the very top of his bucket list is to go for a U2 concert. U2 has never toured in Singapore and if this mountain wasn’t going to come to us, we were going to have to go to the mountain. Sort of. We had to make this happen and there wasn’t very much time to plan because tickets to U2 concerts sell out within minutes. After some skillful computer clicking, we scored 2 tickets, which meant that of course, a trip to the UK was in order.
The timing of this was unfortunate in that Truett had to stay behind for school. Kirsten decided that if her precious big brother wasn’t going to go, she wouldn’t go either.
“Are you sure??” I asked her several times as I was booking the flight tickets. “This is London and Paris and Disneyland.”
“If kor kor can’t go, I will stay with him so he won’t be sad.” So she did. 1000 points for solidarity.
It’s our first visit to Europe and London was the perfect spot to kick things off because underneath this city girl exterior is exactly the inside of a city girl. I like being in a big city where there’s lots to do – getting lost in the crowd, discovering lovely little spots that make the place my own.
The first 2 days in a new city, I like to make like a tourist and visit all the highlights before going off the beaten track.
Day one, both babies were jetlagging and very awake at 4 in the morning so we got in an early start to Buckingham Palace. Before we left, I had told Kirsten that we were going to visit the Queen’s home and she made me practice curtseying to the Queen just in case I saw her. I said this was very unlikely, “practically zero chance of this happening” were my exact words, but she made me practice anyway. And she’s right. One must always be prepared in case once meets the Queen.
We got to Buckingham Palace but we didn’t get to meet the Queen. Or the Princess. Or even one of her chambermaids. Being the lowly peasants that we are, we just stood outside the gate waiting for the change of guard to happen.
No disrespect to Her Royal Majesty, but it’s horribly boring, by the way. We stood for an hour and a half getting squeezed by a million tourists, thinking that there would be some fanfare or dancing horses or something that would make this worthwhile. After like an eternity, we finally saw the top of some furry hats as a bunch of guards marched past. Okay, the hats were pretty cool, and it’s what I really wanted to see anyway, but the marching seemed very ordinary. All in all, I’d consider this a very mild success. If I could have touched the furry hat, it would have been a much bigger success.
After the new guards marched in, we tried to exit the crowd, but we were told to wait till the old guards marched out, so we had to stand there for another 20 minutes to see the tops of more furry hats.
Baby Theo was not pleased, I can tell you that. He spent the entire time yelling/demanding hi fives from strangers. Baby does not understand the importance of royalty.
We left Buckingham Palace and crossed over to St James’ Park, which was lovely in the fall with all the crunchy autumn leaves and cute little ducks. And squirrels! There were lots of squirrels just running around having a good time.
With so much space to explore, these 2 little squirrels had a good time too.
From there, we walked to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the River Thames for a view of the London Eye. We could probably have hopped onto the tube to cut down on the walking but we had beautiful weather and also, we stopped to peer down the long flight of steps to the tube station before deciding that one of us would very likely injure something if we had to lug the double stroller all the way down and back up again. For most of the trip, we either hiked our way around the city or called for an uber when we were too exhausted. Most of the uber rides ranged from £5-10, which wasn’t much more than paying 3 adult fares on the tube.
We also found a promo code for Gett, a London-based uber alternative, which gave us another £30 of free rides around the city. Sweet.
In the evening, my mom babysat the babies while we went off for a truly epic U2 concert at the O2 arena. The husband was in U2 heaven and even for a moderate U2 fan like me, it was an incredible performance.
Quite a way to start off our first day in London, if I might say so myself. I think I rather like this city.