London, June 8 to June 11, 2019(In which Isabela Barton, 15, writes an email to her grandmother that she typed on her phone.)
Hope you are doing well!! The Barton family has had a very fun time in London so far. After a ridiculously long flight from Austin that took 9 hours, we arrived at the airport. I tried as hard as I could to sleep on the plane, as that was my plan to make the time pass quicker, but I am so bad at sleeping so that that didn’t work all that well. That means that I faced the 9th with 5 hours of sleep I had gotten the previous night. I was running on 5 hours of sleep for almost two full days.
Anyway, that first day that we were there, we rode the subway (or the tube as they call it in England) for an hour before arriving at Piccadilly Circus. That was where we were going to be staying for 3 nights. We dropped off our belongings and went immediately to the Tower of London. My mom was very set on informing us about all of the weird family tree stuff that is going on between the generations of royalty in England for hundreds of years. There, we got the AUDIO TOUR (which you will begin to see is a very common theme) and LEARNed all about the crown of jewels, executions, and the lives of the soldiers that work there.
All of the kids were super tired because we weren’t able to sleep on the flight and our parent weren’t because they slept the entire flight (of course), so the only logical thing to do is frolic around the city without really knowing where we are going before finally stopping at the London Bridge Experience to LEARN about the London Bridge. The lady running the line got into a little argument with the people across from us (there were two lines) and her group had five people as well. The people across from us got in and my parents were OUTRAGED because we had been waiting there for 30 minutes in the cold windy London weather. They basically argued and argued and argued until they finally got the lady to let us in. The actual “experience” was fine. We just LEARNed about the Vikings and the early building and function of the London Bridge. On that one we didn’t have an AUDIO TOUR, but my mom was a little distraught that one wasn’t available to us. I won’t bore you with the details because you read a lot of books and I’m sure you know everything there is to know. A part of the tour was also a haunted house walk through which would have been scary at least for Thomas because he’s never been to one before, but the people in front of us kept screaming right before the scary parts got to us. Nonetheless a scary guy with a chainsaw chased us for a little while so it was pretty terrifying.
For dinner that night, we went to a pub and Thomas fell asleep on the table in the restaurant. My mom thought it was so funny that she instagramed it (check her out @tanyaeclement on instgram.com) Guess what Grandma, I SLEPT 14 HOURS!!!!! The second day we were all so exhausted that we slept until noon because of the night before. We walked through St James Park and were going to go into the Church of War Rooms I think but they had too big of a line. The next option we had was Westminster Abby where we bought a (you guessed it) AUDIO TOUR. The line was 50 minutes long and my dad had to work because all of his colleagues were waking up in Austin. The church was cool and I actually enjoyed the AUDIO TOUR. It was very informative and I LEARNed a lot about the line of royalty and their relationships with each other. Because we woke up so late, we didn’t have a lot of time to do anything else so we just walked around and relaxed at our place until it was time to meet my mom’s good friend from college…PAM! Pam was very nice.
The next day was the day where we really knocked out a lot of touristy stuff. To begin with we went on a 10 mile bike ride all around the city and our guide gave a nice description of every place we stopped at. During that tour we stopped at Buckingham Palace and saw the changing of the guards. There were so many people, though, that we couldn’t really see anything, but we did catch a glimpse of some synchronized marching and horses. The rest of the ride continued as you would expect except that another lady on the tour had a broken bike and sneakily switched with mom. She decided to be the bigger person and not switch them back which I thought was very noble. Good job Mom!!! My mom has booked tickets on the London Eye right after that so after a street food debacle where no one took credit cards, the four of us rushed across town to make our time slot. The ride was pretty cool. We got super high and had a really good view of the whole city. Everyone on that thing was taking selfies and they looked funny to say the least. Immediately after, we were walking to the Tate Modern museum we stopped to watch this street performer who basically stalled for 20 minutes before telling everyone that we HAD to give him money. At the museum none of the kids were really into any of the artwork because it had been a long day, but my mom seemed to enjoy it which is good.
The day finished with us enjoying the Phantom of the Opera in theatre. My brother wasn’t interested in the first part pre intermission, so much so that he fell asleep. The storyline picked up in the second part though and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it after that, no matter how much he tries to deny it. That was pretty much the end of our London adventure apart from riding the train to the airport.