London April 2017

DAY 1:

Imagine it being one of your milestone birthdays, and being a Beatles fan. It was Robyn's birthday, and I wanted to give her something that was worthy of her. I decided to take her to London for a vacation on her birthday. I wanted her to have the best birthday ever. I let her decide what we were going to do, and I just chased her around London for a week. Here is my Blog about our vacation, and Robyn's birthday.

We flew to London from Arizona late Sunday night, and we ended up at our hotel late Monday evening. The hotel was pretty nice; it was small, but had the essentials. It was all run by an Ipad, so the technology kept me amused. We went out to dinner the first night, and pretty much took it easy, because of the time difference, we suffered jet lag the first day.

The next morning we woke up, and started our daily journey. We started at the London Bridge . Looking over the bridge this is the view of the river Thames , and . We continued down river towards the London. Just in front of Boroughs' Market, we saw this church. Notice the heads by the windows . We rounded the corner to Borough Market, the Borough Market has lots of little shops and restaurants. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures. I wish I would have taken more, but I will say that all of the different foods smelled so good. There were so many people it was so overwhelming at first .

We continued through the market and down the Thames toward London. Here is another Thames picture . After the Market, we passed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. The story is that it was built in the year 1599, and destroyed by fire in 1613. It was rebuilt, and opened to the public in 1997 as a tribute . A little further down the road is the Tate museum . We didn't go inside, other than in the gift shop to look around. It was early in the day, and we still had a lot of ground to cover, but we came out of the museum on the backside, and they had a steam area that was kind of fun. We stayed, watched and played a little .

After playing in the steam at the Tate, we ventured down the Thames a little more and stopped for lunch. We found a little alley way with a nice little outside pub that we decided to stop for a needed lunch break . Once we were rested and fed we headed back on the walk towards London. Just a little way down the walk we stopped to watch some kids playing at a skate park. . This is what it looks like on the walk to London .

We finally were getting to the London Eye . Walking up we ran into this busker guy . Not sure what he was doing, but thought it was worthy of a picture. We didn't go on the Eye but we hung out for a while watching all of the commotion. I took some different shots of the Eye . This was the line leading up to the Eye . The Police making sure nothing got out of hand .

After the London Eye, we crossed over the Thames to see Big Ben. Look at all of the people! . We stopped and stared at it for a while in awe at the sheer size of the Parliament. After a while we continued down the street to the Royal Park and across the street from the park we saw these buildings. We were not positive what they were, but there were actual guards all over the place with machine guns. .

We walked along the huge park towards the queens house. . In front of the gated house were two guards . In front of the mansion was a statue . Here is a shot of the gates in the front of mansion . After hanging out at the queens place for a while we were feeling kind of hungry, so it was time to stop for dinner. We walked into town, and ate at a little restaurant. It just dawned on us that we walked all day in one direction, and after we were finished eating, we had to walk all of the way back, and we were wiped out.

After a nice dinner in town, we started walking back. We were tired as could be. I also found out the tablet doesn't take great night pictures, but here is a one of Big Ben on the way back . Robyn decided she needed to make a phone call in the middle of our walk . After some fun at the phone booth across the street from Big Ben, we decided we did not want to walk all of the way back. We lost track of time and space in our exploration. Just a little further down the road was a subway station, and we decided to figure out how to ride the subway. As we were buying tickets, some nice girl gave us one of here all day passes to use to get home with. Back at the Hotel we went on the balcony adjacent to the bar and this was the view . This was an action packed first day. We walked a lot, and saw a lot of amazing London sites.

DAY 2:

The next morning we wanted to try Dim Sum in London's China Town. Robyn plotted on the subway map, and we were on our way. We rode the subway to about a block from China Town. When we arrived in China Town we stopped at the first place we saw and had Dim Sum. It was a little different that here, but it was good. Dim Sum is always great with Robyn. Once we were good and fed we ventured down the street . We didn't really do anything other than breakfast in China Town so I am going to just post pictures . Next to China Town close to the train station was a park. Along the park was some fun interesting stores . Look at the huge electronic Billboard . Look at all of the people at the park . There was a Lego store, but there were too many people there to go in. There was a M&M store, but the same thing. We didn't actually go into any stores because we had a lot of ground to cover, and we didn't want to waste any time, so we went to the subway to head towards Abbey Road.

Robyn figured out how to get to the famous crosswalk on Abbey Road where the Beatles took the photo for their album cover. We hoped on the subway next to China Town and headed up to Abbey Road Studios. On the way to the famous crosswalk, I took some pictures of houses we passed . This is the famous crosswalk the Beatles walked across on their famous album cover. It has been repainted so it looks a little different now, but it is adjacent to the Abbey Road Studios . This is Robyn getting her picture taken walking on the famous crosswalk that John, Paul, Ringo, and George walked across after recording their "Abbey Road" album . Notice the guy in the background with the bare feet, obviously a Paul fan. This is a picture of the famous Abbey Road Studios . Graffiti in the front of the studio . We had fun watching all of the people walk back and forth across the crosswalk for a while, and took some amazing pictures, but it was time to move on. Robyn wanted to go do some shopping up in the Borough of Camden, so it was time to go.

Robyn and I hopped back on to the subway and headed to Camden. This is what it looked like exiting the subway station. . There were so many people. On the way up to the Camden Markets, these are the buildings we passed . The Camden Markets, are a few indoor/outdoor markets connected together. There are all types of shops and different foods to eat. Here is a picture of a restaurant from the first shop we went in. I like the banner on the canopy . Robyn and I took a much needed coffee break to start our shopping evening . Next to the Camden market there is a canal with locks in it. It is a lot like Ballard Locks in Washington, but much smaller . This is a walking bridge over the canal at the market . The first market had two floors, so I took a picture of the food court from the second floor . This is the entrance to the market next door . Camden was a lot of fun. There are so many things to see there. There were modern shops as well as vintage shops. Lots of great food from around the world.

Day 3:

This was actually Robyn's birthday. This day we were headed up to Liverpool to see some Beatles history. We got up early and jumped on the subway towards the real train station where we took the train first class up to Liverpool. We had to make one stop, so it took a little over 2 hours to get to Liverpool on the train . Here we are stopped a the stop to go to John Lennon Airport. . Once we arrived to the station in Liverpool, we jumped in a cab down to the waterfront to the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. Here is a picture just off of the waterfront . I call this the Liverpool Eye . Behind us was the Yellow Submarine . These are signs to different Beatles shops at the tour building , and the bus .

On the tour the first stop was where Ringo Star was born. This is the street he was born on . Shortly after he was born his family moved a couple of blocks north, and our second stop. Ringo grew up in the pink house. Not sure if it was pink when he actually lived there. It is kind of hard to see, but if you zoom in it is the one that has the can with the number 11 on it. . A couple of blocks down the street we were surprised, and happy to find out that Penny Lane was a real street . Here is where George Harrison grew up. His house is the bright red one with the hanging flowers . A little further down the way was the church that Paul McCartney used to sing at when he was a boy .

Next on the tour was Strawberry Fields. It made us happy to know that this was a real place too . The story goes that back when the Beatles were boys long before they were the Beatles, Strawberry Fields was an orphanage, and John Lennon would climb the fence, and play with the kids that lived there. Since then it has been bought and sold a couple of times, and if I can recall correctly it is now owned by the Salvation Army. .

Moving on the tour we stopped in front of the the house that John Lennon grew up in. John Lennon grew up with his aunt in this house . John's aunt was strict, and wanted him to spend more time with homework than playing music so he used to spend a lot of time at Paul's house. Paul McCartney's parents had a musical background so they encouraged them. A lot of the early Beatles music was written in Paul's living room. Paul McCartney's house he grew up in is the one with the red roof. . This is the last place the Beatles played together in 1965 .

This is downtown Liverpool where the tour bus dropped us off. The tour was really informative. I learned a lot about the Beatles. It was really the whole reason we went to Liverpool. It was Robyn's actual birthday, and I wanted her to go to the place where her favorite band played. It was really a great day, but nothing compared to what was just about to happen. We walked a couple of blocks to Mathew Street where the Cavern Club is. The Cavern Club is where the Beatles got there start. The would play on weekends and lunch gigs during the week. It is in the basement of a building and it is pretty amazing. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. It was really the highlight of the trip!

After we had some T-Shirts, and all of the fun we could have, we ventured back out onto Mathew Street . We decided to walk back to the water front where the tour started rather than taking a cab, so we could see some more of Liverpool. On our way back to the water front, we found this outside mall . Here is more of Liverpool Now back on the train towards the hotel . This was such a long day with 2 two hour train trips, and a couple of tube rides. We just went back to the hotel, and tried to watch a movie and fell asleep.

Day 4

The next day we headed back out to the tube headed for Notting Hill. We got a little late start because of all we have accomplished all week. I have yet to find the famous fish and chips I was looking for, so we stopped off for brunch, and I tried the fish and chips in Notting Hill . After Lunch, we headed down to the famous flea market . We finally made it to the famous Painted Ladies the beginning of the flea market . These are some of the sights we saw at the flea market . Then there was this guy. I found it humorous that this guy was using his cell phone at the phone booth. Maybe you had to be there, but that was funny to me . Here is what a neighborhood looks like in Notting Hill

Day 5

Well the day came when we had to go home. I didn't want to bore you with 10 hours of airplane pictures so no day 5 pictures. As you can see we had a great time in the UK. The highlight for me was going to the Cavern, but seeing John Lennon's guitar was the cherry on top. This week wasn't about me though, but I still found it amazing. I hope this was the best birthday ever for Robyn. Not sure what I am gong to do next year.