I’m sitting in the Heathrow airport waiting to board my flight home. Crazy and wonderful week!
We got to go on this trip to London because my parents are amazing. My dad is a life insurance advisor & my mom runs his office. They have been doing this for over 30 years. I am so proud of them. They are not only successful life partners, but business partners as well. Within a company that they work with, once you reach a certain level, you get to go to “Chairman’s Council.” There are different levels and each comes with a trip. I am very lucky I get to be a part of these trips. This year the trip was London, and they decided to fly out a week early so that they could sightsee.
Day 1: After the race and brunch celebrations were over, I went back to John’s house and repacked and got cleaned up. On the plane, our family had a little pod of seats that would lay all the way down. As soon as I had a glass of champagne & some food, I put on my Stance compression socks & zonked out. I love Stance because their designs are unique & a little different from other brands.
We landed in London around 1:30pm local time. After landing, my legs hand turned to cement, and the usual pain and soreness post race in my back and shoulders had arrived (I don’t normally have this pain after training runs, but get it after every race). It loosened up fine as I moved around though.
Indian food is a big deal in London, and I really wanted to have some Indian food while we were there. We got a recommendation for Quilon from our hotel’s concierge & decided to check it out.
You guys. Indian food in London is THE. FREAKING. BEST. Half the time I didn’t know what I was eating, but it was all too good to care. After dinner, we went to the London Eye. The London Eye is a 450 foot high Ferris Wheel-like attraction that sits on the River Thames. It was built to commemorate the new millennium. There are 32 glass pods that hang & it takes about 30 minutes to go around. The view at night is breathtaking, so I can see why it is one of the world’s top 10 places to propose.
Day 2: I was wide awake at 1am. I dozed and had weird dreams until about 5 am, when I finally decided to just get up and go to the gym. I was still feeling pretty sore from the race, so I took it super easy and did the elliptical for about 30 minutes and full body free weight circuit, but kept the weight light. After taking a little extra time to stretch & roll out, I was feeling 1000% better.
To start off our day, we wanted to do the hop on, hop off bus tours that are really popular in London. After some struggling with the timing, locations and maps – we found a bus and hopped on. My mom was so impressive with the London maps! She was very good at figuring it out pretty dang fast.
Our first stop was the Tower of London. That is where the Crown Jewels are kept. We had a great tour guide that is one of the “Yeoman Warders” (aka Beefeaters).
The first picture is from Buckingham Palace & the second is the Tower of London.
After our tour & a quick lunch, we took a river boat back to the city center to go to Westminster Abby. No photos allowed there, but it was gorgeous and more than exceeded my expectations.
The Chinese Prime Minister was in town, and the Queen would be driving down the mall & back with him at some point. The roads got really crowded to say the least…
Day 3: This was a long day, but so amazing. I got a quick run & upper body lift in before we left. Believe me when I say that I don’t feel like I have to work out. We are walking so much on this trip! I am excited about my pace from the Nike Women’s Half and I am so excited about the California International Marathon that I want to run. These runs aren’t my normal mileage, but I am letting my body recover and enjoying training while on vacation. I am definitely eating whatever I feel like.
Easy paced run keeping my heart rate low.
We got on a tour bus and sent out for Windsor Castle. It was a pretty rainy and cold morning, but once we got walking through the Castle we stayed warm.
There is so much history to see there that you could spend a good part of the day wandering through. With our packed schedule, we just had a little over an hour, so we hustled. Afterward, we headed to Stonehenge.
Stonehenge was probably my favorite part of this day. It was so beautiful, and HUGE. Logically, I knew it would be big, but it was something else to stand right by the giant stones. It is amazing. After Stonehenge, we headed to a local pub in Lacock for fish & chips. We got to see places where they had filmed scenes from Downtown Abbey (not a show I watch) & Harry Potter (big fan hahaha).
Our last stop of the day was Bath. We got to see the Roman bathhouse. The water was thought to have healing properties and save lives. We got to taste it at the end. It tasted like someone had left it in a metal water bottle in the sun for too long haha. At this point, we had been on the tour for about 10 hours & headed back into London.
Day 4: I ran in the morning and we headed straight to Lloyd’s of London for a tour.
Being a family of insurance nerds, getting to see where insurance really all began was a lot of fun. It was pretty special to be able to share that with my parents.
As much fun as Lloyd’s was, we were all happy to change out of our business attire & get into comfy/warm clothes. We took the Tube to explore Harrod’s. I wish there was a Tube for within the city of San Francisco.
I really wanted to get souvenirs for the girls I work with and my boyfriend. He is so hard to shop for haha! I ended up getting him a cool little leather bracelet from a London company. Fingers crossed he likes it. I also got him a book from WWII about how to be a spy & a shirt from Stonehenge. For the girls I work with, I got them a couple of cute things I saw around town and a post card from Lloyd’s of London (continuing on with the insurance nerd theme). We explored the downtown area until it was time to go the Victoria Apollo Theater for Wicked. I had never gotten into the Book, but the play was fantastic. I am so happy we got to go and I would recommend it to pretty much anyone.
Day 5: I ran again, but took it easy. In all honesty, my feet hurt SO bad from all the walking. I want to do a long run when I get home, but I am thinking the smart move will be to play it safe and let them recover. I have weight plates and a bar at my house, so maybe I will do something with those.
Anyway – We started off going to see the Royal Mews, where the Queen’s horses, carriages, and cars are kept.
Then did a little souvenir shopping for everyone at home & headed to St. Paul’s Church. It was beautiful and we walked soooo many steps all the way up to the top. After walking all those 350+ steps, I didn’t feel so bay about my puny 3 miles earlier in the morning HA!
Our final stop of the day was Winston Churchill’s War Rooms. Not being a history buff, I underestimated how much I would love this. The history and information there could take you all day to go through. Actually being able to walk through the underground rooms were they worked and lived during war time was pretty breathtaking.
Lastly, we finished off the day with fish & chips! And mushy peas. Which I tasted, and did not do anything more with hahaha. Ew.
Day 6: I did a little gym sesh – just the elliptical and a weight circuit. Before heading to the airport, we watched the crossing of the guards. I could not have asked for a more well thought out, fantastic trip. I am so grateful to enjoy the time with my family.
With Love from London,