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Archives for December 2013

London, England: The Royal Residence

With a 6 hour time difference jump forward, we had been awake and ready to go for our day tour. Our tour company picked us up and dropped us off at the Victoria Coach Station, and then that’s where we hopped on the actual tour bus with the guide for the day.

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As mentioned in the previous London post, we had already done the “usual” London sites, so this trip was to explore more of the outskirts. That being said, we were in for about an hour bus trip to get to our first site (London traffic – it’s kind of ridiculous). But, we had some sights along the way.

This is Harrod’s, the famous department store in London’s Knightsbridge… all decorated for Christmas.

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Once we got further to the countryside, it was just landscapes from there until we got to Windsor Castle.

We got a glimpse from when we were on the road, but here are the first sights of Windsor castle, the oldest occupied castle in the world. The occupant being the Royal family.

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Through the gate, you may luck out when you wave and someone from the window would wave back. That ‘someone’ would be Her Majesty the Queen.

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When the monarch is present, they would have the Royal Standard flag on the flag pole. Otherwise, it would be the British flag. So yes, she was present, even if we didn’t catch a glimpse. This castle is the weekend residence.

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We weren’t allowed to taking pictures inside the Royal Residence, so all we could do was just soak it all in. There is an entrance fee, but it is worth a visit if the British monarchy intrigues you. I was taken by the Knight Hall. It had all the shields of the knights. Those that were disgraced simply had white paint over them. They were not taken down. That’s some serious business. Google up some pictures of it. It’s pretty neat.

Here are some other photos of the castle grounds. We also went to the chapel. It was beautiful. But, again, it wasn’t a photo opportunity.

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We also unexpectedly ran into a changing of the guard ceremony. They must be super warm with their uniform.

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After witnessing the tail end of the ceremony, we were back on the bus and on our way to the next site – Stonehenge… next week! Until then, happy travels friends =)

London, England: Red Phone Booths & Double Decker Buses

It is pretty cool to come back and actually remember more of the sights. This was our Thanksgiving mystery trip. Dad had initially planned a different destination, but when the flight cancelled, the flights after that just became backed up. Oh, the joys of flying standby. Plan B was this trip:

It had been 15 years after all. Since we did the “typical tourist” London sights on my first visit. We took this opportunity to check out more of the outskirts of the city. We did a lot in 2 full days of being in the area. After the 8 hour flight, we started off by staying in the Paddington area, and there was an express train from Heathrow that got us there in 15 minutes. I like traveling and seeing train stations. It’s just a different way to travel for me, but normal for everyone else =) Am I weird thinking that?

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Dad and I went out on a stroll to check out the surrounding areas. For starters, I still feel it is the touristy thing to do to take a photo with a red phone booth. Then we passed by a police station and I felt a need to take a photo for the Dr. Who fans. At least its reminiscent of it anyway =)

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Why does this amuse me so much? Perhaps because our last mystery trip was to Dubai. Then there’s the Southern Fried Chicken. If you’re from the states, we all know that it’s KFC! This road we were on had a lot of Halal food restaurants. Looked and smelled pretty tasty.

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The rest of the stroll looked like what you would think London is like, roundabouts, double decker buses, driving on the opposite side of the road, and all.

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As far as dinner goes, mom still wasn’t feeling well, so, Dad and I walked down the street from where we were staying to the local pub. You know, keeping it classy on a Sunday evening. Pub fish and chips along with some Kronenbourg.

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Cheers! More adventures of our outskirts of London adventures in the coming weeks. Happy travel friends!

Owensboro, KY: Redeveloping its Southern Charm

I was here with family back in October for a wedding. We spent the weekend here. Besides the wedding, we hung out downtown to see what Owensboro had to offer.

The town was in the process of a renovation, so the spectacle wasn’t as grandeur as it could have been. For what the weather was, we were able to enjoy a stroll at Smothers Park.

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Walking further down the river walk, there was a playground. One worth taking photos at. I feel like I had been gypped by my neighborhood playground. And the inner child inside of us came alive =) Of course we played on it!

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When we brought ourselves to be able to leave the river walk, we explored a bit of the downtown area. The rain was off and on, so we would duck into stores or underneath awnings. Despite having umbrellas, clearly we were not ready for this type of weather. As I mentioned earlier, the area was in construction mode, but it the southern charm were still evident.

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We ended up having lunch at a local place – Colby’s. We learned later that one of our family members used to be a waitress here. The food served was certainly hearty portions and our stomachs were content. Here we have mister’s brother with the Texas Burger (I’m pretty sure). As our waitress put it, it’s a messy burger, the type you may just use your fork and knife:

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As for other types of entrees served, there was the Colby’s Cobb Salad and the Allegro Pork Chops. The portions were enough to share with each other. At least that’s what mister and I did. In case you were wondering, I heart sweet potato fries =)

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Colby’s is your standard food fare, but the interior of the restaurant is beautiful. All you have to do is look up at the ceiling. As a fan of architectural detail, it is gorgeous.

As for the wedding we attended, it was fun, and a perfect way to celebrate the couple.

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