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Jacie: The Great London Adventure (Travel Photos)

You might have read my post about my professional photo shoot in England. It was definitely a cool experience to get out from behind the camera for a change (especially in one of the most amazing cities in the world!). But, of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take my own photos!

My memories of this vacation are very special, and I want to share some of them with you.

Our first few days were spent in central London. As luck would have it, Elizabeth Tower (where the Big Ben bell - yeah, it's not a clock - is) was under construction. But Westminster Palace, where Parliament meets, was beautiful. We took a riverboat along the River Thames and saw the Houses of Parliament, Shakespeare's Globe (the remake - the original was burned down by a cast member who thought firing a cannon in a wooden building was a smart idea), the spire of St. Jame's Cathedral, Tower Bridge (which everyone thinks is London Bridge), London Bridge (which is a boring concrete slab - but that's good because it used to be built with wood in Roman times and it kept coming down with the tide, hence the nursery rhyme song "London Bridge is Falling Down"), Millennial Bridge (which gets torn down by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), and much more. We rode the Eye and had a lovely view of the city, including the many parks it has (surprising, considering how urban it is). We walked down the Mall and saw Buckingham Palace and St. James Park. We saw the corner of 10 Downing Street where the Prime Minister lives, but it's blocked by guards. We spent a whole day in Hyde Park, seeing the Albert Memorial and the Diana Memorial Fountain and Kensington Palace (the closest we got to William, Kate, and their adorable kids). We ate at some pretty cool places, like the Monkey Puzzle, where I tried a Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding. Our hotel (The Castleton Hotel, if you ever want to check it out) was located in the Paddington area in Westminster and it was full of cute architecture and parks. We loved it! Oh, and we went to church just south of Hyde Park where there is also a visitor's center - that was cool!

(I thought this was adorable but it's a dog poop receptacle.)

We spent a whole day in Windsor, and it was one of my favorite days! The Queen was in residence that day, which made me so happy, even though we never saw her. She was probably getting ready for the royal wedding. Windsor Castle is amazing - exactly what a castle should be. Shields, armor, swords, ornate rugs, coats of arms, portraits as big as a wall, and so much more. I hope I never forget Windsor. Plus, they had an ice cream shop outside, and when I asked if the Queen ever ate there, they said she taste-tests their flavors. I doubt that's true, but that is all I'd do as Queen. St. George's Chapel was also breathtaking. That's where the Queen's parents and sister are buried, along with Henry VIII and George III. And, of course, that's where Harry and Meghan just got married. We also saw the changing of the guard, which was pretty cool. The town itself is so cute and slightly less busy than central London. We ate at the Duchess of Cambridge restaurant (in honor of Kate) and I tried bangers and mash.

We spent almost two full days in Dover, which is on the English Channel. It was nice to get out of London and see a bit more of the country and get away from some of the touristy spots. And, we saw France! it's literally just across the Channel, which blew my mind. Next time, I'm taking a ferry to France just because I can. In Dover we went to the medieval castle there - no one has lived there for centuries, so it's more like a historical site. It has tons of history involving Richard the Lionhearted and King John (who signed the Magna Carta and is the pathetic, wimpy lion in Disney's Robin Hood). It also played a huge role in WWII. We took a tour of the underground tunnels, where General Ramsey ordered Operation Dynamo and evacuated hundreds of thousands of men from Dunkirk in France. Dover's history is amazing. Oh, they also filmed Into the Woods and part of Avengers: Age of Ultron there. And then there are the cliffs, which are made of chalk. We thought there was a bus that could take us up to the cliffs, but there wasn't. So, we walked. I don't like hiking, but I was enamored with those cliffs and really wanted to get to the top, so I pushed myself. The views were breathtaking. And, if your really want to know, I got my fifth serving of fish and chips in Dover. Yep, five servings in one week. I'm very proud of that.

We did so much more during our trip, including The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden, which is where they filmed the movies. Essentially, they turned the sound stage into a museum, so all the sets and props and costumes and everything are there to look at. We were definitely freaking out. We enjoyed good food, city markets, lots of desserts and candy, and so much more. When I get a video made, I'll definitely link to it her.

I'm not sure there are words to accurately explain how much I loved this trip. Everything was fun and new and exciting. It was exhausting and thrilling, and I can't wait to go back some day to see all the things we didn't get to see.

Thanks for reading this long blog post. I hope it helps you get to know a bit more about me and the things that inspire me!

P.S. We flew over Greenland (which is not at all green) and I thought that was particularly cool.

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