The weekend before our visit to London found the entire country of Great Britain celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday.
Our wonderful landlady brought over the most amazing tray of homemade cake and plate of scones with cream and strawberry jam in celebration.
I turned my back for one second and it was nearly half gone so I have no photography proof.
By the time we finally made it to London midweek, the town had settled just a bit but the celebratory spirit could still be felt.
We headed straight through Hyde Park.
To the gates of Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard.
Where it began to rain.
Those soldiers weren't phased a bit.
They sure take the royal ceremonies seriously.
My crew were troupers in a London downpour.
Soaked through, we made our way to Trafalgar Square.
Where we met up with these friends also seeing London over at the National Gallery.
We grabbed lunch and did some catching up.
Then headed out together to the British Museum.
That's a lot of kids between our two families.
Grant and I pointed out some of the things we had learned about in our homeschool adventure.
Newel gave an apparently riveting explanation of the Rosetta Stone. Just check out that guy in the background. Even he was enthralled. ;)
Christian carried sleeping Charlotte all over the museum. I'm pretty sure his arms were ready to fall off right about here.
Just the building itself is a work of art.
We decided to snag one of those classic red double decker buses to our next stop.
There was some excitement about that and little girls were dying to be front and center.
We made it to Westminster Abby where a choir concert was being held. Standing outside, we could hear the pure ring of those voices.
We said goodbye to friends and took a walk past a few more sights.
The architecture of the parliament building is stunning.
We let little girls rest their feet down by the Thames with a gorgeous view of London from the river battery.
On our way back toward our car, we stopped at a park to play. As little girls ran around with instant friends, I took in the beauty of London's park gardens.
And caught another glimpse of that palace.
When I was about ten, I wrote a letter to Queen Elizabeth to ask some elementary questions. I waited for weeks to see if I would hear back.
I'd almost given up when a letter arrived in my North Carolina mailbox sealed with the royal wax seal.
It was handwritten by a lady-in-waiting on behalf of Her Majesty, the Queen ... but boy oh boy, did this little girl's imagination run wild.
A beautiful city and just not enough time. London, I think I'm in love.