S: Christmas European Vacation
FC: Christmas European Vacation | December 19-December 25, 2011 London and Paris
1: Christmas European Vacation December 19-December 25 2011 London, UK and Paris, France
3: One of the first stops we made on our trip was the Hays Galleria. It was located directly next to our hotel and had cute shops and restaurants--not to mention a HUGE Christmas Tree. As the Galleria was on the Thames, the most prominent sculpture it contained was the boat seen below; not only was it beautiful it also moved making it look as though it was sailing itself. | Day 1: London Tower
4: To say our hotel was in a good location would be an understatement. We were a five minute walk from the London Tower and Tower Bridge.
6: Our First Night in London (after the long flight and very little sleep) Bill and Meredith ventured out into the streets to tour the city and find a bar to watch the Steelers. It was a MNF Game therefore starting time was 1:30 AM in London. Being true fans they were up to the task and found a bar in which to watch the first half of the game. They returned to the hotel to join Cathy and Brian for the second half. Though the Steelers lost and there was no time for sleep, only a shower, before the trip to Paris at 5:30 AM; it was the perfect start to a VERY memorable and exciting trip.
7: Day 2: Paris, France | BONJOUR PARIS!!
8: Our first stop in Paris was the Arc de Triomphe. We climbed a seemingly unending spiral staircase to reach the top of the arc and though our thighs were aching the view was definitely worth the climb.
9: We were lucky enough to meet up with friends from home in Paris. Ralph, Gina, Taylor, and Garrett Greco share with us a passion for travel and for Steeler football!!
10: The Eiffel Tower
11: "Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."
12: The Eiffel Tower is so incredibly beautiful. We were lucky to have a bit of sun while we were visiting--the glistening tower made for great pictures!
13: Love Padlocks in the City of Love
14: Cathedrale Nortre Dame de Paris
16: Au Revoir Paris
17: Day 3: Back to London
20: London Telephone Booths | 'ello!
21: Th | The Florence Nightingale Museum
22: LONDON NIGHTS
24: Nightly pub stops were a must
26: Hyde Park Christmas Market
27: Oxford St. and Picadilly Circus
28: LONDON 2012 | DAY 4: More exploration with help of the Tube
29: Visiting the site of the 2012 Olympics... definitely a work in progress.
30: Trafalgar Square
31: Harrods; between the food, candy, pet store and Princess Diana memorial --its WAY different than any department store the United States has to offer.
32: Good Eats!
33: We are not sure if America has Polish-Mexican restaurants but if it does we can't imagine it would be as good as L'Autre.
34: Day 5: Royal London
35: Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
36: London Horse Guards We didn't try to make them smile as they were somewhat frightening yelling at other tourists.
37: THE GLOBE THEATER
38: Changing of the Guards | Where should we stand? | Well most people choose to stand on their feet. | The changing of the guards was interesting to watch, if you could see that is! There were so many people crowded around the palace gates that getting a good view was a tad bit difficult. Luckily for all for us in attendance the guards entertained with Christmas music which could be heard no matter were you were standing.
39: Buckingham Palace
40: Christmas Carol Service at Westminster Abbey
43: Our Last Night: Christmas Eve Dinner
44: Some candids...
46: ...a few more
48: Our Favorite Things: | Brian: Going to the Carols at Westminster Abbey | Meredith: Visiting the future site of the 2012 Olympics | Cathy: Our nightly ventures to Shipwrights for a true pub experience | JoAnne: Visiting the Globe Theater | Bill: Staying up all night to watch the Steelers game, showering and then taking the Chunnel to Paris
49: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness...Broad wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one's lifetime." -Mark Twain