Today begins another cruising adventure! This time our travels will be taking us to England, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands and Belgium! Unlike last summer, Chris will be joining Veronica and me on the cruise! He is very happy to not be left waving at the docks.
Our flight left out of Philadelphia on British Airways and Chris decided to upgrade to World Traveler Plus at the ticket counter. Very good call. The seats were much more spacious with more recline and foot rest. It also included better blanket, pillow and meal. We both decided to have the signature cocktail, a Gin Fizz to toast our trip. The meals were quite lovely as well. Veronica and Chris had the beef while I chose the chicken. After dinner, we tried to get as much rest as possible for our first day in London.
We hopped in a taxi to take us to our hotel. Chris was very excited to pass GSK House. The morning traffic was busy but we made it to the hotel.
Our hotel in London is the St. Ermin's which is a Marriott Autograph Collection. It is a stunning hotel. We had time before check-in so after some coffee we walked to see Buckingham Palace. We were right on time for the changing of the guard. Very good timing to see the band marching!
We had a 1:30 reservation for tea time at our hotel. We sat on the terrace to enjoy the delights. Chris and I both added a glass of champagne which was very nice. We all chose the English Breakfast tea that was designed for the hotel. The tea service had tea sandwiches, desserts and scones. We were all hungry and this was way too much food but so tasty. The desserts were little works of art. I would highly recommend this for a special London treat!
A car came to pick us up to take us to Universal Studios for the Harry Potter tour. We are all big Harry Potter fans and this was something we wanted to visit for a long time. It did not disappoint. You must book a specific time to tour and this helps to keep it very organized. We upgraded to the audio tour which includes a guide book as well. It takes at least three hours to tour at a minimum. There are two soundstage and backlot to tour. You truly see how much attention to detail they put into the props and sets. They didn't rely just on CGI to create this world. From the hand painted portraits, the joke shop items and the bank ledgers in Gringotts, no detail is missed. Halfway through the tour, you can stop for refreshments. Of course, we had to get butterbeers. This tour was great in keeping us awake our first day. Our car picked us up to return us to our hotel where we went to the bar for a little snack before bed. We were all ready for our bed after a long first day!