Day 2: Kensington Palace, Taxi, Tea, and USA Bball!

30 Jul

Ellllllo!!!
After a MUCH needed good night’s rest, Lauren and I hit the streets early and knew we’d need our strength so we found a cafe near Notting Hill Gate & Hyde Park called Lo Sputino. I ordered a spinach and mushroom quiche and iced coffee and Lauren got scrambled eggs and toast. The waiter was very kind to us and did little gestures for us like bringing us a fresh city map, as ours was showing a little wear, ha, and he saw me searching for Internet connections and offered their cafe Internet code. The food, coffee, and fresh-squeezed juice was perfect! We tried a special “brown sauce” the waiter informed us about that was wonderful on eggs. It was like a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce.

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After breakfast, we headed outside and entered Hyde Park, which would remind you of Central Park in Manhattan, with its lush trees, walking trails, gardens, etc. We made our way to Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace to tour for the morning. It cost £16 to go through. Princess Diana lived there, and William and Kate will move in soon, but sadly, we didn’t run into them.
We did however get to see many of Diana’s famous dresses, see where King William III lived, as well as Queen Victoria. The Gardens were carefully manicured and bursting with summer blooms. Today’s weather couldn’t have been more perfect for strolling in Hyde Park.

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We stumbled upon the Italian Garden, Peter Pan statue, and eventually worked our way to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. It was a peaceful and playful area, with kids running through the icy water, some even naked!

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Next we took the tube to Victoria to find The Hard Rock Cafe and our afternoon tea at The Goring. Both were close to Buckingham Palace. We arrived a little after 3:00 for our tea reservation (running through Hyde Park, past the Palace–no time for pictures!).
The Goring, which came recommended by all of our London guidebooks, as well as the United Airline July magazine as the best tea service, did not disappoint.

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We spent a good hour and a half relaxing from our nonstop day, taking in the grandeur of the hotel and sampling some of the best tea (Afternoon) and finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts. I’ll explain more in the picture caption.

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It was one of the best ways I’ve ever experienced to really enjoy your day…why don’t we embrace tea time more in America?!?

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We rushed back on the tube to get back to our hotel, change clothes and head out again for our first Olympic Games!! We took the tube all the way to West Ham, walked almost five miles to and once inside Olympic Park to get to the Basketball Arena.

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Passing the Orbit, the famous world’s largest McDonald’s (seats 1500!), and most other sporting facilities along the way. The people were friendly and helpful and security check was easy. Once we found our seats, a Canadian family sitting beside us asked if we would switch places with their other family so they could sit together. We were happy to oblige and even got better seats with the switch. In our new seats we just happened to be sitting beside a husband and wife from San Francisco. Turns out they have been to every Olympic Games since the early 90s and are staying the entire time of the London Olympics. They were able to give us helpful tips on which tube stations to take back and a few other things to do in the city. In the first basketball game Canada defeated Great Britain much to the Brits’disappointment. Lauren bought an American flag to proudly wave in the game.

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They did the traditional kiss cam, but also did this crazy bongo cam where you had to pretend like you were playing the wooden drums on camera!
For dinner (when we finally got hungry) we sampled some chicken curry inside the arena. Lauren got a Flake 99 for dessert. We heart Flake bars, and this is an ice cream cone with a Flake bar in it. Divine.

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USA’s Lindsey Whalen (#4) was awesome! Great name!
Basketball started at 8 PM but USA didn’t start playing until 10. We left at the beginning of the fourth quarter and USA was dominating Angola 69 to 29. We took the tube back to our hotel and arrived around 12:30 AM! I’m so tired as I’m writing this so forgive typos and I’ll post more tomorrow, today’s just been crazy! But in a good way!! Tomorrow is a full day at Brighton Beach. We miss you all back home so much! Thank you for your prayers and well wishes!

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At the moment it’s 2:31 in the morning and we are too tired to sleep. We’ve walked well over 10 miles today and we ache all over but it was worth it! A massage may be in order at Brighton!
Love y’all!

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3 Responses to “Day 2: Kensington Palace, Taxi, Tea, and USA Bball!”

  1. Mom July 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I love reading your blog & hearing about your adventures in jolly old London! Stay safe & keep us posted! Everyone back home says hello and they miss you. Love and prayers. Mom and Dad.

  2. Lynn Burgess July 31, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I am really enjoying your blog and all the pictures. England is at the very top of my list of places to go. Maybe one day…sigh! Until then, I’ll have to live my dream through you! I hope you continue to have a great time!

    • 2sistersacrossthepond August 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

      Thanks for reading the blog Lynn! You need to go to England! It’s absolutely gorgeous–so much history! Hope y’all are doing well and enjoying the summer!

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