Jennifer and Sophie in London

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On the evening of July 13 our friend Jennifer Ludlum Braverman arrived with her six year old daughter Sophie.  We met Jennifer at Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Peabody.  She worked as a staff nurse in the Emergency Department with Jim then transferred to the PACU and worked with Sandy.  She married Igor Braverman who is an anesthesiologist at Lahey.  Jennifer takes a yearly mother/daughter trip with Sophie so we invited her to visit us in London.  This is their first European trip together.  They came on a day flight arriving at around 9:30

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The trip started out bad when the taxi driver dropped them off at 27 Redcliffe Square rather than 26.  Our whole block is even numbers, the odds are one block over so they were lost.  Jim had to go out and find them, quite traumatic for Sophie.
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Sophie is happy to be safe and secure after a long day of traveling.
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Appetizers on the terrace.
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Jennifer and Sandy heading out for a 4.5 mile run.
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Selfie on the Albert Bridge.

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End of the run.

In the afternoon we took them on their first double decker bus ride to Piccadilly Circus and then walked on to the Leicester Square area so Jennifer could pick up her London Pass tickets and an Oyster Card.  We then walked them down The Strand to The Lyceum Theatre for The Lion King.  We had lunch next door at The Wellington and tubed home.  Sophie and Jenn took a taxi home after a long day.

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Piccadilly Circus.

IMG_9354On their second day here we had a big breakfast at home and a leisurely morning before taking them on their first tube ride to Westminster where we walked down Parliament and Whitehall streets by 10 Downing Street and on to the Household Cavalry Museum to see the Queen’s horse guards.IMG_9362IMG_9364IMG_9366

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We walked through the Horse Guards Parade to St. James Park.

Sophie loves animals and wants to be a vet when she grows up and it was obvious from watching the things that she enjoyed the most and spent the most time at usually not wanting to leave at all. You will see all of the animal related activities that we took her to.

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The lake in St. James Park was teeming with birds.
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Swan and baby swans on the right.
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These three pelicans put on quite a show.

IMG_9388After about an hour in the Park Jennifer had to pull Sophie away from the birds and we walked across the park to Westminster Abbey.IMG_9392

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On Westminster Bridge.

 

We walked across the Westminster Bridge and left them at The SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium.  Jennifer had tickets for the London Aquarium, London Eye and an evening cruise on the Thames.

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The OXO tower on the right is the remnants of an old power station rebuilt to an art-deco design in 1929.  The Oxo company applied for permission to put lighted advertising on the tower and were denied so instead they placed three windows in the shape of a circle, cross and circle thus getting their name on the tower.
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Street art on the Thames Walk.

We continued walking down the Thames to Borough Market to have lunch and stock up on meat pies from Pieminister which we love.  We had Malaysian curry and Ethiopian food from the market vendors before returning home.  Sophies favorites for the day, aquarium and park.

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Heading to central London with Paddington Bear which Sandy gave Sophie as a welcome gift.
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Since Sophie loves animals so much we brought her to the changing of the Horse Guards which in our opinion is much better than the changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.  There are no crowds, more action, no arriving early to get a spot and very kid friendly.  Sophie stood patiently for 30 minutes and drank it all in.

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You can see Jennifer and Sophie following the horses in the video above.

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Staring at the remnants of the horse parade.

We also got to see the end of the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

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Sophie took this picture.

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From Buckingham Palace we took a black taxi to Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

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Sophie enjoying the fountain.

We walked from the fountain to the green parakeet area in Hyde Park and were prepared with apples to feed the critters.

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Sophie handed these apples to all three parakeets.

 

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Peter Pan statue in Kensington Park.  Sophies not in the picture because she was still mad about having to leave the parakeets.
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Feeling better.
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These seats are hard to get, the front seats on the top of a double decker bus.  Great views from here.

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Jim found a great kid friendly afternoon tea which we had booked for today at St. Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster.

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This was Sophie’s favorite meal of the whole trip.
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On the way home from tea, the girls decided to take a detour to Harrods for some shopping.  Jim went on home alone.

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Looks like a serious shopper.

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Is that a Harrods bag I see?

The plan for the last day before they left at 5:00pm was to all run two miles to Battersea Park and have Jennifer take Sophie to the children’s zoo there but Sophie didn’t want to run or walk so we did a 5.8 mile run expecting Jennifer to take a taxi to the zoo.  She was unable to hail a taxi and after about 30 minutes she gave up and they both went to the park across the street and hung out there for a couple of hours.

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Sophie was very good about sharing the swing and even pushed a younger girl on the swing.
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She also made friends and shared the other girls chalk for sidewalk art.
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We went to our favorite local pub, The Bolton for lunch.
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Finger licking good fish and chips and a bacon/cheese burger.  Classic pub food.
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Somebody forgot our key and we had both of our hosts key sets hanging inside that door.  A locksmith had to get us back in.  A £140 lesson – DON’T FORGET YOUR KEYS.
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Goodby Jennifer and Sophie, we had a great time with you.

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Paddington bear can now be found in Lexington Massachusetts.

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