Jennifer Ludlum Braverman worked with Jim in the Emergency Department and then with Sandy in the PACU at Lahey Clinic. She then met Igor Braverman while working in the PACU as he was an anesthesiologist. We have watched them through their courtship, marriage, childbirth and parenting of Sophie. Jennifer and Sophie visited us in
London in 2019 on a girls only trip. The whole family joined us in Seville in 2020 just as the pandemic was in its early stages. They took this week off to join us wherever we were going to be. They initially thought that we would be in Scotland and then Sweden and eventually we ended up in London. This is Igor’s first trip to London.
We arrived in London from Munich less than 24 hours before our first houseguests
They arrived just before 9am after flying overnight and not sleeping very much.
Following the Steen protocol for avoiding jet lag we headed right out for a full days walking tour of London. First stop was a visit to Charlie’s coffee stand. Jim had met Charlie about an hour earlier as we had no coffee in our flat.
A short walk from our flat is Westminster Abbey.
And just around the corner is the tower Big Ben.
Recently unveiled after about 5 years of renovation with scaffolding blocking the view. Can you see who photo bombed them.
On the Westminster Bridge with the Eye in the background.
An ice cream treat after a go around on the London Eye
Sophie and Igor explored the beach along the Thames and found some unusual fossil like rocks with holes in them. It is possible for tourists to descend to the beaches of the Thames and pluck out the remnants of centuries past. This activity is called mudlarking.
We walked for miles along the Southside of the Thames going between the bridges and finding lots of fun things to do to keep them stimulated and get them on London time to avoid the dreaded jet lag.
Bubble blowing fun along the Thames.
Globe Theatre. This was not the original or the original site. The first two Elizabethan theaters for which Shakespeare wrote his plays burned down. This one was opened in 1997 by American actor and film director Sam Wanamaker. It is 750 ft from the site of the original one which is now a parking lot. It holds 1,400 spectators.
Borough’s Market dates back to at least the 12th century. Originally a wholesale market, it now centers around artisanal foods. On June 3, 2017 this was the site of a terrorist car jamming attack after the London Bridge attack of pedestrians. Sophie is displaying her purchases from a local artist.
The iconic London phone booth big enough for a family of three.
Hello this is Sophie calling from London.
Looks like a back to the future conveyance.
The Tower Bridge, built between 1886 and 1894 should not be confused with the London Bridge. It is still a working bridge and opens several times a week for passing ships. It is estimated that 40,000 people a day cross it. They climbed up the tower and walked across the suspended glass floor walkway between the towers. Jennifer purchased a 3 day London Pass book which gave them entry to most of the sights they wanted to see.
“Chimps Are Family” exhibit is located between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the South side of the river. The sculptures demonstrate 18 different behaviors and emotions shown by chimps with whom we share 98% of our DNA, including love, grief, friendship and conflict. Here is Sophie and the chimp Amelia.
The Tower of London. The buildings and grounds served historically as a royal palace, a political prison, a place of execution, an arsenal, a royal mint, a menagerie and public records office.
Westminster is overrun with corgis as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. There are 19 giant corgis by various artists spread across central London in honor of the world’s most famous corgi breeder on the occasion of the 70th year of her reign.
The London Zoo was on Sophie’s wish list. So we took the bus there.
London’s double decker bus rides are like an amusement park ride especially in the top deck front seats.
All dressed up for the Theater to see the performance of Matilda.
Jennifer is an avid Peloton user and entered a lottery to have a live class here in London with her favorite instructor, Bradley Rose. She found out the day before she arrived here that she was one of about 20 people who got the opportunity to take his class in person. 1,000 other people took the class that night on their Pelotons and she came in at #4 overall.
Sam Yo taught the class before hers. He was an actor and a Buddhist monk before becoming a Peloton instructor. He was very gracious in taking pictures with the people who saw him leave the Peloton studio as they were waiting in line for the next class.
Bradley Rose teaching Jennifer’s class. She is on the bike to the left of his thumb.
Westminster Abbey night shot on our way home after Jennifer’s class in Covent Gardens.
No trip to London is complete without shopping at Harrods.
And snagging some much sought after Peloton London apparel sold exclusively at this store.
Yup that’s a good London Peloton look.
Oh and of course there is this other British store where an aggressive, annoying salesman followed us around the entire time we were there.
One of Sophie’s favorite things to see in St. James Park are these Pelicans.
Tea time at St Ermin’s Hotel.
Sunday Eucharistic Mass at Westminster Abbey.
Little Ben at Victoria Station
Another trip to Harrods.
Perfume sampling at the Jo Malone counter.
Colorful splendid overflowing flower boxes are everywhere you turn in this city.
We stopped at the famous Goring Hotel to have refreshments in their garden where Sophie made friends with some sisters visiting from Devon, England and they played hide and seek in the bushes of the Garden.
Sophie and her new “temporary” best friend.
This posh hotel is where Kate Middleton and family chose to stay prior to her marriage to Prince William. We always like to have our guests experience the charm of this Hotel.
The Ivy is a chain Restaurant in London but always a good choice.
Dessert at the Ivy, Profiteroles, one of Sandy’s favorites and this one did not disappoint.
Jim and Igor enjoying the patio of our flat in the evening after a day of sightseeing.
Pensive Sophie in a London black cab.
We had brunch at the Shard which is a 72 story skyscraper that is so called because the structure of the pyramidal tower of the building resembles a shard of glass. This is one of the views we enjoyed.
May we present to you Lady Sophie and the Queen.
We went shopping in Sloane Square and Sophie had fun finding some not so age appropriate footwear. Her Mom however snagged some lovely outfits at this store. Jim and Igor in the background found comfy chairs and passed the time on their devices.
Last day here and unfortunately not enough time to take a ride in this Cinderella horse drawn carriage that we stumbled on hours before they needed to leave for the airport to return home. Sophie loves and rides horses regularly.
Thank you Jennifer, Igor and Sophie for visiting us in London. We so enjoyed our time with you.