our destination? this:
the changing of the guard happens at 11:30. with over an hour to kill, we decided to utilize that london pass again and headed here:
it wasn't super exciting. we just got to see a bunch of royal carriages and a couple of horses that the queen and the rest of her crew have used.
in the gift shop, though, we picked up a couple of souvenirs. the bean tried to talk us into this, but with nowhere to put it, we had to say no.
there were a bazillion other people waiting to watch the guard changing ceremony. the teen and i managed to squeeze our way towards the front, but we were way to the side.
the whole thing took a lot longer than i thought. there was a lot of standing around, a bunch of walking back and forth, live music, and then the actual changing of the guard took about a minute. ha! but it was fun to be there for all the pomp and circumstance, and when it was over we snatched up the photo op.
stuff like that fascinates me. buildings that have been standing for hundreds of years, surviving through wars and acts of god, housing all sorts of historical artifacts - amazing. i would have been cool with wandering around for a lot longer than we did, but the girls got bored pretty quickly. especially the bean. i suppose at her age, i would've thought it was lame too.
we both got a little silly with big ben, though.
she had absolutely no idea what to think of where we dragged her next.
it was cool to walk through the underground rooms where winston churchill and his staff basically ran WWII.
more of that historical junk i find so interesting.
outside, i wondered what these symbols on the lamp posts represented. i mean, it's a W and basically a C, so given the location i was probably looking for too deep an answer.
we did a lot more walking and found ourselves in the midst of a lovely shopping area. the hub decided to set off in search of the cigar shop he'd found online, while the girls and i decided to take a stroll. and wouldn't you know it, the bean spotted this like it was a beacon in the night:
of course, we had to go in. and she'd earned it - after all that boring crap we made her do, she deserved a little fun time.
this sofia the first dress-up costume was really cute. and reversible. and not available in the states. i'm now kicking the shit out of myself for not sucking it up and buying it for her, but i'm hopeful that it'll make its way here eventually.
and she didn't know it, but that store was somewhat of a precursor of what was going to happen next.