Since our visit to Buckingham Palace was a BUST (the Queen and Princess Kate were M.I.A.) hubby informed me I had one more chance to
stalk drool over meet catch a glimpse of them... whatever you want to call it... He had planned a day-trip to 3 locations outside of the city (btw, if you're planning a trip to Europe, check out viator.com forreals. They have some pretty cool deals! We always use them for day-trips, museum passes, buying early tickets to sights, and skip-the-line tours!) one of which was WINDSOR CASTLE... which FYI is the Queen's weekend/holiday home... Woo! One more chance...
The tour guide told us on the way in that there was a FLAG on top of the central tower that told whether or not the Queen was in residence (for you commoners out there, that means if she's home or not)... EEEK!
Walking up to the Castle... Still no clue whether or not the Queen was there...
btw, Windsor is the oldest continuously inhabited castle!
(meaning that it's the oldest castle that has ALWAYS had a King/Queen/Prince/Princess/some other royalty living in it! Pretty cool...)
And then we saw it... the "Central Tower" with the flag pole...
I know the flag isn't really visible in this pic but... WRONG FLAG, people.
The Queen was NOT THERE! :(
No tea time with Kate... No pics of the Queen...
and absolutely no chance of ever becoming bffs with the Royal Fam.
Saddest day of my life.
Ok... a little dramatic... But ever since 13-year-old me saw Amanda Bynes winning over the royal family in "What A Girl Wants" (ya know, via the Queen's pup)... I've always known I could do the same! (ha... I totally kid... kindof)
But we successfully toured the castle... and got lots of pretty pics :)
I was super touristy and listened to my Audio-Guide every step of the way... I wanted to learn every little thing about life as a REAL Princess ;) hahaha
Ya know, 'cause I am a princess... just minus the diamond tiara, country to rule, castles, throne, secret security, milionty-bagillion responsibilities, and all that stuff... whatevs.
At this point we were about to walk inside to see Queen Mary's Dolls' house...
yep, you read that right DOLLS' house.
It was a SUPER HUGE (like BIGGER THAN ME) Doll House with tons and tons of teeny tiny furniture, appliances, housewares, and accessories... Not gonna lie, the little girl inside of me was super super super jealous. I had a pretty ginormous dollhouse when I was little (Thanks to my 2 adoring Grandfathers working together!!) but my 3 story doll house had NOTHING on this monster!
I was super sad that I couldn't take pics to show you...
but here's a link to the Dolls' House's website if you'd like to see for yourself ;)
After that we continued our tour until 11AM...
Time for Changing of the Guards!
They literally walked RIGHT by me... so Aaron snapped this pic...
Love the hats... but the guns are pretty intense!
More of the Guards...
And the Guards' Band!
After that it was back to the bus for another 1.5 hour ride to...
Aaron was probably most excited about this...
He loves anything to do with conspiracies, aliens, mysterious ancient things, etc. :)
It was really cool to see but the audio-guides left a lot to be desired!
I was expecting a lot more from it... you know, maybe actually uncover some mysteries! haha
but I was THRILLED to actually go there and see the site...
My dad has always been obsessed with it so, it was awesome to go and see it after watching a million and one documentaries about it throughout my lifetime... ;)
And even better than crossing another sight off my list...
I got to see it with my love!
It really is pretty amazing... not going to lie!
But the tour guide (who btw, was pretty weird and nothing like the HOT English men in the movies... BUMMER!) was way better at explaining the "mysteries" and "facts" than our audio-guides were!!
(btw... I have like 10 more pics of me w/ the "pile of rocks" as our tour guide called it... but I'm being nice and cutting a few out... hehehe)
But... I couldn't not share more pics of the Hubs!
Isn't he sooooo handsome?! ;)
Craziness... HOW in the world did they get there?!
I just don't get it!
But I also don't understand why people think they have healing qualities or any sort of "powers" at all... I was THERE y'all... and I felt NO powers or healing qualities at all... and I promise you, I WAS IN PAIN from all the walking we had been doing. These rocks did not heal ANY of my pains. PROMISE. lols
Then we got BACK on the bus for another hour or so....
But it was totally worth it... because we were headed to OXFORD!
As you may or may not know, I am currently working towards a degree in English... and I am a Literature fanatic. I just love it. What you PROBABLY DO NOT KNOW is that I was THIS CLOSE to doing a study abroad program at Oxford (lucky for me, I didn't... otherwise I wouldn't be where I am today!! hehe) BUT... that's why I was suuuuper excited about this... hehe
Funny thing is I really think hubs had NO idea about any of this when he set up this tour... and he had NO CLUE how excited/happy/etc. I was about Oxford! hahaha :) Ohwells.... I LOVED IT!
Balliol College at Oxford University...
Kindof how American Colleges have dorms, Oxford has Colleges that take care of students' housing, mealplans, and all other needs along those lines :)
Part of the TOWN of Oxford...
The town and University are intertwined. There is no real campus... it is all throughout the town.
Balliol College again... very pretty and reminded me of Hogwarts...
yes, I am that nerdy girl.
and yes, Aaron made fun of every Harry Potter reference I made.
this was the nerdy Lit. Lover coming out in me...
this bookshop holds the world record for the most books for sale in one room :)
Again... nerd alert.
The basement of the building to the right is where the Oxford English Dictionary began!! And the building straight ahead is where it is now housed... pretty neat :) hehehe
Hmm... just decided I'm the biggest nerd ever...
If you don't read/watch Harry Potter just keep scrolling down!
But if you are a Harry Potter fan, does this building look familiar (specifically the windows)?? Well it should!!! This is where the Hogwarts Hospital scenes were shot!! Pretty cool :) hehe
It's also directly underneath the 2nd largest library in Britain,
the Bodleian Library!
And I was made fun of again for being excited and taking 3 pics...
bahaha :) Nerdy nerdy me... whatevs.
Oxford's very own "Bridge of Sighs" mimicking Venice!
This "College" has no students... only "fellows"...
everyone in this college does research or goes on to become a teacher!
Considered to be the hardest to get into!
This is another part of the Bodleian library.
You cannot check books out of the Bodleian Library, you can only come here to this location and read them or take notes! It is a non-lending library, only.
And then we got back on the bus and slept the whole way back to London!!
It was dark and dreary when we got back so we basically got a quick supper at Nando's, which is kindof like a Portuguese Chili's in my opinion... Haha! but it was good... Our first Cabby had suggested it. It's apparently a popular restaurant chain in the UK! I would recommend it if you need a semi-quick bite to eat while in London :)
On an entirely different note...
Look what finally came in the mail yesterday!!
My new Warby Parker glasses!
I'll be doing a full post on them soon, but I wanted to share a teaser.
Come back tomorrow for more about our trip!
I'll be sharing our LAST DAY in London and our adventures in Dublin!