My stay in London has been really great so far. I forgot how awesome the city is! After a long flight and a seemingly endless wait at Customs in Heathrow we arrived at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall near Trafalgar Square. The RAC is an affiliate of the New York Athletic Club. Like NYAC, the RAC has guest rooms, a gym and restaurants. It has been such a fun place to stay and is in a great location. On Sunday morning I had breakfast at the club before doing a workout in the Royal Parks. I ran through St. James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. On the way back I caught the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace (see above). I stopped at Pret a Manger, one of my favorite English sandwich shops for lunch. In the afternoon we helped Marisa get settled in at London School of Economics. I love the campus! It has multiple pubs, restaurants a barber shop, and a student union/nightclub in addition to the usual academic buildings. I would totally take a class even though it would be completely pointless if it meant I could stay. I’m so jealous of Marisa. Looks like I’m just going to have to settle for the sweatshirt.
We were in London two years ago, so this time around we are trying to see all the things we didn’t last time. This morning we visited the Churchill War Rooms. Winston Churchill conducted operations from the site during World War II. On the tour I learned that the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” was coined by the British to boost morale on the home front during the war. And to think I thought Urban Outfitters came up with it! Afterwards we saw a Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at the Courtauld Museum and visited the Charles Dickens Museum located at one of his former residences. I went for an early evening run around the city followed by a family dinner at a nearby restaurant. After dinner we caught the second half of a Trafalgar Square simulcast of the Royal Opera House performance of Madame Butterfly. Tomorrow we are off to Windsor Castle, the official residence of the Queen!