Our first stop on our European adventure was London. While I had visited once before, I have to admit that I don't know London very well. Here are a few of my fave pics of the city.
Our first evening, we went for a walk in the heart of London's nightlife, checked out the very modern signage and party vibe, and enjoyed several different street performances.
Kind of a blurry pic, but here are several kids posing in the downtown area - Chance, Sam, Nick, Kyle, Turner, Matthew, Emily and Madeleine in the back and Tyler and Paige in the front.
Here is Settle (colleague and chaperone) posing with Yates and Otis. (Yes, I have a tendency to call people by their last names, idk why exactly.)
Several of us shared a lovely ale here - I had white wine though. It felt like I was on vacation instead of a student trip...almost.
Sightseeing tour the following day - lovely view of Tower bridge.
Here's Settle posing for the quintesential bridge shot...
And here's Laurie doing the same thing...
Of course, I had to do it too... :)
St. Paul's Cathedral looking quite regal in a sunny blue sky.
We were able to catch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Yep, that's me with St. Paul's and a double decker bus in the background. Kind of an awesome photo bomb moment, right?
Just perching on a wall outside of Buckingham Palace - Porter, Rush, and Jernigan pictured here.
When I had some free time, I wandered into Westminster Abbey to take a look around.
The interior of Westminster Abbey was breathtaking - all different sorts of colored marble decorated the walls, ceiling, and floors as well as the various columns.
The view just outside Westminster was gorgeous too.
In case I forgot which church was which, I snapped a pic of the signage outside. Pretty good idea, right?
Here's a shot of Victoria station - basically the Grand Central Station of the tube and railway system coming in/out of London. Crazy busy and crazy cool at the same time -undergoing major renovations right now.
We snagged tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera while we were in London. Here's the stage set as it looked when we sat down before the play began. (I didn't snap any pics during the play; I thought it would be rude and I was too engrossed in what was happening to bother.)
Kiddos waiting for the play - I was worried they wouldn't enjoy it, but all of them told me it was amazing. Pictured here are Simic, Yates, Porter, Manley, and Higdon. (Manley is the one in the opera glasses acting goofy!)
Here's a shot of our hotel located at the Ealing-Broadway tube stop in West London. It was a bit out of the way, but the hotel is quite new and modern. I thought it was lovely both times I stayed there. The best part is that it's just about a 10 minute walk to the nearest tube station. (Oh, and it has a lovely little pub on the ground floor....)
Don't our boys look handsome? Here they are after seeing Phantom of the Opera. Pictured from left to right - Kessler, Johnson, Potter, Warner, Porter, Yates, Edmunds, Higdon, Manley, Rush, and Otis. (I love that several of them brought sportcoats and really prepped it up for our nights on the town!)
Not to be outdone - here are our lovely ladies on the same evening. Pictured left to right - Bristow, Jernigan, Dunn, Bolton, Jordan, Simic, Vaughn, Galloway, Wyric, Morris, Jones, Penn, Hiltner, and Key. (It's pretty hard to travel across Europe with a big ole' group of hotties like this!)
Last and probably least are the adults who were on the trip. Pictured left to right are me, Helton, Bolton, Graham, and Morris. Widener and Settle, the other two chaperones, didn't go to the play with us. Instead, they met college friends of Settle's and had a party. I loved the play, but I'm a li'l jealous of the downtime they shared. I was really feeling the jetlag at this point.
Here I am with one of my recently graduated babies, Yates. :)
The infamous clock tower housing Big Ben is beautiful at night.
Isn't this a great shot with the London Eye lit up in the background? Vaughn, Bolton, Jernigan, and Dunn are pictured here.
Sightseeing tour - here's a candid shot of Widener, Yates, Penn, Hiltner, and Key. Our weather in London was amazing - like, I could hardly believe it.
Here are the Jernigan siblings (Clay and Maggie) pictured with me down by the waterfront. Clay was on a study abroad trip with University of Louisville and made time to spend the afternoon with Maggie the day before and lunch with me on our last day in London.
Clay took me to this really cool wine bar just across from the London Eye. It looked like a cave inside and is one of the oldest pubs in the city.
He even stopped along the way to shoot some pics of me on the bridge. Isn't he a sweetie?
Here's Clay enjoying the first round of white wine... (I didn't like the pic he snapped of me, so you only get to see his cute mug.)
Here we are a couple of glasses in each...
The outside of the bar - you had to turn the corner and enter below street level. Talk about a place that just screams history...
My pics on the way back feel a little 'looser' don't they? hahaha! I was pretty relaxed at this point. Thank goodness Widener and Settle had all the kiddos back at the London Eye.
After this, we had a quick lunch at the train station and took the Chunnel to Paris. Goodbye London! While I enjoyed visiting you, I have to say that you're not among my fave cities. I don't know when I'll be back, but I sure am glad that we met. :)