We woke up at 6:30am and got ready, then went to breakfast. The hotel has a full English fry up - as a buffet. I had baked beans, fried bread, fried tomato, sausage (more meat than cereal!), two eggs over easy, hash brown patty, banana, and a plum. It was all very yummy. Oh, and really, really weak tea with cream & sugar.
We met the other tour-goers in the lobby for our Regal London tour (part of the package). The coach wasn't on time, but once it arrived, Sarah (an ex-pat American) gave us an excellent tour. As Amy later remarked, it was nice that the traffic was so bad because we got more interesting facts from her than we probably would have due to the delays. The tour showed us more of London than our Deathmarch of the pervious night (though there was a little overlap). And then Sarah walked our tour over to see something I'd never bothered with on previous London visitis - the changing of the guard at Buckinham Palace. And since tomorrow is the Queen's "birthday," she was actally in reidence.
After the tour, mum and Amy and I returned to St. James Park for a reconnoiter to decide upon our next course of action. During the tour, we drove by Borough Market, which Sarah recommended to us claiming that it was one of the factors that convinced her to move from Rome to London. Mom had said that we should go there for lunch, so we did. We bought Oyster cards and took the Jubilee line from Wesminster to London Bridge, then went to Borough Market.
In addition to fresh produce and meat, they have freshly prepared meals as well. We walked through and all decided on what we wanted to eat. I chose a lamb bap from Maria's Market Cafe and a cider from another booth. It was a tasty sandwich, with rocket and mint jelly. Mom got scallops and Amy got a Cornish pastie. I wasn't enamored of the cider (their sweet is not as sweet as I like, but enjoyed everything else. We ate next to a Turkish deli and I decided to get some Turkish delights.
We hopped back on the tube to the Baker Street exit to get to Madame Tussauds. The wait to get in was a bit much, but probably no more than the other times I've waited. We also decided to pay the £3 extra for the Star Wars exhibit. We had lots of fun posing with celebs and I have posted a few of the images on my facebook if you have one of those. I will get them to LJ one of these days, too!
After Tussauds, we went to find the Sherlock Holmes museum nearby. On our way, we stopped into a couple of shops. One of them had tweed caps, one of which fit me and was only £25, so I bought it. I look cute. Amy got a photo as proof, which I'll also post when I'm able. We then went to The Volunteer for half pints and a sit down outside. I had Addlestone's Cloudy cider and mom got Aspall's cider (which I'd had the day before) and Amy got a London pale ale from a brewer she doesn't recall. We ate a few pieces of Turkish delight while we relaxed.
We decided to pop into the Sherlock Holmes store (where everything is overpriced according to the lady I bought my hat from. She sells deerstalkers for half the price of the museum store) but not the museum. And then we walked to Regent's Park for a short walk and a sit down. Then back to the Tube (Jubilee from Baker to Green park, then Victoria to Vauxhall).
One our walk back from Vauxhall last night, we noticed a few eateries and deicded to try one of those for supper. We went to Casa Madiera to their coffee shop side. I had a bacon melt panini and a decadent fruit danish, Amy got a huge avocado salad (with prawn salad, cole slaw, and lots of veggies), and mom got a chicken napoleon or something (chicken and mushroom melt). Supper was very yummy and fairly reasonable in cost.
We returned to our hotel whereupon we've been repacking, journaling, talking to dad on the phone, etc. It's just about time for bed, so I'll sign off now. Tomorrow we awake even earlier to get on the road proper. By the end of the day tomorrow, we'll be in Exeter!