Thanks to an amazing travel deal I found back in September, I traveled to the UK this month and had a fantastic time. I started at SFO with a flight on WOW airlines to Gatwick airport via Reykjavík.
If you do travel via WOW you’ll find great prices but everything (every. thing.) is an upsell, including water on an 8 hour flight. wow.
I arrived in London and picked up an Oyster card and made my way to my first stop right off the District Line on the Underground.
This was the front path just about a mile away from the station. I love staying at AirBnb locations so I can get to know the local people.
The hallmark of London was meet ups with clients and friends and it’s always good to talk in person with those I’ve only met online.
This is Kris, she edited my books in 2016 and I was so glad she was visiting family in London and could make time to play tour guide.
Together we went to the National Gallery, rode on a double decker bus, went to the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and more places I’ve forgot.
We did a quick walk through of the National Gallery after brunch:
My favorites are always Van Gogh and they had some lovely Impressionists pieces.
After the National Gallery we walked outside into a pouring rainstorm and ended up jumping on a double decker bus to reach our next destination. From St. Paul’s Cathedral we walked across the Millennial Bridge and toward the London Eye.
At the modern art museum we took in the big installation which was a swing set. So much fun!
By the time we crossed the river and made it over to Waterloo the sun had begun to come out!
We shopped a little along the street markets and I adored these restaurant… bubbles? I don’t know but I want one for my backyard.
When it got dark enough we made our way to Regent Street to take in all the decorations and they didn’t disappoint!
Even the window displays were on point:
On Friday, after our Conquer meet up, we went out walking and ended up at Buckingham Palace at dusk. The flag above the building mean the queen was in residence:
For a late lunch we stopped at Belgo, a Belgium mussels, chips and beer stop that was fantastic! You can essentially get a kilo of mussels and sauce for under $20.
We spent a good amount of time walking around Covent Gardens and their markets.
On Saturday I left London for Dublin, right before the first big snow storm London had seen in a decade. It was a quick 40 minute flight from Gatwick and it took a little while to find my AirBnb. That day I started feeling sick so I had an early dinner and slept in.
Sunday was my only full day in Dublin so I took a taxi down to the shopping district where I promptly found a really cool donut shop:
Since I hadn’t had real food I picked one up for later and stopped for fish and chips at a local pub.
Everything was decorated up for the holidays:
and there were tons of vendors out on the streets:
I didn’t buy much but considering the weather is much cooler than California I bought a sweater, hat and gloves to supplement my winter coat.
On Monday it was back to Manchester on an early flight where we had another Conquer meet up and I got to meet Rachel, who designed my books and website in 2016, in person for the first time!
After our meet up I took the train to Sale and met my cousin’s former husband and his family. The last time I’d seen my cousin’s daughter Coral she was 3 and now she’s nearly 11!
It was a quick visit but lots of fun!
Tuesday I was on the train to London and taking in the countryside:
On the trip back to San Francisco I had another layover in Reykjavík and we departed just at sunset.
As we were flying west, the plane tracked the sun all the way to California and 8 hours later I watched it set over the Pacific Ocean.
Back in San Francisco I had another meet up with Conquer Club members and client meetings.
All in all it was a fantastic trip and I am so glad I took the time to go explore more of the UK!