Now we’re to Sunday of the brilliant English adventure, which deserves its own post.
The plan for Sunday was to visit the Tower of London and see Lady Antebellum perform at the London O2 as part of the “Country to Country” concert series.
Once again, Ann and I got up and out the door early morning headed to join a “London Walk” tour of the Tower of London. If you go to London, definitely check out the London Walk tours. They cost 8 pounds and it’s money well spent, in my opinion. For one thing, they purchase your attraction tickets for you at a reduced rate. So those long lines at the Tower of London? You aren’t wasting your time standing in them.
Our tour guide that day was Judy, who won the coveted title of “Tour Guide of the Year” a few years ago. Judy was both extremely knowledgeable and extremely no-nonsense.
We connected with Judy and the other participants across the street from the Tower of London at the site where the majority of the monarch-authorized beheadings took place, then headed (“Quickly, quickly, people”) across the street to the Tower.
I didn’t know it before my visit, but what we call the Tower of London is actually a fortress surrounding many buildings and, get this – people actually LIVE THERE! I’m not sure whether that is thrilling or creepy.
Also, the men in the funny outfits we call “Beefeaters” are actually “Yeomen Guards”. Ann took my picture with two of them – they cracked me up by joking to each other over my head.
My third fun fact about the Tower of London is that they have tame ravens there. Ravens look like enormous crows and grow fat from all the treats fed to them by tourists (despite Judy’s disapproving glares).
After touring the Tower, we took a high speed boat ride down the Thames to the O2 Arena for London’s Country 2 Country show. The London O2 is enormous and in addition to the concert venue, holds numerous restaurants, a bowling alley and much more that I didn’t see.
Ann and I had a delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we enjoyed the flirtations of our Portugese waiter (who told us how much he loved our American accents), then met up with Anna and Will to get in line for the Lady Antebellum meet and greet picture taking. I introduced our group to Charles, Hillary and Dave, who were all completely charming.
Lady Antebellum’s show was fantastic and wonderfully appreciated by the crowd. The merch tables were selling straw cowboy hats and judging by the heads we saw, business was booming!