london // windsor castle & hampton court palace
we begun the day at, what seemed like, the crack of dawn (aka 9am) where we were greeted by our tour guide from british tours outside of our hotel. our guide was a scotsman named alastair davidson and he drove us the 30 some minutes to our first stop of the day, windsor castle.
it seemed like alastair knew every fact about the castles and answered all our silly tourist questions about england. when we arrived in the city of eton, we passed eton college (technically a high school) where prince william and harry went to school. the town was right out of a tourist brochure and the streets were filled with little book shops and custom clothing stores. the castle itself was up on the hill and is currently the queen's favorite castle to live in and has her own private garden she visits when all the tourists have gone home - she even drives herself! after touring the immaculate dining and state rooms, we had to keep a strict schedule as we headed to hampton court palace.
once by the palace, we stopped at mada for a quick sandwich to fuel up and headed to hampton court - although i was very temped to buy the hogwarts potion crates but i had to restrain myself.
alastair did say that hampton court was going to be my favorite, and he was definitely right. hampton court palace was recently restored after a horrible fire and it was repaired to perfection.
the palace was much better at letting you take pictures inside the castle but i kept wanting to go out to the garden! because a lot of the interior was replaced, you were actually allowed to sit in the (remade) king's dining chair - an opportunity that i couldn't pass up!
it was incredible how well alastair knew the royal family tree (where it was basically all incest) - i could barely keep up with who was married to who and i felt like i needed a handout to give me a cheat sheet.
when it was finally time to go to the gardens, i had a field day to say the least. now, nothing can compare to the gardens at versailles but these gardens definitely reminded me of the french masterpiece. the palace had a perfectly manicured lawn and was even home to the world's largest grape vine! you know what that means...so much wine.
needless to say it was quite the eventful day - and after alastair dropped us back off at our hotel, there was a much needed nap before dinner at scott's with a family friend.