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© 2023 by Arianna Castillo​. Proudly created with

First Time in London

August 16, 2017





Missing your last-born child's first day of elementary because you've decided to travel overseas is borderline bad parenting or it could even be described as pure selfishness! I, on the other hand would just say judge me however you choose but I was not missing out on this trip. My husband has been to London multiple times for work, but the mother bear that I once was would not dare let me leave my children for an extended vacation. But that was before my renewed life as Vada!


After the tears and extra expense of travel insurance, in case I couldn't survive the trip and had to call the airline with a lie to get the hell out of London, I "manned up," packed my bags and got my ass on that plane!


Getting from the airport was as easy as it is in any American city: go outside, wait in the taxi line, hop your butt in, tell the taxi driver your location and hopefully you reach your destination in one piece (taxi drivers are very aggressive).


Food: Blah, if you're eating European food, so definitely try other cuisines. Our favorite restaurant was Masala Zone, an Indian eatery!



Hotel: Novotel London Paddington, a beautiful hotel that is centrally located with easy accessibility to the Paddington train station, restaurants, and a Starbucks.  If you are traveling with kids they will enjoy the indoor heated pool and game stations provided in the lobby area. Word of advice: eat out, the food is bland and room service after 10pm is limited to salads and microwaved food.


Sites/ To Do:


Buckingham Palace - changing of the guard takes place daily at 11:30am May – July and on alternate days for the rest of the year.


The Red Telephone Box - located on every corner and if you visit the hood like we did you will find they aren't as pretty, LOL.


The Big Ben - you know that big famous clock, right? 




Ride the Tube (train).


Oxford Street - a street with almost every clothing store you can think of and it intersects with the famous Piccadilly Circus, another shopping districting that houses many Flagship stores.


Visit Hyde Park - a large park often compared to Central Park in New York. 


Ride in a Black Cab.


Enjoy the London Eye, even if I was to afraid to. A word of advice buy your ticket in advance because the line was super long.



Eat an English breakfast: baked beans, sunny side up eggs, sausage and bacon, broiled tomatoes 

 and toast.


Luckily, we know a few people from London so we were able to travel outside of the tourist area and hang with locals and really get a feel for London! 





Oh, and about me missing my kids first day of school thank goodness for technology because I was able to FaceTime and see all of the action. Kudos to my mom!!!





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