As I’ve mentioned before, Nadia and I are very lucky with the job we have in London in that it give us the ability to see and do things we normally could not or be able to afford. This past summer, we have seen and done many things with the student’s onsite, but today I want to share two of my favourite things. First up – our ride on The London Eye!
Since opening in March 2000, The London Eye has become an iconic landmark and a symbol of modern Britain. A breathtaking feat of design and engineering, passengers in the London Eye’s capsules can see in all directions. The Eye is the vision of David Marks and Julia Barfield, a husband and wife architect team and was used as a metaphor for the end of the 20th century, and time turning into the new millennium.
Many of you might know that Nadia is TERRIFIED of heights so getting her to commit to coming along was an event in itself. Once we arrived at Westminster Pier and jumped in the queue, we spent most of that time re-convincing Nadia how safe it was, that it’s only 30 minutes, and that there is a sit inside for her to sit on the entire time. In my opinion, I don’t feel that the ride itself is as scary as trying to get into the capsule on the ground.
The Eye is a continuous ride, meaning it DOES NOT stop and like many rides at Disney World, you have to be ready to jump on. Here’s a video of what I’m talking about:
After the initial fear of getting on safely, Nadia found a seat and we were off!! It was a cloudy day in London and the views took your breath away. Once we arrived at the top, Nadia felt safe enough that she started moving around and we were able to capture this picture of us at the top!
I know it was a lot to ask of Nadia, given her fear but it was an amazing experience for both of us and I’m so glad we were able to do it!
The second item I wanted to share was our Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason’s in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. This was a special occasion because it was Nadia’s first Afternoon Tea and what a way to do it in style! F&M is a London establishment through and through and has been serving tea for over 300 years. The ritual of afternoon tea owes its origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. In the early 1800s she lived during a time when it was common to eat only two main meals a day, with breakfast scheduled early in the morning and dinner occuring late in the evening. Weakened and irritated by hunger pangs, she decided to schedule time to take tea and snack each afternoon. This private ceremony was firstly done furtively in her bedroom, but over time well-heeled acquaintances joined her and the Afternoon Tea began!
First, we each picked a tea from a HUGE list of teas, Nadia chose the Queen Anne blend, while I chose The Wedding Breakfast Blend to commemorate the marriage of Will and Kate.
After your tea is poured and enjoyed the three-tired tray of goodies is brought out! Today our treats included (from bottom to top) tea sandwiches including egg and cress, cucumber, salmon, and ham and cheese; plain and apricot scones; and many yummy cakes to share!
It was such an enjoyable experience and feel so lucky we were able to do it together. I’m hoping once we return to the States we will be able to enjoy Afternoon Tea for a special treat!
These two experiences were just one of many that were made possible because of the path our careers took this year. It has been an incredible, rewarding, and challenging experience that will live with us for many years to come.