Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We somehow always manage to meet the most interesting people during our travels which is probably what keeps us going back for more but on this day, our 5th in London, we met a man who we will remember forever. His name is James and he is a retired British army colonel with a little time on his hands.

Determined to see the changing of the guards on our last and final day, we get an earlier than usual start and head straight for Buckingham Palace which is where you would expect all this to happen, right? En route, we stop and fumble around with the map and who comes to the rescue of the seemingly lost tourist but our friend James. We ask him where the best place to watch the guards is and he proceeds to spend the next few hours taking us to THE spots around the Palace for the best views. We somehow manage to bypass all the tourists, avoid the massive crowds and get the best seat in the house at all 3 spots that he takes us to, me and Jacob by hand, no less.

What a generous and fascinating person he turned out to be. He told us about his days in the Army, the history behind what we were seeing, what the various uniforms represent and when they are worn depending on the requirements of a unit or individual, ranging from ceremonial uniforms to combat dress and so much more! There are experiences in life that you can’t ever plan for or even anticipate but when they happen, they leave a lasting impression and this was one of them! I especially fell in love when he ended our “tour” at what can only be describes as the Tunnel of Bling that sparkled as it lead us onto New Bond Street, the shopping mecca for all things couture…miss you James!

When we parted ways, we took a few more hours to soak up the rest of what London had to offer and then made our way home to retrieve our bags and head for the Eurostar that was going to take us to Paris!!!


  1. Really enjoyed this post! Lisa and I enjoy going to different places and meeting/hanging out with locals at their cities! We love to make new friends everywhere we go, as I'm sure you already know... :-)

    Just two years ago we went to Montreal for our anniversary and became very friendly with Sue (the bartender at the W Hotel). On her day off, she took us around town to different bars and restaurants including her local hangout the Montreal Irish Pub, the oldest Irish Pub in Canada!

    When in Spain, we befriended a couple that were eating dinner next to us, and we ended up going out for drinks with them after dinner! They even gave us a ride back to the hotel at 4:00AM!

    So, I totally relate to the experience that all of you had with James! Very, very cool!

  2. Those are the best experiences that will stay with you forever!


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