Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Guest Blogger Series: Samantha Elizabeth

This week, the sweet and beautiful Samantha from Samantha Elizabeth: A Lifestyle Blog is sharing about some of her recent travels! You know Matt and I are crazy about finding good vacation spots and visiting new places. I was pumped when Samantha said she could share about some of her own recent experiences! Make sure you check out her blog and show her some love- she is GREAT!


Hello, my name is Samantha and I blog over at Samantha Elizabeth: A Lifestyle Blog! I am honored to be sharing some fun from recent travels with the readers of Notes from The Nelsen’s. First and foremost I have to congratulate Heather and Matt on the arrival of beautiful baby Ryan! Were you all as eager and excited to see his darling face grace Heather’s Facebook Page and Instagram as much as I was? – he is too cute!

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About a year ago this past June, my husband and I traveled on what felt like a whirlwind of a trip to Europe. We went to many countries such as; Italy (Venice, Rome, Cinque Terre) Switzerland (Zurich), France (Paris), England (London) and Ireland (all over the darn place). I have shared a lot of photos and info from my travels abroad but one particular part of the trip I’ve failed to blog about was the London portion – and shame on me…because by far it was one of my favorite parts. First of all…it would be fair for me to acknowledge and throw out the disclaimer that I am a huge Tudor history nerd. Of course my love for history made my experience in London unforgettable and definitely one I want to do again soon! This blog post highlights some of my favorite moments. Just an FYI – my friend husband Dusty, friend Janette, and I did this all in two days! London is definitely a place you want to wear comfy shoes – especially if site seeing. Their transit system is impeccable (i.e. the Oyster Pass saved us). But we felt like we did A LOT of walking. Especially because we wanted to see a lot all in two short days, which meant that we had to MOVE…the great thing about central/downtown London is that a lot of the major historic locations/buildings are all within walking distance of one another…or a quick jump on the Tube and you’re off and in minutes arrive at your next destination. If you want to do things the way we did…take the Tube to Piccadilly Circus and get off there. You will be within walking distance of everything, which includes Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey, Big Ben, The River Thames and Westiminister Palace/House of Parliament (I am sure there were other monumental places nearby…these were just my favorites!) We literally walked to all of these features in about 2-3 hours tops. Of course it will take you longer if you prefer to do a guided tour of Buckingham Palace, Westminister Abbey or Westminister Palace/House of Parliament (both worth it). If you want to see the changing of the guards (we missed this)…that takes place every day at approximately 11:00 a.m. except for Sunday when it takes place at 10:00 a.m. And if I make one recommendation – the most romantic and ethereal feelings I have had has been standing across the Thames and looking over at the House of Parliament and Big Ben lit up at night – this is a must do! Photo2 Photo3 Photo 4 Photo 5 The Tower of London was a beautiful structure…it really is worth visiting. This is where the famous Anne Boleyn, the second Wife of Henry VIII was taken through “Traitors Gate” to be locked away in the tower until her execution. Along with countless others over the course of hundreds of years. The Tower of London is really more like a fortress…or a castle, there is a said “tower” located on the grounds that was used to keep prisoners. From the Tower of London you can see the London Bridge. Photo 6 Photo 7 Photo 8 While in London it rained…quite a bit actually…(so bring an umbrella and a rain coat)! One rainy evening, on a whim, we decided to visit the Apollo Theatre and watch the performance Wicked. What an amazing and spectacular experience. Our seats were close enough to “nose-bleed” but none-the-less it was just as wonderful as if we had had front row seating. I highly suggest seeing a play while visiting London. London is known for its amazing theatres! Photo 9 And of course I couldn’t leave London without visiting a true castle...and one that was home to the Tudor lineage! Hampton Court was a beautiful palace…one that I can’t even describe in words. It was HUGE. photo 10 Advice When Traveling to London: 1) Get an Oyster Pass – be sure to swipe when you are going and leaving the Tube! 2) Something you’ll hear often “mind the gap” or…”queue” or “loo” 3) Bring a raincoat/umbrella. 4) Walk by the River Thames, Big Ben and Westminister Palace at night – you won’t regret it. 5) Wear comfortable shoes! 6) Take time to go out to the countryside and visit a castle or two (Hampton Court is great)! 7) Go to a play! 8) Sit in a park and have a picnic (I didn’t get a chance to do this…but wish I had, Kensington Park to be exact)! 9) Read up a little bit on the history behind the places you are going to…this will help you appreciate and understand a little bit more of what you are seeing. 10) If you can help it…try to fly out of any airport other than Heathrowe! It takes almost 1 full hour to ride the Tube to Heathrowe (one way)! And this can cut in to your site seeing time! Thanks for reading! Please feel free to join me regularly on Facebook or Instagram! X0 Sam


Thank you, Samantha!

We are off to see Ryan's pediatrician for the first time. Little buddy's getting two outings on back to back days! Check out my instagram feed here to see what we were up to yesterday. :)

I'll be back later this week to share pictures from the day Ryan was born!


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