Leaving the COUNTRY today… give me some tips!

Last week my friend Sarah sent me a text inviting me to meet her in London this week.

I saw the text and kind of laughed about how nice that would be to be able to actually do that but then thought there was no way.  And then I sat there and thought for a few minutes… Andrew already had the days off from work so the kids were covered, we have a bunch of flying points to use, Sarah has a place for me to stay, she is the best travel buddy and I’ve always wanted to go to London.  I talked to Andrew and a few minutes later and we were finding flights.   I’m leaving today!

Below is a picture of Sarah and me from the time I visited her in Thailand.  We met in our 9th grade English class and have been close ever since (which she has made difficult by moving to 10 different countries since then;).  It’s going to be a blast to have a few days together exploring and kid-free (Sarah has four kids)!

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We were doubles partners in high school, roommates in college and I hope we see a lot of countries together over the years!

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My airplane entertainment today: Endure and Inside Out.  I have a feeling this flight will feel a bit different than our normal flights with kids;)

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Let’s catch up on yesterday!

I started things off with this run (and I should have just gone another .04 miles).   Yesterday’s run was one of those runs where I felt like I could have kept going forever which hasn’t happened to me in a long time.  I gladly welcomed it and loved having Emilee for most of the miles too.

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Got the kids off to school.

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And then Skye and I hung out in my sister’s gym for a little while and she ellipticalled and I stretched.

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We literally stared at Skye’s Elsa costume in the washing machine.  There were only about 20 tears shed during the process… most of them from Skye.

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Andrew and I went out on a little date (with Skye;) during a break from his training at work.  He is currently working two shifts a week along with one day of training.

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PB Love smoothies from Jamba (thanks Caroline for the gift cards!!) and pesto turkey sandwiches from Great Harvest.  Skye didn’t know we were going to Great Harvest after Jamba but when we walked out the door of Jamba she looked at us with concern and said, ‘bread??’  I think she thought we forgot the second part of our favorite date (the two stores are right by each other).

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And then we spent the rest of the day together soaking in some time before I leave!

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When she runs around the house in her dress I love how she lifts up her dress.

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Ever gone on a very last second trip?  Where to?

Any tips, recommendations or things I must see while in London?

What are you currently reading?

I would love it if you could help John out with his question:

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88 comments

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Ohh this is soo cool! You’re going to love London :)
My favourite places to go are the National Portrait Gallery (it’s not huge and there are Always fun exhibitions) and the Soho neighbourhood in general to brunch or hang out. Covent Garden and the surrounding streets has a lot of great shops. Can’t wait to see the pictures! Also I’d love to hear what you think of British people (I’m married to one and I think they’re very charming, obviously :))

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You will LOVE london!!!! My son and I went last year for his birthday and had a blast. It will unfold in front of you so don’t worry too much about what to do. I think you’d like Cereal Killer (a cafe of ALL cereal) and Burough Market. We enjoyed just walking along the river from the London bridge towards the Millenium Bridge (we went to Tate Modern). Then the usual like Big Ben, parliament, Buckingham Palace, Kensignton, Hyde Park, etc. So much fun to just walk around, too! Oh, and you’d have to pop into Harrod’s and Fortnum & Masons. To keep things less expensive we grabbed sandwiches from the grocery stores/markets, Wagamama’s, and Nando’s chicken (my son wanted that so bad!) and a few Pho shops. Seriously, it’s just so fun and lively and we got yummy treats along the way. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY!!!!!! Oh, and yes, it’s totally cute and fun to see the red double decker and phone booths.

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I had 24ish hours in London last year at the end of a work trip. I recommend the Rick Steves audio tours. I’ve used them other places too; they are always great and informative. https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-tours/london

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Hyde Park for a run ! Also, for great views of the city and for less money than the London Eye, climb to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Harrods has lots of cute London souvenirs and is fun to walk around- it’s huge!

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How exciting – but I cannot even imagine a last minute trip. Have fun and STAY SAFE!

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ps-
Here is a website that I enjoyed reading and watching her videos.

https://loveandlondon.com/

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Retirement ideas: Asheville, North Carolina and Crozet, Virginia or Charlottesville, Virginia (both of the last two are close by to one another)
The Blue Ridge Mountains are totally gorgeous with beautiful trails, you get 4 seasons, and winters are mild! Occasional snow but nothing super frequent. The towns have access to great health care, the Virginia ones are nearby to university of Virginia so you get great shows/entertainment/restaurants, nearby to airports. My parents were just going through this process so I feel like I know a lot about retirement spots:)

Also, one I can not personally vouch for visiting but I have heard Santa Fe,New Mexico Is a wonderful retirement spot too.

Congratulations on retiring soon(ish), John!

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I have a buddy that lives in Chesapeake, I’ll have to pay that area a visit! I have heard great things about New Mexico as well. Thanks so much for the info!

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have a great trip!! an international flight with fresh new books and no kids honestly sounds like a dream to me. enjoy!!

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I live in Scotland and it’s very exciting that you are going to London! So much to see. Definitely have a wonder around all the usual tourist sites (Westminster, Buckingham Palace, British Museum) but also go round the Borough Market (great food market for picking up so many lovely things!) and Covent Garden. If you are wanting something special go to the Sky Garden – rooftop garden with 360 view over London skyline. So worth it (free but need to get an entry ticket beforehand). Have an amazing time!

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Jhhn – San Diego!! That is definitely where I will be going when I retire.

OH MY GOODNESS, JANAE!! No joke, I found out yesterday that I got the position at my job to move to London for 3 years for work starting in June 2021. Ha!!!! So funny. I have been there 4 times and love it. WALK everywhere. Definitely go into Harrod’s.

Enjoy!

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We were down there in 2008 to visit Sea World, the zoo, and the wild animal park. The weather was awesome. Definitely a great place.

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Dear John,

Greensboro, NC- hands down! There are amazing trails within the city (a watershed trail system), good running community (Fleet Feet- Off n’ Running), pretty good paved running routes!

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I have read a bit about North Carolina when I googled good running areas. Sounds awesome!

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Like others have said, go to Borough Market for food and other cool finds, and I think you’d enjoy a run in Hyde Park!
And honestly, all the tourist places are worth a visit (Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, etc).

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Hello from London!

The parks are all lovely to run in (Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Regents’ Park), and along both The Thames and Regent’s Canal are great. If you run along the Thames heading East (I think on the south side is best, it will be signposted as the Thames Path), you will go past Tower Bridge and can keep going right out to Greenwich which has another lovely park with some killer hills, and views to match. Probably about 11-13 miles round trip from central.

I really recommend afternoon tea in one of the big hotels, they’re such a treat. Endless sandwiches,, scones and cake. Not cheap, but lovely. I have been to The Dorchester several times, and it’s always so lovely (and with the deco theme, it feels a bit like Poirot might wander in at any minute ha).

Shout if you want any more specific recommendations – I hope you have a lovely trip!

Hannah

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This is amazing!!!! Have the best time. Hope you get some time away from blogging while you’re gone ( we will be right here when you come back ). I have a (kid free) girls trip planned in April to New York!

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I have lived in London for 5 years now! You’ll love it.. although it looks like a rainy but mild forecast this week. I have two kids so i can recommend all kinds of kid friendly stuff if you ever come with them… but for now just general recommendations for a great solo trip with your friend! ;)
For food choices— all the markets are best! Camden market (the Venezuelan arepas here are my favourite), Borough Market, Portobello Road Market! So good! You’ll love morning runs around there too. Make sure to not just hit Hyde Park/Kensington gardens but also St James Park and Green Park… that hits Buckingham palace, Big Ben and Westminster and then you can run alongside the river! South bank, London eye, and up towards at Paul’s cathedral, Shakespeare’s globe, past London Bridge, towers of London and tower bridge.
Other great places to see… Covent Garden, Leicester Square, picadilly circus, Trafalgar Square.
Most museums are free! You have the triage of museums in South Kensington (the V&A, science museum and natural history museum). Then there’s the british museum (probably a must!) and the national gallery. Walk everywhere, take buses at least to still be able to see the city, and you can even take bikes out! They’re super easy to use — just £2 for 24 hours and there are socks all around the city. You just have to dock them every 30 mins and then take them out again.
There’s a boat you can take with your oyster (or contactless cards) that goes to Greenwich which is really cool too.
Bread Ahead doughnuts from Borough Market are all the rave (very different to American doughnuts). Also ice-cream from udderlicious at seven dials (the dark chocolate sea salt is the BEST!), and the cookies at Ben’s Cookies. For a super rich hot chocolate on the go (or to stay) go to Paul’s. There are a lot of them all over the city.
Other super cheap lunch foods are sausage rolls or pasties from Greggs (not super classy but super british), and there are meal deals at all major and small city supermarkets. Pret a monge and other lunch spots all over for quick sushi and quick meals. Dishoom is also a real hotspot for tourists for their modern Indian food (although brunch is really good! Especially their na’an rolls), but I’m biased to the traditional curries all over Brick Lane.
Other things: Regent’s Park is a great park to run through— you’d love it! And you can do a hill to the top of Primrose Hill that shows a whole view of the city. To be honest you could probably run all the way to Greenwich a different day and hit the royal observatory and other stuff there. The river is a great running track.
Super cheap shop is Primark! You can get all kinds of fun souvenirs from both of the shops on Oxford Street. And the super high end shops that are worth visiting are Selfridges, Harrods, Fortnum&Mason, and Liberty.
Have so much fun!! I love love love London.

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Hi Laura! I just copied your amazing recommendations! I am going to London in July with my 3 kids who are 11, 8, and 3. Any special recommendations for kids would be greatly appreciated! I have been to London several times but I was young and single! This is my first time abroad with kids so I am looking for ALL the advice!

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Stay safe Janae! Prayers for safe travels. <3

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I love London and I love England. My hubby is English and we go there a lot. I agree with the parks comment above. Hyde Park is beautiful and I love just walking around there. Get an Oyster Card for traveling by tube (subway). It makes life so much easier. You can save money by riding the regular tube to London and not the London Express (although, this is much nicer with comfy seats and WiFi and chargers).
The museums and walking tours are free. I loved the Imperial War Museum, but I’m a nut for military warfare history.
One of the walking tours I did took us to a block or so away from Buckingham Palace where we saw the real changing of the guard. It’s by St. James Place. The walking tour was done by a hostel I stayed at way back in 2011. But it was less packed and really just special to watch. The Buckingham Palace changing of the guard is for show and very packed.
Also, have an English Breakfast…two sausages, two fried eggs, mushroom caps, two tomatoes, two bacon slices (the bacon is so much better over there), and baked beans (they call it baked beans, but it’s more similar to Pork N Beans). Sometimes, you will have black pudding with it. Some people hate it, some people like it. I like it. To each its own.
I’m sure you will get in touch with Charlie from The Runners Beans blog; she will give you great running tips.

Have so much fun. Jealous.

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London!!! So exciting!!! Post lots of pictures! London is definitely on my list to go to some day. Have a great trip and travel safe 😊

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As the huge Beatles fan I am, I would say you definitely need to see Abbey Road Studios and the famous crosswalk. Obviously lots of other awesome bands have recorded here over the years too. Plus, the neighborhood is really pretty and more quiet than central London. Don’t miss St. Paul’s, it’s beautiful and it gave me so many goosebumps being inside. I am also jealous – you’ll have a blast!

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Enjoy it so much Janae! I was actually born in England, not sure if I ever told you that! All my family is still there:) You are going to have the best time and you deserve it!

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Love, love, love London! See a West End show, go to Leicester Square, The National Gallery, and the Borough Market. And if you want to make Andrew jealous, go tour the Warner Bros. Studio (Harry Potter sets)! It’s pretty amazing. And you can take your picture by platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station.

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Have a great time and soak it in. Try to ignore the voice in your head that will have you missing your family. I once heard some sage advice that says (to moms specifically), “Feel the guilt and do it anyway!”
:)
John – we live in Bellingham WA and it is AMAZING for both road and trail running. The city has a vast web of inter-urban trails AND it’s really pedestrian friendly.

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I LOVE b-ham! My bro and SIL live in Ferndale and went to WWU so we spend a lot of time up there. Would love to explore the trails more in the Chuckanuts!

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Third vote for Bellingham! We love it here! It is all that you are looking for John!

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Melissa and Julie,

Ha, I’m just South of you in Lynnwood! It’s colder up there! Lol… I run mainly roads but have been messing around with some trail runs at Japanese Gulch and Saint Edward State Park. I have a friend who splits time between here and Bellingham and I see his cool Strava runs up your way quite a bit. Looks like a blast!

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It’s not that much colder! My husband grew up in Snohomish and he feels like it’s pretty much the same except we do get occasional Fraser Valley winds from Canada but mostly it’s really close in temps! And way less crowded ;) Hope you find what you are looking for!

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Are there any newer housing/neighborhoods that are within walking or jogging distance of some good trails? I’d love to be able to walk out of my house and run a trail without driving anywhere. I’ve only visited up there twice, once to tour WWU campus with my son (beautiful campus) and once for a high school cross country meet with my son.

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I like in a new neighborhood (built 6 months ago) and they are building across the street, but the trails nearby are shorter (1-2 mile sections), since this area is less developed. But near Squalicum High there’s more trails and options, and those neighborhoods are on the newer side, and the there are a few spots near Fairhaven and the 5 that have some new homes and are close to the Interurban (which takes you to the Chuckanuts). I just couldn’t afford either of those areas, so I’m making creative loops on shorter trails haha

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Great info, thanks!

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This is random, but do you cut Skye’s little bangs or does that happen naturally? Trying to decide if I want to cut bangs on my 3 year old who hates having her hair pulled up, so it’s always getting in her face!

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Safe, happy travels!

John-I want to be by my family, so we plan (and aggressively save) to live in our current place most of the year and “winter” down in southwest FL. It’s what my parents, grandparents, and my aunt does, and it works well for them. But, I max out my 403b and have a Roth as well.

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Great advice. I have definitely considered “snowbirding” as well. All options are open!

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Have a great trip! I have never been so I can’t offer any suggestions except to explore it all!
For John – I can say Seattle is a gem! I’ve lived in and near it my whole life and can’t imagine living anywhere else. The winters are probably mild compared to some parts of the world but it’s the hills that make harsh winters awful! Hills + ice and snow don’t go together unless your NOT in a car! Ha! BUT, they also make for great training runs!
We have everything within an hour of Seattle – rugged mountains, smooth trails, urban trails, paved trails + amazing charming neighborhoods and tons of museums.
Have a great flight!

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Hi Jenny, I have seen some of your posts here before. I live in Lynnwood and frequently run at Greenlake, Japanese Gulch, and Saint Edward State Park. It seems like such a pain to travel much further for a run though – traffic seems to get worse and worse each year! I-5 between Lynwwod and Seattle especially, ouch.. Going to a Mariners game on a Friday night is so maddening!

Do you do most of your traveling to running spots early on weekends to avoid traffic?

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Traffic HAS gotten so much worse!
I haven’t run at Saint Edwards yet; I hear the trails are great!
During early sunrise months I’m able to squeeze in sunrise trail runs before work but yes, mountain trails are done on the weekends at or around sunrise to avoid traffic on the roads AND the trails.

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My wife used to commute from Lynnwood to Seattle for work several years ago. There is absolutely no way she could do that now. I feel sorry for all the displaced Renton Boeing workers who are now forced to commute to Everett. At least they can start work early (5am) and miss most of the traffic! And at least they still have a job!

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My best friend and I did a last minute trip to San Diego when we were in college and it is still one of my favorite trips ever!

London recommendations – like people are saying, the South Bank for a run or walk. It is one of my favorite things to do! The views are amazing and so many lovely stops along the way. I usually go from Tower Bridge to Westminster, I have a million photos of Big Ben (sadly under construction at the moment but Parliament is still a gorgeous building.) I am slightly partial to the British Museum (where I work so let me know if you are stopping by!) But I also adore the V&A! It is a gorgeous building and all the exhibits are amazing!

I hope you have the best time and remember to embrace the rain, it is quintessentially British. But I do hope you get some sun as well because London is gorgeous in the sun.

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London is the best! Go for a run around the parks. Liberty is my favorite posh store. Get tea somewhere- Fortnums does a good tea, but there are so many options. Burough market is really neat- and a fun place for lunch. Go to a play- you can usually find cheap tickets for day-off shows! Enjoy!

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Janae that is so awesome, Have fun! We were able to fit so much into a short trip, London is easy to navigate. You can see so much just walking up the Thames. We enjoyed the Tower of London, Borough market, and going up St. Paul’s cathedral for a fantastic view. Also other cools spots like Kensington palace and Buckingham. Have fun! Really whatever you find to do will be fun!

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I’m a little biased, but to John’s question, New Mexico (specifically Albuquerque or Santa Fe) would be wonderful places to retire. A low cost of living, mild winters and endless trails and running routes to explore.

And enjoy London. It’s one of my all time favorite places. We were just there last year. It looks like you have already received lots of reccos but I can say waking up early in the morning and running around Hyde Park on my own will be a memory I always treasure.

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My bestie lives in London so I try to get over there every 2yrs. There’s still so much more to see and do so I’m loving all the suggestions above. One new thing we did on our last trip was hit the local pub for a proper fish and chip. It happened to be quiz night (very popular there) and we actually won! I love London so much that we’ve talked about my husband doing a work detail there after I retire in 7yrs. Stay safe and have a blast!

btw, I love the kid’s photos you posted on insta!

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I lived in London for 8 years – it’s such a fantastic city.
Borough Market near London Bridge is great. Wander through and eat all the good things!
I also like wandering around Spitalfields Market.
I love all the parks in London. Green Park and St. James Parks are beautiful and I liked running along the Serpentine in Hyde Park.
The South Bank is nice to walk along and you can go into the Tate Modern Museum for a nice view of the city. Then walk across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral. If you don’t mind heights, you can climb to the top of the dome and those views are amazing.
Museums are free – I love the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A. The Natural History Museum is great too – the buildings themselves are so cool.

You can take a boat or train to RIchmond, it’s a lovely town along the Thames with great shops and cafes. Down the road from Richmond is Kew. Kew Gardens is amazing. The Victorian greenhouses are unreal and there’s a cafe near the train station in Kew that has the best scones.

I love eating at Nandos (several locations in central London) – it’s kind of nice fast food and their chicken is so, so good. My husband teases me that it’s one of my first stops when we go back.

Have the best time – you’re making me want to go back and visit!

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Have the best time and a safe flight! I’m an art historian, btw, and IMO the coolest/most fun museums in London (for art) are the Victoria and Albert and the British Museum. I mean, there are a TON and I don’t know if you’re into that sort of thing, but these two have some really fun stuff :)

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Ahh so excited for you to go to London, Janae! I studied abroad there in college and loved it. I’ve been dying to go back. You have to go to Borough market and Bens cookies! Also if you like Indian food, Brick Lane is a ton of fun. One of my favorite memories is that on the day of a show you can often get about $10-20 tickets for unused seats! You just show up to the theater about an hour before start and ask. And I LOVED running through Reagents Park. Have the best time!

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I am so happy you are coming here! My recommendations are- go to the sky garden in the wallow talkie. You have to book a slot online but it’s as good as the shard but FREE instead of £28!!!
You can take a TFL river cruise down the Thames for quite cheap and it will go all the way from Greenwich to parliament and that is great too.
Borough market is amazing but go at 11 or it will be really busy.
Have an amazing time!

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My wife and I took part of our honeymoon in London. Highly recommend any of the Ottolenghi restaurants for Mediterranean cuisine. I ran a bunch through St James to Hyde Park. If you’re a history nerd, the Churchill war rooms are great!

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John- check out Northwest Arkansas! Seriously! The Rogers/Bentonville area is a great mid-size town to live in. But it’s got entertainment, museums, great restaurants, TONS of paved trails (http://www.nwatrails.org/map/) and lots of cool parks (both local and state parks) around to run on more trails like that. Check out this site to learn more: https://findingnwa.com/

I lived in this area for graduate school and now live south in Fort Smith. I love it! But I honestly believe it’s a great place to call home. We do get cold, and like 1-2 snows a year, but it’s mild. Summers are hot, but you hit the lakes and don’t mind. And you trade the hot summers to get GORGEOUS falls with TONS of fall foliage everywhere.

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Brittney,

I grew up in Kansas, so not too far from there. I’ll look into that area, thanks!

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I have zero answers to your questions today, but wanted to wish you a fun and safe trip! I have never done a last minute trip anywhere, much less overseas. That sounds fantastic!

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Enjoy your time in London! There’s so much history there.

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Congrats John!! Let us know what you come up with!

And have a BLAST, Janae!!

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Make sure you bring a good rain jacket, weather has been super grey and rainy! My first thought was food recommendations… check out pilgrims pizza, honest burger and doughnut time! My favourite places to eat! Greenwich is my favourite place to go! The park, museum and market make a great day out. Have a great time!

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You absolutely have to have Indian food at Dishoom! So. So. So. Good. Then get their cookbook.

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Ahhh what a fun adventure, I LOVE that you made this happen! I’m sure you’ll have fun running through the city. And how special to be there with an old friend kid free! A little break will help handle the tears over the Elsa dress when you get back ;)

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John,
I think Austin would be awesome for you! There are great trails, a strong running community and plenty of restaurants and fun. Plus the weather is warm (or more than warm!)
Happy retirement!

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I’ve definitely looked at Austin. I lived in Kansas for 20 years and several people I went to school (KU) with settled down that way. Looks like a great area. Thanks!

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John – the Bay Area! San Fran. But high costs of living no doubt!

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I live near Seattle so I know all about high cost of living! I’ve been to Cali, but just to the amusement park areas (Anaheim, San Diego, and Six Flags Magic Mountain). Wonderful weather, although Valencia can get HOT! Thanks!

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Wow what a fun last minute trip! Enjoy the nice relaxing flight! I am currently reading Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser. This year I promised myself I would spend less time watching tv/phone at night and start to read more. My library is probably getting annoyed with all my book requests!

I hope you have so so much fun on your trip!!!

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We’re always going on last minute trips! I’m excited to hear about your London adventure – Les went there for business 2 years ago and he might be going again this Spring. He’s already planning to take me along so I’ll be reading all the comments here for tips as well. Safe travels, Janae!

I’m currently reading “Madman” by Tracy Groot. It’s Biblical fiction and extremely fascinating.

John – my husband and I are 56 and 55 and retirement is on the horizon. We currently live in Simi Valley, CA – Southern California, but Ventura County versus LA county so slightly cheaper. The weather is great and there is tons of great running, both trail and road. We haven’t decided if we will move somewhere cheaper when we retire. My husband is an avid cyclist, so wherever we go the weather will have to be mild year round as well.

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Kathy,

I’m in Lynnwood, WA and as other have pointed out, this is a pretty great area for running as well. However, the housing prices and traffic in this area are pretty crazy. Like you, I have several years to mull over my options. It will take some doing to uproot us from here though!

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Have an amazing trip! Spontaneity is the best. I have definitely jumped into some last minute running trips but not necessarily to another country on the spur of the moment.

I just finished Beartown (which I highly recommend) and am looking to get the sequel.

Safe travels!

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London, my first ever international move on my own. I lived outside of London, but traveled into the city frequently. Try to and see as much as you can, visit some local spots (pubs, shops) that are outside of the tourist areas. I always had the best time at those types of places.

Retirement, Charleston SC and San Diego CA are my two top choices for retirement.

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Blair, I’ve heard great things about Charleston as well. Thanks!

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A last minute trip sounds amazing!! I want a friend like that. I went to London a few years ago and have a blog post on it. One of my top things was doing the Harry Potter tour which is a day trip outside of London, but of course there are tons of amazing things to do and see in London. I need to go back.

http://www.bridgesthroughlife.com/2017/04/07/london-eat-explore-experience/

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Oh my goodness I am so happy for you Janae! Enjoy London!!!

Endure is a great book, I love reading technical books like that and I always read his column on Outside magazine. It reminded me of that other book you recommended, How Bad Do You Want It? I think Endure is a little more dry but also really informative.

Safe travels!!!

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I lived in London for 3 years and every time I had visitors we did the Red or Brown bus tours. I KNOW it sounds so cheesy but it’s a great way to get oriented with the city above ground, and then you can go back and see the things that spark your interest. Tower of London tour is really fun and creepy :)

I lived in Chiswick and started running in the Chiswick House grounds – running on the river is definitely a treat depending on where you are staying! Kew Gardens is magical and people watching and high-end shopping on King’s Road is out of this world. Have a great time!!!

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I can’t wait to hear about your trip! My husband and I are going in 2 weeks! Also kid free!

I have Where the Crawdads Sing for my next book

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Have so so much fun in London!

I am currently reading The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and listening to The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty. I discovered an app that is linked to my local library called Libby and it is just the best! You don’t even need a library card to sign up, you can use your phone number.

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That is so funny, I literally just got back from a work trip to London on Sunday! You need to go for a run in Hyde park, obviously! London is also known for amazing Indian food and we went to the best place this weekend called Shoreditch- it was a long wait but 100% worth it. Also please check out the Spitalfield market!! We tried to go there but they close at 5 and we just missed it. It looked so cool though with a bunch of vendors selling handmade things and food/ restaurants all around it. You’re going to have the best time!

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So random question but when you go running and then come home to get kids ready and off to school, do you have change out of your clothes? I only ask because even in winter I get a sweaty sports bra and I have to change it immediately because I freeze if I don’t. And if my shirt is sweaty I have to change it. Is that weird or does that happen to you? I don’t shower or anything until later but I have to take off the sweaty stuff.

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Sometimes my running friends will go for coffee after our run, and in the winter we always bring a change of jog bra and shirt, otherwise we freeze! You’re not alone!

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Janae – thanks so much for posting my question!

Such invaluable info! Thanks so much to everybody that replied!

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Yay!!! You’ll be in London!! Please host a meet-up for your UK readers?

I live in London and recommend the South Bank for a lovely place to spend the evening with beautiful views across the river; running in Hyde Park as lots of other people have said; the Natural History Museum and the Tate Modern are my favourite museum and gallery; and for incredibly pretty daytime walking and shopping head to Portobello Road in Notting Hill :) for food I’d recommend the Breakfast Club or Caravan for brunch, and the Hummingbird Bakery does amazing cake! Have the best time!!!

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John- We run year round in Southwest Florida! Plenty of trails in the preserves and road races Oct-May. You would want to snowbird though…the summers are brutal!

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Alyssa, I’ve always wondered about trail running in Florida. I have not seen much online about it. Being from the Northwest and Midwest I just picture swamps, alligators, and snakes, lol. Where are the best running trails and nearby communities down that way?

Thanks!

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I had 24ish hours in London last year at the end of a work trip. I recommend the Rick Steves audio tours. I’ve used them other places too; they are always great and informative. https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-tours/london

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How exciting! If you are there on Saturday morning then get to a parkrun! If you can get to Bushy park, even better as that is where it started, and they get well over 1000 runners each week, plus the park is full of deer and just so beautiful. But there are loads in London so there’s bound to be one near where you are. (They are free, but to get a time you have to register before you go and print out a barcode).
Covent Garden is a lovely place to wander around, and there’s a Swedish bakery that does amazing cinnamon rolls there which is a bonus. Have a fab trip!

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Have the most amazing time! London was my first trip abroad at 17 years old and I would love to go back but there are so many places in the world I want to see!

And YAY for the jamba gift cards! I am so happy that I did not have to throw them out!

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London is so fun enjoy! I once booked a flight to Santo Domingo in the DR a week before I left – best decision ever. I went by myself and just enjoyed exploring the town and having some me time.

My best advice for London is to walk. Everyone takes the tube (metro) everywhere but a lot of stuff is easy walking distance (not everything) and walking lets you see some of the non touristy parts of the city!

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I once booked a flight to Santo Domingo in the DR a week before I left – best decision ever. I went by myself and just enjoyed exploring the town and having some me time.

My best advice for London is to walk. Everyone takes the tube (metro) everywhere but a lot of stuff is easy walking distance (not everything) and walking lets you see some of the non touristy parts of the city!

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I would retire in Arizona or Hawaii or San Diego:)

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Answer for John- western North Carolina or Tennessee (johnson city or Knoxville). I live in Asheville and love it for the milder winters, abundance of trails, and good food.

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Thanks!

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