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London in 36 Hours (And What I Learned That Really Made Me Enjoy Every Moment)


As a little prelude on all the fabulous stories, adventures, and memories I have from my life changing trip with my parents and Justin, I wanted to share with you a little video I saw a couple weeks prior to leaving that really started to change my perspective on a lot of things in my life: The Jelly Bean video. (And, no, it’s not because people call me Jilly Bean!!). It seems like such a simple concept, but the makers of this video present one jelly bean for every day of your life and show us how, on average, we spend/consume our jelly beans. In the end, after sleeping, working, grooming, commuting, watching TV, etc, etc we really don’t have that much time on this earth to spend doing the things we love with the people we love. I’m not sure if it’s apparent, but I tend to spread myself WAY too thin – I commit myself to more than I should handle and then I want to always to the best I can at it. The result? I feel like my jelly beans are perhaps disappearing on me and perhaps being misused.

After I watched this video I would literally catch myself waking up in the night thinking about jelly beans, driving to & from Vancouver and Kelowna thinking about jelly beans, on set thinking about jelly beans…. it has really woken me up, made be realize I need to stop burning the candle at both ends, and begin restructuring my priorities: family, friends, and love first and foremost – ALWAYS. Trust me… watch this video!! 

Having this new perspective before departure made me really enjoy and appreciate every moment I had away with those that I love the most. And I hope it will wake you all up too – I think we can all use some reminding sometimes!! But enough with the candy-talk… here’s a little run-down on our first destination – LONDON!!!


Originally,  we had no intention of going to London. I had done the trip to Ireland and Scotland a few years ago with my bff and i wanted mom and dad to experience it. Actually, for their anniversary this year, i cleared out my Air Miles account and surprised them with this trip.  I couldn’t get the flight into Dublin that i wanted and just happened to end up being able to spend our first 36 hours in London… I just assumed we wouldn’t be able to do it all, so my expectations were low.  But my first time in London, even if only for 36 hours, was amazing!

My only regret is we never got into a show, so please make sure you squeeze THAT into your itinerary. Other than that i wouldn’t change a thing.


After we landed, we took the train to our hotel, the Royal Park which i would HIGHLY recommend. It was close to historic Hyde Park and walking distance to everything we needed!

As soon as we settled in, we walked to Hyde Park and found the first old pub we could and had of course, Fish & Chips & Beer – a common meal theme for the trip!


We cruised Hyde Park, did a little shopping, and then hopped on the hop-off hop-on bus.  I have always been against these – I love to travel and get right into the culture and explore myself. But being in London for only a short period of time, I didn’t want to miss out on seeing everything and i loved it!!! Now i have a new perspective on the bus tours. See, you can be stubborn and avoid the busses and choose to ‘find’ all these gems on your own, but when you get home you might realize you missed a big handful of gems. The bus tours only take an hour or two at most, so my suggestion is get on that bus right away, check out the city and then decide what you want to wander back to on your own to explore.

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We met up with some friends of Justin’s and partied down at Piccadilly Circus – so much fun!!! We then spent the next day at Notting Hill (antique shopping of course!). We pretty much spent the entire day down at Notting Hill and then we wandered back to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping, Big Ben and of course the Art Gallery.


Followed by an afternoon tea, we jumped back in our cab and headed off to the airport! Of course there were a million other things we could have gotten up to, but for an unexpected trip, it was perfect!

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In a day and a half we did:

Fish and Chips


Piccadilly Circus

Notting Hill

English Breakfast


Oxford Street (it was nice to see but I try to avoid big shopping streets when I travel. Most of these labels are in North America so i try to stick to side streets & mom & pop neighbourhoods)

Art Gallery

Big Ben & the hop-on hop-off tour

High Tea at London Park Hotel


Enjoy a few more of my photos! What’s your favourite thing about London – what should I add to my list next time?? Comment below & let me know!

xo Jilly

(Our adventures in Ireland coming Wednesday!)

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