Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my boyfriend and I’s first fall activity that he actually brought to my attention… I know eh, what boy brings up fall activities! In all fairness to him, it was a client at his work who told him about it so I won’t go too hard on him!

First Fall Activity of 2018: Apple Picking!

 

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The place we ended up going to was called Log Cabin Orchard. It was only about a 25 minute drive from our apartment at the South end of Ottawa, ON. As we were getting closer to the location, we noticed all these cars lined up along the side of the road. I thought wow this must be a pretty good spot to get some apples!

The first thing you do when you arrive is figure out which driveway to go into! Hint: its the one by the big sign. Then you wander down it and if you are anything like me you stop and take a million pictures of their cute little cabin! (star of my picture of the week last week – click here to see!) Once we made it down, we wandered into the cabin from the back door. That is where you pick out what size of bag you want to fill up with apples and pay for it before you go out picking! They also had a food/drink area outside the cabin where they were selling fresh apple cider and churros!

As you make your way into the orchard area, they also have a little petting zoo for the kids. Even though it was mostly for the kids we checked it out too … always a kid at heart!

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The older man who owns this orchard tells you that you can walk in and follow the orange cones to the trees that are ready to be picked or you can take the tractor ride in! We chose to walk for a bit of exercise on our relaxing/lazier day, but that tractor ride sure looked like fun! Well at least all the kids looked like they were having a good time 😀

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The orchard was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you looked the trees were lush with all types of apples. It was a very hot and humid day, however when the clouds covered for a bit it was a nice break from the direct sunlight!

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So, I have never been apple picking before but it sure was fun! This is the view you get when you arrive at the trees you’re allowed to pick from. Its amazing how straight the lines of trees are! The first apples we picked were Macintosh. We filled up half our bag with these ones. They were hanging low enough on the trees that you could still reach them – although the ones up higher were bigger!

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Next, we scampered across to the other size where the Lobos were. Now the lower apples were picked over here so they had ladders set up so we could reach the higher ones! And yes, the ladders were the old school wooden ones – very cool.

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It was a bit sketchy climbing up those ladders though because they weren’t the most stable! The apples were calling my name though so we went up anyways – sorry parents! haha we got our apples in one piece I promise!

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Photo credits go to the boy – he took over the camera whilst I was picking!

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We ended up with our bag full right to the top and had a lot of fun doing it! Now we had to walk back to the car with this heavy bag of apples in the +30C heat – safe to say I has a sweat stash going on and the boy was kind enough to point it out.

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In conclusion, I would highly recommend going out and picking some apples this fall! It is a very fun activity to do with yourself, a friend or even the whole family! I know I will be going out picking apples every fall from now on!

Also, the best part about it is that you get to take home and eat these delicious apples! We still have a few left but I have been having one or two everyday!

Have you ever been apple picking before? If you haven’t, would you go try it now? Let me know in the comments below!

Recent Posts:

Picture of the Week #2

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #2

Picture of the Week #2

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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Location: Log Cabin Orchard

To be honest I truly love this little cabin – you will have to wait and see the story behind it in an upcoming post!

What is your first thought when you see this picture? Tell me a little story in the comments below! 🙂

Recent Posts:

Maverick’s Donut Company Review

Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk | Ottawa, ON

Picture of the Week! #1

Until next time,

xoxo

Maverick’s Donut Company Review

Maverick’s Donut Company Review

Hello friends,

Todays post will be a food review – woo! Who doesn’t like hearing about good food possibly near you!

This past Saturday for our treat meal we (myself and the boy) decided to get some donuts. We like to treat ourselves once a week if we are feeling it because throughout the week we work hard, eat relatively clean, and are quite active. Usually it is me asking my boyfriend if he wouldn’t mind donuts for our treat meal but this time he asked me and I was like hell-to-the-yah.

The donut place we decided on is called Maverick’s Donut Company. They have two locations in Ottawa and have very good hours for a donut shop! You can pretty much get them whenever you want. Also, they do have vegan options as well as regular which I think is pretty cool.

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It even looks like a cute donut shop from the outside.

As we approached the donuts I thought hmm let me take some pictures so I can give a review to my followers if they are ever in the area and are craving some donuts!

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First of all, I think their branding is as cute as can be. I have always loved this teal blue colour and when you mix it with that crisp white it is magical. It draws the eye for sure.

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Inside the shop they always have donuts fresh out of the oven and it smells heavenly. They have the little ones or big ones, whichever you please. Now I have never tried the little ones, but one day I will!

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Their stock was a bit depleted when we came in because it was like 3 in the afternoon, but there were fresh new flavours right behind them!

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Most of the donuts they have are cake donuts, so more dense then the traditional yeast ones. I enjoyed them though! Cake or yeast donut – I will eat it haha

We ended up choosing a box of 6 to try out. We couldn’t just go and only get one or two people!

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Even their boxes are beautiful. The aesthetic of this company is immaculate.

We tried out their cinnamon bun, peanut butter chocolate, pumpkin spice, m&m, cookies & cream, and maple bacon (respectively listed from left to right, top to bottom row).

I would have to say my favourite was the maple bacon – always loved a good maple donut since I was little. My go to at Tim Hortons was either a vanilla sprinkle donut or maple dipped haha still to this day I will get a maple dip when I go there! Anyways back to the review! I also loved the cinnamon bun one because I love cinnamon. If you are a chocolate and peanut butter lover I would highly recommend trying theirs out – it wasn’t overly rich and the peanut butter topping was so smooth.

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All of their flavours taste as they advertise so you know what you are getting! With some flavours too you can pick either vanilla or chocolate for the donut body haha I don’t know how else to say it – you know like the base of the donut.

They were all moist and have a good ratio of topping to dough. In conclusion, I would recommend trying Maverick’s Donut Company out if you are in the area and craving donuts. These delicious circles will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth! Thanks Maverick’s for making my Saturday as sweet as can be!

Do you guys like donuts? If you do whats your favourite flavour?

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Until next time,

xoxo

Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk | Ottawa, ON

Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk | Ottawa, ON

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my time exploring the Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk in Ottawa, Ontario!

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The Mer Bleue Bog is one of the largest bogs in southern Ontario. This type of landscape is more commonly found in the Arctic than in the Ottawa Valley, but we will take it! It is absolutely beautiful.

The conservation area of Mer Bleue is 33.43 km square, with the most amazing feature being the bog. The vegetation on this bog is vastly different from anywhere else in Ottawa – it is quite noticeable once you arrive!

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It was a beautiful sunny Sunday when we went to explore the bog. We actually came across Mer Bleue on a different day while we were eating ice cream and looking up places to walk around Ottawa. We always end up going for walks/hikes in Gatineau, Quebec so it was about time we found more places in Ottawa!

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The bog boardwalk was a stunning place to see – such a different feeling than all of our other walks we have been on. The boardwalk is in excellent shape too; people were able to easily push strollers down it.

There were many families at the boardwalk embracing the last few beautiful weeks of summer weather before fall really begins to hit. We are in the stage now where it is sweater weather in the morning, but come the afternoon you’re a sweaty mess!

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The boardwalk is 1.2km long and has many information boards along the way to keep you informed about the ecosystem you are exploring. The posters were actually very educational!

In the Mer Bleue area, there are many other walks you can adventure out on as well. We actually went on another walk after this one since this boardwalk took less then an hour.

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I love how when they made the boardwalk they made sure to disrupt the environment as little as possible.

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The amount of cattails in this bog was surreal. It looked as if they went on for miles and miles and never ended. They were definitely taller than me in some areas too!

Our day started out with clear blue skies, but by the time we were done the walk they had clouded over. The type of cloud that still leaves it bright outside but no blue to be seen.

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Playing with the cattails

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And oh my you guys, I am sorry for all the frogs in my recent posts but they are just everywhere! Everywhere I looked when we were doing the boardwalk I spotted frogs then my boyfriend started spotting them too. No shortage of frogs in Ontario let me tell you that!

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young frog

Here I actually caught a young frog growing in his life cycle and not fully matured yet. When I took this picture at the bog I did not realize that he was still in the growing stages. It was not until I was at home looking through my pictures I realized that he still had the little tail – too cute 🙂

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The last little part of the boardwalk is in the forest near the bog and we came across this old dead tree. The tree was quite large as well. Looking up admiring the size of it we notice the fungus growing around the top of it. Pretty cool too see when the light shines through it.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend checking out this bog if you are in the Ottawa area! It was beautiful – like a little escape/vacation from Ottawa without actually leaving. Great for any age range too; I saw little babies there to an old couple just going for a stroll.

Have you ever been to a bog before? Let me know down in the comments below!

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Picture of the Week! #1

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Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week! #1

Picture of the Week! #1

Hello friends,

Today will be the first, of many, pictures of the week! It is a new idea I wanted to test out and see how it does. I will be posting a new picture every Friday in which I took the previous week. It will probably be my favourite picture from that week, or one that I think maybe tells a story or something!

I would like you all to comment on it what you think I was thinking about when I was in action capturing the picture! These thoughts can be serious or something comical – I love comical thoughts (most of mine are haha) Also, if you can share pictures in the comments feel free to do so of your picture of the week! Or even share a link to your personal blog where we can see your picture of the week!

So here it is, my first picture of the week – enjoy!

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Location: Mer Bleue Bog Boardwalk Ottawa Taken: September 2018 Camera Body: Nikon D7000 Lens: Tamaron 18-400mm

P.S. It is way harder than you think picking just one!

Let me know if you like this idea 🙂

Until next time,

xoxo

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Taking the Tube | London 2018

Hello friends,

Before I start this story I would just like to say that all the photos used were taken in poor lighting and off my outdated iphone so disregard the quality – I needed some pictures to go along with my story however the tube is so busy and fast paced therefore I did not feel like possibly having my good camera damaged!

Also, if you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!

Now back to business!


Since I learned about London when I was young, I knew about the tube. I use to always think it was funny people called their bus the tube – little did I know how different it was from what I originally thought.

I assumed it was the same as busses, as some people do, but it is vastly different from that. Sometimes you are above ground and sometimes you are below! The cabs are large, but get filled up very quickly. My sister (who was teaching in Bristol at the time) told us that the tube was not even busy when we went on it and I thought – wow it must be claustrophobic in here when its rush hour!

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On the other side of the gates for the first time about to take the tube!

Once we got to the station, obviously we had to commence the mission on figuring out what ticket to get. Once it was all sorted we put that little ticket to use and ended up on the other side of these gates! I felt as if I were a local taking the tube and I am so happy we ended up doing this for a day instead of an Uber. (Good job sister telling us it was a must!)

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First glimpse of inside the tube!

So this was our first glimpse at the inside! Everyone had gotten off and we were the first on. The stop we were at was at the very end of their tracks so it had filled up more as we hit other stops.

We got off after 3 or 4 stops I think to another station where we had to hop onto a different train. It was quite entertaining trying to get to the other train in time so we wouldn’t have to wait for a long time haha the signs helped but there was a lot of people and it was all so new we became overwhelmed! Thankfully my sister was like – dudes its this way haha

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Mind The Gap! (and the rubbish! haha)

Finally we arrived where we needed to be to board the next train. Obviously I had to take the classic mind the gap picture! Because that gap is real let me tell you! If you don’t know where it is or how wide it is you could definitely get your leg stuck in it – ouch!

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Chilling at the station
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This man looked slightly too tall for the doors …

Within a few minutes the next train arrives and we wait for people to unload but you also have to get on quickly or the doors close! Once we were on we stood for a bit and then as people got off we sat down.

A couple stops after we sat down a lady with a dog came on. This dog was quite well behaved and absolutely loved my sister because she pet it once! Once you pet it, he became your best friend haha she was covered in dog hair for the rest of the day!

The dog was whimpering a bit though because the tube moves at the speed of light! It is extremely fast and loud, especially when you are underground. If you have super sensitive ears I would actually recommend wearing ear plugs! Another thing to keep in mind if you ever do venture onto the tube is give yourself a lot of time to get to the door before your stop. They do not wait for you if you are too slow! My sister would tell us to stand at the door when she knew our stop was the next one so we could get off quickly.

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Cute puppy that sat beside us!

As you can see, the tube was not packed this day, however coming from spacious Canada we all felt like it was! Not sure how you would even be able to get on and off when its busier!

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Proud father moment realizing he successfully took the tube!

At the end of our tube journey we were all relieved haha we made it to the centre of London! Also, if you are going on a long journey on the tube, make sure you have coins… you have to pay to go pee there! (£0.20 pence (GBP) to go pee = $0.40 cents (CAD)) Very different then what I am use to haha I had to break a bill so I could pee! The escalators to take you up from underground too are extremely steep so hold on – don’t goof around or you may be falling back to the bottom!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and would highly recommend anyone travelling there to try it out! Live like the locals! 🙂

Have you ever taken the tube in London? If so, do you have any crazy/funny experiences to share?! 🙂

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Until next time,

xoxo

Pink Lake Hike | Gatineau 2018

Pink Lake Hike | Gatineau 2018

Hello friends,

Today’s post will be about my experience doing the walk around Pink Lake in Gatineau, Quebec Canada. Currently I live in Ottawa, so it takes absolutely no time at all for me to drive to Quebec, which is good because Gatineau is full of fun walks and hikes to do! If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I love going on hikes! I love the feeling of being surrounded by natures beauty and exploring it.

For me, it took about 45 minutes to get there. Once we arrived, there were two places to park. We stopped at the first parking lot we saw, the look off, before even knowing there was another larger parking lot a minute further down the road! The lake was very busy on the Sunday that we went. Probably due to the beautiful day and summer coming to an end – everyone needed to get out and enjoy the last bit of warm weather! My boyfriend and I scoped out the look off and then headed out for the walk!

You can click here to learn more about Pink Lake! 

 

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The trails were well maintained and you could tell they tried to leave the environment as natural as possible. They even had signs along the trail to remind people to stay on the path instead of trampling through everywhere. Now as you look through the pictures you’ll see that this lake is in fact not pink at all! Its actually more of a green colour.

Pink Lake is a meromictic lake – the upper and lower layers of the lake do not mix. In most lakes, these layers mix every spring and fall with the change in water and air temperature, water density and wind. The mixing ensures nutrients and oxygen are distributed evenly throughout the lake!

The shape of Pink Lake and the valley it sits in allows it to be blocked from the wind and therefore no oxygen reaches the bottom of the lake. The green tint of the lake is due to microscopic algae, which even though a green lake looks cool, is harmful. This vegetation gradually overtakes the lake causing it to suffocate.

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With the massive amount of visitors this lake gets, the eutrophication process has sped up. This is why new boardwalk trails have been built in attempt to preserve this natural ecosystem for many more generations to enjoy. Many volunteers helped with this project as well as planted over 10,000 trees. Erosion is an impact that occurs at busy tourist sites, which is what the parks people are trying to mitigate.

So please, stay on the trails and respect the nature you’re in! 🙂

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Little guys like this need their ecosystems functioning properly to survive.

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The walk is definitely beginner friendly and roughly took us an hour with me stopping every two steps to take more pictures. If you look along the trail right besides the lake you can spot a million frogs and we also saw turtles!

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Not a huge fan of these guys up close, but with my zoom lens I don’t mind admiring from a distance!

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The weather for our walk was a mix of sun and clouds. I would usually be standing around waiting for the sun to try different styles of pictures, however this standing around time allowed me to get some artsy shots and play with my focus.

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Reflection pictures would have to be one of my favourite kinds! This definitely is not a perfect reflection picture, but to be honest I didn’t even realize there was a reflection until I looked at the pictures once I got back home!

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By the end of the walk we were so sweaty from the humidity I was just snapping random pictures and not really paying attention, but sometimes those are the best pictures!

In conclusion, I recommend going on the Pink Lake walk if you are in the area and want something to do! Great if you have kids too so they can see all the frogs!

What is the coolest colour of lake that you guys have been to?

Until next time,

xoxo

Life Update | September 2018

Life Update | September 2018

Hello friends,

Today I bring you a life update. Over this summer I have not been consistent with my posting. I moved to a new city, got a new full time job, tried to explore around and keep up with all the social activities.

However, even with all these new changes something was still off. I was not feeling fulfilled or happy with what I was doing with my life. That is why I chose to go back to school this fall to get educated in what I have always been interested in. The world of Design. I have always loved designing and creating things ever since I was little – I just never understood where to start because I enjoy so many areas of it.

I love creating on the computer, but also hand on projects. I love building, but also delicate close up photography. There are so many areas of “art” I would love to explore, but I have always strayed away from it because naturally I am good at sciences and math. I am not the best drawer out there either and I always thought to do anything in art you need to be good at drawing, but I have been told otherwise so now I guess I will put that information to the test eh!

I am enrolled in the Design Studies certificate program at Algonquin College. My first legit art schooling ever. It is unbelievably nerve wrecking to walk into a classroom and not know how good you will do. I always had an idea of the grade I could get and relatively how hard the course would be because I had taken so many science courses before. Now its completely opposite. I know nothing about this side of school – scary yet exciting at the same time.

Going back to school at the completely opposite end of the spectrum I am use to is forcing me to open up my mind to new ideas and to truly embrace the creative side of myself that I have always wanted to explore. The scientific side of me would of never started this blog – but the creative side said go for it.

That is was I am doing – going for it.

I am excited to see where my mind will be come April when this course is done, but for now its a mystery to you and me. I will keep you guys updated with my thoughts and where my head is at with the art world. Hopefully I love it.

I am 22 – now is my time to explore what I want to do.

Find what makes me happy.

And flourish.

… while of course protecting the environment as I go because without our environment we could not be here doing what we love.

Let me know your thoughts and if you have ever done something like this before, I would love to hear about your experiences 🙂

Until next time,

xoxo

Buckingham Palace | London 2018

Buckingham Palace | London 2018

Hello friends,

Todays post is going to be about my experience seeing Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour! Not the best way to see it, but it was our only option!

We took the tube to get here which was an experience in itself so I will have a separate blog post on that!

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To get to Buckingham Palace from the tube stop we got off at, you had to walk on a path through this massive field. Everyone was in a bit of a rush considering the weather so we made it there in a timely manner! It was incredible walking up to these golden gates – even if we were getting soaked through to the undies! I remember thinking – how in the world am I going to get any pictures in this weather?! I did not want to get my camera wet!

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My dad and I went to this little food truck stand and I hid under the foot wide canopy by their service window trying to get some pictures. I got a few, but nothing amazing – I wanted to go get a better view! (Spoiler – you can’t get a great shot of the Buckingham Palace in a torrential downpour)

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These gold statues were so vibrant against the dark cloudy sky.

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Here we are now at the front of the palace. I enjoy going to these touristy places however, I don’t like all the people in my pictures! When we arrived at the front of the palace, I thought it was going to be larger to be honest! I was not disappointed or anything though, it was still incredible to see!

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When we moved our way closer I noticed all the curtains were drawn – I do understand that for privacy, but it must be pretty dark and gloomy in there! Also, I wonder if they have updated the inside of the palace to have insulation to keep the heat inside? Otherwise it must take a lot of money to heat that place!

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There were also guards with machine guns at every door! I knew she would have guards, but for some reason the machine guns surprised me – which they shouldn’t of! haha These guys were loaded with weapons!

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Now, this is a funny one. When we were farther away my family was debating whether this guy was real or a doll haha obviously he is real but he never moved an inch so he looked fake! I felt bad for the guy because it was quite cold outside, and he can’t even moved around to warm up! He was also probably getting wet because the rain was blowing around.

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I had to zoom up to the front doors because they were gorgeous! Look at all that detail and gold! I could not even imagine how much work it was to make those doors. The architecture of the Buckingham Palace was absolutely stunning.

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Even the light posts surrounding the palace had gold accents! So much gold and its all kept in amazing shape too where everything else surrounding it has been grown over with moss.

Now below is the famous London Black Taxi! I heard so much about these and seen them in all the movies filmed in the UK so I wanted to capture one on camera for myself! Everyone in London said they are very overpriced so it is better to uber around or take the tube – so we did just that. However, it was still extremely cool to see them driving around the crazy traffic in London!

London Black Taxi looking majestic with its headlights on in the pouring rain.

Have you ever been to Buckingham Palace or is it on your list of places to see? Let me know in the comments below and add in any cool facts you know about it too!

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Until next time,

xoxo