Three Museums to Visit in London

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

London has no shortage of museums to visit; The Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, British Museum, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Imperial Warm Museum, Science Museum, National Maritime Museum, to name a few. It can be quite overwhelming trying to decide which ones to see, especially if you are in town on a shorter trip! However, the wonderful thing about most of the museums is that they are publicly funded, and therefore have free admission! This makes visiting any of them a good choice, especially if you are on a budget, or need somewhere to pop into if it starts to rain.

During our last trip this past December, Brian and I had a chance to visit three wonderful museums in the city. While we did not have time to dig into any of them extensively, it was still fun to escape the cold and explore their contents.

Natural History Museum

London-Natural-History-Museum-ExteriorWe decided to go to the Natural History Museum first to admire its beautiful Victorian architecture. The main hall of the building is absolutely stunning!

London-Natural-History-Museum-Interior-1Just inside the doors we were lucky to view a 105-foot-long replica of a Diplodocus Carnegii skeleton, nicknamed “Dippy”. Shortly after our visit, the skeleton was replaced by a blue whale skeleton, and Dippy was sent to go on tour.

London-Natural-History-Museum-Interior-5Surrounding the main hall, there are a range of exhibits which are dedicated to specimens from botany, zoology, entomology, mineralogy, and paleontology. It was interesting and enjoyable to walk around and admire all of the things that are a part of our world’s natural history.

London-Natural-History-Museum-Interior-2There are also exhibits in the second story of the museum, and if you are willing to climb a few sets of stairs, you can take in alternate views of the stunning great hall.


Victoria + Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum can be found just down the street from the Museum of Natural History. It is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design from ancient cultures to the present day. The collection departments include: Asia,  Furniture, Textiles and Fashion, Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass, and Word & Image.

London-Victoria-And-Albert-Museum-Exterior-1London-Victoria-And-Albert-Museum-Exterior2London-Victoria-And-Albert-Museum-ExhibitBrian and I really enjoyed walking around the Victoria and Albert Museum because there is such a variety of art. Some of our favorite displays were the Textiles and Fashion and the Sculpture. In fact, the museum has the world’s largest collection of post-classical sculpture!

London-Victoria-And-Albert-Museum-InteriorIf you work up an appetite while visiting the Victoria and Albert museum, there is a beautiful cafe located in its center. They serve a variety of snacks, and you can also enjoy a traditional British tea here!


National Gallery

London-National-Gallery-ExteriorThe National Gallery is an art museum located in Traflagar Square. The museum houses a collection of paintings that date between the 13th-18th centuries. Some of the famous works that call this museum home include The Virgin of the Rocks, by Da Vinci, The Fighting Temeraire, by J. M. W. Turner, and Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

London-National-Gallery-ExhibitLondon-National-Gallery-InteriorSimilar to the Museum of Natural History, the National Gallery’s architecture is stunning. The main building boasts dome ceilings, dark marble door casings, mosaics and rich ornamentation. Whether it be a painting or piece of architecture, there is something to see in every corner of the museum.


There are definitely many, many more museums worth visiting in London. These just happened the be the three we chose to experience on this trip. Have you visited any museums in London? Let us know what you recommend in the comments below.




25 Photos to Inspire You to Visit London

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

London, one of the world’s most popular destinations, and one of our favorites, is a city that offers visitors a magnitude of choices to explore. Interested in history? London has you covered. The city has played an integral role in shaping it for the United Kingdom and the rest of the world (for better or worse!). Foodie? Don’t let rumors of poor English food deter you. London has a diverse array of options to satisfy even the most discerning palate. With no shortage of pubs, museums, parks, shopping, and so much more, you’ll quickly see that braving the crowds and the weather will pay off in the end.

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Finding Harry Potter in the Muggle World

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

As I watched the final few minutes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, a sort of emptiness sunk in, as if I had lost a pice of myself. It was bittersweet, as I was elated that the story had come to a resolution, but wistful that Harry’s journey was over. The realization that there would be no more movies to look forward to watching became reality. This was the end. Continue reading “Finding Harry Potter in the Muggle World”

Why We Travel and Why You Should Too

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Without question, we live in a pretty incredible time period in human history. Thanks to technological advances, the world is at its most interconnected, making travel accessible to the masses. Much like it has been since people first roamed this earth, the world can also be a dangerous and scary place. Turn on the evening news and there are no shortage of everyday incidents, from those that affect our neighborhoods, to events that can impact our entire existence. At times, it can seem like there is no sense in leaving your home and putting yourself at risk. But travel is an essential part of understanding one another and learning that, despite our differences, we are all the same. Here are some of the reasons why we travel, and why you should too.

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A Spring Spin Through Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks | California

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

With the recent move to Northern California, Julie and I had been craving our next adventure, specifically something outdoors. Our trip to Europe over Christmas break had satisfied our desire to travel abroad, but focused entirely on cities (after all it was winter!). Itching to get back out into nature, we started mapping out some potential excursions from our new home base. Over the course of an extended weekend, we made plans to drive from the Bay Area to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

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New Home, New Adventures: Northern California

Written by Brian Callender and Julie Boyd| Photography by Julie Boyd

You may have noticed we have been a bit quieter on the blog than normal, and that is because there have been some changes behind the scenes. Earlier this year, I (Brian) had the opportunity to take the next step in my full-time job, which required a move to Northern California. As two kids born and raised in Southern California, it’s been a big change for us to move to a new city. Though we are sad to leave our first home, we are so excited to explore the many destinations in our new backyard!

So what have we been up to so far?

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Castle on Tower Hill: Visiting the Tower of London

Written by Brian Callender & Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd

Cities, no matter the size, have their hallmarks, their must visit destinations. Chances are, if you find yourself in a big city, there will be no shortage of such places that will make your to-do list. Smaller, less sought after destinations, may have a much more limited selection of “musts,” but still something that locals can point to as the place to be. Come to Irvine here in Orange County and we’ll show you…the Irvine Spectrum? In fairness to our hometown, they do have a ferris wheel! 🙂 These are of course, the biggest draws for tourists, which means you will seldom find yourself alone. But crowds aside, one of the best aspects of visiting these hotspots is for the most part, braving the hoards of people is well worth it. London, of course, is a big city with a long list of places you simply must visit. On our second trip to London, we were excited to visit the infamous Tower of London.

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5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

We’re currently in the midst of a Southern California winter, which means short periods of rain mixed with the usual sunshine and cooler nights. While we have seen more rain this year than has come in quite a while, we know that many others are digging out of snow and much chillier temperatures. For us, it’s our favorite time of year, and an opportunity to break out the jackets, sweatshirts, hot chocolate, and snowboards! But if you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and already planning for a summer getaway, look no further than our neighbors to the north. Here are five reasons why you should visit Canada in 2017!

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Following in the Footsteps of the Roman Empire: Exploring the City of Bath, England

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

On our second visit to England, we decided to explore another of it’s seemingly endless famous cities, Bath. If you’re looking for a great day trip option from London, Bath is an excellent choice. If you have two days, consider combining it with a day in Oxford. The city of Bath, much like York in the north, and others in England, has a history that intertwines with the Roman Empire.

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2016: Twelve Months of Exploring

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd & Brian Callender

2016 has certainly been a memorable year for us, as we shared a number of new adventures that inspired us to get out and explore. We visited four countries, checked a number of items off the bucket list, got engaged in Yosemite, turned this blog into a joint venture, and many more. And while, like everyone, the year has provided some unexpected bumps, we had a fantastic time exploring new destinations and are excited for what 2017 has in store!

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