Sunday, February 13, 2011

London Round 2

Following a business class Eurostar trip we tried to put our morning misfortunes from Paris behind us and move on to greater things. One of these things happened to be the fact that our hostel was right across the street from the train station (less lugging of our suitcases)! Plus, it was right right next to an Irish Pub! So even though we were there later than expected, and short of as much cash as we thought we'd have we were still trying to look on the bright side!

So once we checked into our hostel, waited until we could go up to our room and drop our luggage, we went out to explore a bit of the city. We went to Trafalgar Square and got some cloudy pictures before we went into the National Gallery. I think by this point we had seen so much art that as much as we tried to appreciate it we really just wanted to move onto bigger and better things.
Then we found ourselves walked up towards Leicester Square, through Soho and onto Oxford Street. Unfortunately, it being a Sunday, stores were closing early so we decided to hit up the Pub next to our hostel for some Irish grub and drinks. I decided to go with something that almost resembled Bangers and Mash but that were unfortunately not on par with the dish I had in Cork (but let's be honest here...). My sister decided that she was in the mood for another White Russian (since the ones we had in Paris were so divine). Unfortunately, the pub we were at wasn't really the "cocktail serving type". So my sister tried to tell them what a White Russian drink was (even though she herself had no idea). What she ended up with can best be described as a chocolate milk with some vodka.
We laughed so much at her poor looking beverage and I felt like I needed to go set the bartender straight on what the beverage is actually made of. After trying to describe the drink, I concluded that they did not carry any coffee liqueur so they wouldn't have been able to create it anyway... ah well..

The next day we set off to find cheap tickets to see WICKED!!!!! This was one thing that I was absolutely looking forward to and could not wait to see!! So we ended up in Leicester Square again, asking multiple vendors for tickets and striking out each time. This was until we got in line at a vendor who didn't have a very long line and found tickets for around 30 pounds for the next evening! This just proves that "If at first you don't succeed, just try, try again". We were so thrilled that finally something had gone right we hoped onto the tube grinning on our way to a walking tour!

I had taken the same tour during the summer and was excited for my sister and Jenna to learn the same humorous London stories and history that my travel partner Chelsie and I had laughed about. Unfortunately, we highly underestimated the temperature and froze the second half of the tour but that still didn't stop us from finishing it out and moving onto another Pub for some fish and chips! (nom..)

After, we went to check out Harrods (which was having a huge sale and was incredibly crowded). We didn't make it passed the makeup section (where I was able to finally replace my Clinique mascara for a reasonable price) and then decided to leave and go to Oxford Street. Even though we were all pretty poor we still wanted to do a little of what we do best, shop! I found a beautiful purple Longchamp makeup bag for 13 pounds that I love!

Afterwards, we headed back to the hostel to freshen up before we went to meet on of the Texans who we had met in Paris who happened to be in London the same time we were. We grabbed some Thai food then headed to a club called Tiger Tiger. None of us were really in the mood for clubbing but that's were we had planned to meet Paul so we were stuck. It ended up being a pretty big deal in the night life scene and we were all dressed in clothes that would only pass for a small corner pub, not exactly the tighter or shorter outfits that surrounded us. Alas, we stayed and ended up hanging out with Paul until later than expected. We even missed the last tube and had to take a bus back to our hostel. Fortunately, thanks to my excellent travel skills this was cake.

Speaking of cake, the next day we went on a tour lead by yours truly of "The City". It's a separate part of London actually called the city where London originated. (But I said cake right?) No, we're not in Versailles (you may pat yourself on the back if you get that far reaching allusion), but we did find a couture cupcake boutique where we procured delicious sparkly cupcakes!
Afterwards, I lead them through "The City" and on to Tower Hill. Unfortunately, we got there with too little time for my sister to do the tour (which I felt pretty bad about since it was one of the things she really wanted to do). After taking some pictures of Tower Bridge we got back on the tube for "home" to get ready to see WICKED!

I must say, Wicked was everything I thought it would be and more (cliche, but true). Except for the English accent, it was really amazing. (There's nothing wrong with an English accent, we're just used to hearing it with an American accent). Following the performance we went back to the hostel, set every alarm possible, and went to sleep praying that we'd be able to make all of our connections and flights the next day.

After walking, training, training, flying, training, bussing, bussing and walking I was finally home to find out that we all made it safely back to our prospective homes. So even though we had a few minor catastrophes we all survived, and things could have undoubtably gone far worse.

With Love,

- B

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