Thought it was time to catch you up to speed on my latest Eurotrip adventure. I just finished watching the new E show, the Royals, and I loved seeing the shots of the London Eye and Big Ben, places I was just at! Let’s just say I’m hooked. Definitely a more enhanced Gossip Girl of the ELITE. I’m already waiting for next Monday afternoon so I can stream this indulgent distraction. I digress.
Mom and I arrive in London. It’s all sunshine and rainbows for the most part, until it’s time to find our hotel. We walk right past it since it doesn’t have good signage. Seriously. it was hidden under a valet area and completely unseen from the street. We would have kept walking if it wasn’t for a bloke (english for man) walking by the river, the Thames, who was actually staying at the hotel. Hotel’s nice, and by nice, I mean, I like the lobby… not the random skateboarding figurine being passed off as art next to the minifridge. Beds were not as plush as Paris and it wasn’t as centrally located, but I had a nice view of other rooms with scaffolding above my head. Basically, the hotel was under construction but they gave cookies with the tea and slippers, so that was a plus.
Friday was my mommy’s birthday! We start off the day with a hop on-hop off tour for some sights. I really just wanted a bagel, but we had Italian instead near Picaddilly Circus at a place with Italian small plates as it neared early afternoon. Apparently that’s a thing. “Italian Tapas.” Had great atmosphere, loved my gnocchi. Afterward, we went to the half price ticket outlet in Lecester Square for tickets to see Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, which is about 4 women in madrid who are having some sort of midlife crisis. Quite entertaining. I don’t think it’s going to become some big sensation, especially since the understudy was better than the rest of the cast, but also, she just had a more fun part. Before the show, we dashed over to Tate Modern Art, which confused me rather than awed me. I just wasn’t feeling it, and wish that I had left more time for the Globe and my man Shakespeare. I missed the entrance to the museum by like 5 minutes, never able to return….but I got a photo in front of the Globe. I always attribute my middle school drama teacher Ms. Kendrick back to my obsession with Shakespeare and the Globe, probably because she kept a little figurine of the famous playwright on a bookshelf, and we all joked that he was her boyfriend. Saturday we woke up early by my standards to catch a changing of the guard’s walking tour. We got to march alongside the guards to Buckingham Palace. We didn’t really see guards change place or get too close to the palace since it was absolutely mobbed, but it was a really vibrant atmosphere getting to witness a part of British customs.Interestingly enough, our tour guide said that they do the changing of the guards more as an aspect of tourism rather than a necessity or official protocol.
After, we planned to head to Hyde Park and Kensington Palace with a detour at Harrods. Harrods can only be described as a magical maze of retail goodness. I found my calling in the evening wear collection and my heart in Shoe Heaven. I have officially decided that Ted Baker and Kate Spade are my world favorite and those collections can do no wrong after wafting through this shopping mecca. For lunch, we ate at one of the many restaurants inside such as champagne bar, gelado, morrocan place, disney inspired, laduree, burger joint… the list is endless. We stuck with pizza because we thought, how expensive can pizza be? We were wrong. But the chef swung around the bar area tossing dough and singing Italian songs, so that kind of made it worth it?? For my harrods souvenir, I settled on the cutest little Ted Baker ID card holder. Although Ted Baker can be found at Bloomies and Von Maur in the states, no one has the same selection and sizes available. Therefore, you can easily understand that I wanted everything, but settled for what my wallet found appropriate. We took the hop on hop off bus to kensington palace only to realize we didn’t have enough time to tour the palace if we wanted to try to get the the Book of Mormon rush tickets for $20. We ran back to Picadilly Circus with a fare amount of time to spare to enter the drawing. I wanted to see Book of Mormon so badly; it’s been my number one must-see for years, but ticket prices never go down. I had been feeling so helpful, but as the 11 pairs were drawn, my name was not called. Interestingly enough, no one from the state’s name were called, which was kind of discouraging. I was in a mood after because I had my hopes up. My mom wanted to see Beautiful, the Carole King Musical but I was in one of those, if I can’t see the Book of Mormon, I don’t want to see anything else kind of moods. So, we went shopping. And discovered PRIMARK. Basically walmart prices meet Forever 21 selection but for kids, men and household items too. I had a field day buying unnecessary items like hot pink scalloped shorts, a laser cut black blazer, METALLIC TATTOOS, and a trendy backpack. I also got jeans for 7 pounds. I have seriously never heard of such a thing. I found out that Primark has locations in Barcelona and opening one in the Dirty Jerz, so I will be BACK! After Primark, we were so bloody tired, and I didn’t know where to go, so we stopped in McDonalds. It seemed like there were no restaurants around, and mom and I were so fatigued, I ended up eating Mcdonalds. and I hate McDonalds. Why couldn’t it be chipotle?
On Sunday we feel like we were slacking in what we wanted to see, so it’s a whirlwind. I FINALLY GET MY BAGEL. At the Waterloo train station. It wasn’t as good as back home but it will suffice. Then, we pranced our way to the London Eye which was so cool! I just wish it was a little more clear outside, but for the most part we had pretty good weather in Barcelona. Then we finally made it to Kensington Palace, hoping to catch a glimpse of Kate or Prince George.
The palace was gorgeous. Simple on the outside, magnificent on the inside. It was interesting to see the King and Queen’s quarters and how they had the exact same equal layout. I wish that I could remember which monarch they were built for, but it was for when the king and queen shared equal power.
Overall, an amazing trip, until we got so wrapped up in life that we missed our plane’s check in time by mere minutes. I would go into that story but it involves lots of hysterics and money. Obviously, I made it home though. Just in time for my photography class that proved useless that day.
And I didn’t get my postcard. AND YOU KNOW, IF I DON’T GET MY POSTCARD, IT MEANS I NEED TO GO BACK, JUST TO GET MY SIGNATURE MOMENTO!!!!!
Observations about London:
- Theater is a huge part of the city ( West End). You see theaters everywhere
- Not a cheap city, but Primark is super cool
- The Tube has funny shaped trains
- London is huge
- Fish and Chips is just blah
- Starbucks and Pret A Manger are on every corner