Last February, my sister, Annie, made it possible for me to tag along with her on her extended weekend in London. We went sightseeing, went to a Busted concert, drank tea, shopped, and walked around so much I felt like sawing my feet off and donating them to science. Here are some pics and stories from the trip.
We arrived on Thursday afternoon, and were able to check into our hotel at 3pm. I fell asleep by 3:15. It turns out, jet lag really got to me more than I expected, and I really should have tried harder to sleep on the plane. I woke up to a dark hotel room at one in the morning, and I was starving. I remembered I had gotten some sweet potato chips before we left the airport, so I grabbed my snack, my headphones, and sat in the dark watching hilarious youtube videos, trying not to wake up my sister. I was so hungry, I ate the whole bag of chips. Then I thought about the story of how Daniel Boone died after eating too many sweet potatoes. Then I felt paranoid about the amount of sweet potatoes I had eaten. Can you imagine the shame of being found dead next to an empty chip bag? “She ate all the crisps.”
Friday, we walked around shopping, and ended up over at Harrods. After winding through several floors of different themed, beautifully decorated rooms, we eventually ended up in the tea room upstairs. I definitely didn’t want to leave London without having a proper tea, so we decided to try theirs. It was so relaxing and enjoyable, just sipping our tea, snacking on our tier of goodies, and trying to be the first one to guess which song the pianist was playing next.
That evening, we jumped in a cab and headed over to the Hammersmith Apollo to see Busted in concert. We have listened to their music for so long, and it felt so surreal to actually get to see them in concert at all, let alone IN LONDON! I never, ever would have thought that would be something I would get to do. I owe my sister a lot for making it happen. I so loved hearing songs from the Night Driver album, and when they played some of their older songs people went crazy. I forget which song they played first, but people were losing their minds, especially Annie, haha. It was such a fun time!
Saturday was our sightseeing day. This was the day my feet almost gave up life. We started out walking to Buckingham Palace, and that distance wasn’t so bad. So we walked over to Big Ben and the London Eye, and that was even easier. There were so many pretty buildings and things to see along the way, we really enjoyed the stroll. Then we decided to walk to London Bridge. We walked and walked and still walked, and it felt like we weren’t getting any closer. But I was so sure the whole time that we were almost there, so we just kept walking. The thing that made it so bad was my shoes were not made for the distance we were covering. When we finally got to the bridge, I think half my foot had been rubbed off.
The original plan was to continue walking over to the Tower Bridge, but after the journey we just finished, we decided seeing it from a far was good enough. We decided to go find the Tube, and ride over to Camden for the evening. The London Underground system is ten times easier to figure out than the New York subway systems, and ten times cleaner.
Sunday, we had a few hours to walk around and shop before heading to the airport. One of the first things I did was go buy these sneakers that made my feet feel like I was walking around on clouds. I couldn’t take another day of walking with the shoes I brought. I seriously considered getting some fluffy slippers, but I guessed that would have been pushing it. I also considered hiring someone to push me in a wheelchair around town.
There are three things that stood out to me during our trip:
- I’m 95% certain that if I ever had to drive on the opposite side of the road, I would wreck nonstop. Or else, I would drive so slow that I would cause everyone else to wreck nonstop. I don’t know how people transition well with that.
- I thought coins piled up easily in my purse in America, but there are SO many different British coins. I feel like everyone must have bad backs from carrying around the change that accumulates. Every time I thought I finally figured out what all the coins were, I’d get change back with a new coin. Is there like 50 different kinds of coins? Then once I saw a cash register pop open, and it was basically just all coin slots inside. I think I’d die if I had to count that down every day.
- I’ve never been somewhere that had such a variety of sandwiches. I didn’t know this was a thing. Every food store had huge sections of different to-go sandwiches. So many flavor combinations, and ingredients I haven’t heard of. I feel like America only has like five different sandwiches, but in London you could try a new sandwich every day for the rest of your life.
It was sad to leave. Everything was so beautiful and full of history. Annie and I both agreed we wished we had longer to explore, and get to see things outside of London as well. Maybe one day I can return the favor and take us both back for trip number two.