This trip was absolutely spectacular! My friends are already begging for details about what I did and everything I saw. It is so exciting to share everything now that I’m back in the states. Staying in London was awesome, but being home is really nice. Unpacking, though, not so much! It just reminded me that on this trip I bought more clothes than my tiny closet can handle! Doesn’t matter though, there’s not going back now, right? Besides, now I have a bunch of super adorable dresses from London! How many people can say that?
I can’t wait to see everyone’s photos pop up on facebook. We need to show everyone our O-H-I-O’s! I’m sure our group pictures are all fantastic, just like us.
One of the things I just had to do this week was visit Harrod’s department store. This afternoon Kelsey and I stopped by, and the store did not disappoint at all! the prices are extreme; we saw bed frames for £13,000, and that was just the cheap model! The store is absolutely massive. Every department has a register and the employees even offer directions after each transaction! We didnt even get to see it all, which is a little sad. But I doubt anyone could ever see it all without spending a whole afternoon there. It’s unbelievable that there are people in the world who can afford to shop anywhere in that store outside of the tourist shop. I ended up getting the cuteat teddy bear there, probably the cheapest thing in the whole store at £15.
Going out today felt so odd. compared to the rest of the week, the sidewalks and tube stations were packed to the brim! I kept forgetting it was the weekend and so more people would be outside. If the city was this crazy on a daily basis, I doubt anyone could stand it. this morning I went to the national history museum right after it opened at 10 am. When I walked outside later to go back to the tube, the line was even farther down the block than when I came! Even the tube stations have a different feeling during the weekend. I noticed that nearly every station I went through today had performers both inside and on the sidewalk above. The musicians gave the tunnels a really cool atmosphere. I could hear them long before I ever saw them.
I loved taking the river boat down the Thames to Greenwhich today. I never associate the Thames with anything past the London Eye or Big Ben, so I was really cool to see all of the buildings along the riverbank. The ‘tourguide’ was great as well. I loved his sense of humor; it seemed very British, very subtle and almost sarcastic. I think it would have been interesting to have him show us around the whole city. And the stories about Jack the Ripper and the pirates were so interesting! I wish we had a chance to go to more of the dark historical parts of London. It’s morbid, but Makes the city so interesting and dynamic.
After spending some time in Kew Gardens, Kelsey and I decided to visit Trafalgar Square again before we met the group for tea. It was so fun to see the street performers again, and we realized that many of them come back day after day. This guy was there playing guitar before when we went on Sunday. I remember he was always playing popular American songs, like ‘Let Her Go’ which is one of my absolute favorite songs. I was really excited to see him play Hey Soul Sister this afternoon. Its so weird to walk around London and hear all of these songs that are big back home. It seems like everywhere I go I hear Onerepublic or Kelly Clarkson. It’s like the American music scene is following us!
On Tuesday night Kelsey and I went to see wicked. I’ve seen it before in 2 010 in the very same theater! We had a pretty interesting time trying to get over there. Buses are not our friend; we ran back and forth across Bayswater Road, just trying to get on the right bus. We somehow figured it out and got the to show just in time. We ended up in our seats at 7:29, a minute before curtain. The show was just as amazing as I remember. Our Fiyero was fantastic as well too. I love that I had a chance to see my favorite musical again.
The underground is insane. Riding during morning rush hour today really showed me how much this system goes through on a daily basis. I can’t imagine using the train every morning and night to and from work, cramming into those train cars like sardines. One guy got in next to a few of us, and it looked like he barely fit in the car. We asked if he needed space, and he barely reacted, insisting he was fine. I was amazed when the doors rushed shut right above his head. Knowing exactly how to stand on such a crowded train must have taken him tons of trips to master, and I’m still impressed. I doubt we will get anywhere near that proficient at the tube during this trip, but it’s not too bad anymore! It’s pretty easy to get around once you know the general idea.