06/11/12: My last full day :(

Hostel 9:58
I’ve been lollygagging this morning, but I did manage to get up in time to have breakfast in the kitchen. Anyways, after I left the tube station, I walked over to a place called the Natural Kitchen for tea, a croissant, and a raspberry custard pie. Once done, I walked over to the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

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Of course, I had to walk to the gift shop to purchase a ticket, but what else is expected? I went through it, crowded by groups of people while trying to get my own pictures. Apparently, “all you have to do is push the button” isn’t a good enough instruction, since most people try to push the button only halfway. Regardless, I managed to get a shot of me in Sherlock Holmes’ chair.

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Once I left Baker Street, and made my way back towards the London Eye, but decided it was too cold to wait in line. Instead, I walked the suggested route in my guidebook before heading to Buckingham Palace. I snapped a few photos before walking through Hyde Park to get back to the hostel. Halfway through, I was ready to give it up and try to find a bus or something, but I was too far in to find a bus. I made it back and had some tea and Ritz crackers before I went out to see about tickets for Mamma Mia! Luck was in my favor because I got tickets in the front of the dress circle for 35£ instead of 65£.  it was an AWESOME show and I had a blast. Now it’s 10:15, I think my camera’s charged enough. Time to go!

Shaftesbury Theatre 19:17
I really didn’t do much today, there wasn’t much left that I absolutely wanted to see, so I got on the tube and went to the Natural Science Museum.

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I went through the part about the earth and the part about the dinosaurs, but there were a lot of kids groups so I didn’t spend much time. After all, natural history is pretty much the same in museums anywhere. After that, I walked to a café that had Wi-Fi and plans to charge my camera (apparently my spare battery is also dead…) and have some tea. I left the café and went back to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is definitely my favorite. Hopefully, I’ll end up somewhat well-off living in/within two distance of London and I’ll be able to afford a membership. That would be awesome. After I left  V&A, I hopped tubes over to the National Gallery where I wandered around until I deemed it appropriate to walk over to the Shaftesbury Theatre. Unfortunately, portraits of dead Brits didn’t hold my attention long enough and I went to a café to use the toilet and Wi-Fi. I played checkers with my brother over iMessage until the appropriate time to go to the theater for real. I managed to get tickets to Rock of Ages, at Mama’s suggestion, for 25£ in pretty good seats. Show’s starting!

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I usually go to much more… Understated shows than this…

Wahaca 22:29
Dad’s going to be so jealous he finds out where I’ve been. I practically just lived the perfect Daddy-Daughter Date tonight. Rock of Ages followed by Mexican food? I’m living the dream. 🙂

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Suggestion for dad (as I know he reads my blog):
When the summer nights have passed  and the fall parties have to move inside,  wait until the cold settles in and, at the perfect winter party, try some Mexican hot chocolate with a slash of spicy tequila.  I’ll try to make a recipe for you.

Interested in photos? You can see all of them from Fall 2012 and from London at my Flickr page!

05/11/12: And the show begins

Novello Theater 19:35
I think this is going to be the best part of my trip. But before I tell you what it is, I should go back to yesterday (was it only yesterday?!) and catch back up. I did leave the Hummingbird Bakery to go back down to Westminster. I got on the bus that took me past the theater, but the theater was closed. So I rode the bus a bit farther and caught the tube to Queensway (or whatever it is). Then, I went to a Starbucks, got some tea, and wrote before heading back to the hostel I sat in the lobby and chatted until I decided to go to bed. There weren’t many people staying in the usually full room, so none of them were in the room and I took the chance to re-organize my things. Hopefully, I’ll have the same chance tonight and tomorrow night so I can have my stuff ready to go on Wednesday. I can’t believe it’s almost time to go. I’m not ready to leave yet!

This morning, I got up a bit later than intended, but it’s not like that makes much difference, since it’s just me and I have no real plans anymore. I hopped on the tube and got off at Baker Street. Exit the station and came face-to-face with Sherlock Holmes, really, a Sherlock Holmes statue.

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Interested in photos? You can see all of them from Fall 2012 and from London at my Flickr page!

04/11/12: Oh, my poor feet

The British Museum 12:51
The only exhibition I have paid for in a museum is the one I’m currently sitting in. I haven’t been writing much since I’ve been here since I’ve mostly been walking for three straight days. NaNoWriMo has begun, but I haven’t been writing. I think I’ll pick up a small notebook to try writing in. Then I can write whenever I’m sitting. It’s not like I don’t have a million notebooks or anything. Whatever. Let’s see, back to recounting my trip. On the first day, I walked through Tate Modern and then went on the tour through Shakespeare’s Globe. After the Globe, I ate at some shoddy little café before heading back to my hostel for a nap. Once I woke, I went to Chinatown / West End and wandered around before going to Rocky Horror at the Prince Charles’ Theatre.

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That showing was missing the call-outs, shadow cast, and ACE Films, but at least it had men in drag and prop bags. It wasn’t the Rocky I love, but it was still Rocky Horror Picture Show. After that, I went back to the hostel and went to sleep.

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The host, a lovely Dr. Frankenfurter
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A costume contest!

The next day, I spent most of my time shopping around Regent’s Street and West End. I’m looking for the perfect coat and the perfect bag, though I haven’t found either yet. I had brunch in a Nordic Baker, I had a potato pie and a cinnamon roll; the potato pie had butter and egg on it. Both were delicious. I had dinner / lunch in a dinky little chain restaurant while waiting for my friend to come find me. Once he did, we walked around Regent’s Street some more as he tried (but failed) to get me lost. After all, I had been wandering around that area all day. We finally got tired of walking, so we stopped at a Starbucks and another friend came to meet us. Both guys had studied at UNCW, so it was nice seeing them again before we all three went our separate ways.

Yesterday, I started off by walking through Hyde Park and ended up outside the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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A glimpse of the London Eye from Hyde Park

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I walked around in there before walking (in the wrong direction) to get my lost Irish phone.

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Inside the V&A (my favorite of the museums I visited!)

I finally broke down and caught a bus to where my phone was and then decided to go over to the London Eye are.

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The London Eye at night

In my attempts to find the Eye’s entrance, I found Big Ben and a festival-thing. Unfortunately, the line to get on the London Eye was extremely long, but I caught sight of a Dalek on a poster and decided to go through the London Film Museum instead. Inside, they had props from Harry Potter, Batman’s suit, two Daleks, and a TARDIS, among other things.

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There was only 1 other person inside the museum and he took a blurry photo 🙁
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Harry Potter room!
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I took multiple pictures of Unfogging the Future and ALL of them were blurry!

After the museum, I walked back to the other side of the River Thames because I had seen the Sherlock Holmes Pub and I was going to eat there.

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Since it was too crowded, I got out my trusty tour book and tried to find a new place to eat. Unfortunately, the next place I tried was closed permanently, so I ended up in a place called Princi, where I got a slice of pizza and a delicious dessert that started with “C” and had strawberries on top. After eating, I wandered around a bit more before heading back to the hostel where I read a bit before going to sleep.

This morning, I got up at 10, later than I intended, and missed the free in-house breakfast. Instead, I went to a café called Milkbar where I got French Toast and English Tea. The French Toast was amazing and had a fried banana on top. It was so good, I ate every bite. After eating, I walked over to the British Museum, where I currently sit in the Shakespeare Exhibit.

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I don’t know what else I’ll do today, I might try to go back to the London Eye one more time and maybe get tickets to see a musical (preferably Mamma Mia!).

The Hummingbird Bakery 16:15
I spent almost as much on tea as I have been spending on lunch and dinner, but it’s still been less than 10 pounds. I tried to go through every room in the British Museum (and I did, except those that were closed). I think now I’ll head down to the theatre where Mamma Mia! is and see about getting tickets. I’m worried it might be expensive, but I think it would be worth it. I don’t really know how to get there, so I think I’ll just take a bus to Westminster and then take the bus I was on last night to the theatre.

Interested in photos? You can see all of them from Fall 2012 and from London at my Flickr page!

01/11/12: HELLO LONDON!

Tate Modern 11:30
Modern art isn’t really my thing. I like to look at the people more than the art. Art is stagnant; every time you look at it, it is the same. People, especially strangers, can change in a glance. The first time you look, you see one thing: a couple holding hands. The second time, your perception has changed: she’s pulling him through the museum. I guess people and art are the same in that regard. When you look at the same painting a while later, you have changed and so has its meaning. I guess with people, you’re both changing, so it seems like a more drastic change. All the same, I still prefer to look at people. I can see that some of the others do, too. Particularly the children.

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Shakespeare’s Globe 12:45
When I was walking across the Millennium Bridge to get to Tate Modern, I could see the Globe in front of me, the London Bridge off to the side, and the London Eye off to the other. I couldn’t help but think to myself “I made it.” Now I’m at the Globe Theatre, a place I didn’t think I’d be at so soon after my course on Shakespeare. Only a few months! I thought it might take years to get to London and here I am! I made it!

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Interested in photos? You can see all of them from Fall 2012 and from London at my Flickr page!

31/10-01/11/12: A Trip Summary

31/10/12 18:41: On the train to Dublin
As I was walking to the train station, I realized this is going to be the first time I travel by myself. No one is going to drop me off at the airport, no one is going to pick me up when I get there. I have to take a train to the bus to the plane to get there and I have to do it all on my own. So it makes a bit of sense that I’ve given myself about two hours between the bus and the plane in my “schedule”. After all, the bus might have troubles or I might get lost (always a possibility with me). Who knows, there might even be trouble at the airport. (I am now begging every god or deity that there are no troubles at the airport. I’ll even resort to old superstitions.) Quite possibly the dumbest part of my trip being the first I have to do 100% alone is that I have never flown out of the Dublin airport and I have never flown in or out of the London Luton airport. This probably would’ve been easier if I was going from Greensboro or Denver or something because I’ve flown out of them numerous times since I was young, I’m not afraid of those airports. The only time I’ve been in the Dublin airport, it was 6:55am and I was completely jet lagged.
Here’s to my luck holding out.

1/11/12 1:36: I think I lost my Irish phone. Shit.
I’m at the hostel. Where is my phone?

Interested in photos? You can see all of them from Fall 2012 and from London at my Flickr page!