It’s a lazy Sunday, the weather is super gloomy and rainy today. It reminded me so much of our trip to London. It rained pretty much the entire time we were there. So as I’m snuggled up in my leggings and cozy sweater with my cup of espresso I figured I would blog about our rainy adventure.
Our flight landed at Stanstead Airport and we took the Stanstead Express train into the city (totally worth taking the train. It’s so fast and leaves pretty frequently). From the moment we landed in the airport I felt so relieved to hear the crowd bantering away in English. It felt so much like home (except they all had really cute accents). I’m pretty in love with accents and meeting people from different places. I really love southern accents too…just ask Laurie 🙂
We purchased the all you can ride passes for the Underground (their subway system). We were there for the long weekend and it was totally worth it. We took the underground everywhere! After transferring to a few different trains on the Underground, we finally made it to the stop closest to the hostel we were staying at. There were two sets of elevators that would take us to street level. We were impatiently waiting in a huge crowd of people for the lifts, so we decided to take the stairs. WHAT A MISTAKE! We should’ve listened to the sign that said wait for the lifts. After about 200 stairs or 20 flights of stairs later, we finally made it to the top and breathed in the fresh rainy air. My legs were on fire from carrying my weekend bag up all of the stairs. I can’t tell you how incredibly happy I was to see the top!
It was so bizarre to see them driving on the opposite side of the road. They must have a lot of tourists that get hit by cars because they had these painted signs on the road to remember which way to look for traffic. I only forgot to read the signs once…which almost created a bad day for a bicyclist I stepped out in front of and quickly jumped out of their way. Haha
We stayed at Generator Hostel a few blocks away. It was really close to a few of the Underground stops and to a bunch of little cafes and coffee shops. Below is a picture of me at one of the coffee shops nearby. I absolutely LOVED how funny their advertisements were. They were clearly just as excited to see American football as we were by the hilarious signs they made.
It was too early to check into the hostel so we paid to store our bags in secured lockers and went out to find a place to eat lunch. (Lets be honest I went to find a place with coffee that conveniently also served food). We ran into Café 49. It was this adorable little breakfast/lunch café that served the most amazing espresso and hot chocolate. My fiancé is obsessed with hot chocolate (he’s a big kid) so he tries it everywhere we go.
It was my 27th Birthday and Dan wanted to do something special for me. He knew how much I loved the theatre. In college I needed an art class to graduate so I took Introduction to Theatre 101 my freshman year. I was captivated the first time I saw a live show. The characters emotions and distraught over life events felt so real. I was sitting on the edge of my seat intrigued by the show and disappointed when it was over. So my love for the theatre began in 2006.
We snagged last minute tickets for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: The New Musical. The show was at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. This show won “Theatre Show of the Year” from the London Lifestyle Awards 2015.
We paid 54 pounds per ticket (about 78 dollars), which is a steal for getting seats on the main floor. Dan decided to preorder refreshments for intermission (SO THANKFUL HE DID! The lines were crazy). I obviously couldn’t take pictures during the show but here are a few from the gorgeous brochure! I would highly recommend seeing a show while you’re in London. You can’t walk three blocks without running into a theatre.
The next day we spent exploring the city. We saw the Tower bridge, London eye and Big Ben. I was surprised with how BIG the Tower Bridge was. It continued to rain so we snapped a few pictures and kept moving.
I had the map the guys gave to me… and I accidentally misplaced it the first time we stopped. So the rest of the weekend we spent navigating based solely on street maps on poles like the one below. It was interesting but took longer to find our way.
Sometimes being lost is half the fun of finding your way around. We ran into a really old bar in London. The Albert was built in 1862 and was named after Queen Victoria’s husband. It had this really unique etched glass for the windows which was almost like a frost with a victorian feel. The Rugby championships were going on so we stopped by for a brew and to partake in local activity. We all shared fish and chips but passed on the mushy peas. The bar was crowded with every age to watch the game. I didn’t really understand the rules but it was so much more brutal than American football and way more fun to watch than soccer so I was happy.
We had passed a bunch of casinos along the way while we were walking through the city. I had mentioned that I had never gambled before. We stopped by and played blackjack. Daniel and I both came out even and one of our friends won over a hundred pounds! Talk about luck! Then we crossed the street to a little restaurant where we had pizza and all of us split a piece of cheesecake for my birthday. It was such a sweet and wonderful birthday. I couldn’t have asked for more. We were pretty tired so we headed back to the hostel and played pool.
The next day was Game DAY! We had booked the trip because Grant, a good friend of ours loves the Buffalo Bills. They were playing in one of the NFL London games against the Jaguars. The game was held at the Wembley stadium.
Our seats were incredible, only 10 rows up from the field. I never realized how BIG those players were in real life (they look so normal sized on TV!). Unfortunately the Bills lost but we had a wonderful time. On our way back to the underground we noticed they were televising the Patriots game at a nearby hotel. The Patriots beat the (insert team that doesn’t really matter here) while we enjoyed watching more American football. Over all, it was an unforgettable trip.
If you ever travel to London…go to the theatre, loose your map and wander around!
ps. If you notice in my last post I was blonde and in this one my hair is brunette… It’s because I can’t decide which one I like better… So I pick both! 🙂 I’m currently on my way back to blonde.