I'm on my way home! Leaving the glorious and damp city of London behind this afternoon. Fair warning, I fear this post may come off a bit spoiled, but I am truly grateful for this incredible month. However, after a whole month away from home I've kinda lost my exploring fire. I have also had a lot of mini let downs building up during my London stay. It was the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this week which was an awesome big deal, but it also meant that the city was extra extra busy and things were super booked.
Caught some of the fireworks after the Jubilee concert as I was coming out of Victoria Station.
I had been looking forward to visiting Leavesden Studios (where Harry Potter was filmed) since before I knew I was coming here. I was stupid and didn't plan ahead and by the time I went to get a ticket, my whole week here was sold out. First and biggest bummer.
I did get to see this though! Magic. :)
Next I tried to book a reservation for high tea at the Savoy, because my step-mom put that on the list of things I had to do here and afternoon tea is THE BEST THING ever. They were also booked all week. That one hurt, because in the beginning of my call, the woman said she had a table for me that day but then by the time she followed through it was gone. Another bummer.
Before I came, the only two West End shows I knew I wanted to see were Sweeney Todd and Matilda. I was lucky enough to get good Sweeney tickets but Matilda was all sold out.
Yet despite all that I am still really happy and chill. At the beginning of my trip, I probably would've been more pissed and would have dwelled forever but by now I am in an almost coma-like state where for better or worse I don't seem to mind the superficial setbacks.
Keith and I were strolling though the park when we came across this Naval marching band on the Mall.
Part of me always feels bad when I don't take full advantage of a place when I am traveling. It's a constant battle within me. Pushing myself to get off my lazy butt and carpe diem. Forgiving myself when I just want to be lazy. Cause that's also ok. It's a fine line.
That being said, I have done some awesome things whilst here! I've seen Posh, Sweeney Todd, What the Butler Saw, and Noises Off. All awesome for different reasons. Maybe hopefully one day I'll review them. I've had some cool and yummy food--I tried fish n chips and rarebit for the first time and had amazing high tea. I had an insane view of the flotilla on the Thames for the Diamond Jubilee. I did some marvelous shopping on Oxford Circus (TOPSHOP!) and Camden Town, aka Hippie/Hipster town. Thursday I went to the Portrait Gallery and saw some of the other "sights"--Big Ben, Westminster, some of the parks, Buckingham Palace from afar, etc. I spent a lot of time in Harrod's on Friday which was so cool. Despite sometimes feeling kinda awful, I am actually pretty happy with how my trip went.
West end. Top: Posh sign, set, and marquee. 2nd row: Sweeney Todd marquee, signage, set, and nighttime marquee. 3rd row: What the Butler Saw marquee and set. Bottom: Noises Off safety curtain and set.
Food. Top: Welsh rarebit and tea and scones at Fortnum and Mason. Bottom left: Afternoon tea at Fifth Floor Restaurant in Harvey Nichols. Bottom right: Strawberries and cream at Inn the Park restaurant in St. James Park.
Good thing is I am super content to just sit on the train and watch the beautiful countryside and architecture go by. I am SO spoiled by European architecture. (London and Paris and Italy, oh my!) That's one of the only reasons that I don't wanna go home. Gross LA buildings. Ugh.
Harrod's. National Portrait Gallery. British Library.
London is beautiful.
The couple that I stayed with were an absolute delight. Barbara went to elementary school with my dad eons ago and they reconnected years later. She and her husband Keith have been awesome, taking me around the city and showing me cool stuff. It's been a blast.
Barbara and Keith.
Another thing I love about London besides architecture are the people. Everyone looks so unique and cool. I wanna pull my camera out at every turn. I have even managed to get some creepy stalker shots of random people on the tube and in the street. It's fun to try to be subtle and not let them notice that you're taking a photo. iPhones are great for this level of stalkerdom.
Some of my favorite stranger shots. Clockwise: Fashionable cashier at Top Shop. Sleeping. Patriotic. Raincoats and Burkas. Hair! Pretty girl.
This afternoon I fly to New York for a quick one-night pit stop. Then on Sunday I am HOME! That word never tasted so good. Pretty much as soon as I get home, it's the Tony's and True Blood! I am dying of excitement for both plus a TON of friends that I haven't seen in forever are coming over. It's gonna be the best. day. ever. If I'm not dying of jet lag...
So I say Au revoir, Europe! Until we meet again.