I'm In London!

London Day 3 is in effect. I’m 8 hours ahead of my time zone of origin–but happy to say I’m not jetlagged. We’re being put up here in a posh flat insanely close to Buckingham Palace (a huge thanks to Caleb and his flatmates Warren and Steve for putting us up despite Caleb’s not being here) and have been shown and pointed in the appropriate direction by Lisa. It’s Monday and we don’t have to work! So we’re on our own but thankfully we’re now wet behind the ears. Day 1 started off with our getting in at 11am and touring London, full speed ahead. I’m not kidding–Lisa’s a really fast walker. We got Oyster cards (unlimited rides in The Tube for days at a time) right off the bat as we lugged our baggage onto the Picadilly Line and then the Circle line. After we parked our stuff, we wasted no time. We took a looonnng walk. And saw Buckingham Palace, a bit of Westminster Abbey, House of Parliament, Thames River (“tems” not “thaymes,” you Yankees) where the Thames River festival was going on and Trafalgar Square (just 5 days prior The Chemical Brothers did a live free show–which I did hear was ticketed). That night, we ate at a fabulous, delicious restaurant called Tom’s Kitchen. I had fillet of mullet served with risotto, which was rather delicious.

Afterwards, we went to an underground party held in a parking garage and it was like the old days. Drink tickets and cheap drinks–also, really good house music. Whomever the DJs were, the second one was better than the first, as it should be. NEVER leave a party at 3am in London having to go to the bathroom. The London Underground (aka Tube) is closed, then, and then you’re stuck at the mercies of 3am London traffic–which I must say is pretty much like rush hour in Los Angeles. In addition to stops every block, that is. Ugh. The Brits (all of them) are such fabulous, open-minded and generally friendly people. Especially at night. With our being used to “last call” at 1:30 AM in Los Angeles, the nightlife here is so much more buoyant in comparison. There’s large varieties on where to go. You can dress up a theme in some places, pay 20 GBP (~$42 USD) to get into others. We lucked out that Lisa had known of an underground party without the ridiculous entrance fee and it was a really good time. When we got back to the flat other American visitors were still up and at it. A post-party, if you could call it that. And then of course we stayed up another hour or so before finally crashing. Yesterday, Day 2, started off with our not being quite well-rested and a little jet-lagged. Our day started at 2pm (how fitting). There’s this awesome lunch place called Pret that has super-fresh sandwiches that you can eat in or “take away.” We visited the Victoria & Albert museum, which is probably the best free admission museum I’ve ever been to. They had a fashion exhibit which included random historical-and-not pieces of clothing which I found most interesting. Inside the fashion exhibit was a “New York Fashion Now” segment–which I thought amusing that the fashions of Sean P. Diddy Combs’ “Sean Joh” was on display. Next door was the Natural History Museum. We glanced at a few things but cut the visit short since we were a little pressed for time (and quite honestly not too interested in “natural history”–there’s one in every city, no?). London Fashion Week was in full effect with the tents set up just outside. I longed to see a catwalk but alas, we had no passes or tickets. Maybe next year. ;) And then we walked along Cromwell Street to get to Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols. Harrod’s, only the most expensive department store in the world, is quite like its own museum with even the escalators set amongst Egyptian-like stone hallways. And here we are at Day 3. Well, I must cut this short so we can get to our last day in the city before we see the Roman Baths, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle on a day tour tomorrow. We’ll be visiting the Tate Modern and Tower of London among other things. While my Flickr continues to upload, feel free to take a look here. Love, *e