Letters From London- Part 3: Around the city

It’s time for more letters from London!  This one is comprised of snippets from throughout my time there.  Enjoy!

So I am sure many of you have heard about the bomb scare last weekend.  I feel that I must write to say that everything is fine although I am a little tense about the situation.  On Friday, there was smoking car in Piccadilly Circus, (within walking distance from where I live) there was a bomb inside and the police successfully disarmed it.  Another car was found in front of Buckingham Palace with a similar device inside and a car with a homemade bomb was crashed into Glasgow airport.  I have heard reports of up to 5 vehicles being found with similar devices.  However, all of the devices have been disarmed.  I am not really sure on all the details because I really haven’t read or heard many consistent things.  Anyway, on the 1st the national security level was raised to critical which is the highest for the U.K.  Everything in the city is going on as planned and we have all been kept very informed about the situation by the program.  Last night, on Tottenham Court Road (The street behind our residence- refferenced in Harry Potter) all the way up to Piccadilly Circus, there were police cars everywhere and we were advised to avoid the area.  Things are fine though.  I have noticed more police out and about and I do freak out a little whenever I hear a siren, but other than that everything is fine.  It’s strange to be in a big city though so far away from a notable comfort zone with such scary things as a possibility. 
We saw a lot of shows while in London because we lived just a few blocks from the theater district.  We Will Rock You was my favorite, but we also saw Wicked (another favorite of mine), Fame, Dirty Dancing, and Mary Poppins.  We also were there for the final Harry Potter book’s release.  Everyone on the tube had a copy.  We saw one of the HP movies at the Odeon and I was super amused by the title change of Live Free or Die Hard.
On the bright side I am going to see We Will Rock You this weekend with Katie and it is suppose to be amazing.  We found half price tickets.  Then we have this weekend free and instead of as we originally planned to go to Scotland.  We are staying here as we feel we haven’t gotten to take in as much of Londonas we would have liked to so far. The cruise last weekend was fun, but due to some sea sickness I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked.  I am still having a great time here, I am just doing so with a little more caution.

Happy Fourth of July from the country you gained your independence from!!!  Enjoy some fireworks for me since obviously people here are not celebrating.  Actually some think we eat turkey today… it’s very strange.  Someone asked K who we gained independence from.  But anyways, Happy 4th!!!!

Wow what an interesting week here in London! So let me start by saying the security issues have died down and things seem to be getting back to normal.  The Tour De France is here and many of the roads are blocked off so we were given Friday off from work.  But on Thursday I went to a sample sale and spent £50 on £880 worth of clothing.  Yeah that’s right kids, that’s $1600 worth of designer clothing and I paid $100.  The best part is it really isn’t like a store. It is a design studio and you have to ring a bell to get in so the sale was certainly not open for the general public. I felt totally VIP.So meanwhile, I am in shopping euphoria and hardly notice the rain or the slick sidewalks (note: when in London bring more than 2 pairs of black flip flops and don’t wear the ones from old navy in the rain… they have no traction.  Somehow in my room the flip flop gnomes have found me and stolen one pairof my black flip flops.  I have searched everywhere and I am convinced that the flip flop thief has followed me to London) So anyway, the sidewalks… There I am, walking along enjoying the rain and the use of my umbrella and somehow I slip on some metal grate thing and trip and scuff up my knee and really screw up my toe.  Immediately blood covered my shoe and A had to go get me gauze and athletic tape to make it home.  It was gross and really really painful.  My toenail is about 3/5 gone and I am wearing a rather large bandage.  It looks great with heels let me tell you!   
The Ice Bar, a bar made completely of ice.  You have to wear a parka and you can only go in for 40 minutes at a time.  Such a fun experience.  Riding on the top front seat of a double-decker.  Under our umbrellas.  One of the last nights in London (yes, that’s a pole and yes I was only 21. )
Then Friday night we went and saw We Will Rock you.  AMAZING!!!!  Basically it is a story about the future and rock music has died and through the story they incorporate nearly every song Queen ever did.  The singers were amazing and the acting was great and I would see it again if I could in heartbeat.  Then after the show (that K and I wore our new designer dresses that we got practically for free to) we went to this exclusive club called the Roof Garden.  It was gorgeous.  As the name implies it is a roof garden with an indoor dance floor and bar.  We got to skip the Queue (line) and walk right in.  Needless to say the people waiting for a while were not happy with us.  But we had a great night all because E knew a guy that runs the place.
The gardens Princess Dianna had, hats, traditional English tea, porn in a telephone booth, Big Ben and Parliament, More gardens.
Today we went to lunch at a cafe near where I work and then Katie and I headed towards Buckingham Palace.  To our surprise we ran right into the Tour De France and watch some people that the crowd cheered for very loudly.  To be honest I know nothing about the Tour De France except that it’s a bike race and it really throws me off that it is in London right now.  Anyway, that was neat to see and of course take pictures of.  We walked around Trafalgar Square where there are a lot of embassies and the national gallery museum.  We had dinner at the Texas embassy and it was actually really cool.  Apparently there actually was a Texas embassy in London when Texaswas it’s own country, However, the real location was down the street a few blocks.   
Justin Timberlake in concert, in London, for free!

OH MY GOSH WHAT A NIGHT.  So yesterday Katie calls me and says with a shaky voice, ” wanna go to the Justin Timberlake concert?” Naturally I freaked out and was really excited to go.  Her boss had 4 tickets so he was taking his girlfriend and gave us the other two tickets.  We didn’t believe it was happening until we got there.  The o2 arena is about an hour away by tube and totally worth it.  It is a huge venue with restaurants, clubs, a beach and the arena itself.  We got to the door and went to the VIP suites entrance.  Wow.  We got to skip the lines at the other entrance, we had a private lounge with gourmet food and drinks and we had escalators instead of stairs to our seats.  When we got the the box we found out that Visa owned it and both decided that we would be loyal to the company since they had sort of given us this awesome opportunity.  The box had it’s own bartender and free drinks for the night.  We were right above the circular stage and the concert was amazing.  I have never seen a better performance.  Fergie started out the concert and usually I am not a fan of her live performances, but last night she actually sounded great.  There was no dubbing either. At one point she even did 4 one handed front handsprings with microphone in the other hand and sang at the same time. (just notes not words) Anyway, after Fergie Justin came on and he was soooooooooo good.  I never understood why silly girls scream when they see him.  Well, now I know two things, why they scream and that apparently I am a silly girl.  Not only did he sing he danced and looked like one of his dancers, he played piano with his band and even broke out a guitar a few times.  He even played a song on the piano at the end without the rest of the band.  Oh my god it was amazing.  However, on a unfortunate note in or silly screaming girl state Katie somehow put down her memory card that holds every picture she has taken since she has been here.  We are hopeful, but it hasn’t turned up yet.  
Our final dinner in London, Riding the “O” line, In front of the fountain at Buckingham Palace, getting lost on the tube, tube riding, Tower Bridge.
On Sunday we went back to Trafalgar square to retake some of K’s pictures.  Unfortunately we were caught in a downpour.  Literally.  Some of the people were laying down in pools of rain water.  I am pretty sure they are going to get syphilis.  Meanwhile, I was running to the National Museum across the way.  So it wasn’t so unfortunate after all.  We got to see some really major paintings like Madonna on the Rocks, Sunflowers and Waterlily Bridgeand we wasted enough time there for the sun to come out.  We then went back to retake pictures at the Texas Embassy and then made our way towards Buckingham Palace.  Again more pictures and then we took a stroll through St. James Park.  I highly recommend going through St. James Park.  It is in my opinion on of the prettiest parks in London and it gives great views of the palace and something that looks like a scene out of a Disney movie. (Although I am not actually sure what we were looking at)  Then in an effort to find a tube station we literally ran into the houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abby.  We took more pictures and headed for the tube.  This week has been pretty slow.  
 Last night, on a whim, Katie and I decided to go see Fame and we were in the front row with very cheap tickets.  The show was amazing and I am so glad we did it.  The only thing that was weird about it was that the actors were literally smiling at us, because they could actually see us.  Tomorrow we are thinking about going to the Tower of London and something else.

London Notes:

Subway is very popular here I have passed four today and they are reasonably priced.
They serve soda with barely any ice here.
Driving here is far crazier than in New York. Crossing the street is probably the scariest thing we have done so far or maybe it was our bus ride from the airport. I am surprised we and all pedestrians are still alive.
Everything here either smells or tastes like vinegar and that’s kind of strange too.
Pubs close early. Clubs open late.
Always always always carry an umbrella.
Read the newest Harry Potter on the tube or you will feel like an outsider.

6 thoughts on “Letters From London- Part 3: Around the city

  1. I'm glad you're safe and that you enjoyed London! I'm so glad to have found you via the GFC blog hop and I'm your newest follower. Feel free to stop by my blog anytime- I'm currently hosting my August giveaway which I would love for you to enter for a chance to win products from Sibu Beauty! Happy Tuesday!



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