London 2013

Article from May 2013

The first time I came to London I left with the intentions of never returning. I felt as though it was one of those cities with a “5 minute charm”. By 5 minute charm I mean it’s a city where the first 5 minutes you feel enchanted because you’re ‘in London, NO WAY’, especially when being an American. But after countless museums, walls of people, and kilometers of walking you become sick of it all and the city no longer has its charm. However, I returned for one reason, and one reason only, to see my boyfriend.

Despite my love hate feelings towards London, I’ve had a rather nice time. My first full day here we walked 13 kilometers throughout the city, and 8 the next day, so it’s safe to say I’m rather tired out. He’s shown me a little ‘hole in the wall’ coffee shop with some of the most amazing coffee and treats on this planet (TAYLOR COFFEE), and some of those not-so-touristy areas of London, which I really liked because like my father crowds of people make me anxious.

In addition to the good however, it wouldn’t be an adventure unless I visited an emergency room while in the UK. Nothing serious, I just being the accident prone person I am, managed to get something stuck under my top eyelid and scratch the surface of my eye. Luckily it was while on a bus, and ever luckier, the next stop on the bus line was ‘eye hospital’, so a quick 15 minutes for an optometrist to remove the ‘foreign body’, and give me some eye drops and I was out of there, without paying a cent, I mean pence.

Seeing as I’ve visited London before, I was able to skip all the main touristy attractions, or at least get by with only a quick glimpse. Westminster, Trafalgar square, Big Ben, Millennium bridge, Monument, Piccadilly circus, SoHo, Buckingham palace and gardens, London Bridge, Parliament, St. Pancreas, Platform 9 ¾, and well anything between, you manage to see a lot when walking 13 kilometers in the center of town.

I do have to say however, that I was most disappointed with Platform 9 ¾, I love Harry Potter, books movies, you name it. Naturally I was so excited to go see the Platform, until I saw the line. They have literally made a business out of it. With a professional photographer taking your picture as you stand next to the trolley, and just like at Disney land they sell you your photo inside a kiosk next door, along with ‘Platform 9 ¾’ t-shirts and sweaters. I was thrown off by it all, and frankly a little disturbed.

Here are some places to check out while in London!

Place to eat: Ed’sdiner $$

Diner style food, relatively inexpensive, and delicious sweet potato fries.

Located near Soho.

Place to drink: Taylor st baristas coffee $

Located in financial district, fresh brewed coffee, inexpensive and also offers amazing carrot cake.

Place to eat: Sushi Samba $$$$

Mixture of South American and Japanese foods. Amazing dishes (yellow tail taquitos, red pepper ice cream and chocolate…etc) every dish is presented like a piece of artwork, and its more than just food, it’s an experience. Best meal of your life will take place here. Located on the top floors of the Heron building.

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To London England I have been!

Article from April 2011

So as I’ve mentioned before here in France you get these amazing 2 week breaks every 7 weeks. Today marks the last weekend of the last week of my vacation…. Sadly…. Anyways! I had the lovely opportunity to head up to England for the beginning of my vacation! First off you should know that we drove there, which complety still blows my mind, I mean being within driving distance of England, I would have never imagined it before this year!

My first actual day in London just so happened to be the day of the London marathon… YIPEE!! But, the family (my family, but in a confusing way, and who are really awesome!)  had someone running in it, so that was actually pretty exciting, not only seeing the marathon but actually cheering someone in particular on! We would take the tubes (subways) around to try and meet him at certain points and it was just one big hectic, tiring day, with TONS OF PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!

Over the next few days I ended up taking a double decker bus tour of london, seeing pretty much every single major thing in london. If ever traveling to London I highly recommend these tours (The Original Sightseeing tours) , cheap, not to long, and you have the chance to see everything without having to get confused with all the public transport.   The thing that probably stood out to me the most was Big Ben, and Westminister abbey, so beautiful and so big!! I also enjoyed watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace (the name made me think of you Jay!) we ended up being really close to the gates and I got to see the men with big hats like marge simpsons hair :]

The last day I spent there I actually wandered around London all by myself, navigating the tubes, and putting my map skills to use!! The London tubes are extremley easy to learn, it took me just 2 days to feel completly comfortable getting from one side of london to the other with them. (Great transportation minus the crowds of people and hard to breath in standing area)