This has been a busy week, but I want to start off with talking about last weekend, and amazing time I had when my sorority sister came from Budapest for a few days. Courtney brings Phi Mu lovin', the sunshine, adventures...and apparently she is my good luck charm. We have had a crazy weekend, and it all started as soon as she stepped off the plane.
I went into Heathrow to pick Courtney up on Weds. afternoon. On the way back, I had to stop at the Bunac office to pick some mail, so we took the double decker bus from King's Cross. After Bunac, we went up to the Sainsbury's in Isling, and got groceries for the next few days. We came back to the hostel, made dinner, and made plans for the next few days. We decided that Thursday would be a tourist day, and it was exactly what I needed. I've been here long enough to know my away around, but hadn't been around places to appreciate them as much as I wanted. Here is a picture catalog of our first day:
We went down to Trafalgar Square, and walked by the fountains. This was Courtney's first exposure to the more well known London.
Being true Phi Mus, we had to have our pictures taken in front of the lions.
We walked down to Big Ben....
And Westminster Abbey.
Then we crossed the bridge to the Queen's Path on the South Bank. We had lunch under one of the bridges and walked back to Charring Cross.
We went back to the hostel to grab some food and decide what to do that night. A few guys were going to see Spamalot, so we decided that sounded cool. But before we went there, I had read that Bond Street was doing it's Christmas lighting. Bond Street is the most expensive street in London, with shops like Cartier, Tiffany's, and Gucci, and is located across from the Ritz. They had the lighting of the Christmas decorations, and we went down.
They were so beautiful. They even had 'snow' : really, it was about a dozen bubble machines, but it looked like the real thing. Every few feet there was a dancing elf, or a string quartet, or carolers. Plus, a lot of shops were giving out free samples, so we each got a chocolate and some marshmallows.
So we hiked back down to the discount booths in Leicester Square. At this point, Courtney was feeling a little shaky about money, and I had already seen the show,so we opted for the ₤15 seats in the Upper Balcony aka the nosebleed section. We got slices of pizza off a vendor, and ate them as we walked down to the theatre. We got there really early, and went in, thinking we would have to camp out somewhere in the top and rent binoculars or something. The woman looks at our tickets, and says 'The balcony is closed this evening. Head over to the booth, and they will adjust your seating.' We're like crap, where else can they put us. The woman looks at our tickets, checks off a list, and says with a smile 'Just down the stairs, to your left.' Down the stairs? Like to the stalls? Like on the floor?? We go sit in the bar to wait, where we met these two nice guys (our parents' age) who are American, but have been working on planes for the state department in Japan for a few months. One of them goes to church with one of the girls I know from Vagina Monologues!! Small world. Anywho, they open the doors, and we go to find our seats. We are in *Drumroll* 5th row, center. Thats right. 15 quid, and we're in (normally) 75-100 pound seats. GO US!! The show was fantastic, we got sprayed with confetti at the end, and we loved every minute of it. It was nice to see what some of the actors looked like up close, tho I did have 'We're Not Dead Yet' stuck in my head for 3 days.
The next few days were great. We went to the National Portrait Gallery, walked around Oxford Circus, went to Portebella Road Market (got Christmas presents)
and Borough Food Market (amazing samples), met up with Hannah (the sister I met from Virginia) and went to the Mudlark pub (famous bangers and mash and being the location for the Three Broomsticks in the Harry Potter movies), went out for Sunday roast, walked in Kensington Park and found the Peter Pan statue, and ended the whole thing with a little trip to Platform 9 and 3/4.
The nicest parts were that we had a good time no matter what we were doing, we got along the whole time, and we got to Skype with a bunch of sisters at home. It was glorious.
Next entry, job updates!! And possibly flat updates...I'll tell you when I get back...