You alright mate? Oy well go suck a lemon then you bloody munta!
No, no! I’m just kidding. Stay where you are. We’re cool. I just get carried away with the lingo I pick up from my limey man. And lemons are good for you. So suck away. Just sit right back. And you’ll hear a tale. The tale of a fateful trip…
I’m going to bore you with some ushy gushy bulldiddly for a moment so just bare with me. About a year and a half ago I met my main squeeze on the East Coast of Australia. It’s truly a love story for the ages, but I’ll get into all of that at a later date. Long story short, we’ve been doing the long distance thang for quite some time now. And although it is incredible emotionally and sexually taxing it is worth it. Cause he’s just such a sweet little beebly squeebs, and isn’t a compulsively lying psycho narcissist so I’m going to hang on to him for a while.
Since leaving Australia, he’d met me in New Jersey and did a two week trip with me from NYC, my cousins wedding (where his life was threatened multiple times by various members of the family, you made it hun!) Providence, Worcester, LA, and Denver. That was back in September. After much skyping, and aggravation, and longing, I booked my ticket to London for the holidays.
The trip over was a bitch. I had already planned for my 6 hour layover in Atlanta, but I didn’t account for my plane stopping in Charlotte for an additional layover, before a longer layover that I had prepared for; and it was just super annoying okay? And then my flight to London so the whole ordeal took just over 24 hours. So needless to say I was pretty shot when I finally got there. But I perked right up when I came through customs, to my Toms smiling face. But from far away I couldn’t tell right away if it was him so I was obnoxiously waving unsure if it was at the right person. But it was! So we smooched and smooched and everyone was uncomfortable and it was great.
He handed me my Oyster card and we got headed into the London Underground. Luckily our hotel was just a skip away from Euston station so the commute back wasn’t so horrible. We stayed at Ibis, where I’ve never stayed before but it was clean, the staff was very friendly, and they had an onsite restaurant which I very much appreciated because I was famished! (Shocker!) The first few hours after my arrival were pretty uneventful because we had months of snuggles (wink wink) to make up for. But when we woke up Tom told me we were going to gallivant on the streets on London and see where the night takes us!
We started seeing signs for the Winter Wonderland which he had mentioned to me. He knows I’m not a huge Christmas person so he didn’t push it. But I’m trying to be less of a Grinch these days and all of the pretty lights and music drew me in so we followed the pretty pink signs to Hyde Park and joined the queue to get in. (Queue is the word pretty much everyone else uses in the world for “line”) It truly was magical. It was influenced by the German Christmas markets which are supposed to be spectacular. They must be, because the English version was mindblowing. The place was just so big! Seriously! I went to take a wee and we got super lost trying to find the “Thriller” rollercoaster. But no worries we found it. It was maybe 20 seconds long but it was 20 seconds of jolting flipping fun!
But naturally my favorite part of Winter Wonderland was the food and drink. I’ve had chips with curry sauce before, I’d worked at a place called the “English Cellar” and we made curry sauce by mixing curry powder with mayo. We should have been ashamed. Because now I’ve tried English curry sauce and it was show stoppingly delicious. We only got one order, big mistake. We should know ourselves better than to think we could share food. I shoveled most of it down my gullet without remorse. Tom will get over it. He can have curry sauce whenever he likes. I loved it so much that I requested it multiple times a day. More! More! More!
The following day was to be full of touristy sight seeing. Perfect day for it as well, as it was gray and dreary and slightly drizzly. It’s the only way you can really see London for all of it’s splendor. To start the morning off, I was really jonesing for some beans on toast. I’d gotten hooked during my time in Oz and although it sounds strange, don’t knock it until you try it. I let Tom pick the place, and he managed to take me to the only café in all of London that didn’t serve beans on toast. Well done babe. From there we began our tour by visiting Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. And it was big. That’s a big clock alright.
From there we traipsed on down to Westminster Abbey, took a gander at the London Eye, and naturally at this point we had to stop for tea at Pret Mange because we were in jolly old England after all and they love their tea. I love tea too. And I wasn’t feeling very well so it very welcomed. Such a bummer right? Getting to London for Christmas and then catching a germ. No worries it blew over relatively quickly. I’ll attribute that to the tea.
Onward we go! From here we went to Trafalgar Square, I made friends with one of the horses of the Queens Guard; we had a moment. We would have run away together but his owner had a baton. I also got acquainted with one of my long term heroes, Yoda; but he kept trying to steal my nose which was a bit concerning so I had to split.
Then at last we made it to Buckingham Palace. Ten points to whoever can tell me who Buckingham is because Tom didn’t know. I’ll be honest… I expected it to be much more adorned and show stopping than it was. But it was pretty magnificent all the less. You could vaguely see the guards with the furry hats standing near the entrance. Not close enough to taunt them to smile. Bummer.
Our last stop of the day was to St. Peter’s Cathedral. I’m sure the inside with a sight of pure splendor. But the queue wrapped around the block and neither of us could really be bothered. We found a sushi train across the seat and decided to indulge.
Later that night after more cuddles at the hotel, I had to have more chips. HAD TO. I was ravenous for them. There weren’t any chip chops near by, but there were fish restaurants. And when in England where you find fish, you find chips. And hopefully curry sauce. Apparently it’s “lower class” to order curry sauce at restaurants, so I happily slummed it with my low class chips. I had heard it been said time again that English cuisine….leaves a bit to be desired. This restaurant did not disappoint. I ordered a pie with peas and chips and there was not a spot of flavor to be found. All good though, cause I drowned it all in my low class curry sauce to give it a kick.
Womp 😦 our last day in London Town. We didn’t have a chance to go to the ball pit bar that I’d had my heart set on. But I was feeling pretty crappy and it gives us an excuse to go again. But! We managed to get up early enough to feast on the buffet at our hotel. And! AND! They had beans on toast! And other tasty foods! But the beans! And the toast! I was so pleased. Happily full, we went to visit the London Tower and the London Tower Bridge. It was probably the most iconic sight that we took in during our stint in London. I strolled across it, took a bunch of pictures, and ate some roasted chestnuts. We probably should have gone with the spiced peanuts but it was Christmas Eve and I wanted some dang chestnuts roasted on an open fire! There were markets all along the waterfront, so we stopped to get some Mallow kisses, and take more pictures, and share more kisses.
It was mid-afternoon at this point, and Toms Aunt was to pick us up at the train station, so it was time to say goodbye to London and press on for our next adventure up to the North. First to Potten End (could that be ANY MORE Harry Potter. Like really?!) And then onward to West Yorkshire to meet…dun dun dun…his mother!