So remember my last post when I said I was going to have a lot to say about this past week and four days? I wasn’t lying. Here goes my venture deep into my memory, and we’ll see what I have for you.
Thursday February 28, will be a day that I remember forever. Why? Because it was the day I attended Oz The Great and Powerful premiere and had JAMES FRANCO sign my very PERSONAL JOURNAl. Unfortunately, two old men were standing in front of me, so I couldn’t get a picture with him or have Zach Braff, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz or Michelle Williams sign anything. I wasn’t NOT going to get James’ signature though, so I thrust my arm in between two people’s heads, apologised for the brashness and did not move until he signed it. But it was an ultimate success and worth every cold bone in my body. Also, his Franco smile is better in person. God, he’s beautiful. Mila and Michelle and Zach and Rachel are all super attractive in person, so it makes one feel a little inadequate. WORTH IT.
So after the premiere, my friends and I kind of hung around Leicester Square because my friends (and roomies for next year) Kara and Kelsey were going to meet us there. When they finally arrived, I was so excited! We ended up going to The Porterhouse to catch up and enjoy the evening and then went back to Wembley. Friday was semi-uneventful, but we did see Tom Mann perform live. His voice is absolutely brilliant, and he is a dashing fellow, so my friends and I greatly enjoyed his performance. I wish it had lasted longer. The bands that performed after him were not so great except for this girl who did an acoustic set, an all girl rock band and the guys who closed the show. But overall, it was a fun night. Saturday morning came, and we awaited the arrival of Katie and Carolyn from the US. After some mass confusion, THEY ARRIVED! And it was now time for me to begin my week as a tour guide. Naturally, the Metropolitan and Jubliee lines would be down the weekend they arrived, so we had to take the replacement buses to West Hampstead. Sure they take awhile, but the girls were glad to get to ride a double decker bus. The first stop of our tour was Big Ben and Parliament. We then did Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, St. James Park to Buckingham Palace, Green Park to Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and the Admirality Arch. I then took them to Oxford Circus, past my school on Regent St. to the new BBC studios and then back down Oxford St. towards Soho. After this long day, we headed back to Wembley.
Sunday was another long day with an early morning. First stop of the day was Tower Bridge (which everyone mistakes for London Bridge). We crossed that and headed to The Tower of London. Spending quite a lot of time in there, we had a blast exploring the towers and rooms and seeing the Crown Jewels. We then headed to the Olympic Park, however, the park is closed while they prepare it for tourists, so we only got to see the outside of the stadium. We then headed to Greenwich to stand in two hemispheres at once! It was absolutely gorgeous, and I definitely want to go back and explore the Maritime Museum before I leave. We then headed to King’s Cross and Platform 9 3/4 before going back to Wembley.
Monday was the last day that Kelsey and Kara were going to be around, so we finished with a trip from St. Paul’s past the Millenium Bridge to the London Eye, a trip to Camden Market, and a visit to Harrods and Primark. St. Paul’s dome is closed until the end of March, so that was sad, but I’ll be back there for views and photos soon enough. As for everything else, the Millenium Bridge was awesome because of Harry Potter, and Camden and Primark are always awesome. As for Harrods? Ohmygod, I have never felt so out of place there. People call it the London Macy’s but that is a joke. Macy’s doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable, but Harrods sure does. The candy is good though. And then it was The Torch, so I could give my friends an authentic pub experience.
After I got out of class on Tuesday, Carolyn, Katie and I headed to Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill because it was an absolute beautiful day. I have to say, the weather cooperated very well with us this past week. It was the best weather London has had since I arrived in January.
Wednesday was cloudy, but still relatively nice day, so we headed to the Wellington Arch, Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, Princess Diana Memorial, Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens. My oh my was Kensington gorgeous. I felt so royal walking past royal apartments and staircases and ugh. So jealous. Also, the romance between Albert and Victoria was so cute that I was having a mental breakdown of my lonely self. Whatever. But seriously. So cute. We also stopped for some authentic British tea and scones with clotted cream and jam. I love clotted cream. So much.
Thursday we went to Fleet St., the Strand, the Somerset House, Covent Garden and then headed back to Wembley because we had to get ready to attend the Big Chat with Graham Norton. It was my first ever TV show, and Graham was breaking the world record for most questions asked in a chat show while also raising money for Comic Relief. Everyone was absolutely hysterical, and it was awesome. I fell in love with Greg James and saw Little Mix perform that night too. And to top it all off, I WAS ON TV. Multiple times. Brilliant!
Since Friday was the last night with the girls, we didn’t do too much except visit the Victoria and Albert Museum after shopping at Baker Street. However, I took them for their first Nando’s experience, because that was an absolute must. Unfortunately, they had to leave on Saturday morning, but they were here at midnight to celebrate my 20th birthday with me. Yeah, I’m two decades old now. It’s weird…..really weird. But our API group headed to Wales early Saturday morning, and we explored Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey and Hay-on-Wye. Now, Chepstow is the oldest stone castle in England and Wales, so that was cool. We also got to stand with one foot in Wales and one in England! Cross off that life goal of standing in two places at once. Tintern Abbey was absolutely brilliantly gorgeous. But Hay-on-Wye was one of my favorite stops, because it is known as the town of books. So many secondhand shops are there. I was unable to find an early off copy of The Catcher in the Rye like I want (mid-30s) so instead, I got Goldfinger the year it was published. And I also got Franny and Zooey, so there’s that. We arrived at our hotel Baskerville Hall which is where Sherlock Holmes based his novel The Hound of the the Baskervilles. I was too exhausted to do much but eat my cream cake that Kelsey got me and sleep. In the morning, we headed to our adventure for the day, and I was conveniently doing a high ropes course. It was a bit terrifying and really freaking cold, but I had a blast. I climbed up a tall, wobbly pole, managed to pull myself up onto the small square and then jump to a metal trapeze bar. Not bad. And then I zip-lined! So it was a great birthday weekend. And there’s my life in a nutshell!