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September 4, 2012

Oops...I went to London

Not London, Connecticut. Not London, Ontario. London, England...which explains my absence from blogging over the last week.

It had been 3 years since my last trip to London which was about 6 months after I had returned stateside after living in London for half a year.

Being back in London was absolutely incredible. I felt like I had never left. It was like I never missed a beat, just picked right up where I left off. What can I say? London is and always will feel like home.

This time around though, it was The Pilot who brought me to London on a whim and we had an incredible time.

The best part about being in London? The Paralympics kicked off just as we got there and the Paralympic Games are just as big as the Olympics so Olympic Fever was still full on!

We got there on Wednesday morning, checked into our hotel and headed out so that I could show The Pilot around my London. We stopped by my old flat, my favorite pub and my old office in Victoria (which had been knocked down) and stopped by Buckingham Palace so that I could check out the marathon finish line.

There it is!
Then we made our way to Westminster to see Big Ben before taking a ride on the London Eye...which I had never done before.

The London Eye at sunset...not a bad date night.
We had an unbelievable dinner on The Strand before heading over to Trafalgar Square, my favorite place in London...where a huge crowd was gathered to watch the Opening Ceremonies for the Paralympic Games.

Crowds gathered in front of the National Gallery to watch the Opening Ceremonies
Team Great Britain entering the arena to close the Ceremonies. 
The next day, we got up early and made our way to East London to try and check out the Olympic Park...which, unfortunately, we couldn't get anywhere near because of security. We had thought we'd be able to get into the Olympic Park without tickets to at least go to the Olympic Mega Store but apparently you can't get within half a mile of the Park without event tickets. Booooooooo.

The Olympic Stadium
Since we were in East London, we made our way to Liverpool Street to take a trip around Spitalfields Market before grabbing a pint at the notorious Ten Bells Pub and making our way to the Tower Bridge.

Sadly, the Paralympic Rings were up.
We had heard that there was an Olympic Store at St. Pancras Station, so we went there to check out the merch. Since St. Pancras is attached to King's Cross, The Pilot and I paid a visit to Platform 9 3/4 which I was sad to have found had moved from the actual Platform 9 3/4 to another concourse.


That night, we decided to visit the West End and see "We Will Rock You," a musical set to the music of Queen, which I had seen on my first trip to London in 2003. Post-show, we went for dinner in Chinatown before going for a long walk back to our hotel.

Friday morning, we went shopping on Oxford Street (boy, did we shop...I should write another post just on all of the fantastic things I bought in London) and then had lunch in St. Christopher's Place. We had sparkling lemonade and I had banoffee pie. Ohhhhh banoffee pie, how I love banoffee pie.

Doesn't that just look delectable?
After lunch, we headed to Hyde Park. We tried to rent bikes via cycle hire but apparently American credit cards don't work anywhere in Europe anymore...so we resorted to a long walk through Hyde Park, site of the Olympic Triathlon and Marathon Swim and home to a much bigger Olympic Megastore than what we had found at St. Pancras.


We spent the better part of the afternoon walking around Hyde Park before heading for dinner and drinks on Kensington High Street and calling it a night.

I love London. It's home. It was absolutely fantastic to be there with The Pilot and show him my old stomping grounds...and to be there during the Paralympics was unbelievable. I was really sad to learn upon coming home that there has been absolutely no coverage of the Paralympic Games here in the states since it seemed to be everywhere in London.

We had an absolutely wonderful time and while I think we both could have stayed in London forever, we decided to take a weekend trip to mainland Europe...which you can read all about tomorrow!

Stay tuned!

5 comments:

  1. It looks like you had a fantastic time and it's exciting that you were there during the Paraolympics! Also, that pie totally has my stomach rumbling.

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  2. Wonderful!!! So happy you got a chance to go back and show your London to your BF! I always enjoy going to Germany with my BF and show him around. It makes me proud :)

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  3. Uhhh seriously jealous right now!!! So glad you were able to go and enjoy a little gettaway like that with the Pilot!! :)

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  4. loving all your pictures :) how exciting!! i loved London as well and def want to go back :)

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  5. How cool! Nothing like a whirlwind trip! :)

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