The Pavement is My Friend

The past couple of days have been really SO fun and SO busy and SO MUCH WALKING.

I honestly can’t believe how much I have done from Wednesday to today (nor can I believe how much I’ve walked…. many many miles!)

I’ve been keeping a journal of my events throughout the day, but it is much much much more detailed and personal than what I will be exposing you to over the next few weeks — which I’m sure you will be happy about because in the past 6 days I have already filled 25.5 pages of said journal with writing about this trip (granted, the pages are only about 7″x5″ and my hand writing isn’t minuscule)!

Still, I promised that I would share my adventures, and so here I am.

Where shall we begin, eh? (Oh wait I’m not in Canada…)

How about the day I left:

Tip for travelers to the UK from Seattle:
BECU does currency exchange, but ONLY into Canadian money! [THIS IS HORRIBLE NEWS TO A PERSON ON THEIR WAY TO THE AIRPORT]. Luckily, papa tucks and I found that out with about 40 minutes to spare and made a quick loop around town until we found a Wells Fargo in Burien who would exchange money for me. (Side note: exchanger was a fellow Whovian and also on her way to London soon. Huzzah!)

On flying to LAX:
I honestly don’t remember anything. I must have been asleep the whole time…. o.O

On navigating LAX:
Two words for those of you who ever have to transfer across different airlines in LAX – GOOD LUCK MATE.

On American Airlines:
Oh boy, did I love this international flight! Would definitely recommend them for all your international flight needs. Personal entertainment system with games, flight info, etc. etc. and ALL THE FRIGGIN OSCAR FLICKS. Let’s just say I may have not slept a wink and instead done a few crosswords, dominated at Bejeweled, watched The Imitation Game followed by The Theory of Everything (accompanied by a delicious hot inflight meal including dessert) followed by Gone Girl [and I totally predicted every single thing that was gonna happen – does that make me a psycho?]…. ok, ok, then I slept WITH MY FEET UP BECAUSE THERE WAS AN OPEN SEAT NEXT TO ME (Huzzah again!)

On arriving in London:
I felt overjoyed and a huge sense of belonging. I knew how everything worked, several people (tourists) asked ME for help! It felt like coming home in a way, and I don’t at all mind that London is my home away from HOME.
Lucky for me, my friend Kirsty (who I was temporarily moving in with) took a sick day, and though I couldn’t reach her on her mobile I decided I’d just head on over anyway and I didn’t even need directions or help and she was there when I arrived (10 points Gryffindor!)

Sitting on the couch and chatting with Kirsty that afternoon was a great way to unwind and relax after being cooped up in a plane. We caught up, talked about loads of different things, somehow wound up talking about my faith and then listened to Hillsong music together (more on that in a later post), and as the others arrived (Laura + Aaron + James) throughout the evening I gave and received many big hugs, felt so welcomed and even more excited to have decided to fly over to London 10 days earlier than was strictly necessary.

I’ve missed all of these people SO MUCH, and random points throughout the day when I remember where I am, I just can’t help but burst into a stupid grin.

That night we popped in a film (Exodus) but nearly everyone began to fall asleep with still an hour left – in my defense I hadn’t REALLY slept in over 24 hours – so we called it a night. This same thing has happened several times since I got here: pop in a film and about halfway through everyone realizes they’re tired so we pause it and all go to sleep (or at least 1-2 people are sleeping through the film as the rest of us watch), and in a hilarious way it’s beautiful and wonderful and I fit right in!

Day 1 in London: definite success.

*One thing I almost forgot to mention: Kirsty cooks very good food – seriously yum – and makes good coffee. THANKS KIRSTY! xxx



Days 2-5:

Started my first morning in London by running for an hour through Richmond Park (beautiful, filled with wildlife – seriously like loads of deer and stuff – a sunny day, Annie Mac’s 2012 playlist blasting). It was a great start to my trip, maybe not a great start for my feet though.

The rest of my day I spent IN the city. Walked from Waterloo up to and along the Southbank (by the London Eye) to my favorite burrito stand, then walked by Big Ben (my favorite sight in London), then up northwest to Oxford circus to get myself a SIM card (very good decision and super cheap from EE), then just wandered south-ish along the pavement until I hit Marble Arch and finally hopped back on the tube (my feet and legs were tired and I was late to meet up with some friends).

I caught up with Sarah and Hillary (UW and former UW student) who I met [and had already coordinated to meet up with here] back when we were all in Seattle.

Since meeting up with them on Wednesday I had spent the following 3 days showing them around the city (NEARLY ENTIRELY BY FOOT).

We hit places like the Globe, the Tate Modern (hello Dali and Picasso originals!!!), Big Ben and Parliament square, the National Gallery (hello Van Gogh, Monet, and many more!), SOHO by day, Leicester Square (caught the Cinderella premier and saw Lily James being photographed), St. James Park by night, the British Library (and it’s treasures), Regents Park, Baker Street and 221B (and the Sherlock Holmes museum), the spot where they film the fake 221B for the BBC Sherlock, Carnaby (and had afternoon tea at Carmellia’s – would HIGHLY recommend), Covent Garden and their little market, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese (old pub where famous writers used to frequent like Dickens, Twain, etc!!!), and the Jack the Ripper Tour.

{If you have any questions about any of those places go ahead and comment or msg me I’ve got loads of tips & suggestions.]

It’s been a lot a lot a lot a lot a lot of walking and even more fun! I can’t believe how much I’ve seen already – both stuff that I’d already visited and even more that I never experienced last time I was here!

Now I know you’ve already been reading for a while, but I promise this is the last bit of this post…

If you are ever in London GO ON THE JACK THE RIPPER TOUR [yes that is hyperlinked] and make sure to REQUEST the guide called Johnny DeChambre.
Tell him that you were referred by one the the Seattle girls who went out to the White Hart in Whitechapel with him and his mates after the tour and I’m sure you’ll immediately be endeared to him.
He [I’m 100% positive] is the best guide that the tour office has to offer – funny, kind, theatrical, respectful and in a FANTASTIC costume – also, he’s a Whedon fan (esp Firefly) and a Whovian, so you can’t really go wrong by meeting him. He’s also full of tips about East London, and if you drop his name at some restaurants, you’ll get discounts!

The past couple days have been loads of fun with Hillary and Sarah and my nights with my mates back at “home” near Putney have been fun, chill, filled with good chats, good music, good stories, good eats, good films and good drinks (mostly coffee).

And the journey is just beginning! xxx






Inspiration for title:




One thought on “The Pavement is My Friend

  1. Pingback: Don’t Blink. | Christel Contemplates

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