I’m a tourist again, but so what, I’m a rock star?

May 26, 2009 - London, United Kingdom


BEFORE I BEGIN: Check out this article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about me being the Student Government president at FSC. Pretty awesome: http://telegram.com/article/20090525/NEWS/905250324/1101/LOCAL

Last week was great fun and really crazy. On Monday I slept in late after being exhausted from the long weekend away. I went to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, London. It was really nice, and like most museums it was free so that’s a huge plus. The museum its self was great, I really enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit. They had tons of fossils and whole dinos which was really nice. They also had an animatronics T-rex that was life size; they’re actually smaller than I thought. They also had a huge exhibit on mammals and had models or some I think were taxidermies of the animals.

Not only were the exhibits really nice but I also really liked the building itself. It was huge! The main hall of it was really impressive; it remained me of an old train station or a cathedral. It was cool; there were even carvings into the stone walls of monkeys and other animals. And instead of murals of Jesus there was a statue of Charles Darwin haha, I got a kick out of that. I also climbed to the top of the hall, which was farther than it looks to see the giant sequoia tree. It was huge. After I went into the earth part of the museum that was pretty neat. I saw just about every gem stone ever which was cool. They also had an exhibit on volcanoes and earthquakes that I really enjoyed. You went into this room that looked like a grocery store, except everything was in Japanese. Then they shut the doors and a presentation starts on the Kobe Japan earthquake with videos and sounds and stuff. THEN THEN, this was so cool, the room shakes and stuff falls down and such, it was so freaky but really cool. They wouldn’t let you even bring cameras or jackets in as to not get hit or something I don’t know. But it was really neat.

I then left that museum and went into Victoria and Albert museum again. I had been there before but I wanted to look around again. It was a quick visit as the museum was closing haha. I kinda was one of the last people to leave.

Wednesday I had plans to go see the changing of the guard and do some other touristy things with my friends Courtney and Autumn. We were supposed to meet at 10am at Green Park tube station which is near Buckingham Palace. But I missed my alarm and woke up at 10:44am haha. I was so embarrassed but called the girls and told them I’d be there when I got there. I took the fastest shower ever; I was impressed with myself as I left Nido at 11:05 haha. I made it to Buckingham Palace just as the guards are coming up the road, you could hear the drums. So crossed the road to find Courtney and Autumn. I could see them and they could see me but I couldn’t get to them because the Met Police wouldn’t let you cross in front of the gate to the Palace because they guards were going to come in there. The police man officer (get the reference Mel), told us they usually go in the other gate but today they were going in the one right in front of us. I was so excited; I was in the front row of the crowd of people. So yah, my friends waited for an hour and a half and I got there late and got front row. I got some great shots of the guards, they’re pretty ridiculous looking. Then I crossed and found Courtney and Autumn and hung out with them. They were pissed, but not really that I got front row but then informed me that if I had been early I would have seen the Queen. YAH! They saw the Queen leave in her purple car. I was jealous but whateves.

After we decided to go to Big Ben to try and get the classic leaning on the Tower picture. It took a few minutes and we obstructed traffic on the bridge but we weren’t as bad as the Tamil tiger Sri Lanka protestors. People were laughing at us but I’m okay with it, that day we were all about causing a ruckus.

Next the girls needed to ride on the Waterloo and City Underground line so that they’ve ridden on all the lines, so we did that. We got to Bank and then were like okay what now, we decided to head to the London Zoo, and in order to do that, we took the Waterloo and City line right back haha. We never even left the platform, such a touristy thing to do. We walked through Regents Park which was really pretty. That is until we saw a diaper up in a tree, that was funny. Then into the Zoo, it was expensive but apparently some of the fee goes to the animals, or probably the feds, or wait this is Britain, Parls? MPs! channeling…..

The Zoo was really good actually; pretty big considering it’s crammed in middle of London. We saw the infamous Reptile House where they filmed Harry Potter, making it filming location number #3? I think that I’ve been to. There was a little sign and we tried to find the tank that Dudley falls into, we did, and then I reenacted. After we went and saw the Gorillas that were pretty neat. They all had names and back stories on this information sign, pretty funny. They also had all sorts of other monkey. There was a big insect house that Courtney and I didn’t like very much, there was a spider that honestly was a big as my hand, or for my family as big as Louis that day we visited him at that yellow house (now antiques, go figure) down the Bristol Road. It was a bird eating something, scary. They also had friggin cockroaches, they’re HUGE! It was pretty neat though. We saw the lions and tigers but no bears, damnit, and they were all sleeping. Actually that would be my criticism of the London Zoo, a lot of the animals were sleeping or looked tired or unhappy which is depressing I thought. We saw the penguins being fed which was fun. Except when a stupid heron flew in and pecked one of the penguins, I wanted a rock to through at it because he was a douche. We also saw some giraffes and zebras which were neat.

Then we took a canal boat ride from the Zoo to Camden Lock. It was really fun, I actually didn’t know you could ride on the canals but you can it was fun and really pretty. We got dinner at Camden Town which was fun. It’s the market that I’ve gone to before but every time I have it has been on a Sunday so it’s been really busy. That day I wasn’t busy at all which was nice because you could actually walk without being pushed. The only down side, when you’re like the only person there everyone is trying to sell you stuff, its crazy! They food people also try to give you samples hoping you’ll buy something. Honestly, you could walk through and try everything and get a free dinner. I might just do that something. I ended up getting a chicken curry that was really good. I love curry now, nothing too hot though but still delicious. After the girls had mentioned that they had never been to Hampstead Heath which was nearby so we went up there. It was so pretty. The last time I was there was with Mel and it was kinda foggy but today you could see for miles, it was awesome. You could see just about every London landmark except friggin Big Ben because there’s a damn skyscraper, well not, but a tall building in the way! Gosh darnit, you could see the Eye and part of the Houses of Parliament but not Big Ben. Oh well…

So kids and grammy skip this paragraph: It was about that time when I said “you know, we should be drinking wine.” So…because we can we went on a quest to find a wine store. And wouldn’t you know right at the bottom of the hill (Hampstead Heath is a hill btw) there was a little store marked “Wine and Spirits.” It was like a beacon of light was shining up from hell. It was amazing. I was like “hey guys we have a problem, we don’t have any glasses.” The girls’ reaction was quite simply, “then we each get our own bottles.” We didn’t have a corkscrew so Autumn and I knowingly bought screw tops but Courtney didn’t get that message so after we were out of the store and on our way back up the hill she was like “umm guys.” It was priceless, so she ran back to the store where the owner was like “need a corkscrew” and opened hers for her. The wine was….disgusting, well mine was. Apparently I don’t like Australian Chards, I was upset but it went away after a few gulps. So we made it back up the hill and drank wine and had a laugh. It was so much fun, really one of those not planned, if you had told me in the morning this is what I would be doing I wouldn’t have believed you moments. It was so much fun. We took honestly a couple hundred pictures of ourselves on my camera just being silly. And I FINALLY BROKE THE 10,000 mark on my camera! Yah! I was excited. After we stumbled down the hill because the sun was going down and we needed to throw out our bottles. Let’s just say I wanted to be a milk man but the girls didn’t think that would be a good idea so I threw mine, into a trash can causing it to shatter. It was funny, if you can’t tell we had finished all the wine. So we walked back down into Hampstead, a northern borough of London. We all had to break the seal and so we went into a pub and went to the WC and left without buying anything then went into a different pub for a pint, or two, or three (just three) because that pub had a beer garden! Just like something from Prague it was great. Something about them reminds me of like the screened in porch at my house. So we had a few pints, and got, well if you can imagine quite pissed (which means drunk in British haha). It was quite fun. We then took the London Overground, no that’s not a typo, to get back to Kings Cross. It was quite a night and some of it I honestly don’t remember and no I’m not proud of that, but I’m a kid, kinda still, and everything we did was legal and totally safe. Except that I really liked the pint glass and maybe was a klepto and got another gift for myself. Then I got back to Nido and IMed with Dee! Yah, that was interesting, Dee my apologizes but I hope you enjoyed it.

The next morning I was, well if you can imagine, under the weather. I took is slow and did some errands. Man the Tube was loud that morning; adults will know how I mean. I met up with Courtney and Autumn again to hang out. We went to Trocadero in Piccadilly Circus which was fun. Then I had dinner over at their host family’s house. It was really great and quite an experience. Their host mother was a little weird but nice. It was just nice to see how a London family lived. The house was a trip too because it’s not very wide but tall. Lots of stairs and little rooms on basically their own floors; it was really fun though. After we went to a local pub that the girls went to a lot that was fun. It was in an old abandoned movie theatre. Then we decided to go back to the beer garden at Hampstead Heath but this time did not drink as much. It was Courtney and Autumn’s last night in London so we went to Big Ben so they could say goodbye. They were like crying and I was so upset because I realized how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to this city. *sigh, tear* Moving on.

My last weekend in London was awesome. The weather was great and I braved skin cancer and got a sunburn in Hyde Park. On Sunday it was literally 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. It was so nice. I just lounged and enjoyed the park. It was like the beach minus the kids, sand and sea gulls so it was great. I also got a lot of work done on my script which I was really happy about. I also went to tons of museums and now I’m kinda museum-ed out haha. It was really great, I wish I brought my camera to some but sometimes I don’t like carrying it around in them.

Today I had to get up early to get my hair cut. It was fun, I had pre paid the last time I was there so I just went in and got pampered, it was a very Frasier thing for me to do. The guy washed my hair three times, I was like is it really dirty and he was like “no, it’s just what we do now.” It was cool. I was the only customer there as it was “early” but it was 10am. So I talked to the three stylists and my own for an hour while they all basically chipped in to cut my hair, it was funny. I was like you guys are awesome and they were like “well you’re American, so basically you’re a rock star here.” It was funny and I enjoyed it and my hair looks awesome so I was excited.

And now I’m here, it’s pouring out which sucks so…I started packing, BAHAHAHA, no I’m blogging. Tonight Geri and I and her friends are seeing Peter Pan in the Kensington Gardens, I’m so excited! 3 more days L Its soooooo bitter sweet!

Cheers, Mark

P.S. All you Arsenal, Chelsea and Barca fans can shove it because tomorrow ManU is going to Rome and I’m wearing my shirt cause we’re gunna kick ass.



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