Where did you go for your spring break your senior year of high school? Cancun? Miami? The Bahamas? My pale skin completely rejects the idea of sun, sand and oceans. As soon as I step into the sun, I fry. So where could I go where there wasn’t much sun, and the weather was mild at best?
England and Ireland! First stop, London!
Ever since seeing 1998’s The Parent Trap when I was a little girl, I instantly became obsessed with the thought of going to London. It took about twelve years for me to actually get there, but it was everything I could have ever wanted.
The day of our departure, I was sitting in my last class of the day, Play Production. I could feel my entire body shake out of excitement. I couldn’t focus at all… so I collected my things, snuck out the auditorium door, and literally ran to my car. London awaits!
Early evening on April 13th, I left for London, and arrived at the Heathrow Airport (which I hate, by the way) about eight hours later. My excitement grew with each inch that we grew closer and closer into the heart of the city. With the royal wedding of William and Kate happening at the end of the month, the city was full of energy. We stayed at the beautiful Crowne Plaza in the Business District, which is just a short walk from St.Paul’s Cathedral, where Princess Diana and Prince Charles were married (and where I got to take communion!).
I daydream about returning to London regularly. The architecture is so charming, the parks are beautiful, and the men…. equally charming and beautiful.
I would say that you need a full week in London if you want to see everything. Here are some of my favorites!
Hamley’s- Hamley’s Toy Store, located on Regent Street, is over 250 years old! Seven stories in height, you can find absolutely any toy you could ever dream of in Hamley’s! They have an Ollivander’s shop and it is here that I bought my very own wand- Sybill Trelawney’s from the Harry Potter Series.
Westminster Abbey- I spent hours here. The abbey goes on and on, and there is so much to see; it is more like a museum than an abbey. Take your time and wander around, taking in all the grandeur. Make sure you check out the coronation chair of the kings, as well as where Charles Darwin is buried (ironic?).
The London Eye- For those of you who don’t know what the London Eye is, it is a huge Ferris right on the bank of the River Thames. If you go at night, you can get a beautiful view of London lit up.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese- This a pub located on Fleet Street, but it’s not just any old pub. Charles Dickens used to hang out here way back in the day. Ye Olde Chesire Cheese looks like something straight out of Harry Potter. I had to squeeze through an alley way and duck my head just to get inside. Order a pint and claim a booth in the corner and take in all the sights.
The West End - Theatre Junkie Alert! The West End is London’s Broadway. Theatre, especially musicals, is HUGE in London, and you can find any number of shows to see, for anyone’s liking. My pick? The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. A beautiful theatre, perfect seats, and the most amazing musical I have ever seen. I cried… no big deal.
Harrods- I was like a kid in a candy store in Harrods, the Holy Grail of all department stores. 7 Stories and 4.5 acres of every shopaholic’s dream. Enjoy a cup of tea (probably the cheapest thing you’ll find here!) and makes sure you buy at least something small, just to have the iconic green bag!
Twinings- Being a connoisseur of tea, I had to visit where the queen herself gets her tea! Twinings is also located on Fleet street and has everything a tea lover could ever want!
I found it very difficult to write this blog post, because London has such a special place in my heart, and I would give anything to return. As awesome as London was, I was ready for our next destination- Dublin, Ireland, which was my lifetime dream come true. I feel another adventure is in store for me soon…