I’M SO EXCITED. But y’all already knew that from my first London post.
London and its surrounding areas have so much to offer. Exploration options are nearly endless. When I went a few summers ago, we did so much in three and a half days, but there was so much else we didn’t have a chance to experience. I want to see it all. I have five weeks, I think I can do it. Or at least most of it. Once I figure out the tube system, checking items off my list shouldn’t be a difficult task. So I guess “figuring out the tube system” should be my first item, then?
So here I share with you my to-do list for London Calling, 2013.
London Eye: It’s the big ferris-wheel-type ride that is nestled near St. Stephens Tower and Westminster. They say it’s the best way to get a full bird’s eye–or almost bird’s eye–view of the city. I’ve heard it’s a tourist trap, but I’m totally willing to fall for it!
Wimbledon: As a tennis junkie, I would love to see the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. I can only imagine what it would be like to walk the same grounds that legends, masters and rising stars walk for two weeks in June. Maybe even get a glimpse into Centre Court? Peek over a practice court? See the list of winners with my favorite men listed several times each?
Oxford: Last time I went to London, we took a train out to Cambridge to visit family friends. This time, I’m pretty sure Oxford is in the itinerary, and I’m so excited to see the other half of the “Oxbridge” system. I hope it’s just as stunning as Cambridge was! Now the question is: will I come home with an Oxford sweatshirt to go with my Cambridge sweatshirt from a few years ago?
Stonehenge: If I leave London without seeing Stonehenge, then I will have failed as a tourist. No one knows where the massive stones came from or how they got there or anything. I hear this is another tourist trap, but again, one I’m willing to fall for. I don’t care how far away I have to be to see them, I want to see them! That’s part of my life bucket list, too. I kind of want to take one of those super touristy perspective photos where it looks like I’m holding a stone in my hand. Cheesy, yes, I know, but I really want to.
Harry Potter Studio Tour: I didn’t even know this was a “thing” until some of my friends from VT posted about going during their semesters abroad. Based on the pictures I’ve seen, it’s a must-see for me. Can I order a butterbeer at the end? Can I buy my own Ravenclaw robes (since that’s the house I’m always sorted into on those quizzes)?
Parliament: The professor coordinating this trip actually said we get to visit Parliament, so this will definitely get checked off my list. I’ve never been a huge politics buff, but it doesn’t matter when British Parliament is in the picture. It will be incredible to experience the British political system at work.
Queen’s Birthday Parade: Apparently this will also be happening while I’m over there. After all the wedding craziness, I’m kind of curious about experiencing the Queen’s birthday because everyone will be there, from Will & Kate, to the Palace Guards, and all that jazz. Better get there early so I can get a good spot, too, preferably in the front away from the super-tall people.
Embrace the Cuisine: If I haven’t mentioned it in a post before, I’m a really picky eater. Seriously, I’m super hard to please. But I want to test myself this summer and really embrace the British cuisine. I had fish & chips last time I was there, so that was a huge step considering I usually don’t like seafood of any kind. What else should I explore? I’ve heard pies are puddings are good for starters.
Learn to cook British food on my own: Kind of goes hand in hand with the above. Considering the students will be living in our own flats with our own kitchens, most of our meals will be left up to us, which means cooking. I just started cooking on my own this year in my apartment, but it’ll be so different over there. One of the professors who’s going has hinted that double cream is a staple ingredient. Maybe I’ll learn to recreate a special British dish in my flat, and then I can bring it back and cook it for my family! I should make that my goal.
Costa coffee: I loved it when I was there before, and I want it again. The coffee addict in me is already twitching for the red cups and delicious caffeinated goodness. Will it be the first thing I buy when I get off the plane and am waiting for my bags at Heathrow? Probably. Will I make a fool of myself and spill it everywhere again while trying to snap the lid back on? I hope not.
Come home with a British accent (or at least in my conscience): For at least a week. I have to.
I will be holding myself to this while I am in London from May 26 – June 23. I promise.