Annie’s visit to London

Annie is studying abroad in Madrid this semester, but she decided to brave the cold and come to England to visit me in London! Unfortunately it meant picking her up at midnight and taking a night bus back home. (But, we did see a fox, it was like 2 feet away from us! Except it startled me and I accidentally scared it away.)

Despite our late night on Thursday (because we spent a few hours talking before going to sleep) we managed to pack tons of things into our day on Friday. We started off at the Tower of London, which I’ve been to twice before, but it was lots of fun. And a tip for anyone who’s going to the Tower, the admission price they charge you includes a voluntary donation, so if you ask for the price without the donation it knocks £1.50 off. (Unless you want to donate because it really is an awesome historical site.) Anyways, we walked through the outer wall and towers through the displays they have in there: recreation of Edward I’s bedchamber, prisoner’s elaborately carved graffiti in Salt Tower, a mini exhibit on the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, exhibit on the Royal Beasts, a timeline of old royal crowns. We also checked out the Fusilier Museum (which I’ve never been to before) and the Fit for King exhibit which has a lot of cool medieval armour. Also, did you know people actually live in the Tower? It’s true, I saw their laundry.

Trying on really heavy archer's helmets

Lion sculptures at the Tower of London (there are baboons, a polar bear, and an elephant too)


These statues of archers were all over the place

Afterwards we headed over to Brick Lane for lunch because Annie was craving something spicy. We picked a restaurant that looked good, and other than the overly attentive Indian and Bengali waiters, we enjoyed our delicious curries, mine not as spicy as Annie’s of course. Then we did a whirlwind tour of St. Paul’s, the London Eye, the House’s of Parliament and Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. I say tour, but we didn’t go inside any one of them (too expensive). Then a pit stop at Covent Garden where Annie bought a cool bow tie and we got happy over Christmas decorations. Then British Museum to check out the Rosetta Stone because Annie and I are linguistics nerds. Sorry for the grocery list of activities, but it was a crazy day.

Covent Garden decked out for Christmas

Look what we saw at the British Museum

We headed over to The Court, a pub on Tottenham Court Road, to meet up with Joe, Tra My, and Rashaad for dinner. Unfortunately, we had to leave because Annie only had a photocopy of her passport as ID, and they wouldn’t serve her. So far, this is the only pub that consistently cards people that I’ve been to. We ended up at another pub just down the road, where they didn’t card us, surprise. It was good to hang out together, even if it was for less than an hour. And the reason it was so short was because Annie and I had a play to see. My uncle’s got me tickets to Reasons to be Pretty at the Almeida Theatre for my birthday. We ended up being late (after a painful run to try to make it on time), but we were able to watch the first scene on a TV screen before we were let in during the scene change. The characters were American, so the actors had to put on an American accent. The two men had pretty convincing accents, but the two women were a bit nasally, especially Billie Piper (yeah, Billie Piper! As in Rose Tyler, Doctor Who, Billie Piper, Belle from Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Billie Piper).

And that was the end of my day. Well, I was going to go out with some Colgate friends, but a massive headache stopped that from happening. All in all, I think Annie got a very well-rounded London experience. We went to a historical site, saw the big sites, went a museum, a pub, and a show.