Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 18th

Hello one and all! I finally am awake enough to write some actual sentences in here, so I'm going to do that! Sorry about the delay in proper blog entries; I have been completely exhausted at the end of each day and have basically walked in the door and gone to sleep.

So, starting with my first full day in London! I actually didn't do as much as I thought I would, because whoa jet lag. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to tire myself out by walking Oxford Street up and down, which ended up making me too tired to do much else. Oxford Street was a lot like I expected. I bought all of my souvenirs and gifts for my family here, in those notoriously tacky tourist shops. I went into Zara, where I found a completely ridiculously weird shirt which I absolutely had to buy. What a coincidence that I would find a shirt like this! And no, it doesn't make any sense at all. But I love it, and that's why I bought it. Also it was only £10.

I went to Primark after that, which was completely terrifying. There were so many people in there and it was so messy and crowded and they give you little laundry baskets to carry your merchandise in because people buy so much because it's so cheap. I didn't even bother with clothes because I couldn't find anything and I didn't want to try anything on. I ended up getting an adorable makeup bag, since I've wanted (and needed) one for awhile, a wintery headband things to keep your ears warm, and a snood. I also bought a gift for my sister.
I then found a store called Pull&Bear, which is the cutest name in the I had to go in. I bought a shirt there as well, since it was on sale for £6.
I stopped into Superdrug and bought some UK-only Rimmel foundation that I've wanted for ages, as well as some UK-only nail polish I'd been wanting.

I was supremely hungry at this point, but for no apparent reason, there aren't any actual restaurants on Oxford Street. I was passing by Marks and Spencer in a peckish haze and went inside to look around when I discovered that they have a whole freaking grocery store in their basement. Who knew? Unfortunately there was no place to sit, so I took my food with me.
...and with me, and with me, because there is no place to sit anywhere on Oxford Street. There are maybe five benches total on the whole mile of stores, and of course they were taken. So I kept trying to lean against walls and eat, which felt weird. So...I went to Topshop. They didn't have nearly the selection of lipstick I was hoping for, as they only had about four colors. Disappointing, since I'd really wanted to buy some! However, I didn't need orange lipstick. Quite reasonably, I bought some ombre cat socks instead. I also found a place to sit on the lower level, so I finally got to eat!

At this point I was a sweaty, tired mess, so I decided I should head back to the flat. I sorted out my purchases and took a nap. A long nap, which basically ended with me doing nothing else but going to Sainsbury's that night.


The next day was touristy sightseeing day! I woke up early and went to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard, but they cancelled it "due to rain"...brilliant, since it wasn't actually raining. It had drizzled a bit earlier, but it was hardly wet out. I then got super confused trying to locate Birdcage Walk, since London has no damn signs anywhere.

 "lol what where am I going"

I eventually made my way through Birdcage Walk to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.

Then it was off to the London Eye! I met a really lovely family from the Midlands on my ride, so it was an even more fantastic experience.

That was all the sightseeing I did, but certainly not the last thing I did that day. I went to Leicester Square after all of this to get a discounted theatre ticket from TKTS, and ended up getting a ticker to Spamalot for £25. I really wanted to buy a ticket for The Cripple of Inishmaan, which is the show that Daniel Radcliffe is in, but with the exchange rate it would have been the equivalent of $90, which seemed like a bit much.

I went back to the flat to nap, then went to Waterstone's bookstore on Piccadilly, where I bought two of the UK edition Harry Potter books. After that I went (very quickly, as I'd overslept a bit) to Spamalot, which was actually really good! There was a lot of topical humor, and one of the actors ad-libbed a bit and made the older/seasoned actor playing King Arthur laugh and break character, which was hilarious and totally priceless.

So then, back to the flat so I could wake up nice and early to leave for Dublin! London Heathrow is a bit confusing, but it did have a lovely surprise...

Yeah, apparently Daleks hang out at the airport. The flight to Dublin was super easy, as it was only an hour long. Customs was much nicer in Dublin too. The guy literally asked four questions: Have you been to Dublin before? Why are you in Dublin? When do you leave? What country are you from?
...and then I was off to find my hotel. I got a cab with a fantastic (and very Irish!) driver, who told me some great stories and gave me some tips about Dublin. I made it to the hotel just fine, and decided what I really wanted was to sleep, because traveling is tiring, so I did.

And that brings us to today! Today is Sunday, which means a lot of stuff is closed in good ol' Catholic Ireland. I decided to walk around the city and get acquainted with it, as well as walk around Trinity College a bit. I walked out of the hotel and immediately noticed a good 50+ football (soccer) fans walking in one direction, so I went with the flow. Then I looked at my map and realize I was going to complete opposite direction of where I needed to go. So I walked for a bit and got to the main shopping street in Dublin, which thankfully is nothing like Oxford Street. I did buy some more tacky souvenirs though! As I was walking towards the college, all of a sudden I heard chanting and there was a giant swarm of people everywhere. Turns out I'd walked into a parade for marriage equality, and someone handed me a sign to carry, so I went with the parade for awhile. Why not, right? Well, Dublin is horribly confusing and winding, so I got a bit lost. I managed to find the college again, which was completely gorgeous.

I then decided to head back to the hotel...and got totally lost. Like I said, Dublin is crazy confusing. I wandered around for ages before finding where I needed to be, and luckily made it back to my hotel. I then Skyped with Eoin (who I am seeing tomorrow, ahh!) and got dinner...and now I'm blogging. Hello!

I know I've missed a lot of details and I've got even more pictures, but I've been writing for awhile now and my head hurts and I'm tired, so I'm going to be done with blogging for today! Hopefully tomorrow will be another decent entry, but I'm going to be quite busy, so we'll see! Thanks for putting up with my shoddy recent posts- I hope this makes up for it!

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