>Week 15 – 08 September (London Trip)

>08 September 2006

Ok, this is going to be a long one, for those of you who are busy, rather wait till you have some time to read this… 😉

On Tuesday (29th of Aug) Marion and I went to Dave and Busters, which is an adult fun land, I guess…arcade. We went with a guy Marion’s been hanging out with and his friend. It was loads of fun! Except the part where I had to leave at 11pm because I’m not 21… 😛 I hate feeling like a minor again!! Oh well!!

On Thursday night we went to the Washington dc mall. That was super fun too!! 🙂 Some good retail therapy!
I went to bed at around 1am and had to wake up at 3.30am to get ready to leave at 4.55am for the airport!! I phoned my mom and chatted to her for ages…was good!:)
The security at the airport went pretty quickly, and I am of the opinion that they can really take as long as they like, if it keeps the terrorists at bay!! My flight to Boston was ok, I had a short nap (the flight was only 1.5hrs!)

Brian showed me around Boston during the day. We had lunch at the Hard Rock Café… which was really cool. They have so much cool stuff there!! Then we went to the park where the famous Good Will Hunting scene was shot….on the bench? We also went to the pub that inspired ‘Cheers’. It was good fun. Oh, we also saw the building where they shot the sitcom, ‘Ally Mc Beal’.

Then it was off to London…
The security again wasn’t too bad. It was strict, but went quickly. The flight wasn’t too bad either; I watched ‘Poseidon’ and ‘She’s the man’. I tried to sleep but only managed to take a 20min nap. Then we landed in London Heathrow airport at about 7.15am (about 2.15pm USA time, remember, I’d been up since 3.30am)
We took a really cool pink cab to the hotel. Took a shower and then it was off into the city!!

We took the underground into London. I must point out that almost every time we took the underground during our stay there were some South Africans on the tube! London really is full of us!! 🙂 We got off at Hyde Park corner and walked to Buckingham palace… and saw Westminster Arch on our way. It was 11am, time for changing of the guards, so there were LOADS of people!! We walked to where the royal family actually live (I think) and saw all the guards practicing, but were too excited and eager to see more, so we didn’t wait around for very long, so we didn’t see the changing of the guards!

We then saw Westminster Abbey… and Westminster church (where apparently some of the Da Vinci Code was shot).
Then we took the tube to Westminster station, and saw Big Ben and the London Eye. We had lunch at Mc Donald’s (sorry Kyoko). And then walked along the Thames towards the Tower Of London. We crossed the Millennium Bridge after passing Waterloo Bridge and the London Bridge. We walked straight into a movie set!! There were some people busy filming a scene from a Bollywood movie. It was pretty cool! 😛
We saw St Paul’s Cathedral, but there were busy with renovations, so we couldn’t go in.

Then we walked towards Piccadilly Circus and into the busier side of London. We came across the Bok bar (well, one of them). It was so cool to see South African products on sale. We saw there was a bar and restaurant downstairs, but we were on our way back to the hotel, so we didn’t stay.

We went back to the hotel and then went into Wimbledon to meet up with some of Brian’s friends. We went bowling with them and just hung out a little. They are also South Africans, so that was cool. That side of London was also really cool!!
We went back to the hotel and go to bed some time after 2am. (7pm USA time…on the Saturday… so I had been awake since Friday 3.30am)

We awoke on the Sunday and headed to the National Gallery. Where we saw ‘Sunflowers’ by Van Gogh, ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’ by Leonardo da Vinci, ‘The Madonna of the Pinks’ by Raphael and ‘The Entombment’ by Michelangelo.

Then we went back to the Bok Bar and had lunch. Boerewors rolls with South African drinks. I had my first savanna in ages!! 🙂 Even the barman was South African, it was cool.

Then we went to the London Dungeons!! It was SO cool!!! Very scary though and well done!! The actors are really good at what they do! I screamed and jumped a lot!! 🙂 But it was loads of fun!!
Then we walked to The Tower Bridge and got some cool pictures. And saw Big Ben at night. Then we went onto the London Eye. I was so scared and worried that I would freak out (I’m scared of heights), but it was AWESOME!!! The view of London at night!!! Wow!!! 🙂 🙂

We then decided we would try and find ‘The Ministry of Sound’ and see if it was open on a Sunday night! (I know I know, unlikely) and of course, it wasn’t, or we didn’t look in the right place…we headed back to the hotel.

On Monday we went to see Marble Arch and then went to Madame Tussauds. It was so much fun. Striking up different poses and pretending you’re meeting the celebrity. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Madame Tussauds, it’s a wax museum filled with wax models of famous people).
There was also a chamber of horrors, called ‘Chamber Live’. Oh! My! God!
I was getting nervous going to stand in the line, and then the woman at the door said something like ‘the purpose of this is to scare you… there are real live actors in there and it’s their job to scare you! They will come right into your face but they will not touch you, and you may not touch, hit or kick them. ‘
At that stage all the people in front of us turned back and left. So we were in the front!
It was so intense and scary I can’t even explain it.
The one guy jumped out, and made me scream, then he walked up to me, staring, and kind of scared me into a corner, I was so freaked out and scared that I covered my eyes with my hands, and hoped he would go away and scare someone else, but when I removed my hands, he was still standing over me!! I had to maneuver my way around him to carry on walking. Then there were people jumping out and blowing on your neck and stuff…and whispering in your ear. There was this one woman who followed me the whole way around one section whispering in my ear!! I think each section was supposed to be based on a serial killer or something, but I was so scared I wasn’t even taking in anything; I was just focused on getting to the end!
However….it was loads of fun!! 🙂 So well done!!!

Then we went to the Hard Rock Café store and then back to the palace to take some pictures when there weren’t so many people around. Then we took the underground to Scotland Yard. And I had my picture taken with some English police officers!:) We then had lunch in a nice little English pub!!:)
Then we went back to the hotel, and in the morning we headed to the airport… (the security was a lot slower on the London side. They were patting everyone down. And checking bags, etc. So our flight was delayed because a lot of passengers were still trying to get through security.)

Adjusting to the time difference, etc wasn’t too bad.

On Friday night Marion and I watched some desperate housewives episodes! 😛

My first scuba lecture class was meant to be on Tuesday…not sure if I mentioned before, but it’s been moved to Saturdays now. So I have scuba lecture followed by scuba technique on Saturdays, till the end of October.
Scuba lecture was ok, pretty boring actually.
Scuba technique… oh boy!
We had to do a swimming test, to make sure we would be able to scuba dive safely, etc. We had to swim about 400 Yards without stopping, had to swim the breadth of the pool with one breath, and we had to tread water for 10minutes!
It was SO tiring. I thought I was going to die!! I am so unfit! 😛 but I passed. And I didn’t really do too badly.

It should be a fun class though. We also went over how to set up the oxygen tank, etc.

On Saturday night Marion, Sandra (new au pair from Germany) and I went to ‘Fur’. It was awesome! The worlds 3rd best dj was there… he was so good!! Armin Van Buuren! 🙂

Tonight Marion and watched Hitch. It seems that Sunday nights are turning into movie nights! Which is a nice way to end off the weekend!!
Tomorrow night we are joining a hip hop dance class at Marion’s host mom’s studio, should be fun!!

I had a moment this week…walking back from the bus stop with M… I realized that I am truly happy. Granted, I miss my family and friends SO much. But, I’ve settled into my life here and when I think of the day I’ll have to leave, I know I’m going to be very sad.

I miss u all though!
Love and hugs,


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