London Calling [Ireland/London: Day 8]

Wow wow wow wow yet another city in Europe has stolen my heart, and I hope it’s not just the tourist inside of me talking on this one. The day started with a 3-mile run with one of my wonderful hosts and tour guide Orin, (especially happy about this because I’m supposed to run a half marathon in a week, but we’ll see how the ankle holds up), but it was so nice to feel some normality for a hot minute before diving face-first into the British culture.

I consumed what I’ve been told is a very British breakfast, which included: a crumpet with butter and jelly, tea, porridge, and orange juice. All of it was actually lovely, and as we took the Underground into London, it definitely felt like it was the beginning of a great day.

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Tea, juice, and porridge

Instead of listing everything we hit (which is an overwhelming amount of things for one day), I’m just going to stick with the highlights.

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Typical Orin and Simi on the Underground

The number one absolute highlight was the people I got to spend the day with. Orin and Simi joined Spirit with about two weeks left of our season last summer, and they joined us because of an incredibly sad situation — their drum corps family, Coastal Surge, folded right before they were supposed to go on tour. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens a lot in the drum corps activity. But, thankfully, they were able to come on tour with us for the last little bit, and become a part of the Spirit f<(mily. Even though we didn’t get much time together, I’m so happy we got the time we did, and it makes these couple days I do have with them all the more special. We spent the entire day sight-seeing, comparing words for different items, and laughing entirely too much — all while covering the span of 18+ miles through London. So, so thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life, and Orin and Simi are two of them.

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Up close and personal with Big Ben

Second, seeing Big Ben all throughout the day. I’ve been dreaming of visiting London for almost as long as I can remember, and Big Ben is kind of the pinnacle of that experience, in my mind. We saw so many other amazing things today, I would list them all out but it would just be a long laundry list of tourist spots that you’ll probably find on a list of tourist attractions in London. It was pretty awesome, though, and I’m so glad we hit so much. Orin and Simi were even impressed how much ground we covered.

Another highlight was eating lunch on some steps outside of Buckingham Palace. Throughout the day, I’d periodically ask how British something was, (for example, our breakfast was very British, and how we climbed over 200 steps to get out of the Underground right off the bat was slightly British), and one of the very British things was eating a “crisp sandwich.” It was really nice to relax and shoot the breeze in the surprise London sunshine after seeing so many of the touristy sites, and really trying to incorporate the culture as much as we could.

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Stray crisps (chips) on the steps

We also hit up some really great record stores, ate some awesome food, walked around the Lumiere London taking place downtown, shared Ben’s Cookies while walking around downtown (also very British, apparently), and took so many pictures with the selfie stick.

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One of the many selfie stick pics

The day ended at Tower Bridge with me listening to Orin and Simi play the parts of Batdad and Ben in the “character’s” voices. Simi said it best: “You know you’re overtired when you’re shouting Batdad quotes on the streets of London at night in the rain.” 

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Reckless Records in London!

All in all, a really incredible day knocking off so many things from my bucket list, including some I didn’t even realize had a place on that list. Still another full day left over here before heading back to Dublin; stay with us.

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Emphasis on beautiful day, right?

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship, but right now just talking too much about running shoes and a Masters Student at DePaul (Journalism). Training for the marathon with various podcasts. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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