The girls and I flew out of Singapore on the 9th August. Eunice, Sharen and my two Aunts came to see us off at the airport. Sharen cried when we said goodbye and I was surprised and touched as I didn’t think she’d miss me that much! Hehehe
We touched down in London town, and I missed our plane landing completely. I watched Ironman on the 13 hour flight before falling asleep for the remainder of the journey. The lady I sat next to woke me up and said I slept very well and that she was worried my bladder would burst. I was a tad embarrassed.
I was so happy walking into the Heathrow terminal in what would have been over 10 years. I’m sure the rest of the girls were just as pumped, if not a little groggy. We caught a private cab to our hotel (Hotel Central in Finsbury Park) where I got my first taste of how much European hotels can vary in standard. It is probably the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at (Don’t go there!) and the area wasn’t the best. It was near the tube station, I’ll give it that much but you live and you learn.
Katrina and Brooke had a nap while Georgina and I headed to Covent Garden and Harrods in Knightsbridge.
It was a wonderful feeling being there and extra special to have her there with me. We were amazed at the food hall in Harrods. We had to make a pit stop at the ice cream parlour and I just had to get a box of Krispy Kremes!
We went back to the hotel and waited for Katrina and Brooke to wake up, after which we headed into Piccadily circus together. I always see pictures of the big Sanyo screen when I come across photos or films of London and to finally stand in front of it was surreal. Yep that’s right, another ‘pinch me’ moment!
We did some wandering in Gap, Trocodero and random souvenir shops when the weather turned unexpectedly. It started raining! It was raining so much that we had to buy umbrellas. I bought an umbrella with the London underground map on it.
That evening, we headed to a theatre near Victoria station to watch the musical Wicked. We bought our theatre tickets from Piccadily circus and at the time we weren’t entirely sure what to watch. Boy did we make the right choice!
The show was amazing! I loved every bit of it and I had to slap myself a few times just to make sure I was really there. My earliest memories of London as a child was going to see Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon or The King and I with my mum at the West End and watching Wicked brought back all those memories. I don’t think the girls knew just how happy I was in that theatre.
On our second day there, Katrina went to the zoo with her friend Kristy, who was taking her out for a belated birthday outing. Georgina, Brooke and I headed to Buckingham Palace.
The queue to get inside was at least a 2 hour wait so we walked around the grounds and took lots of touristy photos.
After that, we headed into town to meet my cousin Jessen for lunch. He asked me to meet him in Chinatown for Dim Sum at New World.
New World is the restaurant my parents used to go to all the time when we spent each summer in the UK. I remember the food being excellent and long queues of people on Sunday mornings. I had no clue how to get there. We were just going to head into Chinatown and hope for the best.
As we were walking up Gerard street at the start of Chinatown, I looked to my right and realised I was walking next to my cousin! I got so excited and yelled his name. I hadn’t seen him in 5 years. Lunch was okay. The standard at New World was not how I remembered (Jessen confirmed it wasn’t as good as it used to be) and Chinatown was ALOT smaller than I remembered.
It was good seeing Jessen again and he has very generously agreed to let me stay with him for a couple of months to get my feet on the ground. He clearly had no clue though as he asked if Brooke, Georgina and I knew each other from school. I mentioned that I had left school over 10 years ago and he seemed surprised.
Today, the girls I went on a Hop On – Hop Off Double decker bus tour. If you are venturing to London for the first time, I HIGHLY recommend doing it. The sun was shining and the City of London was looking her best for us.
My favourite views were that of the Tower Bridge and Westminster Abbey. We got off at the Baker street stop and went into Madam Tussauds.
I’ve been to Madam Tussauds with Jess when I was younger but the attraction has changed exponentially. There are alot more waxworks AND a ride inside! I really enjoyed it until we got to the House of Horrors section where they had live actors dressed up as zombies to scare the tourists.
I can’t say I remember much of it. I can only recall screaming my lungs out and hiding behind Georgina. Apparently I was like a planet orbiting the sun at incredible speeds. We are not supposed to touch the live actors but Georgina said I pushed one out of the way. Woopsie!