Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tennessee Fried Chicken and London Adventures

I have been to London about 6 times since the last time I wrote a blog. I have so much to write about. It seems like every weekend in the past 6 weeks I went to London. It's changed from beautiful fall leaves, drowsey rain, and even snow.
I have so much to write I'm not sure where to start. Hopefully I won't forget anything.
Let's see....One of my favorite trips was when Kaitlyn and I made our way to Wimbledon. This was the one place we planned on going to before we left home. It is also a place that I have dreamed to visit. We were scarred at first that we would get lost figuring out the tube system, but it was actually so easy. We just had to take the district green line to the Wimbledon drop off point. When we got off the tube we were on this small street. I did not see tennis courts at all. We looked around and just started walking. It was a nice area. We saw a tennis store so I knew that we must be close to Wimbledon. The road we walked down was Wimbledon Park Road and it was really residential. We walked about 10 minutes and then we saw it! It was better than I ever expected. The outside was gated of course and there were tennis shadows in the walls. I immediately felt like I was somewhere I belonged. We had a tour of the courts. There was just about 8 people in our tour so it was nice. Since it was winter and the courts were not being used there were no nets up, but the grass courts were gorgeous. We weren't allowed to step foot on these or even touch them. We saw all of the courts, number one court, number two, the court where Isner played on this past summer, and even Centre Court. One of my favorite parts of the tour besides seeing Centre Court, where I long to play oneday was going to the press interview room. We got to sit at the desk all of the pro tennis players have sat and got interviewed. Kaitlyn and I went up there and got picture. I was imagining that it was the real thing. I could so see that happening. The Wimbledon Tennis Lawn Muesum was really nice too. All of the clocks around the entire Wimbledon Park were Rolex, that is how classy this was. After we were done at Wimbledon we had about 2 hours left to do other things in London. Our bus station is really close to Buckinham Palace, so we went there for a while. It is so pretty at night. The gold on the gates shine gorgeously at night and the statue in front of the palace is our new favorite hangout. We were actually there at the statue that night for about an hour. We saw so much. The next day while we were eating in Wetherspoons we found out the prince was in engaged. At Buckingham the night before there was something going on at the Palace. Cars are not allowed to drive on the road in front of the palace and that night there were cars there. They would get searched and enter the palace. I'm guessing it had something to do with Prince William getting engaged.
Kaitlyn and I usually don't run upon anything scarry but that night we did and I guess when something scarry happens you just learn and wake up and realize you have to be aware. After a perfect day it was meant that something would happen. What happened was we had a man follow us for about 2 or 3 blocks. I noticed him after about one block and told kaitlyn to just walk faster and not freak out. We made it safely into the train station and hid in a big store and never saw him again. In all of my London trips I had felt like that area of London was the safest part, and really I had always felt safe in London, but this just says that anything can happen anywhere. I feel like we approached this situation right, and now I am more aware of my surroundings.
There are so many more London trips. I forgot I haven't talked about Harry Potter yet. Kaitlyn and I also made our way to the Harry Potter Red Carpet Preimier of the Deathly Hollows. This was such a last minute decsison. I was randomly looking up London online the night before and realized the premeir was the next day. I am so glad we went. The weather was horrible though. This day was the worst rain we had seen in London so far. It was like a monsoon that never ended. The wind was blowing so hard when we left Canterbury and our bus was an hour late. When we got to London, we started our normal walk past Buckingham Palace and all and when we got into Green Park it just started to heavy down pour. I have never in my life been outside in a down pour of rain like this. It was crazy. We both had our umbrellas but the wind was so strong they both broke. We just started sprinting down the long path and the rain never stopped. I have video of this rain. We were soooo soaked and by the time we got out of the park it was still raining and we looked like we just came out of a swimming pool. When we got to Piccidilly Circus we went into one of the closet stores to dry off. We had to buy new clothes. There was no way we were going to stay in those wet clothes til 10 at night when we were going to be outside the entire time. We each bought a sweatsuit that was waterproof, new socks and even new shoes. It was actually kind of funny going into a store to buy an entire new wardrobe. It pretty much rained the entire night. One area of Piccidilly Circus that has all of the nice designer stores like Armani, Guess, London stores etc was already decorated for Christmas. There were huge Narnia signs and also the little back alleys were all decorated in with christmas lights. I loved it. Liechester Square is where the premier was. It was already packed by the time we got there. The red carpet was awesome. We ended up getting a good place to stand. We were somewhat behind the paparrizzi, and we could see most of the carpet. I walked down one road to see if there was a better place to stand but it was packed tight where ppl couldn't see the carpet at all. We were really lucky where we stood. We could see all of the stars perfectly. Emma Watson's hair was cut off, but she could pull it off very well. My favorite were the twins. They seemed so nice and both had a great personality. The back drop for the premier was awesome. The Harry Potter signs had fire coming out and there were many sound awesome sound effects. After all the stars went into the theatre, we decided to walk up closer to the Odeon to see better. Huge signs from the stage were being handed out, and we actually got one this sign is bigger than us. Kaitlyn and I decided to walk back instead of taking the tube. We knew it wasnt that far. It was sooooooooo windy and we had that huge sign in our hands, but we still managed to get back. This walk was def. the best adventure of all though. We had NO idea where we were going we just knew the general direction toward Victoria. We started walking and following signs toward Buckingham Palace. Somehow we ended up in this really upscale neighborhood, there we men in suits and limos and fancy cars all around. We def. did not belong there especially in our sweat suits and huge Harry Potter sign. We just kept walking and then I decided it was time to ask someone how to get to Buckingham Palace. We asked this young man and two old women. They seemed harmless. They were soo nice to us. I was afraid people in that area wouldn't be with the way we were dressed, but they told us exact directions and landmarks we were going to pass. I'm really glad we asked them because we probably wouldn't have found it if we didn't.
The next day was another London trip. We had a tour around London and during the tour we found out that the area we were walking that night is one of the most prestigious parts of London. We both started thinking what if that really cute guy who told us directions was the prince.....maybe it was. He kind of looked like him. Who ever he was I know he was someone important. Too bad we will never know.
We also went to St. Paul Cathedral. This was the prettiest church I have ever seen. Kaitlyn and I listened to some of the service, and then a bunch of us climbed to the top. I forgot how many stars there were but they were all circled and it made us so dizzy going up. One level is a whispering level. You can hear a whisper of someone from across the room. It was really cool. Also in the Cathedral I ate I think the best british food I have ate so far. It was a this huge biscuit with jam and butter. I could eat that everyday. Later we walked across the a bridge that is apparently on a Harry Potter movie. The grey one that moves, and went into the Tate Modern muesum. I dont seem to understand much modern art, but I guess some of it is still intersting to look for. I never realized that everytime I go to London I would come across something to do with Harry Potter, but I always do. That shows how important the story is here.
That day in London was a success too. I have also had a day at the London Tower, which was really neat and Shakespeares Globe which was just as amazing. When we went to see these places we got to walk across the London Tower Bridge. It was awesome. The area around the bridge was my type of place. A river, nice resturants, and business oriented.
We also had another day in London where we went to Westfield White City Mall. Me Kaitlyn and Darette went here. Darette works at the store Gilly Hicks at home and they were opening their first store in London. It is a store off of Abercrombie and Hollister. She met her regional manager and everything. It was really neat to see a grand opening of a store. That mall was really cool. It was huge. There was an area desinated just for the designer brands like Prada and Burberry. We also saw the BBC studios that day. I have realized during all of these trips to London that I am pretty good at navigating the tube system. It is really easy and I actually really enjoy doing. You get on a line, Victoria, Piccidilly, Jublile, District, etc and just go. We have had to transfer a few times and when walking to the transfer to a different line the path underground is so long. It feels like you are entering a space or time capalse. It is just like this huge tunnel. It is the weiredest feeling. I love it though.
I am not done yet with all of my London adventures. I am writing these out of order, bc I keep forgetting what I did first. I'm not sure if I wrote about this yet in another blog but we also went the NFL International Series event at Tragular Square. It was really neat. It was for the Broncos and the 49ers. I was amazed how many British people like American football. The cool thing about this was that people were in jerseys from every football team. It was so colorful. I saw about 5 Titan jerseys! Too bad I didn't have one. Alaina let Kaitlyn borrow a Chicago Bears shirt and this would def be the only time you will see either one of us in a Bears shirt! After the NFL rally we went to the British History Muesum. It was really nice and huge like the Louve was. We saw the Rosetta Stone and many other interesting things. We did not have much time to spend here because we got there an hour before it closed.
I have one more day in London to talk about and that was last night. I don't think I am forgetting a day. Last night Kaitlyn and I went to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. We decided to walk the entire way. We ended up in Royal Park first, then green park and then finally Hyde Park. I really do love all the parks in London. They are all gorgeous. What I love most about them is the trees and how how they are all lined up so staight. Each park has paths that just go for miles. I was telling Kaitlyn that I would love to have a running day in London and just run through all of the parks. There are four really close ones and we could probably get a half marathon in. Well, while we were walking through Hyde Park we had to find Kensigton Gardens where the Peter Pan statue is. This might sound crazy but we both have been wanting to see this statue since we saw the Mary Kate and Ashley movie Winning London about 10 years ago. The walk to the gardens seemed like it took forever. It was right along a river so it was nice. We heard a random man playing bagpipes there. The Peter Pan statue was just as I pictured it. "The Boy who Never Grew Up" Right after we saw the statue we walked back to Winter Wonderland. It was full of Christmas spirt. All of the rides were christmas themed, and I felt like a kid again. It was like I saw the Peter Pan statue about not growing up and I was all of a sudden a kid again. This place was pretty sweet. There were pubs scattered about and german themed markets and little places to eat. We went into a Tavern and it was the best I had seen so far! There was a big show happening and they were singing Sweet Home Alabama. It was amazing everyone was so into the music. I loved the british accents. They played another song that everyone but me and Kaitlyn new. This one was more popular than Sweet Home Alabama. I looked it up when I got home and it is by Oasis. It's called Wonderwall. It sounded like a popular English chant at the tavern. The rest of Winterwonderland were Christmas Markets. They sold a little of everything. There was also an ice skating rink.
After the Christmas markets we decided to walk around London a little more, again we had NO idea where we were going. We ended up in a popular shopping district. The first stores we saw were Jager, Prada, and even Top Shop then all of a sudden there was a huge building with gold Christmas lights all over it. It was Harrods! I had wanted to see this but I figured I would never get there this year. This trip to London was anther success. I have realized after many trips to London and other places that getting lost doesn't hurt you it just brings you to a bigger adventure. You end up seeing more and seeing something you never expected. If you come across a difficulty in the end you just learn from it. Not one of my adventures have seemed perfect with no flaws but I think that is what made it the best. I said to myself one night "I am living my dream, and since I'm living my dream I def. know I have followed and am following all my dreams." The reason the reason this blog is called TN fried chicken is because there are so many aspects of London that seem like home. Everytime I ride the bus to London we pass this little resturant called TN Fried Chicken and everytime I laugh and say why in the world is this here? This is just one of my reminders of home. My mom told me when I was homesick to look for the reasons God has put me here. He has given me many paths, and now that my 3 months in England are ending I know why I am here. I am here to show my friends and family and others not to be afraid to see the world or to take on an adventure. Live your life out the way you dream! I realized it was time to stop dreaming about what I can do and take action and do. Everything really does end up working out in mysterious ways, you just have to go for it all!

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