London 2017: Who’s Scamming Who?

Who’s the hottest in the world right now? Just touched down in London town, bet they give me a pound. Tell them put the money in my hand right now.
-Estelle

Told you guys, I have a lot of catching up to do. In the past, I would usually break my travel posts in a per day kinda thing… yeah, this isn’t happening this time. I have way too much to catch you guys up on and I don’t plan on dragging it out.
Last time I was in London, it was a blur. (Read that HERE) We  were only there for about 5 hours or so on a layover. We headed to the famous Parliament, and rushed right back to the airport. We were troopers.
This time around, there was still plenty of walking to do, except I had more time to explore. On our first day we had the best plate of Steak & Frites with mushroom sauce. We walked towards Mayfair, where all the shopping is done. Pull & Bear was one of the stops I told myself I was going to walk into. When I was in Madrid and walked into the store, I wanted to buy everything. When I tried to find a store in the states, I failed. Most of their stores are out of the country. So I knew I had to find it. The rain didn’t stop us of roaming around, and I ended p walking away with a cute black faded jean jacket for only 17 pounds. Win!

On day two, I had my mind set on catching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, but who’s really getting  up early in the morning when they’re on vacation? —Not I.
We walked about 3 miles to The British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben & The House of Parliament, and The Palace of Westminster.
We missed the London Eye by 14 minutes, how disappointing. There was a couple re-selling their tickets for the next day.  They stopped us to ask if we were interested, but naturally as New Yorkers, we were ready to hustle. Can you believe, they wanted the same price they paid for their ticket!?
We walked away, and after a few moments they returned, and we got just the number we were looking for. Now all I was worried about is if they actually worked or not. I guess we were going to find out the next day.

Day three was a day I slept in until 2pm…. I was not with it. All the walking we did the day before. I felt like my feet were on fire. Today’s main goal was finding out if we got scammed or not. We made our way back to The London Eye, and I gotta say, we’re getting much confident taking the underground everywhere. I guess their subway map isn’t that complicated, but I guess compared to New York City’s every other map is simplified.

We made our line to enter Coca Cola’s infamous London eye. I wasn’t panicking, let’s get this straight, but I was worried this ticket wasn’t going to work. According to the couple, yesterday was their last day in the UK, and since they also missed the eye, the voucher will go to waste. Sounds like the ultimate scam right? Well I wasn’t getting got. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Whew! — see, not panicked. The eye was a success, and now I kinda feel bad for being kinda mean to the couple. Well, I wasn’t really mean.. but my personality is  genuinely pretty assertive… mix that in with talking about money— I’m about that paper. Today was our last day to get to wander around and catch anything we thought might have been important to not miss.

Phil was in charge of day three’s itinerary. I’m pretty sure I annoyed him with all of my OCD planning on my day. I look every detail up from addresses, directions, timing, what else is around there, where can we go to eat after- things like that. Yeah, Phil’s not like that, we were winging it.

Once it was dark, it was time to dance. We wanted to hit up a club and just move. Well, I wanted to move more than he did and that I did.
But wait… Due to Phil’s lack of research, we took the underground for about 45 minutes into the direction we thought Fabric was. A club with a crazy type of party vibe, when we arrived, the doors were closed. That’s when he decides to use the ever so handy “Google” to find out that on this weekday, the club is closed. —-amazing.

I was already pouting because in my head all I can think was “this could have been avoided, if you checked this before we left”. But instead I sucked it up, and noticed that right next door was another spot that was playing all kinds of music, so we walked right in. This was more of your corporate after work “let’s go get a beer” kinda place turned wild. In Smith’s SOS Bar, I saw all kinds of weird dancing, that I couldn’t figure out how it even matched with the music, but to each their own. I ordered my cocktail while Phil went out for a smoke that lasted too long.

Everyone was so friendly and in good spirits and it didn’t take long for me to make some friends. When leaving, the coat check lady told me that I was the only one in here that knew how to dance, so that pretty much made my night.

Now it’s time to make my morning, and I’m pretty sure you guys know where I’m headed next—–Rome,Italy!

Ps. You know I wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t include an OOTD illustration:

London |Fish and Chips

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We’re exhausted, all in different levels. We had to be out of the house in Madrid at 6am. Chris and Pia took a hefty little nap while Nikki and cleaned up the space and packed up all of our things. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking too crazy. I got no sleep, and managed to get Chris and I ready and out the door.

Finding a cab was pretty quick, thank goodness, because all the noise we were making that early in the morning, think cobblestones and rolling luggage. Honestly, I don’t even think it mattered that much, there were still so many drunkies out partying and hanging out in the streets.

Our flight from Madrid to London was fairly quick, we all pretty much took a nap since we didn’t get any sleep before. Our layover in Lonson is only about 6 hours, and we were determined to make the best of it. We had to get back to the airport at least 3 hours before our departure, and taking the metro out of Gatwick airport into London Victoria was 30 minutes ride each way. We had about an 2 hours to get it all out of system, and not to mention how to figure out how to get there.

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We all had some sort of carry on bag with us, and leaving our luggage at the airport was tricky due to the long line. We struggled with our bags and made it work… off to the the Buckingham Palace. Holy crap… London is hectic, there were so many tourists, more than Madrid and Paris combined, at least in my opinion. Signs of CCTV surveillance were everywhere, I guess you know, with the Queen and all.

There were guards making their way in and out of the palace, and everyone was waiting to see if any of the royal family would make an appearance, there was no such luck.

We kept on walking and trooped it to the in famous Big Ben, the clock tower that over looks London, it was so tall and pretty! I think we went a little nuts when we saw the red telephone booths, everyone was making lines just to snap a pic.

Even though we didn’t have time to actually go inside anywhere we managed to pull off a quick lunch we could take back for the ride back to the airport. Fitgi and I ordered some fish and chips. While the chips weren’t really appeasing, the fish was quite decent, especially after you haven’t had anything to eat in a couple of hours.

My feet were killing me, I was actually looking forward to that 8 hour flight back home, just so I can kick my feet up and do nothing for a while!

, M