Monday, July 28, 2014

More London

When Ben was in London 6 years ago, he saw Phantom of the Opera and he absolutely loved it. One of our "musts" was to see a show, specifically Phantom again because Ben loved seeing it in London and the atmosphere of the theater. One of my very favorite things about New York is the shows, so I was beyond thrilled to know that Ben wanted to go to one too! Since we wanted to pack the front end of our trip with the "musts," our goal for they day was to find tickets.

First, we walked right down the street from our hotel to a little restaurant called Ruffles. We had seen signs in the window for pretty cheap breakfasts and thought we'd give it a try. It was an adorable little place with mostly locals enjoying breakfast with us. Ben got a delicious bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, while I just went with scrambled eggs and toast. Then, it was off to Leicester Square for tickets. After our trips to Picadilly Circus I researched places for discount tickets and found "TKTS."

There was a bit of a line, but nothing too bad. While Ben stood in line, I looked at the board posted with show names and prices. We thought about a couple of other shows, but Phantom was definitely what we wanted and we got tickets for just 35 pounds each. Not bad at all! 

Our plan for the rest of the day was to go to Windsor....long story short, I didn't exactly research it enough and we ended up on the tube for about an hour to a place that apparently had nothing. According to the tube workers there was "nothing fancy" in Edgeware (literally the last tube stop we could have possibly gone to). The silver lining was that the tube workers were super friendly and we finally figured out where to go to get a BritRail pass. Everyone else that we had talked to about it before kept telling us all sorts of different places. 

We felt a bit lost for the rest of the day without a plan. We headed back to Covent Garden to walk around the shops and ended up watching a man put on a show in the center of the square. He was pretty funny, and ended up asking Ben, "the man with the viking beard" to help him get on his unicycle. The moment he started looking around for helpers, I knew he'd ask Ben. He's a pretty easy guy to pick out of a crowd considering he stands above everyone else! 

How do they do this?!

You can see in the last picture that there were lots of little kids at the show too. I think this group right in front of us was a group of school kids and it was hilarious to hear their reactions. The show was funny but also a little inappropriate and they kept looking back at their teachers to see what to do! 

Our next stop was a bookstore to make a plan for the rest of the day. Mostly Ben worked on a plan while I looked at the children's books. We found one called My Mummy that we got for sweet baby Clark. Then, we headed over to the National Museum. On our walk, we were literally able to walk however we wanted all over the streets because traffic was so backed up. People were completely stopped and standing outside their cars talking. It was crazy! 

Looking at the art in the National Museum was super interesting to us. It was just so crazy to see how old some of the art was. We walked around most of the museum and then sat on the steps to rest for a little bit. When we walked back out, the traffic was still the same, but we couldn't figure out why. After sitting there for just a little while, Ben looked over at me and said, "I think you need to take a nap." Apparently I looked like I was fading fast! 

After a good nap and some research for restaurants, Ben and I headed back to Picadilly Circus for dinner and the show. We were both so excited! We chose Nonna's Kitchen for dinner and it was awesome! The atmosphere was adorable, the service was great and the food was delicious! 

Ben and I split some bruschetta and a pizza + I got my first diet coke of the trip while Ben had a glass of wine! Ah! It was so amazing! I would totally have gone back to this restaurant. There was just something about it that I adored!

We double-checked how late the restaurant stayed open before deciding on dessert. Thankfully it was open until 11, so we headed to the show with full stomachs and decided to wait until after to walk back over. 

I was so excited to see the show, but I think I was even more excited to be back there with Ben. His time in London 6 years before was a super special time in our relationship. We weren't necessarily dating yet, but were absolutely smitten and would write letters and emails back and forth. Ben even bought a pink flip phone so he could call every now and then. I loved hearing about all the things he did and the places he saw and was elated to be back with him. It just seemed so special to be doing something that he enjoyed so much while he was there! 

We absolutely loved the show! It's a really neat show to see in Europe where it actually took place. I've always loved the songs and the singing was incredible! After the show we headed back to Nonna's for some gelato and then walked to the center of Picadilly Circus to watch another group of performers. The gelato was amazing and again, I can't say enough about the people at Nonna's. They were so sweet! 

Even though our plans for the whole day didn't go exactly to plan, we had such a fun day! 

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