Friday, July 25, 2014

Goodbye London

We are now blogging from the States again! Yesterday morning, we got up bright and early to head out to the airport. Here are some last minute pictures of our little hotel room so you can see what it looked like. We stayed at the Corus Hotel by Hyde Park, which was a lovely location. The room was fairly spacious and quite pretty and clean. 


Checking our bags took forever and we both had to do some shuffling because our suitcases were overweight (no surprise there, right?) but getting through security was quick and easy. Then, we had one last meal at EAT before getting onto our plane.

We found a jelly bean machine in the airport.
They really do have everything. 

This is how we feel about leaving London. 
Stefanie's vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/dairy-free lunch 
Nicole's (actually also vegetarian) lunch and cookies
Nicole's early dinner (with more cookies!)
As sad as we were to leave London, arriving in Raleigh was wonderful because it meant getting off the plane full of screaming children. While customs went easily, the exit point lady definitely didn't believe that we weren't bringing alcohol into the country. Like seriously, we don't have any and we're not going to change our answer even if you ask us twelve times. 

We went out to dinner at a great place in Raleigh, which was fun. But then we went to bed early because while it may have only been 10:00 p.m. was 3:00 a.m. our time! 

Reunited with the munchkin
(What is my hair? I have a little panda ear.) 
Because we didn't eat enough falafel in England or something.
But don't stop reading yet! We do have a few more blog posts to put up after this one including a really funny video challenge. Keep reading! :)

Last Day in London (All the Tears)

Thursday was our last day in London (insert the sound of crying Nicole and Stefanie). So we started off early and headed out to the Westminster area. After waiting in line for a while (even though it had only opened a half hour before!), we went into Westminster Abbey. While a church was founded on the site in the seventh century, the current church dates to 1245. It has been the site of every British monarch's coronation since 1066. In addition, many royals have been married in the abbey such as Will and Kate most recently.

After that, we walked across the bridge which gave us great views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

After waiting in line for a while, we got onto the London Eye. (The line had free wifi powered by the Cloud, which is a great invention.) The views were incredible.

After finishing up there, we walked to the Imperial War Museum. It had recently reopened after a year of refurbishment, so it was crazy busy. We did get to see the Holocaust and the "A Family in Wartime" exhibits.

We went to Harrod's for the rest of the evening, to look around and eat. We had dinner at the pizzeria which was lovely. 
Basically Heaven. 

Look who we found in the Disney Store in
I also found an alien. Oh yeah and the little green thing
from Toy Story. 
We fell in love with these mugs!  
Yummy yummy macaroons! 

We spent the rest of the night packing everything up to head out early in the morning. It's still hard to believe that our time in London is finally over!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Heart Full of Love (for London)

Yesterday morning, we went out to get a "full English breakfast." A full (non-vegetarian) English breakfast consists of: bacon, sausage, eggs, toast, beans, grilled tomato, and mushrooms. Stefanie's vegetarian version just substituted a ton of veggies for the meats.
We set off for Topshop Oxford Circus, which we'd heard about from the vlogger Zoella and Game of Thrones star, Maisie Williams. It has five stories (3 for Topshop, 2 for Topman) and yet somehow still seems fairly organized. Since the clothing is a bit out of our price range, we decided to put together crazy outfits for the other to try on. The results were pretty fabulous.

We found an adorable Disney store! 
Then we braved the Oxford Street Primark which was very overwhelming. I've never seen so many people in a store so crowded! But it was a successful trip because we found presents, a small suitcase for Nicole, and the Ravenclaw t-shirt Nicole had been wanting.

We walked from the hotel to Kensington Palace through Hyde Park, which was lovely. Kensington Palace has been home to many important members of the British Royal Family from Queen Victoria to Princess Diana. Today, William and Kate and baby George live in one wing of the Palace.
Me with my girl, Queen Victoria

We toured part of the Palace (King George II's rooms, Queen Anne's rooms, and the fashion exhibit) before heading to Afternoon Tea in the Orangery. Stefanie even found a tea that she liked: mixed berry!

Once every piece of food on our plates had been eaten and Nicole had somehow managed to drink five cups of tea, we returned to the Palace to tour the Victoria exhibit. Nicole may have gotten a little teary eyed over Victoria and Albert.

Before we knew it, it was time to head off to the West End! Because the Queen's Theatre is a little ways away from the Prince Edward and the Palace Theatres where we'd been going, we got off at a different tube stop and quickly found ourselves in the middle of...Chinatown? The streets were lined with Asian restaurants of all types.

After getting our tickets from the Box Office (and seeing the Enjolras, Michael Colburne heading to the theatre!), we picked a little dumpling place. Nicole had pork bao and Stefanie had tofu and broccoli.
Nicole's bao!
We were so excited to finally be in the Queen's Theatre! Our seats in row V of the stalls weren't ideal, as we missed the top of the barricade at times but they weren't too bad! The show was absolutely incredible and we were both blown away by the entire cast. Our favorites were Carrie Hope Fletcher as Eponine and... wait... we can't pick a second favorite because all of the men were so wonderful!

Stage door was super incredible as well. We were both impressed by how long Carrie stayed talking to fans! She even agreed to film a little bit of our vlog with us. We missed David Thaxton (who was one of the best Javerts ever), which was sad, but got selfies with the Valjean, Enjolras, and Marius!
With Rob Houchen, our Marius
With Michael Colburne, the Enjolras 
With Carrie, our most favorite Eponine ever!
With Peter Lockyer, our Valjean and a fellow American