This post really should be called “A Statistical Breakdown of The Best Visit to London Ever Had By a Person (Living or Dead)” but I didn’t want the title to take up the entire page.
I didn’t think mathematics was the best way to approach a decent recap of this, my best trip ever, but I also don’t think presenting all 2,032 photos I took is the way to go, either–and I’m sure you’ll thank me for not posting the latter.
So this will have to do.
Did I say I had the best time EVER? That this was, by far, the best trip of my little life? And that it was so great and satisfactory that I felt like I left no stone unturned before I cheerfully boarded my airplane back to Trinidad?
Here goes… I promise as much picture as text, but there’s plenty of both, so grab an iced tea and a comfy chair…
One delightful French bistro meal for eleventh anniversary celebration, in which steak frites, fried calamari, and the universe’s best berry crisp (plus a bottle of French wine and my weight in bread and olives) were consumed
One well-found tapas and drinks bar near the hotel, where the first night I witnessed a couple making out so hard that they knocked over a railing, leading a car at the red light to holler out “Ha ha, she fell!” to the entire crowded street–after I such delights as spicy pork and potatoes and boquerones (marinated fresh anchovies)
FOUR (yes, obsessed) great photography exhibits (the V and A’s contemporary South Africa exhibit, the Museum of London’s London Street Photography exhibit, and the National Portrait Gallery‘s E.A. Hoppe and Ida Kar exhibits, plus non-camera-obsessed museuming (gawping at Yohji Yamamoto’s crazily-constructed clothes at the V and A, being a London nerd at the Museum of London, picturing clothes made from Bridget Riley paintings at the National Gallery, and being a five year old about dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum)
One exhilarating morning spent spectating the London Marathon, cheering my little vocal cords out, then picnicking in St. James Park with marathoning friends, and then realizing that I DO, in fact, want to run a marathon someday
Pub lunches aplenty (a few very good, others very blah–ah, English food…); pints aplenty (ALL good)
One very memorable visit to the Nike Town store–on which I’ll say more later this week
A day spent eating and vintage window-shopping my way through Brick Lane, Shoreditch, and Hackney (which I loved, and the latter of which did not lead to my death by shooting, contrary to popular belief about Hackney)
Lots of dinners I will remember for the rest of my days (including salt and chili ribs at my favorite-ever Chinese restaurant Joy King Lau, dosas and coconutty fish at my favorite South Indian restaurant Ragam, and the best Indian food I’ve had in my life at Tayyab’s in Whitechapel)
One too-wild night at the pub, followed by my worst hangover ever (though the socializing that accompanied the drinking leading to the hangover was WELL worth my state the next day)
Tons and tons of park time (Green Park, Hyde Park, Regent’s Park) in the sunshine, solo and accompanied
Countless lemon tarts, lemon crepes, and lemon meringue pies, as well as fancy pastries whenever I saw them, though I sadly did not eat any pastries or cakes shaped like animals (thanks, Chinatown—you never disappoint):
Two very overwhelming visits to shopping-mad Oxford Street, Picadilly Circus, and Regent Street, where I realized that I no longer possess the patience necessary to brave British high street shopping
A separate instance of my favorite ever visit to Holland Park, my favorite park ever, which was almost thwarted by heavy rain and which was actually made better for the cool and mist
The demise of my sunglasses (during a solo, lovely, picture-taking bonanza of a Regent’s Park run), my violet pashmina (after a pernicious coffee-spilling incident), and my pink suede shoes (due to mud and rain in Holland Park)–all of which died heroic deaths in London
More friends than I can shake a fist at (not that I would) and spending time with them while going for: walks, pub afternoons, general city meanderings, fancy dinners, museumings, and general catching-up of the first order:
A first visit to Borough Market–where has it been all my life?
At least four instances of seeing girls wearing British pants (as in, panties) as American pants (as in, not wearing actual pants over them), plus lots more hideous fashion which reminded me why I hated the shopping in England so much
Lots of solo wandering time–during the day, during the night, with camera… total bliss
Endless excellent people-watching with my camera (note shirtless men enhancing the beauty of the London bridges landscape below)
One million new favorite places in London discovered (especially those tiny hidden parks that live behind the huge tall buildings)
Foot blisters during the entirety of my stay (because I was NOT prepared for the uncharacteristically warm British weather–damn, I wanted to wear my boots more…)
One extremely memorable, totally hair-raising cycle hire bike in Hyde Park–I lived to tell the tale and will tell you later this week
One extremely memorable, totally hair-raising ad in Chinatown
Twenty minutes of window-shopped on Jermyn Street and Duke of York Street for what I would have worn, and made Mr. Man wear, had we been able to attend the upcoming royal wedding (we RSVP’d our regrets already, drat)
Eight million reminders of why I love big cities, and London in particular
A statistical breakdown recap that uses the words “favorite,” “ever,” and “best” more often than I have ever used them before in one sitting