08 August 2012

London Calling, part 3

Mr. P and I certainly had fun running around London on our own, but I have to admit the whole week I was looking forward to meeting up with the rest of our friends. I mean, I love hanging out with my friends anywhere, especially now that we’re all scattered in different part of the country (Denver, Houston, St. Louis, Nashville, New Haven, etc). But London is fun, and our friends are fun, so together there was the potential for synergy and a big vat of awesomesauce!

So once everyone else started to arrive, starting with the bride (left), her family (sister on the right), and our buddy Lil’ C, we all met up at a pub for dinner:

They look pretty awesome for how jet-lagged they are, yes?

Being with our friends also meant that Mr. P and I could now have photos together, instead of one at a time. Finally, the first photo of the both of us in London!

Unfortunately, I totally forgot to take photos of our pub grub; I had fish n’chips, while the bride had bangers and mash. Bangers and mash! I just like saying bangers and mash.

The next morning, once most of the American guests arrived, the groom (remember, he’s English) offered to take us all on a little walking tour of the City of London and Westminster. We started at our group’s hotel (Mr. P and I moved out of the ‘burbs to the group block), but we didn’t get far, as we first had to navigate the London Underground as a big group of tourists.

All of those people are in our group. It was as hilarious and chaotic as the photos suggest.

But we eventually made it and started our trip with the famous London Eye. And thus began several hours of group photos in front of every landmark we saw!

We were fortunate to have PERFECT weather for this little group excursion. Check out how sunny it is with Mr. P and Lil’ C!

After hanging out around the London Eye for a bit, we headed up to Westminster toward Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament:

And of course if it’s Westminster, there’s Westminster Abbey...

Mr. P and I didn’t go in on this visit and we’d both been before, and also it is crazy pricey to get in. (For a church! Seriously.)

The fact that we stopped every few feet to take photos meant that I got this wonderful shot of the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs., waiting on their friends before moving on.

On our route we also passed 10 Downing Street, which is the residence of the Prime Minister. I’d always envisioned it like you see it on TV – you know, sans bars, yellow gate, and police with giant guns.

Next we came across the Horse Guard’s Parade, which is another site of big Olympic events...

... and Trafalgar Square, with Admiral Nelson atop the column.

(Okay, so maybe you can only see Mr. P. Whatever. He’s more important anyway.)

From Trafalgar Square, you can head straight to the residence of Her Majesty herself:

Usually the road and the parks on the grounds are all open to auto and pedestrian traffic, but because of the Olympics, there were tons of fences and barricades while the grounds were getting set up.

This fence between Buckingham Palace and Green Park is, however, always there.

And while Mr. P really looks bummed about being on the wrong side of the fence, he could just walk around it a few feet to his left. Oh well.

More photo ops around Buckingham Palace:

That’s the bride’s sister, the bride, the groom, and the bride’s parents... aww!

The best part of this whole excursion? The long-legged Londoner groom assumed it would take a half-hour, maybe an hour to see all the sights. With his group of clueless little American ducklings? It took three hours. Ha!

One last group event before the wedding was a group meet-up at a bar in Soho. Because I am opposed to camera flash, I didn’t take any photos in the dark room, save for one:

Of our swanky reserved table! Except the groom’s name isn’t Richard Bowser and our reservation began at 9PM, not 7PM. This was enough to send us into fits of giggles after a few half-price cocktails.

But that special event, not to mention our friends’ arrival in the city, hints at what’s to come... the wedding day! Come back tomorrow for the big event!