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One For The Road At The Guinness Storehouse

After escaping from prison, we needed a drink. So we walked down to the Guinness Storehouse for a self guided tour inside the worlds largest pint glass. ‘Just how big is the worlds largest pint glass?’ you may be asking yourself. It’s 7 stories tall, and sits on nearly 60 acres of land! That land by the way has a 9000 year lease!! I guess ol Arthur lived by the mantra of ‘go big or go home’ even way back in the early 18th century.

At the top of the giant pint glass, at the Gravity Bar, we ran into a couple of fellow Californian ladies who didn’t like beer. I guess they got on the wrong tour bus or something, cuz why else would you come to Guinness!?!? So we inherited their free beers.

And despite splitting 5 pints, I still think we were some of the more sober people in all the land.

And We’re Off… To Ireland

Well England was a blast, but the time had come to explore other lands. Ireland to be more specific. And we just barely made it to the airport in time too! Apparently there was a fire in Shepherds Bush (not our fault), which caused a massive traffic snarl. We got two totally different sets of directions, from two different people, which set us back a good 30 minutes. So we did what any frustrated American would do… we broke a few traffic laws and quickly fled the country.

Ireland looked like a good place to put er down, so we landed…

and made our way across the Liffey River…

Apparently, word of our flight spread quickly through the UK and the Irish Garda we’re on to us. So they captured us and threw us in Kilmainham Gaol.

Luckily however, before throwing us in shackles, they let us have one for the road (which by the way means your last drink before being strung up to die). So we opted to have that “one” at the Guinness Storehouse.

After which, they lopped off our heads.

X-Country X-Cursion

Whoa! Driving on the “wrong” side of the road is WEIRD!!! I’m not sure if it helps or hinders that the whole damn car is backwards too. Driving straight is fairly easy to get used to, but turning right, against oncoming traffic and then ending up on the left side of the road takes some real mind control.

So yeah, today we took a couple trains to Gatwick airport where we rented a little VW Golf. From there we took the scenic route through the countryside of England.

About 40 minutes in, our first stop of course had to be Stonehenge! I was totally stoked to see this landmark. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see The ‘Henge. I thought it might be a let down and a lame tourist trap, but it was very well preserved (considering) and very majestic. Everything I had hoped for. An epic moment!

From there, it was about another hour drive through rolling green hills and farm land, to the city of Bath. Just as we arrive it started POURING rain. Luckily we needed to kill some time to find our way, so we did a little wardriving until we found an open WiFi access point. We plotted our next move, and by then the rain cloud had passed.

So we parked in the city circle…

…and then started our hunt for pork! Apparently there are 100 “art-pigs” throughout the city. Kinda funky. Kinda cool. We didn’t scour the city for all 100, but here’s a collection of some of the favorites we found along the way.

The trip to Bath was partially inspired by Trip Advisors Top 100 list, but mostly it was due to some of the photos of Pulteney Bridge. Very cool.

They do love their water their in Bath. Hence the name I suppose.

Then after a break for some Hoegaarden’s we had some dinner at The Walrus and The Carpenter.

Then back to London for our last night in England.

Wandering From Circus To Circus

Today I ventured down to Oxford Circus (no clowns were harmed during the writing of this post) so that I could exchange my faulty airline power cord at the Apple store. By now we were navigating “The Tubes” with ease so it was no problem getting around London.

The Nokia store had a cool window display of funky headphones. All they sold there were cellphones and accessories, but it was heavily marketed as music store.


The Nike store was promoting their new line of ultra-light track shoes for the Olympics with a golden sprinter. And yes, the shoes were REALLY light!


After successfully tricking Apple into exchanging the power cord, I just started wandering around the streets aimlessly, eventually hopping back on the tube, for one stop north to the Piccadilly Circus stop. Still no clowns.


But they did have horses


The weather was perfect, and I had a cold blended vanilla drink in my hand, so I started wandering some more, eventually stumbling upon The National Museum (which was closing)…


…and Trafalgar Square which was quite an impressive site!!





After dipping my feet in the fountain to cool off a bit…


… I headed West under a massive archway…


… which lead to Buckingham Palace.


And once I snuck by the guards…


… I ended up at the gates of the palace. I should have called ahead however. Apparently the Queen doesn’t read this blog and wasn’t expecting my arrival. The Canadian gates…


…were closed.


But I was able to get in via the West African gates.


And then finally…

wait for it…

More gates!!


Turns out… the Queen had just run out to the corner store to buy some eggs and milk. I didn’t feel like waiting around on her, so I wandered the grounds some more to check out her collection of fountains…


…bronze statues…



… and gold statues.


Until finally it was time to go home, so it was back down into The Borg aka The Tubes.


A Night Out In Soho

We decided last minute that we had better experience a night out in London for our first and only Saturday evening. We knew the drinks were going to be expensive so we began pre-fading at the house. After a few hours of that we were ready to head out on the town around 11pm.

After leaving Sheppards Bush “The Bush” as it’s known to locals, we hopped on a quick 25 min tube ride
to Covent Garden which is a very popular area for shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. On the tube ride we met some friendly locals who were also partaking in a bit of drinking on the tube (recently banned). After they heard we were from California they though it would be a good idea to serenade us with the theme song from the OC “California” at the top of their lungs!

After we reached Covent Gardens we walked around a bit and then found a nice restaurant bar to hit up before heading over to Soho for the clubs. We ordered 3 grey goose and soda doubles which came to 48GBP or $100. Now we were really feeling the effects of the drop in value of the dollar coupled with the notoriously expensive London nightlife. We thought it was best to head over to Soho before we were completely broke. On the way we spotted a traditional English phone booth and climbed in!

Once we finished playing around in the phone booth a 5 min walk led us to some of the most popular clubs in London. We settled near the entrance of one and asked what the cover was. We were told $140. We figured that was ridiculous until another spot was $120…and finally a deal at $50. At this point it was after midnight and with less then two hours left we opted to remain on the street and people watch. We did find some $8 hot dogs which at the point felt like quite a bargain!

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