Yesterday Tina and I found a Krispy Kreme! So we bought a dozen donuts and some oj and went to a park by our hostel (Russell Square) and ate our very delicious donuts. There were blueberry filled ones, apple pie ones, strawberries and creme, the typical sprinkle donut (of course), caramel dreamcake, chocolate dreamcake (we didn't try this one), lemon meringue, and more. So of course we got the ones that we'd never seen before in the states. The lemon meringue was delicious! Alex I wish I could have shipped you that donut. Maybe we could find it in KS. I haven't tried the strawberries and creme or the apple pie, but Tina had the apple and said it was awesome. I believe it after the lemon meringue and caramel dreamcake donuts I had. We saved some of them for today.
While we were in the park, three construction workers kept waving at us and smiling. It was friendly gestures but also kind of weird since we weren't sure why they were waving at us, but we could guess. We narrated for the pigeons we saw, as the males tried to woo the females (the females were simply not interested, so no action for the pigeons). We also so a couple snogging (making out/kissing/necking) on a bench not too far from where we sat. And to be honest, it was more like she was wanting to snog with him, but he didn't want to. He kept ducking his head away and pushing her back. At one point she kissed all over the side of his face and he pushed her away with both hands and then wiped off the side of his face like she was giving him cooties. These people had to have been our age at least. I don't think they looked any younger than us.
Speaking of snogging, people do it everywhere! They'll stop in the middle of a congested walkway and just start kissing like crazy, without regard to any sort of audience, time of day, or that they're blocking the bathroom (or anything else important). Its weird. And the amount of men with their shirts off is also somewhat amazing. On the subway. In the park. In the middle of the city at the fountain. I don't really care either way about the dress code, but its just different from home.
So after donuts in the park Tina and I went shopping around for some souvenirs until about 1, when we went back to the hostel to chill out for a bit. At 2 pm she and I went with a few others on the Harry Potter Walk with our guide Richard I, and that was fun. It was pretty hot out and dreadfully sunny. I'm not complaining though, at all. We went to several filming locations, such as the Thames River (the segment where Harry flew over the river with MadEye and Tonks), Westminster Tube Station, where Arthur Weasley escorted Harry down some escalators in the Ministry of Magic as he was on his way to his hearing for practicing magic outside of Hogwarts), we saw the Odeon Theater, which is where all the films are released in London, and the stars come here to the premiers of their movies and get the red carpet treatment, and Diagon Alley (or at least the one that inspired JKRowling--but it looks SO much like the one in the movie that its ridiculous!). It was a lot of fun. We ended up in Leicester (Lester) Square, where we shopped around a bit more and met up with Jeremy, Juliet, Beth and Rita before the Soho Walk at 7. We ate at an Italian place just off Leicester and Trafalgar Square, but the pasta i got was way too spicy and I had to stop eating it after a couple of decent bites. I could not get the fire in my mouth to go out. Juliet had some leftover sauce from her pasta (a white sauce) so we mixed it with my pasta and it was much easier to tolerate and I managed to eat most of it after that.
We went for ice cream after dinner and I got a waffle cone with mint chocolate chip ice cream, because i wanted something I was sure would be delicious. After ice cream we hopped on down to Trafalgar Square (in front of the National Portrait Gallery) and we sat with our feet in the fountain. Both fountains were covered in people who were sticking their feet in the cool water. No one was allowed to walk around in the fountain though, and there was a fountain warden (she even had an official vest) who would yell at you to get down if you were in the middle of the fountain. We stuck to the sides though, just happy enough with being able to put our feet in the water. Maybe we got ice cream after the fountain and not before. I don't really remember. lol. Anyway, after the Trafalgar Square fountain Tina and I had our caricatures drawn (it was lots of fun!) in Leicester Square before the Soho Walk at 7.
The walk started at the Leicester Square Tube Station, and we walked to our first pub, The Spice of Life, where Bob Dylan used to play in the basement before he made it big. The pub itself had big mirrors on the wall, with wall sconce lamps, oversized leather furniture and low tables, and was pretty much smoke free. John got some pretty intense looks from some members of the male gay community, which we all think is funny but also awkward. (John is not gay, but quite straight). Either way, there were giggles to be had. The second pub we went to was the Dog and Duck, where Madonna used to drink. This one was much smaller than the Spice, but also quaint and historical feeling. The guide explained that Soho was known for its food, music, and sex. So as we went along he described that the word "model" was a euphemism for sex, so basically if you wanted a prostitute, you would look for the "model" sign in an upper floor window with a red light. Hence, the red light district (thank goodness someone finally explained this to me). There was a specific street that had the fanciest place in London (for eating) and three doors down was a "shop" on the bottom floor with "models" above. After this we took a twilight tour through the red light district, and i tried to get pics of the area as best i could, but after awhile we started getting weird looks so I backed down on the pictures a bit. There is some pretty hilarious stuff in that area, but its not an area i would want to be walking around in at night. I was glad when we were out of it.
After the Soho Walk (which ended at about 930), we found a Pizza Hut and got some pizza to go. Juliet and I got the Meat Feast, which was funny to us because of all the gay bars we passed in Soho. We just couldn't resist ourselves. We walked from Cambridge Circus to our hostel which wasn't as far as I thought it would be, but the two tiny blisters i have were just big enough to be a consistent bother. We got back to the hostel and ate dinner with everyone in our room. After dinner we worked on plans for the rest of the week.
Today we're finally going to the Tower of London (me and Tina) and that should take most of the day. In the evening I don't have a whole lot planned, but Tina is going to the London Eye (I went on Thursday). So if i'm tired after the Tower I think i might just hang out and relax, and gear up for Stonehenge tomorrow. Whew! So much to do!