Wednesday, June 27, 2012

London's Olympic Countdown Begins

Today marks exactly one month until the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, and the latest set of Giant Olympic Rings has been unveiled on London's Tower Bridge to mark the countdown until the Games begin.  The Rings weigh more than three tons and measure over 25 metres wide by 11.5 metres tall.  During the Games, each of London‘s famous bridges will be lit up in the evenings in a dazzling display of color.  With the increase coverage of the Games and this amazing city, it made me reminisce on my Daytime TV Show coverage of the city, as well as my trip there a few years ago.  Here's an excerpt of my trip:

“Upon arriving at Gatwick and settling into my Wandsworth area flat, I went to the neighborhood pub with my friend Andy and ordered the Bangers & Mash.  Of course these bangers didn’t disappoint, and after a few drinks, I called it a night to catch up on my sleep.

My first full day in London was spent seeing the sights aboard the Big Bus Tour (tickets can be purchased via where we saw all of London’s best attractions, such as Tower of London, The London Eye, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral (where Princess Di got married), Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, Haymarket, and (of course) Westminster Abbey (where Prince William will get married in April).  This hop on, hop off tour was a great way to see the city.  I hopped off at Hyde Park to enjoy the Winter Wonderland and get a cup of Hot Mulled Wine.  I also got off at the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels (and tons of people enjoying the ice skating rink outside.

After the sightseeing, I realized how hungry I was.  I took a north bound tube (underground) to meet my friend Sharron (a fellow travel writer I met in Montreal) and her friends in the town of Cockfosters.  We had a great dinner and then hit one of their favorite local bars, The Orange Tree, which was appropriate for a girl from Florida.  As more friends arrived, we enjoyed cocktails and laughed as they did their very best to teach me proper English jargon (i.e. swim costume). 

Everyone told me I had to check out Camden Market, so I navigated my way via public transportation to the area and met my friend, Eli, there.  He gave me a great tour of the area and told me about the history and how it has evolved over the years.  I loved checking out the “stalls” in the Stables Market that housed antiques, clothes, hat, collectibles, home goods and vintage clothes.  There was so much to see and so much I wanted to buy, but I knew my suitcase was already bursting at the seams.  One of our last stops was a boutique called Boon.  While most of the dresses were not my style, I did find one that I fell in love with.  After speaking with the clerk, I realized he didn’t just work there, but he was the owner of the store and designer.  As I paid for my new find, Boon told me that Lady Gaga always stops to see him when she’s in town and bought eight dresses (no meat) from him.

After a late lunch at Fogg’s Restaurant & Bar, I said goodbye to Eli and headed back to my flat to start the packing process.  I had an early plane to catch to Dublin the next morning.”

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