DEC: ALL THE TOURISM

If last week was one of my larger deviations from the trusty travel blogger formula, this week will be an enthusiastic overcorrection. Count on lots of cute pictures in front of noted landmarks with fun captions, hunger-inducing foodie pics in honor of Kira Weiss, and a steady stream of hygge (if that word does not compute, read blog from beginning), and good times.

So in order to make the most out of my time here, I decided to stay in London town over the holidays and was lucky enough to have a bunch of the team head this way. In the last Month, I’ve had Nick Weiss, E Choy, Chanteezy, Kira (Chippy), Papa G, G Weiss,  and mom all in the casa. Thanks for coming everyone!

Nick

Since Nicky came before everyone else, him and I did three days in London, and then four in Paris with some of the CMC crew. We did three days of London; one in the east, one in the center, and one in the west.

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I like Paris but honestly it all looks the same so I have trouble remembering individual events that take place (disclaimer: I really like how Paris looks.. it just all looks the same).

Strange story in Paris: Leaving a club at around 2AM.. get in Uber.. 2o angry men surround car… start screaming…. open doors… throw us out of uber… realize we are tourists…. stop yelling at us…. yell at driver…. say “uber.. no” while gesturing to their throats…. us shaken… walk around corner….. call uber… go home feeling victorious… Seriously strange experience though. While I feel for anyone who is replaced by an unregulated industry, harassing customers and drivers is definitely not winning you any goodwill.

I will say that there is something magical about Paris. From the parks to the museums to the long boulevards dotted with cafes,  the sense of grandeur makes everything feel fairy tale esque.    In terms of food, the Hot Chocolate at Angeline was the best thing I have ever tasted. Seriously, everything since has tasted bland. L’As du Fallafel definitely lives up to the hype  as best Falafel in Southern Europe, worth the line.Plus, drinking wine late at night with friends on the Seine is always wonderful. Squad finished with an accidental 4 AM night at a Jazz bar we just walked into. Huge Midnight In Paris vibes.

Once everyone left, I decided to go hardo adventure travel guy and see all of Versailles in 4 hours before my flight. So freaking worth it guys.

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Amazing history, amazing nature/outdoors, amazing tours, amazing place to throw on your running shoes and just walk for miles. Honestly can’t recommend this enough. One of the rare days 20s Kyle has been completely awestruck (see: Zion National Park, Havasupai Falls, Coachella, Koh Phi Leh).

One week of work.

Kira, Dad, Emmett

Those three all arrived the same day^ lol. Between eating incredible food (Dishoom on day 1), teaching Kira how to order a drink, and late night Shwarma/noodles, this time passed in a hilarious blur. Plus living 100 yards from #ZooBar is my curse and blessing.    Christmas Day stands out as one of the most eerie scenes ever.. No trains or busses so we just walked around ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ London. That night we had dinner with one our awesome South African family living in Britain, and took a classic tourist Abbey Road pic.

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The car behind us was NOT happy..

The next day was another crazy weird quiet London day, this time in Shoreditch where we played Junkyard Golf (minigolf course and bar but way funnier), and ate more good food. We ended up at Winter Wonderland where we may or may not have done 8 rounds each in the Oktoberfest Tent.

Garrett Chantal Kira Emmett Dad

Once Chantal (planned), and Garrett (suprise)showed up, we really had a dreamteam assembled. That night we finally had a MICHELIN STAR DINNER. Take THAT bucket list!   I will say no more and instead just show photos of food.

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It tasted exactly as amazing as it looks. Happy late Birthday Dad!

Sidenote: Since I am a devious puppetmaster, I suprise secured the flat next door to mine for the break, so we were able to have all these shenanigans at a close distance.

Garrett Chantal Kira Emmett Dad Mom

Next suprise was mom’s arrival, which although was somewhat known, still completed the massive holiday crew. I am incredibly thankful to you all for visiting ice cold London to hang out. Next day, we did some food at Camden Lock, and discovered a ski resort themed bar with an amazing live musician, as well as a massive 3 story rave store? Rave Rave Rave includes live dancers, pulsating beats, baby rave gear, and even a sex shop in the weirder levels. Fun for the whole family!

Dinner that night was a not-so-cheeky Nandos, a British favorite!

The 30th took us to The Brixton another  “grungy Hipster Neighborhood” and the worst possible day on the London Eye. Visibility was zero, and still people lined up and went for it. Gotta love tourism.

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Lok guys you can see the other pods!

News Years Eve stands out as another Kyle bucket list item complete. The whole gang went all the way east to the olympic park and took on the worlds tallest and longest tunnel slide. Basically they built this hideous structure for the olympics, and in a stroke of total genius, decided to put a build a slide on it to save face.

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Pretty smart actually. The world needs more slides. Dinner that night was a feast at Black Roe. Think 7 types of poke, champagne, and mac n cheese in a lobster. Divine.

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After a celebratory meal, Chantal Emmett and I jumped ship and went to a rave.

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What we didn’t realize was that the whole thing was a Drum and Bass show.Rookie mistake. 7 hours is a lot of drum and bass. 20 minutes is a lot of drum and bass. At 5 AM we headed home (with a quick detour at Buckingham Palace), got food, and EChoy headed straight to the airport. Legend.

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First week of 2017 saw Kyle and Chantal doing some serious Londoning..

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All the food, and  long walks across London, we did it all.

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On the last day we finally made it to Greenwich and having low expectations set by the internet, were pleasantly surprised with how cool it was. Imagine shrinking all of London into one adorable town, throw in a Maritime museum and some scientific legacy, and you have Greenwich. We even had traditional pies and mash at a local spot.

Also maybe the highlight of my tourisms, I ended up going with Garrett and Chantal separately on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in a 5 day timespan. I promise this is one of those things that is definitely worth doing, regardless of your HP fandom level.

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What really made this cool was just a look at how 8 films with essentially unlimited budgets get made. Example, thousands of wands were made for the cast, rubber wands for action scenes, Hero wands for close ups, etc etc.. 20,000 props are in the storefronts of Diagon Alley alone, 1000+ different “potions” fill up the potions class.

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You get to see the actual castle they filmed all of the castle scene with, etc etc.. Very cool and surreal experience for those of us who grew up with Harry. “It’s like being in a museum where the theme is just your childhood.”-Chantal  I really should do a full post on this, but this post alone is taking forever, so just go on the tour yourselves!

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Honestly could go on and on forever about the last month of life, in fact I completely skipped the cheeky Copenhagen trip I took two weeks ago, but at some point I need to push the publish button. I finally feel like I have some sense of ownership on London.. Granted I still haven’t seen HUGE portions of the city, but have definitely now hit the main spots. The fact that I got to spend this time with my favorite people on the planet, exploring such a wonderful place, is something I am beyond grateful for. Thanks to you all for making it out here! Ciao.

Tune in next week for your regularly scheduled program.

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One quote from each:

“So I want one night out to be themed around my love for Jaimie XX, and one night for The Smiths… Can you do that?”- Nick

“Does anyone else listen to hardo trap music to help them fall asleep?”-Emmett

“Buckingham Palace… tehe”-Chantal

“Officer I only had one butterbeer… I’m fine!”-Garrett

“Oooooh I should make a new Instagram for that!”-Chippy

“Picadilly line to Cockfosters.”- Dad

“Smile ungrateful children”-Mom

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