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Ahhhh London.  The scenery: AMAZING.  The company: AMAZING.  The drinks: AMAZING.  The food isn’t that great, and the weather is also not that great.  Is it because I went in the middle of winter?  Probably.  At least the weather part.

I’ve been to London a few times, and this was by far the most interesting trip.  I spent the majority of my time walking in no general direction attempting to see the city from a completely new angle.  When I’ve been to London previously, my exploration was accomplished by a handful of double-decker buses, tours of the city by friends that live there, and of course, actual guided tours.  This time, I wanted to see it on my own.

Day 1: Depart SFO at 1pm.  Land in London about 7am without sleeping a wink on the plane, leaving me incredibly tired.  During the hour taxi ride to my hotel, I promise myself NOT to sleep when I get to my hotel.  But the second I see that perfectly plush hotel mattress with perfectly plush pillows, I’m down for the count with boots and jacket, and probably my backpack, still on.  About 8pm I wake up (I know, that nap was the worst idea ever), and head out to see the city by night.  Staying at the Hilton Tower Bridge was awesome because it (as it’s name implies) was right next to the Tower Bridge, an area of London I’ve never stayed in before.

I soon discover Pizza Express, which had the best rosemary flat bread I’d ever had, and (thank god) Diet Coke!  I’ve found that a lot of European cities carry Coca Cola Light, which is NOT the same as Diet Coke, even though every server tries to convince me otherwise.  After exploring a bit, I head to meet up with friends at a local pub for drinks.  I try to convince my friends Nick and Jacob that swimming across the River Thames is completely doable at 3am in 40 degree (F) weather.  I think they actually consider it at first, but then I decide it is  probably not a good idea after having a couple drinks (or ever, for that matter).  So we head back to the hotel for 2 hours of catching up, a mock sword fight (it’s a long story), and deep conversation.  Deep might be an overstatement considering it was the middle of the night…but hey, it was 6pm San Francisco time!   5am rolls around and it’s time to call it a night.

To be continued…