London Travel Diary – Day 8

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5Day 6, and Day 7 if you missed them.

And yes, I sure am taking my time getting through these. At this rate, I may not finish until the one-year anniversary of the trip! Life, as always, has been busy, but delightfully so, of late. My still-new job is so amaz-awesome-tastic that I’ve devoted a lot of mental energy to it. When writing all day, it’s hard to come home and write more. Working on that balancing act!

The impetus to get back on this particular horse is that Kat and Chris are headed off to the UK soon, and I am very jealous! (But also insanely happy for them!) So in addition to living vicariously through their social media, I’ll be re-living our fabulous trip through these diaries.

Day 8: Friday, November 6

Friday morning saw us having brekkie in our hotel. One of the best moves we made when planning this trip was getting that little studio. The kitchenette saved us so much money because we had groceries on hand and didn’t eat every meal out. We did, however, decide to wander off in search of coffee, in part because we just wanted to go out and be in London. I’m usually happy to laze around a hotel room, but when in that glorious city, I mostly preferred being out enjoying it.

Warren met us at Euston Station and came back to our place briefly to drop off his overnight bag so we could go to lunch unencumbered. He had his overnight bag with him because the big plan for the day involved trekking up to Derby via train for An Evening with Michael Pickwoad (Doctor Who production designer), courtesy of the Whoovers!

In one of many happily-timed coincidences, fellow Doctor Who fan and Gally attendee Sami Kelsh happened to be in London, and was relatively close by at Oxford Circus. We put off lunch for a few minutes so she could join us. (I’m not sure if I’d ever met Sami before, but I certainly hadn’t talked to her much. What an awesome opportunity to do so. She’s fab, and I can’t wait to hang out with her again!)

We decided to try the lunch buffet at Taste of India, Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 7

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6 if you missed them.

Day 7: Thursday, November 5

After the previous day’s excitement, what better than another long whirlwind of a day?

Simon and Warren headed to our place in the morning. We wanted to set off early to walk around London and shoot scenes for the RFS Gally intro video. At the time, the whole project was a big hush-hush secret, but now I can shout it from the rooftops! Rather than burying the lede, here’s the glorious finished product:

Warren’s plan was to check into a hotel later that day (after a few lovely nights at Simon’s pad), so he dropped his stuff off at our place first thing. We got our timing a bit wrong and we were out when he arrived. Whoops. We’d popped out to grab some groceries, and he had to wait outside for a few minutes. Luckily, those groceries included a box of Jammie Dodgers, so we placated Warren with some delicious Dalek-busting treats.

Erika proudly displays a package of Jammie Dodgers

I don’t usually like jam or fruity desserts. Jammie Dodgers are a delicious exception to this rule!

Meanwhile, Simon sat at Speedy’s, the cafe up the block. You may know it as the cafe outside Sherlock’s apartment on the BBC’s Sherlock. We found Simon having a cup of tea next to the great detective’s front door. (You can see this during a brief establishing shot in the video. It’s also the moment of my tiny cameo.) We brought Simon a Jammy Dodger too. Then Steven and Warren had some tea with him while we planned our attack! Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 6

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 if you missed them.

Day 6: Wednesday, November 4

This was a big, long day! Steven and I got up at stupid-o’clock (that’s 4:30am) to take the tube to Epping where we met Simon and Warren in the pouring rain and waited for our pal Dan to pick us up. Dan, because he’s one of the nicest fellows ever, agreed to drive us all the way to Cardiff and back on Wednesday so we could take in the Doctor Who Experience (and not have to check out of our hotel in order to do it).

We stopped at a “service station” (which is like a highway oasis or truck stop) to use the bathrooms and so Dan could get something from Greggs. (Greggs was another thing that was totally new to us.) I bought myself a Kinder hazelnut bar from a vending machine. It was awesome. There were no Kinder products in the US when I was growing up, and I’d never tried the items we have here in Canada, so even my vending machine experience felt exotic.

A proper road trip involves some sort of crazy antics in the car: Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 5

It’s high time I continued our adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 if you missed them.

Day 5: Tuesday, November 3

Tuesday was a day Steven and I were largely on our own, and we decided to just walk around. I can highly recommend wandering around London with someone you love. It was a great way to experience the city.

We didn’t have much in the way of specific destinations in mind, but Steven wanted to check out BBC Broadcasting House, so instead of jumping on our beloved Tube, we set out on foot in that general direction. Of course, one of the first landmarks we encountered was the ever-present, ever-looming WOTAN.

It's even scarier from right below.

It’s even scarier from directly below.

Steven needed his daily dose of coffee, so we stopped at a Pret A Manger on the way. I didn’t notice you had to ask for an extra shot to make it what I call “normal”-strength, so I walked away with a disappointingly weak latte. We did not go back to one for the rest of the trip.

We were surprised how quickly we found ourselves at BBC Broadcasting House. There’s an awful lot of stuff packed within very walkable distance in London!

Bobo was excited to see the BBC as well.

Bobo was excited to see the BBC as well.

Inside, we chatted with the clerk at the gift shoppe. He said he’d heard of Radio Free Skaro! (Though he said he’d never listened. Nor had he heard of Verity!) We bought a few things (including refrigerator magnets and an enamel pin for my TARDIS bag). And, of course, we took the obligatory I-was-at-the-BBC pics. Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 4

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1Day 2, and Day 3 if you missed them.

Day 4: Monday, November 2

Steven and I met Warren and Simon at the British Museum around 11am (after another low-key morning eating cereal and hard-boiled eggs in our adorable studio). To get there, we walked down Gower Street. It was a lovely walk, and we passed a couple notable sites on the way. Unexpectedly, we wandered past RADA. Steven, of course, shouted “RAAADAAA” in true Tom Baker fashion.UK-RADA

We also discovered our hotel was only a block from where they shoot the exterior shots for Sherlock.

UK-E at Sherlocks

In fact, Bobo can show you just how close we were:

We decided not to tackle too much of the British Museum in one day. I was most interested in the Rosetta Stone and spent some quality time staring at it. It’s much thicker than I expected. We also took in most of the Egypt exhibit. Steven’s been to Egypt, so that was extra-exciting for him. Simon treated us all to coffee from one of the cafes in the lobby area, and Steven spent some quality time shopping in the gift shoppe. Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 3

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you missed them.

Day 3: Sunday, November 1

Thanks to our canny defeat of jet lag, Steven and I woke up at a decent hour. We had time for breakfast in our teeny studio. We discovered that the toothpaste provided was Bobo-sized!

Bobo-tiny toothpaste

After a leisurely morning in our pad, we met Simon and Warren at Trafalgar square at 11am. Our first solo experience taking the tube was awesome. Everything is so well laid out. The destinations are documented clearly on the walls at each stop. And when we needed to exit the station, there were signs pointing us to all 6 or 7 exits, detailing which streets they led to.

Sadly, Trafalgar Square was partitioned off because the rugby world cup had been projected on a screen there the night before. They were still taking down all the chairs. We took a few pics before Simon and Warren arrived anyway. Continue reading

London Travel Diary – Day 2

Our continuing adventures in the UK! Check out Day 1 if you missed it.

Bobo-plane to UK

Day 2: Saturday, October 31

Our second day started on the plane. We know this because Steven and I were both still awake. Also present on the flight was Steven’s plush Canadian Mountie bear, Bobo. (He’s keeping an eye on our progress in the picture above.)

They served us some breakfast snacks and drinks on the plane. I had a croissant that didn’t quite agree with me. Perhaps I oughtn’t to have jumped back into eating gluten so suddenly. But a croissant is a tough thing to resist while on vacation! As it turned out, that particular croissant was literally tough. What a waste of gluten consumption! Of course, it could have been the “proper” tea I drank with it. (By “proper”, I mean not herbal.) Based on later experience, I do blame the tea and not the wheat. Either way, I arrived in the UK with one doozy of a stomach ache. Continue reading