After the exciting display of disgruntled potential-patron tomfoolery from the night before, I was eager to get our day off on the right foot.
I awoke with the intent of firing up my little thrift store treasure - an ambrosial miniature travel iron from the 1970's - to treat my brothers to a crisply ironed shirt to wear for the day's adventures that lay ahead of us. At this point, we were all still trying to navigate our way around the international power adapter situation. Some hostels had outlets with entirely different prong specifications than others, even within the same general area of the same country. Luckily each of us was home-schooled at some point and had developed remarkably keen problem solving skills throughout the years. If only our social skills had developed with the same level of success...
So I pulled out my little travel iron, or Foxy Ferrum as I liked to call him, figured out the correct arrangement of power converters, plugged this shiny beast in, and began the ever important crisping process. A few short minutes of ironing in this dimly lit hostel room proved to be an unwise decision on my part, however, for I had melted through the fabric quite thoroughly and created a large brown burn stain at the bottom of my otherwise unadulterated white button up shirt. I assumed that I had used the wrong power connection, switched the adapters out, and started once more to iron an alternate shirt that Trav said I could borrow. Not but 60 seconds into this effort did I melt holes right through this shirt as well.
Feeling a bit like a destroyer of all things classy, we decided to let little FF take a breather, calm down, and maybe his temperature would be more conducive for our needs in a few minutes. But the third shirt we decided to experiment with started to brown almost instantly, and it was at this point that we decided to come to terms with donning slightly wrinkled thrift store suits for the remainder of our trip. Sure we were heartbroken, but we pressed on, ever united and determined to embrace all of the absurdities that surely awaited us. We are, after all, of Simkins and Cousino decent.
So we, in full Barney Stinson fashion, suited up and made out way to center city.
The majority of this day is probably best told through photographs, although even those don't truly do justice to the incredible beauty we were able to encounter. Even the best equipment with the most proficiently skilled artists couldn't fully capture the essence, palpitation, and atmosphere of the city and all that happened within it. London is a truly enchanting city.
After passing countless stunning churches, we made our way to Big Ben and the majestic House of Parliament. Built in the early 1000's, this massive and profoundly beautiful palace was an incredible sight to see in person.
From there, we rather heedlessly crossed the busy road and made our way to the mesmerizing Westminster Abbey, again passing a number of beautiful churches and other buildings along the way. Seeing all of these churches made me feel a lot better about wearing such a "holey" shirt on this particular day.
After we were able to pull ourselves away from taking far more pictures than we ever could use, we made our way to the British Museum.
This incredible museum was founded as a "universal museum" in the mid 1700's by the physician Sir Hans Sloane who had apparently accumulated quite a collection of artifacts throughout the course of his life and, not wanting to see his collection broken up after his death, he bequeathed all of his items to King George II for £20,000. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.
I won't bore you all with the minute details of every article, artifact, relic, depiction, sculpture, and painting that we saw here, but I will say that I have never before been such a big fan of the idea of admission free museums and galleries prior to this experience. From classic painting from some of history's greatest artists, to the preserved bones od ancient civilizations, the British Museum boasts an unbelievably impressive collection.
Once we were able to get the collection of young Asian girls to stop following (as they had been for almost thirty minutes at this point), we decided to leave to see what else London had to offer.
We left the building and came upon what I can only assume is one of the busiest street signs I have ever seen. I cannot imagine trying to safely read this clutter of words from the driver's seat of a vehicle as I whipped past.
As we stopped to take a picture of this comedic display, a group of ladies dressed as pseudo-nuns approached us and asked if they could take a picture with us in our suits. Of course, we were happy to oblige. It's not every day that a punk-rawk sister request to have their photo taken with you, so when they do, you take them up on that offer. Mamma didn't raise no fool.
We gave our new friends parting hugs, and made our way towards Trafalgar Square, where the illustrious National Gallery was. This square was truly beautiful, teeming with people, and far larger than any image can depict.
Unfortunately the National Gallery was closed by the time we got there, so we all agreed to come by again during operating hours.
We spent the rest of the "daylight" that we had left doing what we do best -wandering. We meandered here and there, meeting people, telling jokes, talking with the Queen's Life Guard, and simply taking pictures of the enchanting artistry around us.
When it started to get dark, we decided to pick up some Newcastles and head under the bridge as the sun slowly disappeared. Zach's Newcastle however, had been dropped and/or shaken quite a bit by the time we made it to our homely bench under the bridge, because the upon opening he was met with a sizable beer-plosion all over his classy blue suit. He was a sad panda bear.
After we cleaned Zach up, snapped a picture of a nearby couple making out, and finished our beverages, we made our way once again, to catch a glimpse of London at night. The storefronts in London alone are rich with creativity
After we had walked and gazed for quite some time, we found a little hole in the wall burger place before heading back home. There's nothing really notable about this particular experience per se, but I do remember that it was delicious.
On our late bus ride back, we accidentally jumped off of our bus at the wrong stop, and ended up walking somewhere in the ballpark of four miles to get back to our hostel. This was made doubly exciting since it was after three in the morning at this point.
Climbing into a lumpy hostel bed never felt so good.