You Only London Once…Or Not

London will forever be one of my favorite cities in the world. I fall in love every time I’m there. Underground signs lighting the darkness, British accents floating in the air, double decker buses breezing past you…nothing makes me happier.

Now that our train passes are valid, it’s much easier to travel to London since it’s free now! Well, we have pre-paid passes. Today we (Savannah, Rachel, Mary Kate, Sarah, Allie, and I) began the Christmas season with the rest of the city and went to the Regent Street Christmas lighting. You might think it’s strange to already be thinking about Christmas, but remember that England doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, so Christmas is their big winter holiday and the build-up is enormous. We got to the city around 4 PM and immediately got to do one of our favorite London activities…ride the tube. London’s underground was the first one we had to master, and now it’s like an old friend. We got off at Oxford Circus, the main shopping area, and white lanterns lined the streets. We found where all the action was, and after getting peppermint hot chocolates, found a group singing Christmas carols. Obviously we joined in, but seemed to be the only ones in the crowd singing, but we didn’t care one bit. We looked like Americans, but for once I didn’t care.

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When 5 o’clock rolled around, we were right where we wanted to be: in the crowd, waiting at the main stage. We had a full night ahead of us. Among lots of British bands that we’d never heard of, Sporty Spice and Baby Spice AND Leona Lewis performed. Thank goodness that the unknown bands played Christmas music, because we were singing loud and proud. We were freezing the entire time, dancing to keep warm, and keeping our eyes open for any sign of One Direction (just like everyone else). It took three tries, but at 7:15 they finally turned on the Christmas lights lining the streets! And set off fireworks! It was a sight to see. To end the night, we found a Five Guys (yes, Five Guys is INTERNATIONAL) and did some damage with those fries. It was truly just…happiness. To be in one of my favorite places with 5 of my favorite people, at the best time of year, makes me so grateful.

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