Here we go. The next three days were packed with adventure so there are going to be lots of photos in this post. In short the highlights are as follows: The Beatles, Bath, Stonehenge, slow motion skipping, Gavin DeGraw, Buckingham Palace, Shoreditch, Russell Brand.
Day 18 – Friday
Friday was pretty simple in comparison to the rest of the weekend, but in our music class it was Beatles day so we spent the class listening to and talking about The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.. Considering class is at 9 in the morning, it was a nice way to wake up and spend the morning.
Day 19 – Saturday
Marathon Day #1 – Waking up at 6am, leaving at 7.15 to head over to the other building and on the bus by 8am we were headed to Bath and Stonehenge! The morning brought rain, but once we got to Bath it was just cloudy and rather nice. We had a few hours to explore the area and Heidi and I grabbed lunch at this cute Thai place on the River. Then it was back on the bus to head to Stonehenge. Now I know Stonehenge is a big deal and all that, but to be honest the more exciting part of that stop was walking through the open fields and skipping like little children (we used slow motion video on iPhone – see below). The stones are pretty cool, but the walk was a nice change. After seeing the ‘henge, we caught the tram back down to get back on the bus.
Now I had booked this tour and then got confirmed for the Gavin DeGraw concert and knew it would be tight to make it, but didn’t know how close I’d be cutting it. The venue was about 30-60 minutes away from where we got picked up depending on mode of transit and taking three different tube lines was actually the fastest so after arriving at 7.15pm, I bolted down the street to the station and made it to the venue by 7.45. Gavin’s brother Joey was the opening artist and was on stage from 7.15 – 8pm so I was able to see a few songs from his set and was in perfect time to take photos and enjoy all of Gavin’s show.
With a crowd of about 3,000 (sold out) behind me for the first few songs, I could feel the energy, but when I actually went back into the crowd to watch the show it was unlike any show I’ve seen. People sang more of the show that I’ve every experienced and the energy was simply unreal. (Review + Photos here)
Day 20 – Sunday
Time is literally flying by, but at the same time it feels like I’ve been here for months. After the marathon day I had on Saturday, I wasn’t quite sure how Sunday would go, but I was ready to tackle it. Luckily the day started a bit later on.. We headed over to Buckingham Palace at 10.30am and spent a little bit of time exploring the grounds and enjoying the first day of fall weather. It was sunny, breezy and simply perfect. We then got to take a tour of the State Rooms inside the palace and it was absolutely breathtaking. Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside, but we were able to take photos in the gardens outside. It reminded me a bit of when I got to tour the White House many, many years ago, but on a whole other level.
Part two of the day consisted of visiting the Shoreditch area of London. In a few classes we have assignments that consist of visiting an area of London and creating a presentation and paper so for music, our group picked the Shoreditch/Hoxton area. We spent late afternoon and early evening exploring the BoxPark which is similar to the High Line in NYC but with more shops and created for the digital age (all the restaurants are hashtags and the area is actually called @boxpark) and then explored the streets. We found a free photo gallery, a vintage guitar shop, record shop and wound up at this cute restaurant called The Breakfast Club that felt like an 80s/90s diner. Midway through dinner was when yet another random but incredible moment happened.. Russell Brand showed up.. He passed our table as we were getting ready to head out and being that the place was small and relaxed, he was more than happy to take photo with our little group (and although he looks serious in the photo he was making a funny face because that’s just him). It was the perfect stamp to end our weekend of adventure with.
Simply based on my calendar, the next two weeks are going to be filled with even more so check back next weekend for a recap (because chances are that is when I will actually be able to write).