Trapped in Paradise – the DC Edition

Part travel blog, part philosophical musings. All tongue-in-cheek ridiculousness.

Aloha from London!

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Since I’ve ditched cable television and am mostly avoiding Facebook like the plague, I’ve been getting most of my news from business-related podcasts. The beauty of it is that they’re blissfully devoid of all the negativity plaguing U.S. news networks lately. The flip side? Business journalists are still talking about Brexit.

Come on, guys. Even this guy is over it.

Come on now. Even this dude is over it.

BBC Business Daily is one of my go-to podcasts, and I admit I was worried when it took them four days to upload a new podcast after the Brexit vote happened. (“Those poor guys, they must all still be at the pub,” I had thought sadly.) Although I got a good laugh this morning while listening to NPR on the way into work – it seems the Brits have finally stopped worrying so much about the economy, and are back to focusing on the important things, like what’s going to happen to David Cameron’s cat.

How can you leave this little fella behind?!

How can you leave this little fella behind?!

I must have been British in a past life, because this is the first thing I would be worried about.

Anyway, my mind is still a little bit blown that such an issue was put up to a popular vote. I mean, this isn’t like electing your next leader, this is an economic issue that (ideally) you had already elected your leaders to handle in the best way possible. The average joe knows little-to-nothing about international trade. I mean, you wouldn’t ask U.S. citizens to vote on whether or not to stay in NAFTA, would you? Because we all know what would happen: certain presidential hopefuls would be talking all sorts of xenophobic rhetoric along the lines of, “we don’t want them Mexicans taking our jobs!'” and the next thing you know, we’ve no longer got barrier-free trade with Mexico or Canada.

Besides, we already saw what happens when you ask the masses for their opinion. This is how you end up with Boaty McBoatface

Besides, we already saw what happens when you ask the masses for their opinion. This is how you end up with Boaty McBoatface.

But I digress. I was inspired to dig up a halfway-finished blog post from a couple of years ago, when I was lucky enough to fly to the UK for a friend’s wedding. It was my first time visiting, and I loved it! I wasn’t even too upset that I’d had to deal with an 11-hour time change since I had been living in Hawaii at the time. The people were great, the beer was warm but quite good, and both the city and the countryside were wonderful. I’d love to live in London someday.

Big Ben says cheerio!

Big Ben says cheerio!

Chuck and I had decided to make a trip of it and show up a week before the wedding. As it turned out, April was a fantastic time to visit since the weather was pretty much perfect – mild and sunny during the day, a little chilly at night but nothing a light jacket couldn’t solve. We spent our first couple of days doing the typical touristy stuff like walking tours and checking out the famous landmarks. I admit to being disappointed that I couldn’t take a picture making faces at a stoic Buckingham Palace guard like they do in the movies, but the awesome tour of Westminster Abbey made up for it. (It turns out I actually learned a lot of British history from reading all those silly historical romance novels as a teen!)

 

Alas, there were no sightings of Fabio-lookalikes dressed in kilts. Those historical romance books lied!

Alas, there were no sightings of Fabio-lookalikes dressed in kilts. Those historical romance books lied!

The outside of Westminster Abbey - this was one of the walking tours we went on. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos inside the church, because it was pretty spectacular and full of famous dead people (mostly kings and queens, dating back to the 1000's)

The outside of Westminster Abbey – this was one of the walking tours we went on. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the church, because it was pretty spectacular and full of famous dead people (mostly kings and queens, dating back to the 1000’s)

One of the stars of the British Museum: the Rosetta Stone! My inner language nerd was quite happy.

One of the stars of the British Museum: the Rosetta Stone! My inner language nerd was quite happy.

Of course you can't leave London without a walking tour of all the "haunted" places in the city. Sadly, the only ghost we saw was later in the pub.

Of course you can’t leave London without a walking tour of all the “haunted” places in the city. Sadly, the only ghost we saw was in the pub, trying to escape from Chuck’s beer.

It was incredible being in a city with a wide variety of events going on, the lack of which was one of my biggest complaints about living in Hawaii. I loved that it was easy to get tickets to a good show and that nice museums were plentiful. And I definitely loved that you can find just about any cuisine you fancied thanks to the huge mix of cultures there. We had some of the best Peking duck outside of Asia in Chinatown, Indian curry for lunch, and of course great British pub food right before going to see Spamalot. Which reminds me of a funny story – when we went to Leicester Square to buy tickets, we stumbled upon the London premiere of that new movie Noah. I finally got to see a celebrity! Well, sort of. I had to raise my camera above the crowd and blindly take photos, but I got a glimpse and a very blurry picture of the back of Russell Crowe’s head (along with some other actor.)

The crowd was huge so this blurry picture was the best one I could get of the back of Russell Crowe's head and some other guy who's apparently in the movie as well. (I think he plays Noah's son? Whatever, he's not important enough for anyone to remember his name.)

I think he plays Noah’s son? Whatever, he’s not important enough for anyone to remember his name.

We didn’t see the movie until about a year later when it came out on Netflix, and were sorely disappointed that it wasn’t just two hours of Mr. Crowe beating people up and yelling “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!!” at animals as they boarded the ark. Or maybe it was… we wouldn’t know, because we had turned it off after an hour and started watching Gladiator instead.

After a week in London, we headed up to Cambridge for the wedding. What a treat that was! I can only imagine what it must be like going to school there. “Oh, I’ve got my 12:30 economics class in a building from the Plantagenet era, NBD.”

One of our side trips: we stopped by the Blue Bell Inn, which was built in 1257 and has been a favorite RAF hangout over the years. Many pilots have signed their names on the ceiling, including one Prince William (underneath Paul Mac XIII).

One of our side trips: we stopped by the Blue Bell Inn, which was built in 1257 and has been a favorite RAF hangout over the years. Many pilots have signed their names on the ceiling, including one Prince William (underneath Paul Mac XIII).

Cambridge, home of 31 colleges and universities, many of which are older than anything in the U.S.

Cambridge, home of 31 colleges and universities, many of which are older than anything in the U.S.

Campus fines - it costs more to play with a fire extinguisher than it does to punch your professor in the face, apparently.

Campus fines – it costs more to play with a fire extinguisher than it does to punch your professor in the face, apparently.

Hey, look who we found!

Hey, look who we found!

Inside the famed Kings College chapel. The stained glass windows are from the 16th century and depict different scenes from the bible, and were taken down during WWII so they wouldn't get damaged by the air raids.

Inside the famed Kings College chapel. The stained glass windows are from the 16th century and depict different scenes from the bible, and were taken down during WWII so they wouldn’t get damaged by the air raids.

Downtown Cambridge

Downtown Cambridge

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Author: Brit C

Aspiring author and travel enthusiast living in Washington DC. Stop by and say hi!

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