It was a cold March evening when my brother, Jason, my dad, and I boarded our nine hour, British Airways flight from Washington DC to London, which was paid for by my work as a Virginia Senate Page. We spent the night on the plane eating surprisingly good food, playing with the touch screens given to each passenger, and sleeping rather uncomfortably. After crossing the pond, we touched down in London at Heathrow. From there we walked to the London Underground in order to get to our hotel, which was a very short distance from an Underground stop and the British Museum. It was slightly cramped with three people in it but it was worth it. After dropping our luggage off in our hotel, we went for a visit to the British Museum. The two most awe-inspiring pieces to me were the Rosetta Stone and the section of the Parthenon because of their size and my obsession with that portion of history and culture. After soaking up historical culture, we went to see some pop culture in Piccadilly Circus.
The next day, my father and I boarded the Underground and headed to the Fulham Road stop to go see my favorite soccer team, Chelsea Football Club, play against Manchester City at their home stadium of Stamford Bridge. Before the start of the game, my dad and I took a visit to the Chelsea Store where I got a personalized Chelsea jersey with my name on the back. Then we returned to our seats, the whistle blew, and it was game time. This game was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The excitement that arose after Michael Essien’s goal was palpable to the whole stadium. The atmosphere was one that I knew I’d love to be back in many times. After the game, there was a sea of Chelsea blue as the fans took the Underground back to their respective homes with the joy of a win on their faces. My dad and I went to meet up with my brother and we wandered for a bit until we decided to go into line for the London Eye, London’s enormous Ferris Wheel that allows for a panoramic view of the city. It was beautiful to get a bird’s eye view of my favorite city.
The next day, my dad and I once again returned to Stamford Bridge for a stadium tour and a museum visit. The stadium tour was amazing because I got to visit the press conference area where new players sign their contracts, the away locker room where our tour guide made a joke I’ll never forget (it mocked Cristiano Ronaldo, one of my least favorite players in the world), the home locker room where my favorite players spend time, and the tunnel where the teams walk out off in order to reach the pitch. Walking out of that tunnel with the artificial sound of a crowd was another awe-inspiring experience that I’ll never forget. After we finished up at the stadium, we met up with my brother again and went to see Piccadilly Circus at night, which was like Times Square but shorter and with less lights.
On our final day, we returned to the British Museum to finish up what we’d missed. Then went to Heathrow. While waiting for our flight we ate at a restaurant called Wagamama’s, which serves the most delicious ramen I’ve had, and it remains one of my favorite restaurants. After we finished slurping up our ramen noodles we went to our gate to wait for our flight back home.
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