Allowed ourselves a bit of a lazy morning knowing it would be a long day. After bowls of cereal we cleaned ourselves up, made our way to Victoria Station and caught a bus to Liverpool Street. Being a little early to meet Dan, Sophie, Carol, and Rich, we wandered around the streets outside of the station taking in the architecture and taking photos. After meeting the others we grabbed another bus to a pho place Rich suggested once he realised his favourite spot was closed.
The food was delicious and we all enjoyed ourselves, but the restaurant made things a little difficult by refusing to honour our American credit card. Rich said they can’t legally do such a thing, but ultimately we decided to repay Rich and Carol later rather than argue.
After lunch we parted from the group to go to St. Paul’s Cathedral to do a little site seeing. Neither of us had been inside St. Paul’s so we were curious about the London skyline landmark.
Once inside, we paid our fee, picked up the iPhone audio tour device, and made our way through the beautiful space. Eventually we climbed to the top and made our way around the dome, dodging other tourists, and taking photos of the stunning views of the city.
With the closing hour nearing, we made our way toward the exit, stopping by the gift shop and restrooms before heading out into the dusk. We made our way to the Tube stop and head toward Oxford Circus to have dim sum at our favourite place, Ping Pong.
The closer we got to Oxford Circus the madder the Tube trains and stations became. When we got off the train and made our way to the surface it was wall-to-wall people moving in every direction. We stepped against the wall to check the iPhone map and then did our best to stick together as we moved with the crowd.
We ducked down and alley seen on the map and found a less busy route to the restaurant. Ping Pong was busy, but we were shown to our table right away. The table was small, making it a challenge for the wait staff to find places for our items, and as more people poured in the service got spottier. We eventually got our puddings, settled the check and scrambled to get back to the flat so we could make the MetaFilter meetup.
Once outside the crowds seemed larger and when we got to the Tube we encountered long queues at all the Oyster ticket machines. It took 20 minutes just to get a top-up so we were definitely running late. Glad we called the meetup for a place close to where we are staying!
We got back to the flat, dropped our packages, freshened up, changed clothes, and dashed out to Pimlico The Queen’s Arms to meet the others. As we were walking, I sent a Tweet asking for someone to post updates from the Arsenal/Chelsea match that was about to kickoff. The Queen’s Arms doesn’t have a television, and I wasn’t about to be rude and be glued to the phone for updates. Someone offered to send me direct message updates shortly after we arrived at the pub, and we settled in at the large table set up for our group.
We got to meet some new people; however, we found it amusing that very few of the attendees were actually British! Other Americans visiting — including Rich, Carol and Dan — plus an American who works in London, a few Canadians, and at least one lovely Irish musician were there. The Mear brothers, Sophie, and some bloke were the only proper Brits!
Some people ordered food, most had drinks, and everyone had a good time. The staff was great to us; Ollie and Rosie really took care of us. Rosie was curious about brewing beer, so I helped explain the basics to her, and at last shout bought the two of them a beer of their choice. Rosie opted for an Anchor Steam just as I had just ordered. We also learned that Arsenal had upset Chelsea, 3-1, so we were chuffed … and surprisingly not too drunk.
We said our last goodbyes to Chris and David, and Rich and Carol for this trip, and made our way back to the flat for the last night in London, where we got ready for bed immediately.