A Love Letter to London

Dear London,

Even though my friends raved about you, I still wasn’t convinced that you’d be a good fit for me.  After all, you aren’t really known for your food or great weather – two very important things to me. But it didn’t take long for you to surpass any expectations that I had.

When WOW Air announced discounted fares from BWI to London via Reykjavík, Iceland, I thought there was no better time to visit you than on a discounted flight.  I’d be able to cross you off my bucket list and finally say I saw you.  I had never been to visit and honestly, never really had a desire to.  I know; shame on me.  I always imagined you to be cold, foggy, and quite frankly, white-washed. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

I’m not going to lie.  My visit started out a little rocky.  My friend and I got lost on the way from Gatwick to our hotel and once we finally arrived to our room at the Z Hotel Shoreditch, it was the size of an actual shoebox – literally.  I have come to expect small European hotel rooms, but this room took my expectations to a whole new low level. But that’s another story for a different day.

Once we began to explore you via the Tube (which really puts DC’s Metro to shame) and the Big Bus, I realized that every inch of you was at my disposal.  It was awesome.  You always felt so alive. Everywhere we went, there was always something to see.  From Picadilly Circus to Shoreditch, Covent Garden to Camden Town and more, I looked forward to the next place more than the last.

I’m not naive in knowing that most of the places we visited were touristy. You can’t blame me for wanting to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye.  But still, you’re a big city, much like New York or  DC, with many neighborhoods, sites, restaurants and so much more to see.

More than anything, you made me feel welcome.  Not only was there was way more diversity than I expected, but everyone I encountered was friendly.  Not like fake Paris friendly (actually, people in Paris weren’t friendly at all, but again, that’s another story for a different day).  But each person I encountered had a genuine desire to want to help me explore every inch of you.

There was a familiarness about you that I still can’t quite put my finger on, but you left enough of an impression for me want to return for a longer period of time.  And truthfully, I can’t say the same for many other cities.

While it would have been great to catch a play, have high tea at Kensington Gardens or explore the city outskirts, I did the best I could to see you in 3 days.  I hope I did you justice.  I don’t say this lightly, but I think I love you.  I hope to see you again soon.

Your newest admirer,

Ashlee

 Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 Big Ben

Big Ben

 London Eye

London Eye

 View from London Eye

View from London Eye

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Photo Credit: Ashlee Tuck