Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mind The Gaps

A few weeks ago when Bookie and I were looking at things to do while we were in London, we became aware of a yearly event that just happened to be taking place on our final day in London.

And so, we planned on attending this very special event. 

We also did not tell Keith what this event was.  

And so, on our way to it, he seemed a little bit nervous.

And rightfully so, to be fair.   We’ve made him do some pretty stupid things on this trip so far...

Retro Stabbiness!

All he knew was that it was at Hyde Park, just eurominutes away from where the Queen had just celebrated her birthday without us.

So we went and found the crowd.

And then they started taking their clothes off.

And the annual Nude Bicycle Ride was upon us.

And Keith was perhaps happier being burned alive at the Dungeon.

Just a warning:  These photos are not safe for work.  They may not even be safe for home.  I did my best to try and cover the naughty bits...but some may have slipped through.

It actually reminded me of the annual West Hollywood Halloween parade...

...lots of people in outrageous costumes...

...but mostly, there were no costumes.

There were no anythings.

Just pure nudity...

...on bikes.

In my head initially, I thought "Ooh!  Nude Cyclists!  That will surely be fun to look at."

But not everyone cycles for fitness, apparently.

I suspect that some of them were just looking for an excuse to be naked outside.

And although Bookie and I thought it'd be fun to make Keith a wee bit uncomfortable by surrounding him with naked people...one thing I didn't bank on was the fact that we, too, would then also be surrounded by naked people.  

Our plan may have backfired.

Quite literally.

And clearly, we weren't the only ones uncomfortable with what was happening.  For example:

 "I told you we should have gone to Canada!"

As we began to devise an escape route, a voice behind me said, "Was this not what you expected?"

It was a cyclist--nude, of course.  Apparently we were being Loud Americans™ about our distaste.  But he was polite and as Bookie and Keith tried to contain themselves, I somehow managed to hold an adult, respectable conversation with the man while avoiding eye contact with his penis.  Mostly.

He explained that this began as an annual event to promote awareness for cyclists, but now it's much more than that--a way to protest whatever seems to be bothering you.

Seeing as how the nude factor was the thing that was bothering me most, I went back to my huddle with Keith and Bookie and we tried not to panic.

Till we saw this guy, who was a little too excited about the whole situation...

Then we hauled ass (pardon the pun) out of there just as the ride was beginning.

We decided to head over to Soho for a few pints to wash the sight out of our eyes.

Unfortunately, we took the exact wrong path.  About three blocks into our journey, we heard a commotion behind us.

Apparently, the cyclists were also taking this route.  Ofcoursetheywere.

And so again, we were assaulted by the sights of naked Brits.

This time at full speed...

..in public.

Yes, that's the Queen and Obama approaching.  Happy Birthday, Your Royal Highness!

This was all, of course, happening much to the horror of the proper cyclists that were unfortunate enough to be out for a lovely afternoon of riding.

"Good heavens!  They're all mad!  Pip, pip!"

It will take me a lot of years to forget what I saw that day.

"No, in fact, I will not be high-fiving you."

And if you want to see these people...

...and more in all their uncensored glory, I've set up a photo album just for you.  You sicko.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Her Royal Weirdness

For our final full day in London, we were thrilled to discover that the Queen was having a birthday party at the palace, located approximately one quarter of a trillion mill-o-metres from our hotel (About five U.S. blocks.)

The streets around the Palace were shut down for the celebration…

…and the area was totally decked out for what promised to be a hell of a party...

...featuring an air show, a procession, a gun salute and, of course special appearances by not only the queen, but by America’s Sweethearts, William and Kate!

So, obviously we left the hotel early in order to get a good view of this once-in-our-lifetime celebration.   

Even the flag poles are wearing royal crowns!

Just kidding:  We took a walking tour of “Quirky London” instead.   

In my defense, I booked the tour weeks ago, way before the Queen decided she was going to be bourne that day 80u5 years ago.  So, despite her royal begging (seriously, lady, get a hold of yourself!)  
we found our way to our Quirky London Tour guide:  A man named Hedley.

And if anyone was born to give a quirky tour of anything, it was Hedley. 

Hedley prefaced the tour with a brief introduction to London, describing it as a “mental hospital where even the doctors have gone mad.” 

That seems about right, considering what we’ve seen…and what we will see later.  (More on that in the next post…)

Anyway, Hedley took us to some wonderful places on this tour, regaling us with tales that we never would have known (mainly about whores and dead things) along the way. He was quite entertaining (although the two Dutch girls that were also taking the tour with us didn’t think so, but I digress…) 

It’s a truly unique take on London, and we saw some incredible things that we otherwise would have missed, like the posh and super-fancy Savoy hotel…

…where basic rooms start at 2500 pounds a night. 

Obviously while inside, we didn’t even dare take photos (or breathe) out of fear we would break something.  Hi, we don’t know how to behave in a place where “everything must be the best.”  You know, because we’re the worst. 

Some of the less intimidating places on the tour include where Charles Dickens used to work…

"Please Sir, May I have Some More…

...stuffed potato skins?"

We also got to see the only street in the city where Londoners drive on the right side of the road.

It was like a little slice of home...except, of course, we still almost managed to get killed, since we weren't expecting it.

All in all, I'd recommend this tour for anyone who is looking for an excuse to avoid a massive birthday party down the road (or if you just want a unique look at London through the eyes of the crazies that you know you love.)

After the tour, since it was our final day in London (and we were still somewhat hungover from last night) we decided to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dinner and Drinks...Minus the Dinner, Oh God!

Since we only have a few more nights in London we want to make sure we enjoy it and since it was the start of the weekend, Alex and Alban were going to meet up with us for another night of shenanigans...

I love these boys they are so much fun!

If you recall from their last night out with us, they are crazy of course they are, but in the best possible way. The plan was to grab dinner and then hit up some bars but then a thing happened.

It started to pour down buckets again so we hopped into a bar for "one drink". See where this is going? Also at the bar a few of my other friends from Uni showed up.

Mark is an awesome guy from Belfast...

And Russell. I haven't seen these guys in years so it was awesome to se them. So of course the drinks started flying...

And then Jeff and Adam ditched me to run down the street and grab some food because they were perishing, bastards!

This turned out to be a brilliant idea as you will soon see. I of course was a few pints in and chatty Kathy so I figured I'd be fine, ugh!

So after we drank our way through the bar we decided it was time to go dancing at a club called Popstars. Of course it was still pouring and our little gaggle of gays had no idea where we were going...

So we decided to hop into some crazy rickshaws because that worked out so well last time...

Jeff and I rode together...

And thankfully we made it to the bar with only getting minimally drenched...

At the club Alban was of course all over the place. That guy cracks me up, he is like the Energizer bunny. Consequently that is him giving me the bunny ears...

It's been great catching up with all my old friends from school...

And showing the boys why I loved living here so much...

But this is the last picture of me smiling, it turns out that 6 pints on no food makes Keith a wee drunk. So on the walk home from the club the boys thankfully stopped so I could eat...

They might have been a little tired...

And I might have been a little perishy...

Or a lot! Apparently I fell asleep in the elevator at the hotel, F!

Euro Blam! Off to bed. Tomorrow is our last day in the city and the boys have something secret planned for me. I am VERY uneasy about this!

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Location:Back in the London Gutters Again