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that wanker Van Morrison

Happy Friday! The weekend is almost in sight! If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “defying gravity is a WICKED good time” - you can click here now to catch up! Otherwise, let’s continue our adventure in London! Also, if you didn’t get the chance to cast your free daily vote for me to be the next #MaximCoverGirl, you can click here to vote or click here to read about why it’s important to me (and then vote!). You can vote once every twenty-four hours, and I’d be so grateful for your support! I'm still in the running, making it into round 3, which is the top 10 of my group! Voting for round 3 ends this coming Thursday night June 18th, so I’d love your support to make it through to round 4! Thank you for everything so far!! If you’re all caught up on the London travels thus far and Maxim Cover Girl voting, well then buckle in, kiddos! We’re continuing our virtual tour of Londontown!

Having had such a jam-packed first day in London, seeing Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Big Ben, The Palace of Westminster, and Wicked, I was excited to see all the wonderful sights I’d encounter on my second day! I set an alarm to wake me up early so I could fill my day with as much fun as possible. I caught the train to Paddington Station where I got my picture taken with a statue of Paddington and also on the painted bench. If you’ve never been lucky enough to hear me talk about how much I love Paddington Bear, let me tell you there may or may not have been a few tears shed when I got to the station and saw the statue of that little bear. After the absolute real life magic that was Paddington, I hopped on the tube and made my way over to the Sherlock Holmes’ Museum!

When I arrived at 221 B Baker Street, there was quite a long line outside, but on the inside, there were rooms and rooms of items and knick-knacks made famous by the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, as well as mannequins of the stories’ villains. It was pretty cool to see the pages brought to life before my eyes (even as someone who works regularly on film and television sets where that is exactly what happens on a daily basis). After touring the Sherlock Holmes house/museum, I found my way over to Passyunk Avenue, a Philadelphian-themed bar in London. I stopped in for a quick pint and to see if I could grab some food since there were so many Philadelphia fans in town for the Eagles game, but it was so crowded I had to settle for a quick beer sans any munchies. No complaints here, I love anything Philadelphia and that it was so crowded. So, instead of trying to find a quick bite in the heart of London, I instead hopped on the tube and made my way back to my AirBnB for some food and an outfit change (since it was Friday night!).

I stopped for a burger and a cider at a local pub near my AirBnB called The Plough and checked in with some friends. I got showered and cleaned up from a busy morning/early afternoon of hopping all around London. When I made my way back out for the evening, I took the tube to The O2 to see Van Morrison perform live at London BluesFest. His opening act was a young guy named Colin MacLeod who was such a good performer and so excited to be a part of the festival. He was a really nice introduction to have before Van took the stage. I’d been wanting to see Van Morrison perform live ever since I was in high school. I can still remember “Jackie Wilson Said” blaring over the speakers at boarding school while being ushered into the Center for the Arts building to seeing some “required fun.” I also admit that I was the type of high school kid who begged her parents to let her go to see Poison in concert even though she was the youngest person in the audience (who was there by her own choice).

Van Morrison did not give a good show. I still love him and his music, but in all honesty, he was kind of a dick to the people who introduced him and would randomly walk backstage, leaving his band and backup singers wondering whether or not he would return to the stage to perform. I stayed for the duration of the show because I was still excited to see him perform live whether he was a jerk or not, but many people around me got fed up with his antics and left, muttering variations of "that wanker Van Morrison" under their breath. To me, it’s a funny Van Morrison story about the time I got to see him perform at The O2 in London, but to many locals around me who'd come to see him perform, it was incredibly disappointing.

Have you ever had an experience where you were really looking forward to a show or a performance and then it turned out to be terrible? I won’t go so far as to say Van Morrison was terrible, but he would disappear for pretty decent stretches of time without any warning. Part of me understands why people were upset. The other part of me thinks there isn’t anything more Rock ’n Roll. (Again, I begged my parents to let me see Poison in high school). If you have an experience that comes to mind, I’d love to know about it! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really great, fun-to-read stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe from all different chapters of my life (and from people I don’t know *yet*)! The other stories of people’s travels that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about the crazy stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Especially during this time of uncertainty and pandemic, it's important to surround yourself with things and people (via video chats) that bring you joy; we're all in this together. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

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