Spring finally arrived in Syracuse last week. The trees are now in bloom, the sun is shining, and my morning walk to work is a little less chilly.
Although it felt like winter would never leave us, I got my first taste of spring in London at the beginning of April. Temperatures reached 70 degrees, and the blue skies were barely recognizable. Despite one day of overcast and rainy conditions, the weather permitted us to go all over London.
We traveled both on foot and by tube throughout the city, and these are a few highlights I’d recommend to anyone planning a trip to England in the near future. If you go, add these 7 things to do in London to your bucket list.
Head to London’s Chinatown for bubblewrap ice cream
London’s Chinatown was only a 20 minute walk from our flat in Fitzrovia, and it’s worth the trip simply to see the paper lanterns. While you’re there, head to Bubblewrap London for ice cream. The line will likely be out the door, so it will be easy to find.
You won’t be able to miss the paper lanterns of Chinatown in London.
Bubblewrap London’s ice cream is worth the wait. Try one of their pre-made creations or make your own.
2. Ride the London Eye
The massive ferris wheel situated on the Thames River known as the London Eye is easily one of the most popular tourist destinations. Although the crowds can be unappealing, the views atop the ferris wheel are worth the price and the wait. Standard tickets are around £23, but you can also purchase Fast Track tickets and additional attractions nearby.
View of the London Eye from the Westminster Bridge.
Today, the record label Fueled By Ramen premiered Paramore’s music video for “Daydreaming,” a track off their self-titled album released earlier this year. Their videos have yet to disappoint me, and this is another one that I’ll be watching over and over again for the next week.
The video showcases two friends who travel to London to attend the band’s concert. I love the inclusion of an actual live performance in the video because it brought back some of my greatest memories of traveling. If there’s one band worth putting in the time and travel expenses to go see live, it’s Paramore.
I have seen Paramore perform live three times in concert since the summer of 2010. Every time, I leave the venue wondering how the band is able to impress me more and more with each performance I attend. Paramore takes up a huge amount of space in my iTunes and in my memories, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After I watched “Daydreaming,” I was reminded of the times my cousins and I hit the road to go see them perform. In the summer of 2011, we took a road trip from upstate New York to Scranton, PA for the annual Warped Tour. I was new to the whole experience. Throngs of people were milling around holding $8 water bottles in their hands and hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite bands. I spent the whole day trying to escape the sweltering heat that was only magnified by the should-to-shoulder crowds that I couldn’t seem to get through. The sun burn was worth it, however. Paramore’s performance, although brief, was the highlight of the trip.
Since 2011, my cousins and I were once again looking for an opportunity to see Paramore in concert. After we finished our freshman year of college this past spring, we hopped on a Megabus for New York City and made our way to the Hammerstein Ballroom for their May 16, 2013 concert.
When Paramore first hit the stage at the ballroom, it was like every single concertgoer was suddenly trapped in a giant human wave pool. Everyone was trying with all the energy they had left to get as close to the stage as possible. You would think we would be tired after waiting in line to get into the venue for over four hours. Nope, we were wide awake and captivated by Hayley Williams’ bright, multicolored hair as she continued to headbang throughout the show.
During the concert, I recorded snippets of my favorite songs on my iPhone. Click here to watch a clip of the concert I posted to YouTube. You can’t miss Hayley headbanging and the band’s ability to engage the audience.
In the “Daydreaming” video, we see classic landmarks and characteristics associated with London, England. We see the two friends in the video riding the London Underground and taking pictures on the London Eye while Big Ben and Piccadilly Circus (from what I can tell by the brief scene) provide enticing backdrops for the shots. I appreciate this video even more after seeing these sights of London. I just traveled to England this past March and fell in love with a city that I can hardly wait to visit again (but I’ll save that trip for a different post).
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during these road trips to see Paramore, it’s that the destination isn’t the only highlight of the trip. It’s the people you’re with that make the travels worth every cent. My cousins have made the adventures all the more exciting, and I am looking forward to the day when we can all hit the road together again.
Even though some people may scoff at the idea of traveling long distances for a seemingly endless amount of hours just to attend a concert, this type of traveling has been among the most rewarding. Paramore, I look forward to seeing you all live again even if it does mean being stuck on a cramped megabus for over eight hours.