Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Josh!

After both being out of the country on separate trips and then having friends in town, Josh's birthday kind of snuck up on us on Saturday.  Despite not having made any plans for the day, we managed to make the most of it by venturing into central London and being spontaneous. 

Our first stop: the half-price TKTS booth in Leicester Square.  Josh has been wanting to see "One Man, Two Guvnors," so we tried to get tickets for the matinee but they were sold out.  Not to be discouraged, we high-tailed it to the Haymarket Theatre box office and managed to get last-minute discounted seats in the center of the third row of the first level.  Score! 
One Man, Two Guvnors
We both enjoyed the show, although we had a little trouble with the thick accents at times.   I wish we could have seen it with James Corden before they moved the production to Broadway, but the West End cast, including the lead actor, was excellent.  Go see it!

Since we hadn't eaten lunch, we were pretty hungry after the show, so we had an early dinner at Lupita, one of the few halfway-decent Mexican restaurants in London.  It's nothing fancy, but they have decent mojitos and make fresh guacamole right at your table, which was enough to make us both very happy.
Mojitos and fresh guacamole!
The night was still young, so after dinner we walked over to Covent Garden to see if our good ticket karma would work at the Royal Ballet.  Not so much.  They only had full-price obstructed view seats left.  We passed on that and made our way back to Trafalgar Square, where they were setting up for the big Canada Day celebration. 
Admiral Lord Nelson watches the planes go by
 Not wanting to be reminded that we Americans are second-class citizens here in London -- there won't be a big party in Trafalgar Square on the 4th of July -- we headed across the street to St. Martin-in-the-Fields. (Yeah, it's not really in the fields...)
St. Martin-in-the-Fields
We had better luck here.  They still had tickets available for the evening concert, "Handel by Candle." Since the sun doesn't set here until 9:30 or so, the candles were mostly for show, but it was a nice idea -- and a lovely concert, with a mix of orchestral and choral music.
Inside St. Martin-in-the-Fields
After the concert, we walked across the Hungerford bridge back towards Waterloo station and were treated to a beautiful view of the London Eye and Parliament under a rare, cloudless sky
London at dusk
I don't think we could have had a better day if we had planned it weeks in advance!

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