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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chelsea Football Game

Back to my awesome weekend with my brother in town...

Saturday evening, we went to a Chelsea Football game! Tickets to these games typically sell for 2-3x the face value of the tickets. Thankfully, my friend from the butcher shop, Andrew, is a die-hard Chelsea fan, and offered to find us tickets at face value. The seats were amazing, almost center field and about 20 rows up.

We watched Chelsea vs. Stoke City, and Chelsea won 3-0. It was a pretty exciting game which lead to Brett and I closely following Chelsea throughout the champions league playoffs, which they unfortunately ended up losing to Madrid in the quarterfinals.




THINGS I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT FOOTBALL BEFORE THIS GAME:

1. Don't EVER call it soccer in front of a Chelsea fan... Allen learned this really quick after he accidentally said soccer, he was interrupted by our friend Andrew with a few choice words.


(Squint much?)

2. No drinking inside the arena. Due to the intense rivalry in football (soccer), stadiums only sell alcohol to fans, 10 minutes before the game and at intermission, in an attempt to keep the crowd at bay. And you can't buy 2 beers to drink throughout each half, no drinks are allowed inside the arena, therefore you have to finish them before you go in. They really limit your ability to get wasted at the game, which was a huge disappointment for me, as the main reason I attend sporting events in the States is so that I can drink outside. Baseball is so slow, I would fall asleep without a beer and some nachos to keep myself entertained.

3. Due to #1, everyone drinks at a bar beforehand, to pre-game. Now this is not unusual to any sporting event in the States, but what was interesting was that in another attempt to keep fighting at a minimal, a lot of bars will only allow Chelsea fans to enter. Additionally, the bar we went to only allowed people who knew the owner to come in. But thankfully our trusted companion, Andrew, came through for us again and we were allowed in this particular bar.

In order to better capture the intense rivalries between these football teams, let me tell you one encounter Andrew has had while being a Chelsea fan. He said that one time he was leaving a Chelsea football game, and someone had made a shiv out of the metal end of an umbrella and stabbed him in the shoulder over an argument after the game. 

4. They had some crazy chants like the one below:
video


Video of a goal being scored:
video
 
Hope everyone had a lovely day! In two weeks Brett's parent's will be here!
 
Cheers! Mary


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bro weekend- St. Paul's

My older brother, Allen, recently visited us in London. He stayed with us in London for 10 days, which fell over two weekends. This way we were able to still spend a lot of time with him on the weekends and during the evenings, however didn't have to take off work!

Friday Night:
On the first Friday he was in town, we headed to a local pub in Clapham for some delicious cask ales and the traditional fish & chips. The local pub we visited was The Sun, in Clapham Old Town.

Saturday:
Apparently our favourite things about London include the food, because on Saturday morning we enjoyed a proper English breakfast while sitting outside in Clapham. The proper English breakfast includes fried eggs, rashers (English bacon), sausage, roasted tomatoes, baked beans and toast. Pretty much a guaranteed hangover cure. Clapham has lots of great breakfast options, however one place that is the best bang for our buck (quid) is Fantasia Cafe in Old Town.

After breakfast we headed to one of the more popular markets, Borough Market to enjoy lots of delicious free samples and a few pints of proper cider. After Borough Market we decided to go to St. Paul's and climb to the 350-some meters to the top of the dome, to the whispering gallery. From Borough market, walk down the South side of the river, which takes you by the William Shakespeare Globe Theater and the Tate Modern Museum. Then cross the pedestrian bridge across the Thames, and St. Paul's will be right there. It is a very lovely walk and one that I recommend our visitors to do.

It costs £16.50 to enter St. Paul's, which included access the whispering gallery, the top of the dome and the crypt. The exterior of the dome allows for a 360 degree view of the city, perfect for a photo opportunity.

The walk to the top is not for the faint of heights, nor is it for clumsy people... Mom- you are not allowed to the top.  Brett is deathly afraid of heights, and even the walk up the metal stairs scared him. . Like for example, when we were in Florence, he didn't make it to the top of the Duomo, he turned around halfway and left me to fend for myself. Therefore, St. Paul's was very reminiscent of our Italy experience.  See below how he is practically reaching for the wall.


Tomorrow I'll post on the Chelsea football game we attended. Sorry for the lack of posts! I'll try to make them shorter and more frequent going forward. Especially with all our travel coming up, it's going to be hard to keep up!

Cheers! Mary