Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Are You Ready For Some Football...American Football That Is
So after my love affair of a brunch we headed back to the room to digest and take a little rest, (So Euro I know) before heading out for the reason we came to London in the first place, the football game. Now a dear friend of mine thought the idea of coming to London to watch an NFL game was about the stupidest thing he could think of, now this man hates football mind you, but I knew what he was really getting at. The thing is, we didn’t really fly all the way to London for football, football is what made the trip “go” as it were. The whole idea was hatched during a drunken evening with Amy and Sexy Bitch, we flew to Chicago last year to celebrate Sexy Bitches birthday and watch his beloved Tampa Bay Bucks take on the Chicago Bears. We had a great trip, travelled really well together, (different hotels, each couple taking little day trips without the other) and thought coming to London would be yet another great time…just so happened that Sexy Bitches Bucks would be playing, perfect. We got the tickets to the game and then the sky fell, or Amy and Sexy Bitch got exiled to Dallas. They went round and round but in the end they had to sell their seats but Call-o and I were so pumped, not for football but to be coming to London. So football was the catalyst not really the reason.
We rested a bit then headed out to the somewhat long trip out to Wembley. The tube was full of folks in NFL gear, both Americans and Brits, it was way exciting and when we finally stepped off the tube at Wembley there was a river of people flowing into the stadium. After a rather long hike we made our way to our area, quite nice seats at the club level, got a couple beers and settled in. The game, well it blew, was boring as fuck and the Bucks just got rolled over…it was painful and not at all exciting to watch. By the 3rd quarter I was ready to go and thinking about trying to get in the tube with the over 84,000 people that were there…dreadful. At the top of the 4th quarter the hubby finally admitted he too was ready to make a break for it, the reason…aside from the game being a total dud, he was watching other people pick up an leave, he was worried about get crunched in the tube as well.
We folded into the pack of people moving towards the station and at a few points I had to grab hold of the hubby’s jacket to keep from being swallowed by the crowd, it was horrific and I simply cannot imagine what it must have been like for those poor souls that waited until the end of the game…ugh! Once on the tube we made friends with a very charming English guy, funny how polite and friendly people can be when you have your nose shoved into their Adam’s apple. This was the first NFL game he had ever seen and he had a great time, he had us giggling and was full of questions and comments about the cheerleaders, “I am a man and my blood is red” he kept telling us…too cute. Made one transfer and got off at the Covent Garden station.
We walked into the now quite familiar square, damn thing was still full of people but the restaurants were pretty much done serving dinner at 9:00 on a Sunday night. We wandered into The White Lion, a pub across the street from The Nag’s Head, (where we had a lovely lunch a couple days before). The pub was damn near empty so we sat at the bar and ordered a couple drinks, the bartender…well, she was simply adorable. Small little thing, hair pulled back in a puffy little ponytail, buzzing around like a little sprite picking up empty pint glasses and wisecracking with the few guests that were there. We asked when the restaurant upstairs stopped serving dinner, “Well they kind of close when there is no one there, so if you go up they may still seat you” she told us…sweet. We gathered our drinks, walked up yet another tight fitting, windy staircase only to be told, “Sorry, the kitchen is closed”.
Walked back into the bar our little sprite said, “Awe, were they closed? I’m sorry” with her very cute accent. “Nah, don’t worry about it, we can just drink our dinner” Call-o told her, and we took our seats again at the bar. A few cocktails later, and tons of giggles between myself and the bartender she walked up to us with a bowl in her hand…her snack, some “chips” with melted cheese. “Here, have a few of these” she offered and ran to get a coffee cup which she filled with chips and cheese, so freaking sweet of her.
We sat there for hours watching the pub begin to fill, watching all the NFL gear come marching down the street, watched this very odd youngish guy…big ratted hair, low-rise jeans showing off his very flat, and very shaved…area. He was an intense dude, kept ordering pints and sitting in his seat staring at the pub across the street, he was fixated; obsessed…I was dying to know what or who he was waiting for. I caught myself staring at him, caught the bartender staring at him, we just kept giving each other this look like, “what the hell is he waiting for?!” and then grinning at one another. We chatted a bit more with our adorable new friend, she was unbelievably charming, she was even excited to find out we were Americans. She made me laugh, made me feel welcome, more than welcome, she made me feel like we had been coming to her little pub for years, loved, loved, loved her. As we made the stroll back to our hotel I was once again feeling the very real, very palpable, ultimately powerful personal touch of this place and its people.
Got back to the room, ordered some dreadful room service, (if that was a burger than I am Elizabeth Hurley) a bottle of wine and thought about getting some sleep. The hubby, well he was restless, couldn’t sleep and saw fit to wake me from my slumber to keep him company, damn it Call-o. Now both wide awake, at like 3:30 in the morning, Call-o thought this, this was the perfect time to try and figure out the lighting system in our room….something that had been bothering him since we got here. “One of these has to be the master switch” he blurted while jumping out of bed and dashing to the light switch panel next to the entry door. Lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off, click-click-click and….complete darkness, even the bloody television shut off. “Damn it Call-o, you ate the power” I said now in a fit of sleep needing giggles. He had flipped a breaker or something and had to wander down to the front desk at almost 4:00 AM and tell them our power was out. I sat there, in the dark until Call-o and the night manager came through the door, flashlight a-blaring. Sat there shaking my head, trying not to burst into laughter, while the little manager dude stood on a chair and flipped whatever switch would undo what my dear husband had done.
After laughing for a solid 20 minutes we both drifted off to sleep not wanting to think about the fact that the next morning would usher in our last day in London.