Everyone report to the dance floor, because this is the long-awaited FINAL INSTALLMENT of my MAGNUM OPUS, aka Scot-Trot 2018, #SweaterWeather, #MakeTheMostOfIt, #Charades. Please leave your comments below, let me know how this blog has changed YOUR outlook on travel. I get tons of fan emails, all the time: people asking me how they can do what I do, telling me how funny the blog is, how they think it’s so great that I detail every day whether something interesting happened or not, so if you’re one of the few who hasn’t yet, don’t be shy, dive in! Water’s great! And to the rest of you out there in Steve Nation, Keep On Travelin’! #KeepOnTravelin
When we left off in the last riveting post, me, Rich, and Laura were watching episode 1 of American Vandal at Laura’s London flat. American Vandal – great show. Comment below on your thoughts on Season 2!
In the morning, we met our UVA friends Jamie and Stephanie for brunch. Stephanie is just a regular boring American, but Jaime is British and has the world’s most posh accent; everything he says sounds both really thoughtful and really condescending. Since Laura didn’t pick the restaurant, we had our first actual good meal of the entire trip, after 7 days of travel. Jaime – classic Jaime – asserted at one point that any big city was bound to have good food in it, so if anyone traveling didn’t eat quality food, it was their own fault.
To recap, we’d so far eaten: McDonalds, fried pizza, fish and chips, a grocery store frozen Chinese sampler platter, frozen pizza, fish and chips again, haggis (which sucks), Taco Bell, and train ham rolls. And it’s not like I just don’t care; Eating good regional food is like #3 priority for me when I’m traveling (#1, dope pics, #2, travel blog experiences). We had an auspicious start in the Turkish lounge at Dulles International Airport, but it was downhill from there.
Following brunch, Laura suggested we all grab a pint, since I guess the day was starting to go a bit too on-track for her comfort. One turned into three, as it does, and all the sudden it was 4 o’clock, and we had like, 2 hours of daylight left. And we’d seen, let’s see, absolutely fucking nothing in London.
We quickly went to see what we could, namely a couple monuments and the London Bridge.
That was it for touristy stuff! Then we dealt with some more of that nitty-gritty logistics that keeps the all my readers coming back for more.
We’d booked an Air BNB downtown, since Laura’s roommate was getting back that night and didn’t want us to stay there because she’s I guess a total fucking bitch or something. We got a message from the dude who owned it who we joyously discovered went by “Butt.”
We realized that we could just stay with Jaime instead, so we tried to cancel with Butt, but he wouldn’t budge (a real Butthole). We ended up deciding to stay at Jaime’s anyway, because it made more sense, and chalked Butt up to a sunk cost. So we went back to Laura’s to grab our bags, which was like an hour away by subway. That was annoying, but it did let me grab some shots of first-time traveler Rich bumbling his way through the foreign ticket machine:
This whole trip to pass the time we’d been playing this phone game called Piccolo. If you haven’t played Piccolo, I would strongly recommend it. It just gives a bunch of truth or dare/drinking challenges to each player, which are mostly benign stuff. UNLESS, that is, you pay $5 to download Caliente mode, which ramps the game up to a fun raunchy, adventurous level, and then blows right past that to get to a bunch of stuff that is absolutely bonkers for casual pregaming and really only has a place in like, a sex-charged high school band trip.
So naturally this was the only way we played it, though we ended up skipping half of them. At dinner (at some shitty tavern chain, back to mediocre food for us), we heard the table behind us, 3 people in their 20s, playing Piccolo. We told them about Caliente mode and they ended up joining us for a light round of extremely personal questions and dares written by and for horny 10th graders. It was a great way to break the ice and get to know some real locals.
After that, Laura went to work, me and Rich went to Jaime’s, and then we hit the town! Just kidding, we hung out with Jaime talking about DJ’ing and then went to bed, bringing us hot into Day 8, the final day of the trip.
Rich and I met up with Laura, who made us try this UK fast-food chain called Greggs, which she’d been raving about the whole time. I would put it about on par with, like, if 7-11 had a standalone hot food outlet. It was about that level of quality. That’s about what I was expecting, but you know what, it was the last day, why change things up now.
We were flying out that afternoon, so we were down to the wire, so like all good procrastinators, we crammed in everything at the last minute. We were up at 7:30, downtown by 9, and we saw all the big hits: Big Ben, Parliament, The London Eye, and Buckingham Palace.
Big Ben, the most iconic and coolest thing and honestly the only one really worth seeing, was under construction until 2019.
Then we ate Shake Shack for lunch, which Laura until this point legitimately thought was native to London, and went home!
BOOM! That’s it, baby! Man, seems like just yesterday me and Rich were almost missing our flight at Dulles airport, doesn’t it? Crazy how fast 8 days of travel can pass when it’s told in a self-effacing blog, 1 day at a time, with installments 2-8 weeks apart.
At the end of this journey, I just want to thank you, the reader. My massive and exponentially growing base of loyal followers is not just exploding by the day and reaching an exceptionally high level of engagement; you’re also the reason I do this. It’s not the ad revenue, it’s not the fame, it’s not the book deal that’s coming any day now. It’s the fans. So thanks for being a fan, and as always, Keep On Travelin’.
Keep On Travelin’,