Our flight to the UK landed around 10:30am, so we were able to drop our bags at the hotel, clean up a bit, and go into London for the day! Although I was pretty sleep deprived, I headed out there with two of the other dancers as soon as possible.
We caught the tube at the airport and came out right in front of Big Ben! The clock tower is much larger than I’d realized from pictures. The whole building is beautiful!
Next, we walked across the bridge to look at the London Eye. We chose to keep exploring, rather than waiting in line to ride the Eye. We did, however, wait in line at a nearby café. Coffee was very necessary to fight the jet lag!
We then walked back across the bridge to stop at Westminster Abbey. The architectural details are really impressive! I found myself quoting the London episode from “Friends” while we were wandering around. Ex: “What did you think of the Abbey, Chandler? Best abbey I’ve ever seen!”
After asking for some directions, we walked along St. James Park to Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, we missed the Changing of the Guards, but it was still nice to see a few of them marching around.
From there, we walked to Trafalgar Square and then to Piccadilly Circus. We walked through a massive tourist shop before moving on.
Next, we went to Covent Garden. We stopped in Pineapple Studios to look around. It reminded me very much of the old Broadway Dance Center studio. Classes of all styles were packed! The audition notice board also had a sign up for a Royal audition.
Soon after leaving, we walked into a vocal director from the company. He was in town for the audition. I never expected to see a familiar face on the street in London! Our final stop was for some fish and chips. I have a feeling I’ll be eating that regularly this contract!
The ride home seemed longer than the trip out, since we were quite tired. We squeezed onto a free bus to the hotel from the airport tube station. As soon as I got to my room, I started organizing my things for a 5:15am departure!
The bus ride to the ship was easy, and the sign on procedures went pretty smoothly. I’ve now been on board for 4 days, and am settling in well. I’ve made some new friends and seen a few old ones.
Rehearsals have been intense, but good. Our install choreographer is very nice, so everyone is in pretty high spirits. We open our first show the day after tomorrow. Wish me luck!