England and Iceland - Day 6

We were back in London for the full day!  And I had my suitcase!  It was destined to be an amazing day.  And amazing it was!

My favorite restaurant back home is called Pasta Plus...  If only this was their London branch, lol
We had some breakfast at our flat before heading out- toast and some cereal/ oats.  Just what we needed to fuel us fooooorrrrr...HINTHUNT!  Yeah, we didn't entirely know what it was either, but Beth's twin sister had highly recommended it, and it was the #1 thing on TripAdvisor.  We figured it couldn't be a fluke.  So Beth treated us all to a game!
I will see if I can explain this properly without you able to ask me questions back.  Essentially teams of 3-5 people are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles to try to get out in under an hour.  We were given a story that there had been a murder and we were trying to establish who did it before we were discovered in the room and considered suspects ourselves, ahhh!  Lol, we didn't know what to expect- crosswords?  Sudoku?  Word puzzles?  Math problems?  We were told to go into the room and search everywhere.  We would act as a team, so there was no need to hide anything from anyone else, and we would have a whiteboard to write up any clues we found.  We soon got the hang of it and discovered batteries hidden places, keys hidden in wooden boxes, writing under/ over/ on things, and we kept yelling out to Mom to write things on the whiteboard!  We would soon find a series of numbers and discover it unlocked a safe that gave us another key that gave us access to another clue that gave us...

We were told the record for breaking out of the room was 53 minutes.  We managed to work together really well and get out in 55 minutes!  After awhile we completely understood why only about half of the teams are successful in escaping- even with help from our girl on the outside (who could watch and follow along with everything we did to help point us in the right direction), we didn't know if we would ever get to the end of the puzzles and finally escape!  But it was crazy fun and I really hope they open one in the US soon!  If you go to London, or one of their other world locations, definitely try it out!

After our successful escape-
PS- this guy on the tube next to Matt reminded me of the old man in Up.  I thought it was adorable!
We walked only a couple blocks from HintHunt to see St. Pancras and King's Cross Stations!
Oh come on, you know they were just humoring me to see Platform 9 3/4 to get to Hogwarts!
King's Cross Station is awesome inside!  Even if I can't actually get to Hogwarts :-/
We found Platform 9 3/4- they had set up a trolley with an owl cage half into the barrier just for people like me.  There were ropes, crowd control, official photographers, all four house scarves...  I started to get nervous that we'd have to pay for an official photo just to prove we were here.
But one of the official guys announced that we were allowed to take all the pictures we wanted once it was our turn at the front, and once we were done, they would tell us to jump for his picture and we could buy it if we wanted in the Harry Potter store.  Oh UK, I truly love that you embraced this as an HP tourist stop and made it a lovely experience for us- not a picture of me amongst a crowd touching a brick wall.  Adorbs!  And just check out these future Gryffindors!  We even had our scarves held up for us to look like we were running towards the barrier.
Matt, the Ravenclaw, and Beth the Gryffindor!
I really think it was only me that wanted to visit here, but I think everyone had a great time!  I think I'd be sorted into Ravenclaw, so I picked that scarf :-)
Mom the Gryffindor and Dad the Slytherin.  He claimed he was just matching his sweater, but I'm not so sure...
Then we followed their little plan, we went into the Harry Potter store to check out our picture and what things were about.  We didn't buy anything, but it was tempting to buy the true British versions of the books, lol.  Nerd.
We jumped on the tube again to go get lunch!
We went to Borough Market.  Guys.  I just.  I have no words.  I was taking so many pictures because there was so much food, so much to taste, so much to see, smell, wander through!  There was pre-made food, ingredients, drinks, everything you can imagine!  Please allow me to food blog geek out below!
Chicken, leek, and onion pasty for lunch!  Omg you guys, it was like the best thing I've ever tasted.
Phew!  I got out of there with my pockets lighter, and my stomach way fuller.  I kind of don't want to tell you just how much I sampled, ate for lunch, and then tried when we all met up and shared some desserts!

First great view of The Shard.
A church with just a little bit of history, lol
We walked along London Bridge and got a great view of the Tower Bridge!
Then we walked along the Thames to get closer to the Tower Bridge!
Tower of London in the background of these two kids.
Me being ridiculous, as usual.
Sadly, we got here too late to get into the Tower of London to see some cool history things and the crown jewels and all.  But we had plenty to still see!
Lions used to be kept here, hence these mesh sculptures of lions.
Titanic pose!
We soon discovered we could go up into the bridge and get some awesome views of the city, so of course we did that!
There were adorable illustrations to "learn" about London.  I want the book that these are from!
There wasn't enough information about this story though- why did the bus driver HAVE to jump the bridge?!
We learned a lot of things while up here!  It was the longest I've ever seen Matt spend in an area- reading all of the bridge stats, the building stories, checking out the views...  We all loved it!
Monument in the location where the Great Fire of London started then spread.
We separated at this point, and Mom, Dad and I went to see Millennium Bridge!  And once again, I got to go crazy with some fun night photography :-)
We headed back to Islington, and following Mom's craving for pizza or Italian food, found ourselves right near our flat at Vineyard!
We ordered some delicious pizzas for dinner, and I decided to get this gin drink that sounded good.  Mom and Dad went up to the bar to order everything, and came back with 2 of the same drink.  Apparently it was 2-for-1 cocktail night and they literally wouldn't let them only order one.  So I got two!  hahaha
We then played one of our host's games that he had in the flat- Ticket to Ride.  I've played it before and knew I liked the game, but it helps that I ended up winning.  Cool!
Wow.  We saw a lot around London today!  I was so glad we got to see all the things we did- I think these were a lot of the things that people would ask if I saw them, so I'm glad we had so much time to fill-in what we didn't get to see earlier in the week!

And tomorrow, we fly to Iceland.  Bah!


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