Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 3: Mission Impossible...?

Now…where was I?

Oh, yes. The show and sight-seeing in Edinburgh was truly wonderful, but time to move on to the next destination … LONDON!

Besides the Bon Jovi concert in Hyde Park, I had only one goal for my time in this great city – to visit Wimbledon.

Growing up, there were two sporting events that were absolutely sacred in our house … The Masters (golf) and Wimbledon (tennis). As for tennis … living in New York City, I have attended the U.S. Open many many times. The excitement and energy of the hard courts in Flushing Meadows is incredible. Night matches there are simply electric. But, the grass courts of Wimbledon … that’s pure magic.

After an utterly sleepless first night in London (it was midsummer during my trip, therefore it was totally light out at 4am. huh! who knew?! And remember, I'm still sick as a dog), I headed to The All England Lawn Tennis Club via the tube (which sounds much more refined than “the subway” by the way.)

Though I had joked that I was up all night devising a plan to stalk Roger Federer, the truth was that I had no plan at all! All I knew was that I wanted to be there. And actually, on the train there were constant announcements that if you didn’t have a ticket to not travel to Wimbledon because the queue was extremely long (at least 6 hours to get in … if you get in at all.) But, being the insanely stubborn person I am, I didn't quite listen.

Upon arriving, this is what I found...

...wouldn't it be great if it was this organized for Jovishows? #JustSaying LOL

It was quite apparent there was no way I was going to get in ...

But I would be happy to just see the entrance ... or the souvenir shop ... anything! So, I walked up to one of the gates hoping for even a glimpse of the venue I have loved my whole life.

...there aren't any tickets available for MONTHS so not sure why they actually have a sign LOL...

...finally, the guard says "Miss, your ticket please. You can enter here." ... ayyyy, NOW WHAT?!

Well, they always say honesty is the best policy. So, I went that route. I told him I was from the States and didn't have a ticket. I told him that I have watched Wimbledon my whole life and to just be able to see it and breathe the same air was a dream come true even if I didn't get to see a match. He asks why I didn't get a ticket and I tell him that I wasn't sure if I'd be able to attend because I am traveling the UK going to Bon Jovi shows. His face lights up and he starts asking me all about the shows! (100 million fans can't be wrong!)

Next thing I know, he opens the gate and let's me in! (that's the top of his hat ... don't wanna jeopardize his job ya know!)

He tells me we have ten minutes and he can show me around a little but I can't stay for any matches (COMPLETELY fair as I don't have a ticket and people have been waiting days to get in.)

OMG OMG OMG! I can't breathe ... this is awesome. So, he walked with me and shared a few of his stories about meeting different players. And my dream is realized -- I'm actually standing on the grounds of Wimbledon. My dad would be proud. *sigh*

After my mini-tour, he takes me back to the gate where I shock the *&%$ out of him with a hug and thank him profusely. He tells me to sing extra loud at the Hyde Park show and off he sends me.

Wow. That was pretty cool.

I spent a little time in Wimbledon Village (which was complete chaos because Andy Murray was due to play that day) and then headed back into the city.

After walking around Covent Garden and grabbing a bite to eat...

...I headed over to Picadilly Circus, sort of the Times Square of London...

Not too surprisingly, I felt very comfortable in London. I'm a city girl. I just needed a lot more time there to explore. I'm looking forward to returning in October for the Jukes tour.

I eventually made it back to our hotel to meet up with the girls for dinner and a bit of shopping for Saturday's grand activity.

Next up: the BIG concert ... Bon Jovi/Hyde Park/Hard Rock Calling ... bring on the crowds!