The last 3 days have been fabulous. I’ve neglected running for awhile (not good), so I decided to combine Olympic watching, the amazing London scenery and a run. Instead of watching the events on the tv at the house, I wanted to take advantage of one of the London 2012 Live Sites they have set up around the city. Watch the events on a GIANT screen in an open area with loads of other Olympic lovers? Sign me up! What sealed the deal on which one to choose? Potter’s Field (no Quidditch, sorry) is located right next to the Tower Bridge.
After this picture, I changed tops and went for a fabulous run along the River Thames (luckily leggings double as running pants [only in the most dire situations] and I had my running shoes in my bag. Thanks Brooks Running for being so versatile!). Seriously though, how can you say no to this view along your afternoon run?
Then I decided shopping was a necessity (please note, this NEVER happens). I’m one of the few girls who doesn’t enjoy shopping. It overwhelms me, I don’t have the attention span to look through racks (literally, I usually walk up and down the aisles once and if nothing jumps out, I don’t stop), and with my body type/shape, nothing ever fits or looks good, and get disheartened. Throw me in a running store and let me go to town though!
I (silly me!) had forgotten anything red, white & blue when packing – remember my night before my flight post, where all I had packed as of 10:30pm was a pair of running shoes and 2 scarves? I don’t know how I could have ever forgotten to pack something with that efficiency! I had already been here a few days, but needed something with USA on it for the rest of the Olympics. I headed to Oxford Street to the John Lewis department store, since they’re one of the only places that are allowed to sell London 2012 stuff and picked up a USA tank top (slim pickins this late in the Olympic games). Woke up this morning ready to cheer on Team USA (also, I was SUPER fired up after the womens soccer team and water polo teams both won GOLD!)
About a month or so before leaving, I had received an email from Chase (I have one of their Visa’s) saying “Planning on being in London for the Olympics?” (why yes I am, actually, how did you know?!) and letting me know about a Chase Visa VIP Lounge they would have set up every day of the Olympics. You could stop by for some food & drinks and watch the games. You had me at free food Chase. Then they started emailing about Visa Signature athletes, and how some may stop by from time to time, but it wasn’t guaranteed. What? That’s awesome! But for some reason, I just hadn’t been able to make it over there since coming to London,and decided today was the day. It was a great choice too, because Brandi Chastain (squee!) and Summer Sanders were set to do a meet & greet that afternoon! I went on the website to RSVP for the event and it said it was full. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I was so bummed, but was going to come for the food at least 🙂
I got there and was even more impressed! I thought it would just be this small thing with a snack table and large TV. They had fruit, variety of pastries, bagels, etc for breakfast, and tea, coffee, soft drinks and bottled water (all free!) and then at lunch changed over to fruit, variety of sandwiches, salad and the same beverages (please free alcohol after 12pm). 2 free meals for Sheena! Apparently the girl at the table next to me had been there every day for the past 5 days and said at night, they turn it into a club! Shortly before 2pm (meet & greet time), I went upstairs to see if there was any way I could get in, even though the event had been full for weeks, and they let me in!
Since they’re both actually sports commentators now, they didn’t need an interview, and just interviewed each other. They’ve known each other for quite some time, which made the interview even better and more comfortable. They were fabulous, so nice and open, made jokes, made fun of themselves, etc. After their interviews of each other, they opened it up to some Q&A from the crowd (and some eyeroll-worthy questions/comments… on the crowds part, not theirs) and then took pictures/did autographs! Both Brandi and Summer are from northern California, so when I had mentioned I was as well, and saw Brandi play in a CyberRays game in HS, I got extra hugs! SO HAPPY!
Since I had applied for the lottery for tickets and wasn’t chosen, and then tried multiple times to buy next day tickets to events only for the website to crash, I was really disheartened since I REALLY wanted to attend an Olympic event, you know, while you’re at the Olympics? But meeting Brandi and Summer completely made up for all the bummed out moments and made this Olympic experience the BEST ever!!
A couple more days in London (mens marathon on Sunday!) before heading to Germany on Monday afternoon, followed by Ireland and finishing up in London again before heading back to California…