I challenged myself to a doodle a day for the month of October. It’s harder than it sounds. After only a couple of days, I had to resort to my old standbys. This pierced heart with initials, ‘G’ for Greg and ‘R’ for Richelle, is something I doodle a lot. The two droplets represent our two kids. Awwww…
My London tattoo story…
In 2001, British airways kicked off new non-stop service from San Diego to Heathrow by offering a deal that was too good to be true; round trip tickets for two for $750. Neither of us had ever even thought about visiting London, but how could we pass it up? We imagined friendly, charming pubs on every corner, lots of beer, and jolly patrons having a party every night. Maybe some sing-alongs. You know, like in the movies. There were pubs everywhere, that’s for sure, but most were full of yuppies drinking Bud Light and Smirnoff Ice, and they weren’t particularly jolly or friendly.
During the days, we visited some of the best museums in the world, which was super cool because we are big time museum nerds. Each night we’d try a different pub hoping for a party and end up sipping pints of stout by ourselves while everyone else enjoyed a Corona with a lime or Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Were we were in London or Pacific Beach? On our last day, we decided to go all out, starting with tattoos, then our own self guided pub crawl. We were getting pretty good at taking public transportation so we just rode around on the bus, hopping off when we saw an interesting looking place to stop for a beer.
The tattoo place we found took cash only, so we hit the ATM but due to some sort of glitch, no money came out. We tried again, but since (in theory anyway) we had just taken out our daily limit, it wouldn’t give us any more. We found a tattoo parlor that took credit, and since I knew what I wanted (see above doodle), I got in the chair right away. The tattoo artist was offended when I offered to draw my design. I ended up with a tattoo that only vaguely resembled my drawing. Then for no apparent reason the manager decided he wanted to close an hour early, so no more tattoos after me, meaning Greg wasn’t going to get one. Bummer. Our pub crawl was not going that great either, and it had started to rain, so we decided to grab one last pint and call it a night.
The pub wasn’t yet crowded when we got there so we sat alone and sipped our beers as the place filled up.
Eventually, a couple asked if they could share our table, and of course we welcomed them. After an awkward minute, I broke the ice with that old pick-up line, “So do you come here often?” As it turned out, they did not, in fact it was their first time. They were going to a play and stopped of for a drink before the theater. We chatted for a bit before they had to leave to make their show, and immediately two young ladies asked if they could take the empty seats. I tried out a different line this time, “Are you from around here?” No, actually, they were from Canada, in London on a work exchange program. We drank several rounds with them, joined by a girl from Holland who had just returned from a trip to LA where she attended a taping of the Jay Leno show, and a group of guys from Nottingham whose accents were so thick, I could barely understand them. We partied with our new friends until closing time (not that impressive since the pubs close at midnight) then rode the bus back to our room, very pleased that we were able to end our trip on a fantastic note.
The next day was a little rough, I must say. Fortunately we were able to sleep on the long flight. We returned home, safe and sound, with wonderful memories of an amazing night, and a super cool souvenir. It’s not how I pictured it, but I love it.
By the way, I have abandoned my doodle challenge, and that is ok. Sometimes you need to know what is not working and cut it loose.
Got a tattoo story? Please share in the comments!