07/2/13

Blue Wembley

I woke up at 8 am on July 2, 2013 since I thought I heard a knock on the door.  But, I guess I was just worried that we would wake up late.  Ivan got up since he couldn’t go back to sleep.  I was supposed to wake up at 8:30 am, but I was tired from waking up earlier than planned and slept until 8:45 am.

Ivan and I had our breakfast which included the lovely trifle, apple juice, tea and poached eggs with smoked salmon. 

Ivan drove me to my hair appointment at Havens.  My blue and aqua highlights have been turning green and yellow, so I needed to fix it.  I don’t remember my hairdresser’s name, but she was a nice English girl with long blonde hair.  I spent hours getting blue highlights in my hair. 

Me with foils on at Havens

I was reading my magazine and thinking about life.  I also got a haircut since it’s been ages since my last haircut.  I always seem to forget my hair cut when I’m traveling.  My hair looked good, but not as obviously blue as before.. not as chunky, but it looked good.  It looked dark blue, but the girl said it would lighten up after washing it a few times.  I guess we’ll see about that.

Ivan, Lil Dave and I walked to find a place for lunch.  Ivan thought The Opposition Bistro looked good.  The place next door looked good, but it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Sat down in The Opposition Bistro which was looked great inside.  Lil Dave got a banana salad.  Ivan and I each got the set menu.  We both got a tomato and aubergine soup for our starters which turned out quite lovely. 

Salmon at The Opposition Bistro

The main course was salmon with asparagus, mashed potatoes and a pea sauce.  It was a wonderful meal.

I walked to the post office with Lil Dave.  Ivan went to 3 to get a USB internet stick.  I bought lots of stamps for all the postcards I was sending out.  We also seem to send out so many postcards at once.

I was waiting for Ivan to come back and was browsing the postcards.  The Stratford-upon-Avon postcards aren’t very good.  I’m surprised there’s not any pictures of the river and the swans on the river.  That’s very Stratford-upon-Avon to me. 

Ivan started driving us at 2 pm towards London.  Tonight, we’re going to be seeing Robbie Williams for the second time.  It’s awesome that our first night we got to see him and our last night of of our English road trip. 

It was another overcast day.  It started raining at 2:30 pm.  We arrived in Sussex at 3:30 pm. 

The Airbnb apartment was right near Wembley Stadium which was perfect since that’s where the concert is tonight.  Wembley is where Queen performed and where the original Live Aid was. 

We parked our car at the Airbnb apartment.  Too bad we couldn’t check in until 6 pm. We started walking towards Wembley Stadium.  It was really crowded. 

Ivan did his research online and found out that you could go in different gates that didn’t match your ticket.  One didn’t work, so we weren’t sure if it would work on a different one.  It started showering.  Ivan found one that actually worked and called me over since I was trying to hide under the roof. 

We got in without joining the long line at the gate that matched on our ticket thanks to Ivan’s smart thinking.  Thankfully, we got into the Golden Circle without a special ticket or people checking for wristbands. 

We got our two wristbands to re-enter later on.  Ivan and I sat down in two seats and played games on our phones.

At 6:30 pm, Ivan and I went to get dinner.  We had delicious peri-peri chicken which came on a skewer that was on top of a tortilla filled with rice and vegetables.  There was so much food in the tortilla that you couldn’t really make it into a taco that could be easily eaten.  I tried, but it started falling apart toward the end. 

We had more time to spare and sat playing our games and chatting while sitting down. 

Later, Olly Murs came on at 7:30 pm.  He was good, but I think he was sick since he couldn’t really hit the high notes.. also, he said that he was so tired. 

Robbie Williams Concert

We started walking up to the toilets when “Troublemaker” came on since it’s his last song.

It’s great that Wembley Stadium has lots of food stalls and toilets.  But, it’s always smart to go early for the ladies toilets.  I still don’t understand why it takes women so long to use the loo. 

Robbie Williams came on at 9 pm.  He once again made a grand entrance by ziplining down into the stadium.  This time the stadium was filled with 75,000 people.  He’s so popular in Europe with a backlog of wonderful songs.. so he can still fill up the stadiums for multiple nights in a city. 

Fire coming out of Robbie's head

It was another amazing concert, so glad that we got to see him twice.  Robbie walks around and definitely puts on quite a show.  He’s a cheeky, funny guy.  He sang lots songs like Millennium, Hot Fudge, Me and My Monkey and Come Undone.  Olly Murs came out and sang Kids with him.

Colorful graphics on Robbie's head

His encore was the same with Feel, She’s the One and Angels.  Robbie told us to think of any loved ones who have passed on before he sang Angels.  Everybody was singing along during Angels.  I was crying thinking about a few friends who have passed on.  Also, I think I was really enjoying the concert as well and it made me all emotional.  What a beautiful night of lovely entertainment by Mr. Williams.  If you ever get the opportunity to see Robbie Williams, I wouldn’t hesitate to go see him.

The Wembley arch looks pretty lit up at night.

Wembley Stadium arch at night

Ivan and I walked 5 minutes to get to the Airbnb apartment.  We talked with the girl there while her boyfriend wasn’t that chatty.  We talked about Las Vegas, the concert and London before going to bed.

06/22/13
IMG_3197.jpg

Robbie Williams concert

On June 22, 2013, Ivan, Lil Dave and I went to Market Street in Manchester.  I lost a bra in Marrakech, so I had to find a replacement.

Laura suggested Debenham’s or Marks & Spencers for bras.  I popped in to M&S to try on bras.  Ivan and Lil Dave went to Phone Warehouse and Boots.  I found a nice bra and underwear set.

It was an overcast day.  We were hoping it wouldn’t rain tonight, since we were going to a concert in a stadium.

Our next stop was Primark.  It’s a great store with tons of cool selection of clothes, accessories, purses and home stuff with really reasonable prices.  Ivan and I bought some clothes and rain jackets.

Zara was up next, so Ivan could find the jacket he’s seen before.  He found one similar which looked really good on him, so he bought it.

We walked to Piccadilly Gardens – it’s what Morrissey sings about in the song Piccadilly Palare and not Piccadilly Circus in London which everybody thinks it is.  Ivan and I were both hungry and were thinking of an Italian place.  But, then we saw the Street Food Market.

Street Food Market at Picadilly

We checked out the market and found a great place selling chicken tandoori wraps.  Ivan and I each got one.  Lil Dave went to another stall to get a banana and chicken sandwich.  Our food tasted great.

Ivan needed a haircut bad, so we went to The Arndale mall.  We found Supercuts and Ivan got his hair cut.

Ivan drove us back to the apartment.  We chilled for 30 minutes before heading out again.

Ivan drove us to a car parking lot near Etihad Stadium.  Tonight, we were going to see Robbie Williams with Olly Murs as his opening act.  Olly doesn’t go on until 7 pm or so, but we wanted to make sure we got in the Golden Circle.

We walked to the stadium and got there at 4 pm.  There was a long line at A1 which Ivan found out is the best entrance to the stadium – closest to the Golden Circle.  Ivan read that the doors open at 5 pm, but the line started moving a few minutes before 5 pm.

Ivan researched that the Golden Circle is a great place to watch the concert.  Robbie Williams has been playing in this stadium for the last 3 nights, so people have been saying things on the internet.  The Golden Circle is actually a special ticket which we didn’t have.  We snuck into the Golden Circle.  A few people were checking for wristbands and the right tickets, but Ivan and I just waltzed right in with no trouble.

We walked around the circle to check out all the different views of the stage.  Behind the stage, there’s a screen with part of Robbie Williams’ face on it.  Ivan thought that the screen would open up later.  Two runways were on both sides of the stage.

Once you leave the Golden Circle, you’re given a green wristband that ensures your re-entry into the area.

We walked to the seats and sat down for awhile since we had awhile to wait.

Before the Robbie Williams concert

Ivan and I played games on our phones and chatted.

At 6:20 pm, we stood in line to get food.  Ivan was thinking ahead – he thought that the queues (lines) for the food would be huge after Olly Murs finishes.  I agreed, so we decided to get food now and eat it cold during the break.  Ivan and I each got a chicken sandwich and chips.  We shared the chips (french fries) and headed back to the Golden Circle.

We sat down on the side to wait for Olly Murs to come on.  He wasn’t on at 7, but at 7:30 pm.  Olly was very good and he’s quite cute.  He looks really young though (like 18 years old) – I think he has that stubble on his face to make him look older.  He sang all his hits like Dance with Me Tonight, Heart Skips a Beat, Dear Darlin’ and Troublemaker.  He was great and he danced around sexily for the girls.  It started showering a bit during Olly’s set.

We knew his last song would probably be Troublemaker which it turned out to be.. so we started heading up to the toilets during the start of the song.  I wanted to avoid the long line for the ladies’ toilet since it’s always long especially compared to the men’s line.  Ivan went to get wine while I went to the loo.

We ate our chicken sandwiches which didn’t taste bad cold during the break.

Robbie ziplining into Etihad Stadium

Photo by jenniewraight

Later at 9 pm, Robbie Williams came down a zipline for his grand entrance.  He took the stage and it started raining.  Robbie said Let me introduce myself, I’m Robbie F***ing Williams.  How funny!  He told the crowd that the next 2 hours, we would be his.  I know I was totally down for this.  This was my first time seeing Robbie and Ivan’s sixth time.

Robbie Williams is such a performer – people compare him to Freddie Mercury.  I read that he had gotten fat, but he looked good to me.  But, then again he was wearing all black for most of the concert.  Ivan told me later that he gained a bit of weight.

The rain kept coming back and then stopping – I’m just glad that it wasn’t too hard.  I’m so happy that we bought our rain jackets earlier at Primark.

The screen with Robbie’s face on it was being used for visuals on the big screen and his face which we thought was really cool.  A silver cast of Robbie’s face came out and the top of his head opened up and balloons flew out of it.

Balloons coming out of Robbie's head

Robbie moved around on the stages.  He is quite a good looking guy and very cheeky.  He definitely has charisma.

It was cool to see the visuals on the big screen and Robbie’s face which matched with what song he was currently singing.

Bright stained glass on the big screen

A bronze cast of Robbie’s face came out this time.  This one had stairs leading up to it.  Some of the band went up with Robbie.  The cast shot out fire from its head and it shot water out at the audience.

Olly Murs came out and sang Kids with Robbie.

Robbie Williams has so many wonderful songs and he sang many favorites like Millennium, Rock DJ, Come Undone, Let Me Entertain You, Bodies, Candy and Strong.

During the song Me & My Monkey, the screen had Robbie as a an ape.  Very cute and funny!

Me & my monkey visuals

Lil Dave came to the stadium to hear this song since it’s his favorite Robbie Williams song – he was hanging around somewhere.. I didn’t see him, but he said he’d come just for this song.  It turns out that the fans really love this song.

Concert from high up

Picture by samlyon4

Robbie came out for an encore and sang Feel, She’s the One and Angels.  It’s so cool singing Angels along with 49,999 other people.

The concert was amazing.  I really enjoyed it.  Robbie is wonderful to watch.  I’m glad that we’ll be seeing him again soon at Wembley Stadium in London.

After the concert, we walked out via the delivery entrance.  The queues for the bus were so, so long.

Ivan and I walked back to our car in the parking lot.  Our plan was to wait for 30 minutes until the traffic died down and then drive back.  We did just that.  We played on our phone and listened to the radio.

Right before midnight, we left the parking lot and it was pretty quiet on the streets.

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