Just a little update to tell of recent London life. Haven’t been out of the city since Prague, but Dublin is on for this weekend, so that promises to send me home with plenty of stories. Mom has already done her ‘mom duty,’ warned me that St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated in full force on Saturday the 15th because the church doesn’t want it celebrated on Monday the 17th as usual because it’s during Holy Week. So, just in case I don’t have enough stories to tell when I’m back from Dublin, I head to Rome for Easter next weekend. And may I just mention that these weekends are during my midterms (I should be writing a history paper right now, but would so much rather do this!). Not a great academic choice, but I’m only studying abroad once, so I’ll just have to fit it all in somehow!
Last weekend my good friend Lucas came to visit me here in London. It was his first time here so we walked ALL over this city and saw a ton in just 2 1/2 days. I fancy myself quite an exceptional tour guide when I’m in Seattle, but my skills were put to the test here in a new place. When I told my host family all the places we had gone, they said, ‘You saw more of London today than we’ve seen in 50 years!’ So I felt rather accomplished and called it a good day!
For anyone familiar with London you may be able to recognize how far it was we walked but we started at Victoria getting tickets for “Wicked,” saw Buckingham Palace, through St. James’s Park, caught part of the changing of the guard, to Trafalgar Square, a little time in the National Gallery, grabbed a sandwhich and enjoyed the spring time sun in Trafalgar Square, down to Parliament, across the Westminster Bridge, passed the London Eye, along the Southbank, popped in a couple small galleries (my favorite with coast and country pictures of Britian), saw the Globe, avoided the Tate Modern (Lucas isn’t a big fan of modern art, ha), across the Millenium Bridge, to St. Paul’s, Starbucks, of course, (I have to admit my Starbucks trips have increased with his visit!), walked past my school, to the British Museum, down Oxford Street (shopping!), strolled through Piccadilly Circus at night to see the Times Square of London, back to Victoria to see “Wicked” that evening. Whoo!! Big day! It was great, we were tired and feeling pretty satisfied. “Wicked” was excellent! I had heard tons about it and to be honest wasn’t all that interested in a story from the Wizard of Oz, but we sat front row and it was fantastic. Though the show was amazing, one of my favorite parts was when the male love interest came swooping out on stage hanging from a rope to break up the argument between the two witches and he almost fell off and looked completely ridiculous. We were all sitting in the front row and cracked up laughing, which he heard and then he cracked up laughing (I think he knew how absurd he looked). It was supposed to be an intense, serious scene and he could just NOT hold it together! One of the only times I’ve seen an actor break on stage and it was hilarious!
Did I mention all that was just the first day? Well, things slowed down for Saturday and Sunday, but Lucas got a full tour and decided officially that he wanted to be British, ha! When he told my host dad, Ken, that, Ken said, ‘Oh no… you don’t want that!’
So, the weekend was busy, and after Harrods visit #2, I’m not sure I can go back a third time. It’s just an intense place and after a couple days of running all over London, I needed to put on the ipod and zone out for a while on the tube ride home. Just yesterday as I was headed to see ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at the National Theater (which was fantastic, by the way!) I was beginning to think that London was wearing on me, with all the tube rides everyday, busyness all the time, people constantly everywhere. But I trucked along, got off the tube and headed toward the theather. I crossed the Thames right at sunset as the day’s storm was breaking and the buildings reflected the fire of the setting sun. Suddenly my love for London was renewed!! I told my friend when I met her at the theater how I thought London was wearing on me, to which she responded, ‘Yeah, and then you walked across the river at sunset, huh?’ Ha, she felt the exact same way. All to say that life is very busy here and things can get tiring (what parts of life don’t sometimes?), but overall still having a pretty incredible study abroad experience. Very excited for the upcoming travels, but I better get a little bit of school work done now!
However, I must update that I lured Lucas into joining me in my love of chocolate. My new favorite here in London is the chocolate crisps that are shaped like Pringle chips but they’re crunchy chocolate! Probably the greatest thing ever! When we got home the first night and I handed him another ‘chocolate crisp’ Lucas said, ‘You know what this makes me excited for? The opportunity to buy more tomorrow. Actually. . . I don’t know if it’s an opportunity so much as it is an obligation.’ Ha, exactly! So I’ve been obligated to continue eating my chocolate, and so far it’s going well. Off to be academic!