Richie gathering my luggage
I am home, and I have been home for exactly one week. I have neglected writing, I think, because I didn't really want it to be over. Oh, but its over and I am smack in the middle of work. I leave for Provincetown in a few days, but then summer is over. Yuck.
London with Ann was incredible. We had such a blast. We left Oxford on a Thursday afternoon, right after packing, having a Cornish pastie, and then happening upon a flea market, one last way for Oxford to part me of 24 pounds -- but I love the boxes that I bought. Our trip to London was actually very fun. We took the double decker Oxford Tube bus to Notting Hill. Our driver Richard was a trainee, being trained by Richie, the tattoed, mohawked, pierced "big bloke" who was hysterically funny.
Champagne tea at Harvey Nichols
It took about an hour and half to get into London and then we caught a cab to our hotel, the very nice Hilton Olympia in the heart of Kensington. We spent our first evening doing some shopping in the neighborhood. We went out that night to G-A-Y and discovered the cheapest drink in history, it was a pitcher of vodka, tequila, rum, coke, and limes for 5 pounds, a little over 9 dollars -- it was called the Texas Cocktail Jug, we loved it. Friday we headed into the city to do some sightseeing. We met our friend Vince from Tech, and walked the Embankment to the Tate Modern and spent a few hours there, stopping along the way for lunch and to visit the book stalls. After the museum, Ann and I headed to Harvey Nichols for champagne tea, it was wonderful.
A Persian feast at 1 am
It was another night of going out.
Saturday was the Europride parade. Ann and I had English breakfast and then headed over to Regent Street to watch the parade which was lots of fun and seemed to involve every single person in London. If they weren't in the parade they were watching or clogging the sidewalks. It was very crowded. On top of the parade, England was playing Portugal in the World Cup. It was quite a day. After the parade, we did some shopping and then headed back to the hotel to cool down, we were smack dab in the middle of a 5 day heat wave. We watched the end of the game, England lost and London wept. We headed back into Soho, but it was so crowded and there was so much trash and drunkenness that we decided to go a bit farther out and went to a great pub called the George, visited by both Dickens and Shakespeare.
Wonderful cases of stuff at the British Museum
We left the pub and decided to get something to eat, but it was late, after midnight when we got back to the hotel, but fortunately there was a Persian place just down the street open til 5 am. We had vegetarian stew and rice, tomato and cucumber salad, lavash, olvies and feta and got to smoke the sheesha, it was incredibly good.
Sunday was fully devoted to sightseeing. We went to the British Museum and then to the Tower of London. I fell in absolute love with the Kings Library there. It is what I would love for my home to be like, it is filled with shelf after shelf of incredible collections from travelling and nature -- it was incredible. The Tower was great as usual, I hadn't been since I was young, so the 30 dollar entrance was a gamble, but it was fun.
Monday, we went to the changing of the guard. We lucked out with a great place along the fence, but we were attacked by a small Asian woman who managed to wedge herself into Ann's crevices and then proceded to whip out a video camera and film the whole thing. After Buckingham Palace we walked to a pub and then to Trafalger Square, where we split up to get some last minute shopping and sightseeing done. I went to St Martin in the Fields and heard an organ concert and then did a brass rubbing for my dad in the crypt. I bought a new piece of giant luggage and had one last run to Muji for some final souvenirs. Ann and I met up to go to dinner at Covent Garden and then our last night out on the town and of the trip, it was fun, but sort of sad.
Ann left at 8:30 on July 4th for the airport and I was out at 10:00am on the Gatwick Express.
Asleep on the Tube with my chocolates
It was an uneventful half full flight to Detroit, I watched Working Girl, V for Vendetta, and High Anxiety on the plane. The flight from Detroit to Atlanta
was more eventful, it was late arriving to Detroit, the passengers would not sit down and the pilot had to make announcements to let people know if they didn't stay seated we would have to return to the gate, and we landed in the middle of a huge lightning storm. I was so glad to be in Atlanta, I didn't care. My dad picked me and my luggage up and, I was home by 10:30 and my mom had left me a chicken and rice casserole in the fridge. I didn't have internet or a car as it wouldn't start, so my mom had had it towed to the MINI dealer. I got my internet back Wednesday morning, to discover that my debit card was still being used in London, so I ran to the bank (literally) and filed all the paperwork for that. Its now a week later, my car is back, I am adjusted to the time change, and my bank card is in the mail.
But, I want to be back in London. I would love a Texas cocktail jug right now, and be able to spend another day in the British Museum and walk along the river to the Tate Modern with my incredibly filthy filp flop in London feat. I miss it.