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London Travel Blog

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   Sorry that I have not reported in for so long, but London has been a whirlwind of activity, and I got so caught up in trying to see everything and everyone that I lost track of time.  So apologies in advance, but this will probably be a long entry.
   Tuesday, I went around the Tower Hill area, where my friend Sharai lives.  From there, we took a ride into the center of the city, walked around, saw Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Parliament, and other classic London tourist sites.  I had my first UK fish and chips and a British lager...both were excellent.  Then spent most of the later evening chatting and catching up with Sharai as we made ourselves some delicious dinner with food bought at a conveniently located Marks and Spencer (a grocery store).  It's been a few years since we have been in the same place at the same time for more than a day or so, and it's been really wonderful spending time with someone who has known me for so long, especially given the newness of all the people and experiences I've had this year in LA.
   Wednesday and Thursday were great.  I toured around Leicester Square, saw the National Gallery and the War Museum, both of which were extremely interesting.  For Thursday night, I managed to get some tickets to see Wicked, which was just an unbelievable show.  The music was terrific, the plot was witty and engaging and really made you feel connected to the characters.  I was buzzing about it all night.  From there we met up with my friend Sonia, who I met in college.  Even though I'm from Milwaukee and she's from Chicago, we have a bad habit of being home at the same time, not realizing it, and completely missing each other.  So we both found it very amusing that we could meet up half a world away.  It was great fun at this fun little lounge/bar in Farringdon, and I got to meet a bunch of cool people from her NYU theatre program.
   Friday was more fun and friend-filled.  Sharai and I went over to Notting Hill, and met up with Elana, one of our friends from camp.  She's been studying to be a rabbi at HUC, and is spending the summer in London.  Notting Hill was such a fun, lively area, with very nice looking flats and great cafes and shops.  We walked along Portobello Road, where they have the largest antiques market in the world, had some amazing falafel and savory desserts, and generally enjoyed a fun, sunny day (not exactly usual weather for London).
   Then Shabbat came Friday night, as it tends to, and a bunch of Sharai's LSE friends and I made dinner and sat around talking and eating and drinking well into the night in typical Shabbat dinner fashion.  Saturday, I walked around and did some exploring of my own, stopping to enjoy a park near Tower Bridge, sampling a million different taste treats in Borough Market, looking at some art at the Tate Modern that was sometimes fascinating and sometimes bizzare.  Then last night, I went out for Dim Sum at this place called Ping Pong and it was delicious.  Later that night, Sharai and I met up with more LSE friends and went around looking for a place to hang out, which had the two-fold benefit of seeing a totally different part of the city, and watching people who were very drunk do and say ridiculous things.  It was quite entertaining, though we got home extremely late.
   And now it's today, Sunday, my last day in London before moving on to Amsterdam tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning.  I'm really excited and partially in disbelief that I'm really going to see and do all the things I planned and be out there on my own, but it's going to be amazing.  Catch you all up when I'm settled in The Netherlands.  Til then, everyone take it easy :)
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photo by: ulysses