I was nominated for a contest. The competition is of logs that were written about peoples experiences as they visited Wales. If I win, the prize is a 3 night stay in this crazy cool place in Wales. Yes an excuse to go back! Keep your fingers crossed. :)
So today is Friday, May 29th. It is 9:45pm as I write this. This means that I have 9 hours left in London before I have to leave to head to the airport. I cannot believe I just burned through 4 months. Where did the time go, seriously? I realize that I have had some amazing experiences but I have this weird feeling like tomorrow I am not going to leave. Tomorrow feels like it is just another weekend trip and I will be back here Monday morning. Do you ever get that? While I love all the people back home (there's no easy way to say this without offending people) but I don't want to go home. Going home means this semester has come to end, that it is officially over. That starting Monday I have to head back to my summer job. That this summer has begun and thus starts the count down until the end of college and furthermore the closure on a stage of my life. It bums me out to be honest. Peter Pan was right, growing up isn't fun and why would you want to?
Alrighty now that I have turned this into a cheesy editorial I will move on.
This past week I have been trying to do the last couple of things on my to-do list and revisit some of my favorite places. Yesterday I went to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. I had been to neither of these and they sounded like fun. The Natural History Museum was cool but just another extention of 3rd grade social studies. It contained information that I had already learned a million times over so I stuck to looking at the displays instead. IT had all kinds of displays: minerals, fossils, animals, and bunch of other things. I thought most of the displays were cool-the dinosaur stuff being my favorite. They had an actualy dinosaur only exhibit but the queue was rather long so I opted not to go in. The museum had animal which was more like walking through a zoo but with specimens with empty souls. There were tons of taxidermed animals. While a child would love this I actually found it quite sad. Just the fact that these were dead animals stuffed and put on display--i don't know, it just made me sad. I think it is the fact that my mother is an animal lover and that growing up in my household was like being a part of dr. dolittle's world that I felt this way. Seeing the staple stitches on the giraffe's stomach where they inserted the foam and stuffing is what did me in. This bummed me out a bit so I decided it was time to go. I had been there close to 2 hours and saw what I wanted to. Then I went to the Sciene Museum-thinking it would be a larger version of Robot World in the Dells. But it wasn't it had some early models of inventions likehe printing press, a loom, early automotives and space shuttles. But other than that there wasn't much so it was a bit of a let down but still cool.
This morning Dani Sam and I went to have our last meal in London. We woke up and went and had full-english breakfast. Delicious, as always and I am definitely going to miss it. I didn't really fell like going to anopther museum so Dani and I opted for going to Hyde Park and laying around there for a while. It was a gorgeous hot sunny day so I soaked up as much sun as I could. I ended up taking close to a 2 hour nap there as well. After some much needed lounging, Dani and I walked to Buckingham Palace, a few blocks away and then strolled up to the National Gallery. Trafalgar Square was very busy today so we jsut stopped for a second and then head to Leicester Square and Covent Garden (Theatreland). Also so busy so we walked around the block and headed back to Nido.
Here I have been just doing some finishing touches to packing and will prob go to bed soo nsince I have to get up so early and head to Heathrow Airport. I will be back in Chicago tomorrow at 2pm central time. Crazy stuff. Not looking forward to the almost 9 hr. flight. Not fun.
List of things I will miss most from London: 1. My friends from here.
2. Kebabs, Crown Fish, and Tesco (they kept me fed this semester)
3. The parks. (Hyde, Regent, Green, St. James, Highbury)
4. The diversity of people.
5. Walking around and seeing history left and right.
6. The tube
7. Dani talking in her sleep (quite entertaining)
8. Sam turning every word into a plural (Tescos, Convent Gardens)
9. Mike's random catch phrases ("These beans are bomb!")
10. Lady Gaga marathons and the "downstairs"
See you London, you were Amazing!
And see all of you guys soon. Thanks for reading the blog too, made the writing worth it.
So yesterday I woke up at 6am to go wait in a queue for Wicked tickets. In London, at the Wicked theatre, they have this thing where everyday, when the box office opens, they sell the entire front row for only 25 pounds. The normal price in this section of the theatre is 75 pounds. So for a third of the price you can get the best seats in the house. Having never seen the play but loved the music, I wanted to try and get these seats. So Dani and I awoke to head down to the theatre. The box office opens at 10am but we wanted to beat everyone and be at the front of the line--so 1. we could get front row and 2. to get front row center. Well we got down to the box office at 7:30ish and no one else was there. Winner! This was great, except it was freezing cold and rainy. Typical, not great, London weather. So we picked a spot outside on the steps and waited it out. It was so cold I couldnt even say. At around 8:15 we took turns going to get some breakfast. Up until about 9/ 9:15 we were the only ones in the queue. We felt kind of like idiots really. Finally one more guy showed up to join us. We talked to us a bit and we found out that we had showed up at the right time because usually people start showing up when we did, it was just a slow day. So that was reassuring. And after him a person here and there would show up until 10. The box office finally opened and Dani and I were the first in line. This was amazing. We got the tickets 2 for us and 1 for our friend Sam that couldnt come wait in line with us. We got the tickets and to our excitement we got the 3 seats that were dead center! How cool is that?! On top of the great seats the show was great. We were close enough that we saw every detail on the costumes and all of the facial expressions by the performers. I have never been that close before, I prob. never will. It was just a great way to see the show. I love musicals and this one is def. one of my favorites. If you get a chance to go see it-do.
So as my time in London is drawing to a close, Dani Sam and I are in denial. While I love all of you, I am not ready to leave London. This city is so great and I have had so many amazing experiences that I am going to miss.
Monday, Dani Sam and I went to Oxford, home of the famous university and many other things. We found extremely cheap train tickets that cost about $18 for a return ticket. So we headed up for a day trip. The day went pretty smoothly travel wise adn with my past history that was a gift itself. The train left at 10:22A and took about an hour. I napped most of the time. We arroaved and headed off. None of us did any special research as in what there was to do we just wanted to wander and we did. We started off with heading to the city center. This city seemed rather small when compared to London, as most cities would and do. We walked down there major shopping street and saw up ahead a tall building and decided to head there. We arrived at the Christ Church (also a university) and saw that the building was shut off to the public but it had a huge open, park like area. We had some great sunny weather and decided to walk around. It was so gorgeous and the building was beautiful. We learned that the author of Alice in Wonderland actually was the math professor at the college in his hay day. Alice was the Dean's daughter and he would tell her stories as well. Fun fact. Another fun fact is that the Thames River, in London, actually runs up through Oxford too. Cool stuff. We wondered how long it would take to travel by boat. After waling through here and seeing some cool wild life (a few families of ducks with fluffy babies), we headed to the covered market that Oxford is known for. But when we arrived we saw that it was closed due to the bank holiday, which is similar to our memorial day. Bummer. So we then just wandered down some random streets and came across another university and walked onto the campus and sat down on a grass patch. Very relaxing that is until a woman came up an asked us not to sit on the grass. I guess it was the kind of grass that is just for looking not enjoying. Which was obvious when we thought about it later--I mean this grass was green, nicely kept, underneath a sunny sky.....oh wait that sounds like every other grass patch on the planet. We thought it was dumb that you weren't allowed to sit there but moved on anyway. From here we went and walked through another park and decided to stop and get ice cream and popsicle. My treat was of the tropical strawberry variety and I enjoyed it quite much. After hanging around there we went back towards town and stopped and got a snack at a local place. I got a cookie bar and iced tea. Delicious. This led to more aimless wandering and my purchasing of some surf shorts and a book. I bought the book "A Wolf at the Table" by Augusten Burroughs, the same guy who wrote "Running With Scissors." I am about 85 pages in and love it. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new book to read. After spending time at Borders we had to head back to the train station to go back to London. The ride home was smooth and easy. Love it. I was glued to my book the whole ride anyway. Very cool city, glad I got to see it.
The following is what happens when a person does not know how to cook. These were the dinners that Dani and I prepared for ourselves yesterday. It was too funny so I had to share. I bet you can guess which one was mine. HA
Current AmeriCorps*VISTA member serving in Oakland, CA. Has a BA in Public Relations & Organizational Comm. and Art at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Previously studied Art & Media Production at London Metropolitan University.
*All work, designs and rights belong to the artist.