My cold has continued into the weekend (prayers for my congestion would be appreciated), but I’ve managed to have some more fun in spite of my stuffiness and exhaustion from lack of comfortable sleep. On my dad’s last full day, we got another late start and then spent the afternoon and evening down by the Thames.
The area around the National Theater was full of cool picture spots like this. My dad had gone out before me, so we met up at the espresso bar near the theater. Since I made the commute there by myself, it was the first time I really felt there, like I wasn’t just visiting, but that I could belong in this city. It was hard to resist the urge to gawk around and grin stupidly while I crossed the Jubilee Bridge (aptly named). I got a coffee while I waited for my dad and was perfectly content to sit by the water and watch everything happen around me. Right under the bridge there was a huge book sale going on. When my dad got there, we meandered through it for a while.
There were lots of old books like this. That’s my happy place. I got a small book containing a few old plays, and a small, very antique copy of the English Book of Common Prayer for Josh. Then we strolled up and down the river walk, watching street performers and admiring the cloudy sunset. For dinner, we trekked back across the river to a noodle place my dear pal Merisa recommended highly to me after the British theater trip.
Boy, does that girl know me. It was like being back in Japan (in other words, a taste of home). I scarfed my ramen bowl down in 5 minutes flat, both because it was amazing and I was starving, but also because we had fifteen minutes before we had to be at the Playhouse Theater. On our way to the restaurant, we passed it and saw a staged version of George Orwell’s 1984 was showing, and there were two orchestra seats right in the center for a minute fraction of what the cost would have been in the states. We spontaneously bought them and I was so, so excited to see theater in London.
It was worth every penny. The actors were well-cast and incredibly committed, and the light and sound design blew me away. If you’ve read the book, the scene with the “I love you” note was so well done I almost cried just from the sheer artistic genius. Ask me about it sometime if you’re curious. It was a great finish to my dad’s time here.
Today, my dad left after we watched some of a
soccer football game at a pub with fish and chips, and Josh came down from Oxford for the day. It was the first rainy day, and we romped around in our raincoats and loved it.
Buckingham Palace! We discussed what part of it the royal family might live in, and whether or not they roam the halls at night just because they can.
We went to the place I’d been dying to explore more than any other- Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and I saw the Peter Pan statue.
The sun broke through the clouds right at sunset as we got to the water. It was even more beautiful than it looks here.
Kensington Palace is way in the background. The mood here was too beautiful for words.
There aren’t any pictures of the Peter Pan statue on my phone because when we got there, all I could do was stare at it and try not to cry. I had been there so many times in my head (and on Google street view) and it really hit me that I’d made it. I was actually here, and my little corner of the park had been waiting for me to show up in person.
We’d already eaten ramen at Kanada-Ya (twice in a row for me, because I couldn’t help it), but we went here anyway for dessert and coffee.
Zorba’s Greek Tavern, aka the first date restaurant from About Time. The friendly old Greek man there chatted us up and we wondered if he knew Rachel McAdams and Domnhall Gleeson (in which case, were we now one degree from the actual Tim and Mary)? It was awesome and fulfilled so many of our geeky daydreams.
Tomorrow is Oxford day for church (and pal Sam’s birthday!), and the day after that is my first day of classes! It’s a bit lonely in this tiny room now that I’m officially the only one in it, so it helps to have things to look forward to.
I never know how to end these. Thanks for reading, guys.