oh boy, what a beautiful day.
My morning began with a very comfortable coach tour of Central London. A part that I haven't seen since I was about 11, and really didn't remember a thing about it. It was lovely to view though, many pictures were taken, but because of the glare of the window and the curtain that kept getting in the way, only a handful actually turned out all right. We spent about two and a half hours on the tour, seeing all these different places, like the Globe, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and much more of the main attractions.
While on this bus tour, I fell in love with London. I want to see, touch, walk by, smell, and capture everything. I want to go to all the shows at the Royal Albert Hall, I want to go to all the museums, I want to eat at all the different pubs, and taste all the different flavors, I just want to soak it all up like a sponge, but never have it get squeezed out of me. There is something simple, easy, peaceful, vast, open, comfortable about this city. Yes I live in a posh neighborhood in which I feel very safe in, but driving around, I didn't lose that feeling. London with all it's diversity doesn't give me the same anxious feelings that say New York does, or even sometimes San Francisco, I can't quite pin it down yet, maybe as the semester goes I will have more words to explain the feelings.
Anyways, after the tour, Kelsey, Walter and I went to the Goat Tavern, and I had my first delicious Baguette! It was Chicken and Bacon with some yummy butter (instead of mayo, I think I am a fan of this). Although when I went up to order I said Chicken and Avocado, and the man looked for it but couldn't find it, I realized my mistake and tried to play it off by saying well I wish it had avocado, and it should have avocado. I don't think he agreed. It was yummy all the same.
I relaxed for a little bit before our walking tour around Kensington. This is where I decided I will see everything I can at the Royal Albert Hall. It is a beautiful building, with so many events. They have big names like the Killers, and Snow Patrol, but also classical musicians, and ukulele bands. This will be my place of pure happiness I believe. Oh, oh, Guilford people, have no fear I will get to see Yo-Yo Ma too!! He is coming in like a week I think...I will be there!
We also saw Kensington Palace and all the flowers and signs where people remember Princess Diana. A little weird I have to admit, but still fascinating to look at. It got a bit cloudy this afternoon, felt like rain, but didn't actually release any water. There were some other highlights as well, but at this moment I am drawing a blank.
Also, our tour guide took us on some side streets and it was amazing how loud High Street Kensington seemed compared to the little neighborhoods just off to the side. We saw where T.S. Elliot lived, some local pubs and jewelry shops and felt the local vibe.
I want to go off the beaten track, see the side streets, visit the little shops, take pictures of the ordinary houses, and experience what it would be like to actually have this be my life. But I also want to to all the touristy things too! I am beginning to think four months will not be long enough to do all that I wish, especially with this whole academic and internship side to it....
Kelsey, Walter, Shauna and I met up with the rest of the group for a drink tonight, and that was rather lovely, and then we found another local pub. 2 pints for 5 pounds, doesn't seem too bad, and mighty tasty. We are slowly working on the group dynamics here, it is coming along, I think it will just take some more time.
I managed to take some time for myself today. I walked down High Street Kensington, went in to a couple different stores, bought a bath mat for our bathroom, and enjoyed being by myself. For the last few days I have been around students non stop, so this was nice to just take 30 minutes and walk by myself. I think I will have more opportunities for this once classes start and we will all get into our own routines.
Tomorrow is going to be a really fun day....Shopping!!! (this is so funny that I am so excited because for most of my life I hated shopping, but something about being in a different country, I feel very un-trendy and I want to look good as I head out for the nights to come) Emily and I are going to the gym in the morning! (wish me luck) this will be my fist time there, planning on taking it light, but I am pretty excited to get started there. I think it will just be the girls for shopping on Oxford Street tomorrow, (they have everything from H&M to like the super fancy shops in which I will just admire from the spotless window). Perhaps a picnic in the park, and maybe even a stop to a museum, but shopping wears me out, so I do not know how many activities I will actually get to. But it is nice in that Sunday will be our first day without planned events, so we are really on our own for the whole day.
Classes start Monday, I cannot wait. Getting tired now, I think I will bid you all a goodnight. Sleep well, enjoy your evenings, and perhaps I will share what goodies I gather after tomorrow's adventures.
Oh. and the markets! I want to go to all of the markets!