Today was wonderful.
Kathleen and I woke up early to get pack and relax a little bit before my noon class. Our lecture was based around topics pretty familiar to me… Francis Bacon, Giles Deleuze, Spinoza, Nietzsche and the likes. Hopefully Kathleen wasn’t too bored by it.
From there we set off for London. We picked up some sandwiches from a local place called Milk & Bread to eat on the train. When we got to the train station, we discovered that there was a problem with the train tickets I had bought in advance, so we had to buy them again. We managed to catch the fast train still, so we were in London in no time.
Jolie met us right off the train. She’s my most fabulous London friend. Since we got here in the afternoon, we took it pretty easy. Kathleen also had her big backpack.
Our first stop was a view of the London Eye and Big Ben. We then walked by the Savoy and tried to stop in for an impromptu afternoon tea, but we had just missed their 1:00 sitting. The building was gorgeous and very impressive, and just walking into it was a fabulous experience.
We took tea at a nearby hotel and had a chance to catch up. Kathleen and Jolie get along famously. Kathleen had her first scones with clotted cream, which are so addictive.
It had stopped raining by the time we left, so we walked around a little more. We saw Covent Garden and stopped in some stores of beautiful things. We also stopped by French Connectiom UK. My mom hilariously thought that all the FCUK shirts were to do with some football thing, but it’s a very famous logo internationally. Haha!
We also went to the Cath Kidtson store. The prints are so wonderful and so English. Kathleen was as impressed as I had been. It’s a wonderful place. The MAC store was another stop on our list, which is fitting because it’s where Jolie and I began our friendship.
A train took us most of the way to her house and Jolie’s husband Ray picked us up at the station. Her home is beautiful! This is such a wonderful place. We had potato soup for dinner and champagne to celebrate our arrival.
The evening was spent relaxing and chatting. Jolie’s husband is funny and a little spunky. Like most Englishman, he’s under the strange delusion that he doesn’t live in Europe. We watched the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and a little bit of the awful Footloose remake.
Unfortunately, I discovered that (for the third time) the website I use to book my cheap flights had malfunctioned at some point and Kathleen and I do not actually have any way to get to Paris. Of course, prices in the mean time have skyrocketed. I spend some stressful hours collaborating with my dad across the ocean and Ray across the living room trying to find the cheapest flight. Then, Kathleen decided that she wanted to take the Eurostar through the Chunnel so we’re doing that instead.
I’m glad everything worked out, but it’s been really stressful. It seems like a disproportionate amount of my arrangements have been falling through to my economic disadvantage. Oh well.
Today in London was wonderful, and our plans for tomorrow are sounding reeeeeeally good.
Three girls, one London.
Three cheers for the return of Kathleen Blanck
We began with my first college class and my first time almost drifting off during a lecture. In my defense, I could hardly understand the professor’s accent, much less interpret the artists and painting terms he was using. It was nice to look at painting flashing up on the projector anyway.
We went and met some of Anna’s friends and saw her studio, which was super cute and she shared it with some super cute British students. I even met Fran, who I’ve heard is fluent in Spanish.
We went downstairs and were immediately hooked when we noticed their was a table full of large candy! And what was better? They seemed to be giving it away for free! Now, you all must know that nothing is free. Not even large chocolate eggs right before Easter. So, we inquired what the real price of the candy was. To our delight, all one had to do to earn candy was get tested for chlamydia! Already knowing what our results would be, we eagerly signed up, tested and received oversized caramel Cadbury eggs. So worth it.
Our next stop was a little cafe where we bought sandwiches for lunch. I got a pastrami sandwich and Anna got a chicken club, I believe.
We went to the train station and ran into just a bit of trouble with our tickets. With our quick wit and flexibility, we quickly recovered and were on our way once more!
We arrived in London, Anna with her carry on bag and I with my Philmont backpack, to meet Jolie, the sweetest human being I have ever met. She immediately found us and gave us each big hugs.
We walked out of the station and, despite the drizzle, walked to the Savoy. The inside was absolutely stunning and when we came out, we headed to our next destination: tea!
My first proper British tea was one for the ages. We demolished the tray they brought us with scones and jam and clotted cream, sandwiches (I enjoyed my cucumber sandwich), and deserts on top. We all got our own teas (mine English breakfast), and Jolie insured that I got soy milk for my lactose intolerance. It was awesome and filling and when we walked out, the city was miraculously dry!
The newfound beautiful weather allowed us to walk around London just a bit. We walked through a beautiful shopping district and stopped in several stores. My backpack only made me feel like I was going to knock everything over, but I managed to avoid any major catastrophes.
Our day in London finished up as we headed back to the train station to get to Jolie’s home. A short train ride later and we were picked up by Ray, Jolie’s dedicated Englishman husband. He drove us back to the most beautiful house in all of London. Seriously, though, can I just move in? Everything about this house is the definition of luxury, I’m convinced. She even has working showers (shout out to the going-on-2-years-broken shower in my American house)!
We had the most delicious potato and Brussels sprout soup for dinner, along with a little champagne to celebrate a safe arrival. And don’t worry, my alcohol intake was careful monitored, I was only allowed half a glass of champagne. It was quite enough for me, though.
As Anna and the adults organized our route to Paris, I knew I would be no help, so I started watching a movie on tv. I believe Anna mentioned it above and I really want to get it for myself now. Really, though, it’s a great movie.
Jolie made me some fabulous chai with soy milk she had bought just for my short stay at her house. Seriously, could she be more thoughtful?
After being criticized severely for my love of the only footloose I’ve ever had a chance to see, I got ready for bed. I think if you’ve seen the leading male in the new footloose movie, you can’t really blame me for liking it. I mean, come on, people.
It is time for bed, though, and I’ve got a long day ahead, so I will let you all get back to your hard work. Or whatever it is you do back in the States.
Oh! Also, I’d like to say hi to my Nonnie, who is an avid blog reader. As a volunteer, I can assure you that only the best service will be awarded to you on your upcoming stay! Seriously, the ladies there are great.
Anyway, to anyone who reads this, I hope you have a wonderful day!
Good night 🙂