22 March 2009

Here Comes the Sun

So to preface, this was my last full week in London. I did some math and realized that even with the cost of moving my flight up a week, I would be saving a lot of money if I went home early. So next Wednesday I fly back to the States, after a wonderful 12 weeks in England. In honor of my wonderful time here, and leaving my teens, London threw a week long celebration of Sunshine in my honor. I was outside as much as possible. 

Monday I went for a run, and then walked around London for a bit. I walked to Great Ormond Street to see the Hospital For Sick Children -this place owns Peter Pan courtesy of Sir J. M. Barrie. 
I bought an ice lolly from the ice lolly man, and it was amazing, "Cornish Vanilla" or something like that. I decided from there to walk to the British museum, and while just meandering through the sunny streets and mews, I saw this:

I think that's a place for me, where you're only required to be 'good enough.' I eventually found the British Museum.
I was hesitant to actually spend my afternoon there because it was so gorgeous outside. The interior of this place was beautiful too though.
In the museum I saw a group of Jehovah's Witnesses having a Bible study, and a mummy:

On Tuesday it was St. Patrick's Day. I ran 6 miles, and did pilates. I took the bus to Tottenham Court Road, bought a muffin from Sainsbury's and posed with it on the Drury Lane sign. Pictured here:
I think I may have seen Dustin Hoffman today, crossing Charing Cross Road. There's no way to be sure though. I also visited Foyles 'UK's No. 1 Bookseller' and was there for a very long time before deciding upon 'The Jungle Books' and 'Mansfield Park.'

Wednesday was another amazingly beautiful spring-like day. I went for a run past Buckingham Palace and the day was so glorious that I turned around, went home, got ready for the day and went back to enjoy the sunshine and read. 
I walked through Green Park to enjoy the Daffodils before finding the perfect sunny reading spot.

Right in front of the Palace. 
I sat here reading until I had to go to my last Le Cordon Bleu class. We did chocolate truffles. It was easy and fun. 

Thursday I had no motivation to run. I planned to run the 5 miles to Abbey Road, but I walked nearly half of it just enjoying the sunshine. Abbey Road was cool, it was completely covered in graffiti by fans of The Beatles. I didn't have a pen or I would have added to it. 

Again, Awesome. 

Today I was mental about going home and figured out my flight situation. I was a bit sad about giving up on Prague after all my training, but I found a half marathon in Salt Lake on April 18th, that I will most definitely run, and my training will not have been in vain. 

Friday was my first birthday, and to kick it off I had my grade deliberation. I went early so I didn't have to wait around to get my day started. It went really well. I did remarkably well in the course, not perfect by any means, but passing is 50%, and I got an 87.5% on the practical final alone. A few parts of it Chef told me were 'perfect.' I was super happy. I skipped to Sainsbury's bought stuff for Zucchini Bread and other things that I want to take home and then it was off to Kensington Palace with my friend Katherine. 

I took the bus and I could see Katherine walking in Kensington Gardens from a quarter mile off. It's her glorious mane of red curls, she could never go incognito.

We walked through the palace spending most of our time in the "Last Debutantes" exhibition which was so charming! I loved it! I also learned how to tie a bow tie, 

and that typing on a type writer is SO much fun! 
I was planning on buying a gift for a friend's birthday, but instead I bought myself a nightgown. It was lovely, inexpensive, and I totally needed a new one. I think mine is about 8 years old...

Saturday morning I woke up early. Once I realized that I was officially no longer a teenager, I couldn't sleep. You know how on your birthday everyone asks 'Do you feel different? Older?' well my usual response is 'No, not really." And while today, no one asked me, I totally feel different! I felt myself change while on the tube today. My heart fluttered and suddenly I was grown up. I couldn't think of a better place to lay my childhood to rest than in London.

 I'm 20, and while that is still young, I'm a grown up. Children see me as a grown up, and after this, I'm just aging...

But I'm not bitter about it. To celebrate the first day of Spring I went up to Willesden Green to help my ward do a clean up service project. It took me 2 hours to get up there because of the rubbish tubes. The worst part about it, is that Willesden Green is probably only 7 miles from my flat at the most.

Though we did get free t-shirts -actually I dont know if we were supposed to return them or not... I didn't. I was sad that Angus didn't join us, he just got back from Italy last night, but Seb and Jake were there, and I love them nearly as much. 
Seb made me a birthday card, and they all signed it, accompanied by chocolate (and later Jake bought me Wine Gums -MY FAVORITE!) I hung out with them for a few hours and headed home. Hilary surprised me with a phone call saying she'd be in London by the evening and that we should go to dinner together! I was so happy. We planned to meet at Hard Rock Cafe around 8.

In honor of my birthday, London gave me another present: the most beautiful red sunset I have seen in ages. 

Half the tube lines were down so I had to hop random buses to get to Hard Rock where Hilary was waiting with, what else, the birthday boa. Here I am pictured on the hog outside. 

We had a bit of a wait outside before we went in. It was great to see Hilary and catch up. I haven't seen her since Edinburgh! We talked and talked, and it was so loud inside that we were both hoarse by the end. I had a very delicious burger and chips (fries) and I was sung to by all of Hard Rock -as were 5 other girls! It is a good day to be born! The boys did have some cheesecake left over that I was planning on having, but after ward I was so tired that I just went home, where my darling friend Lauren was there to greet me on Skype. 

It was a very good, simple day. I felt happy and at peace. I love London and I can't believe I've been able to LIVE here for a few months. I have 3 full days to soak up as much as I can before I fly back to the states. Thank you for all the birthday wishes from everyone. I'll see you all so very soon! 


Paige said...

I am so ridiculously proud of Hilary right now!!! You have no idea. I'm glad to hear that both of your birthdays were amazing.

Rebeccah Louise said...

you are a grownup!
what is an ice lolly?

Rebeccah Louise said...

i read it today.

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way. When I turned eighteen I felt no different but after twenty years and no longer being a teenager it feels liberating and "grown-up", ya know? You know.

Anywho love,
Mars GodIsMyJudge FromTheHedges

*post-script* it's getting hard to come up with creative expressions of my name. :/

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