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The Weekend

So the Imperial War Museum...not really my cup of tea. Although they did a good job of not glorifying war, it was still a really depressing place. It's housed in Bedlam, the sanitorium that we draw the word from. I thought that was really interesting. The exhibits were interesting, especially the Holocaust part...bit of a tear jerker. I was really hungry by the time we finished up the exhibits and didn't feel too well, so I decided to leave early. It was a bit of a trip home, so I was waiting for someone else to be ready to go which ended up taking longer than expected. Mrs. Kerrane was with us on the way back, so luckily there was no getting lost. Em and I opted for a quick nap before "The Lightning Play" at the Almeida. That ended up being a bit far away too, but we got to see some new tube stops. Euston Station to Angel and a long walk to the theatre. The Almeida also did a one set play (which seems to be popular here). I didn't like "The Lightning Play" nearly as much as "The Seafarer," but it had it's moments. Most exciting were the references to the film director Ingmar Berman and his film "Through a Glass Darkly." I won't bore you with the details of the play because it was a little drawn out and confusing. I think the depressing nature of the play was not the way to end the day as we had already seen the war exhibits, so Friday ended up being a bit overwhelming. Em, Alice, and I decided to balance out that evening with a little Pizza Hut (the only pizza place for miles) and a little David Tennent (of Dr. Who) on Friday Night Project on the telly. Interesting show to say the least. We ended up at Tesco to get some late night goodies and packed it in rather early as we were all exhausted.

Saturday was an early morning with a bit of breakfast followed by the unending journey to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We met in the lobby after a very wet trudging along the Thames and the discovery that my shoes are less waterproof than the box would have led me to believe. Our tour guide, Kitty, was absolutely the most fabulous little British woman I have ever met. She gave us our tour with a bit of artistic flair that only a former actress could have mustered. It was raining during our tour, so we got a bit wet, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. The Globe is pretty much exactly how it looks in pictures. We learned a lot about Sam Wanamaker, the American that led the reconstruction. We also got to see some period costumes and hear the details of the reconstruction complete with fighting the London Fire Department on code issues relating to a huge wooden and plaster thatched building in the middle of a populated area.

After the tour, Em and I settled for a lovely lunch of potato and leek soup and pickle and something interesting sandwiches. We sat for a bit and looked out over the Thames where we could see some of the older historic buildings. After lunch, we met the rest of the group for the Mummer's rendition of Twelfth Night. They arrived in parade from one side and by boat from the other. It ended up being one of those travelling troupe things where you have to follow them around if you want to see them. The costumes were spectacular (and I have quite a few pictures). There was a devil, a man dressed as a very convincing and leafy tree, several beraggled servants, a man with a huge moustache, and a bunch of other silly things. I followed the troupe around even though the rest of the group was lagging behind and it was raining quite hard. Eventually the rain became unbearable, and I opted to get under awning. The next thing I knew, I couldn't find anyone else from our group. I stopped in Starbucks (ugh, they really are everywhere) in the hopes of reuniting with someone. When I didn't find anyone there, I went over the the Tate Modern because that was in many people's plans. I saw the Holler exhibit of tube slides, but no classmates. Eventually I gave up and headed for home. I caught the bus at the National Theatre and headed back towards Russell Square. I decided to instead get off around the Holston tube stop and make a run to Boots, which is their pharmacy over here. I bought a hair straightener and bubble bath since I was soaked and cold. After that, I hopped the tube back to Russell Square and talked to Alice about dinner in a little. I took a bath with delicious vanilla milk bath and read my book. Em eventually came home and she and Alice and I went to the Tokyo Diner in Piccadilly. It was absolutely delicious. Em got some sort of curry dish and Alice and I got Udon and Soba noodles. I also got some sushi and we all got sake. So far, this was the best meal we've had. Also a bonus, it's not custom to tip in Asian countries, so they don't accept tips. If you do leave a tip, they collect it for St. Martin in the Fields Charity. I thought that was really cool. After dinner there was some shopping, ice cream, and meandering. We had a run in with a scary coked out guy that tried to follow us...but it ended up okay. Just a bit scary. A little reminder that this is still a major city, I suppose. Eventually headed back and talked to James and the family (and James told me the story of his toilet exploding and waking up to rain in the basement...another story for another time...lol). Em decided she wanted to take a bath and I wasn't ready to settle in for the night, so Alice and I went with Dan to get some dinner since he hadn't eaten. Michelle ended up joining us at Night and Day, the pub attached to our hotel. Dan got a sandwich and we got drinks - Strongbow of course, right Chipper? There is nothing like British cider...very good.

So we thought we were going to sleep in on Sunday, catch up a bit and then have some fun since it was a free day but no...our friendly cleaning staff came knocking bright and early at 9am. When I answered the door, the little Indian man that greeted me was insisting I be out in ten minutes. I told him we were having a bit of a lie in, and he said he'd be back at half ten. I told him we didn't need housekeeping today, but he was pretty insistant. Em got the door when he came back and she convinced him that we were okay and had enough towels. We have secretly termed this little man "the devil" and talk about him frequently. In the meantime, we jacked a "Do Not Disturb" sign from someone elses' door so hopefully that will be enough next time. Hmm...

Got up in the ten o'clock hour and got some breakfast before it closed (and by breakfast I mean toast). Met Dan for our rendezvous to the Tower of London and headed out. We took the tube from Russell to South Kensington and then from there all the way out to Tower Hill - my longest journey yet. We were able to get some amazing shots of the Tower and the WWII memorial nearby. Dan was happy to find some Roman ruins in the tunnel that led to the Tube. We walked all the way around the Tower of London because Dan didn't want to spend the money to go inside - I'll have to go back myself later. We also saw "Dead Man's Hole" which leads up to the Tower Bridge which afforded some more beautiful shots. Eventually we headed out (with some difficulty) to Barbican to catch a Fellini film at their art center. it was a little expensive at £7, but well worth it. After buying tickets, we headed back in a round-about route to get to Pizza Express. This immediately sounds like a dive, but really it's on par with some of the better restaurants in the US. We got some really cheap and satisfying margherita pizza before heading back to the theatre. Armacord directed by Fellini was absolutely the strangest of his films that I have ever seen. I would tell you what it was about but honestly I'm not sure. I think the correct answer is a coming of age story based on Fellini's life, but it was such a hodgepodge that I was confused 90% of the time (not to mention dead tired). Dan seemed to like it as well.

After the film, we headed back to the hotel via Kings Cross Station - Harry Potter anyone? It's apparently one stop up from Russell Square which is very exciting to me. And no, no I didn't go take pictures with the stupid trolly half stuck in platform 9 and 3/4. I promise. Not saying I'm not going back, though;-)

After our adventure, there was dinner at the Italian place around the corner called Cagney's. This was a silly little restaurant themed with pictures of James Cagney. Look him up, it's worth the giggle. We all had huge bowls of pasta - the largest meal since being here. We had ice cream too, but ice cream here is more like ice milk and not as good. Ugh. After dinner, Em bailed out and Alice, Dan, and I joined the other half of our group to go to the American Sports Bar to watch the Eagles game. It was interesting because literally every American male in London was in this place cheering on one team or another. I don't know if I ever want to go back because it magnified the "ugly american" stereotype to an ultimate extreme. It was fun to watch the game, but I was leaving at 1030 or halftime, whichever came first (since we all know how much I love football). Unfortunately 1030 came long before halftime, and the Eagles were down when Alice, Louis, and I headed back to the hotel. After hanging out with those two and Em in my room for a bit, I took a bath, wrote my paper, and passed out. All in all, a good day.

Today Em and I were up at 845 to get ready for class. When we went down for breakfast, Mike LoRe was in full glitter girl make-up so we knew the Eagles had won. He makes a very pretty girl.

Class was long this morning, but interesting. Now that it's over, we're heading out for a quick sandwich, a stop back to the hotel for my camera, and then it's off to the Courtauld Gallery. Later tonight is Therese Raquin at the National. Should be good. I have never seen so many plays back to back in all of my life. Absolutely ridiculous, but also wonderful.

Hope all is well in the States!


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
sounds like you're having a good time. miss you lots!!!

Jan. 9th, 2007 09:40 pm (UTC)
Miss you too, love! Can't wait to see you!
Jan. 8th, 2007 02:25 pm (UTC)
Glad to see the first weekend in london was a fun one. The weather here has be a little nuts (i.e. 71 on saturday!) and we have some more rain going on today.

Got to see a really great sunset on saturday while doing some errands and heading to work. One of those views that makes it not so bad to be in DE. :P Pretty laid back weekend for the most part except for everyone continuing to ask for the Wii and other such items. Then insisting that I have some stashed in the back and not understanding what "sold out" means. *face-palms* Highlight question of the weekend, "Excuse me, where are your video games?" *sigh* I couldn't write fiction this surreal.

Anyway, off to take care of some finances, loan stuff, and iron out some grad school details before work today. Hope you have a great day and enjoy your play this evening. :D

Jan. 8th, 2007 03:21 pm (UTC)
Oh man, Bedlam's Holocaust exhibit. I think it's on a par with the Philly Holocaust Museum and perhaps even better due to its brevity.

I'll write up the story of getting pizza in Soho and getting hit on by a Portuguese guy. There's a Subway and another American chain down by ... oh, what the hell is it. It's off the square with the huge fountain and the lions, there's a big museum with a colonnade. Once you figure out what I'm talking about -- stand so the fountain is between you and the musem. Turn around 180'. The street with the Subway is at 10'o'clock. There's a fire-sized bookstore across the street on ground level at 11:30, too.

Tokyo Diner is indeed delicious and cheap. If you have some money to spare, go eat in the St Martin's in the Field Crypt Cafe (kinda expensive, but tasty) and, if it's during business hours, go make a rubbing too.

ohhhh my god STRONGBOW.
and hot sake.

HA HA HA the cleaning stuff. We hated them. Except for the Russian, he was cute, except at 8am. If you deadbolt the door, they usually give up after five minutes ... and come back in an hour.

Tower of London? You must go back, and take a tour from one of the beefeaters. They're hilarious. And bring a pound or five two to tip the guy.

I asked my sister, who works in International Human Relations, about the "ugly American" stereotype. She came up with pretty much the same thing as UD's. It annoys me but it is true once you get to the sports bar.
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Andy, I love you. I love you so much! Hahaha.
Jan. 8th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Holy crap you are on a non stop schedule! All this talk of the tube makes me miss NYC and the Subway antics that always ensue with my friends. I love people watching in big cities :) I was going to tell you that the Eagles won (because I've been warped into an Eagles fan and watched the whole game, thanks to a certain overzealous boyfriend), but I see that you found out your own way :)

Although you must be exhausted, I'm glad to hear you are having a wonderful time!
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:44 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, the tube might be the best part of this place. Only downside? It closes at 12. Yuck.
Jan. 8th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
Everyone here at work is enjoying your journal. Sounds like the weekend went well. You must go back to the Tower of London and go inside per Allyn. Saw the Devines at breakfast at Cosmos on Sunday - minus Joe. Found another straightener at Marshall's. Gotta go - almost 4:30. Love you bunches.
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Bananie
Aww - I bet that was a lot of fun. I love love love those crazy Devines. Hope you enjoy the pictures!
Jan. 8th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
from aunt lark
i can't believe all the things you are seeing
you'll need a vacation when you come home
it's like reading a travel guide
on a personal note
dillon got a new puppy
a bassett hound
robin says his ears touch the ground
10 weeks old/company for dillon
also your mom and i changed our shopping day
to sunday/ ihave sammi overnite fri
and your parents are going to dinner
for your mom's BIRTHDAY yeah
i'll write again soon
love aunt lark
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:47 pm (UTC)
Re: from aunt lark
Sounds good to me! Love you Aunt Lark!
Jan. 9th, 2007 01:03 am (UTC)
I miss you. Logan is being a bull head. Betty is headed for Florida.
I won another contest - this time prize is a case of wine. Sorry I missed your phone call. Sounds like you are having a great time.
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Hell
Don't worry, Daddy! I'll call again and make sure I talk to you soon. It's getting late here, so I'm heading to bed soon, but I'll call tomorrow! Congratulations on your prize, that's wonderful!
Jan. 9th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
doctor who, as in the show on scifi?

my dad watches that. ive seen a few eps. its not that bad.

glad youre havin such an awesome time!
Jan. 9th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Dr. Who like on Sci Fi. Silly silly:-P

It's good to hear from you, Matt!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )