- Days 1-3- London
Dates: November 12-15, 2015
For one quick weekend in November, I visited by best
friend/college roommate Rachel in London, where she has lived for the past few
years. The weekend was a good mix of cultural experiences and just plain old
hanging out – much needed having not seen each other for a year and a half.
I got in early Friday morning while Rachel was still at
work, so I spent the day at the British Museum and the British Library. At the
Museum, I was most excited to see the Rosetta Stone – the ancient stone tablet
that broke the code to deciphering the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was
also fascinating to see the collection of ancient Egyptian, Assyrian and Greek
artifacts – stones, statues and mummies!
Exhausted from my overnight flight, I also curled up on a
ledge around a column to the side of the entrance hallway and took a nap for
about an hour. One thing I am grateful I’m good at is sleeping pretty much
After my nap I walked a few blocks to the British Library,
home to 170 milion items, including one of the copies of the Magna Carta,
original Shakespeare plays, copies of original music from classical greats, Leonardo
DiVinci’s notebooks, and countless ancient Bibles and religious texts. Not to mention
innumerable stacks of books. For a book lover like me, the British Library is
Rachel met me there when she got off work and that night we
had a delicious pho dinner near her apartment in Angel, followed by drinks with
her boyfriend Nathan.
The next day, Saturday, the three of us went to the Royal
Academy of the Arts to see an exhibit by Ai Wei Wei – a Chinese artist whose name, until
recently, was not allowed to be spoken in China because of his anti-Communist
artwork and vocal opposition to the suppression of freedom in China. His work
is fascinating and challenging, and though I don’t typically seek out art
exhibits, I was really glad we came to this one.
That afternoon Rachel and I got dinner at an Indian restaurant
in the theater district and then, after stocking up on two bags full of sweets, went to see the Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory musical. It was adorable and so fun. After the performance, we walked
back to her apartment, stopping in a bar called Citie of Dorke along the way,
we features beers from Samuel Smith brewery, which is home to my favorite
chocolate stout. It’s like chocolate milk for grown-ups. Delicious.
The next day, I flew out around noon, so after breakfast it
was time to say goodbye. It was an incredibly quick trip, and I wish I could
have stayed longer. It’s crazy to think that she and I used to sleep a few feet
from each other in the very same room, and ten years later, we’re still best
friends, but instead of a few feet, we have an ocean between us. My time in London
with her may have been short, but it’s value was so much greater than its