This is long overdue….

Since Ruth yelled at me for not updating in a while (but then kept me from doing so with an hour long skype conversation- but it’s ok because I’m so glad I got to talk to you!) I figured I should probably stop being lazy and fill you all in. (This whole never having homework thing is bad for my motivation.)

I think I last left you with the Natural History Museum. Since then I have been to Buckingham Palace, the London Zoo, the Tate Modern, East End gallery openings, seen Hamlet at the National Theatre, and celebrated my birthday!

Buckingham Palace was stunning of course. The inside was fit for a queen (haha get it, my attempt at a pun), with elaborate decorated ceilings and walls, ornate furniture and gorgeous paintings. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so unfortunately you’ll just have to believe me when I assure you it was amazing. After the tour I had profiteroles at the cafe on the terrace behind the palace and then walked through the scenic gardens. It was so crazy to see this huge garden with a lake just in the middle of bustling London.

 

In front of Buckingham!

 

Since I love animals, we couldn’t pass up going to the London Zoo. It’s a huge zoo with such a large variety of animals. They even had an aquarium within the zoo. In addition to the main animals, they also had a petting area where I frolicked with sheep and took silly pictures with a llama. If you know me well, you know that I love otters and much to my delight the zoo had about 10 adorable otters. They were all burrowing together and rolling around and being silly. And what do I love just as much as otters? Meerkats, which the zoo had plenty of, and much to my delight there were 3 fuzzy little baby meerkats! I’ve never seen babies before so of course I spent a good 15 minutes squealing and trying to convince myself not to jump in the exhibit and steal one.

 

Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen?

 

As part of my art class, we visit museums so we went to the Tate Modern Wednesday. The museum is right on the river and we had the first beautiful day in a while for it. The weather has been perfect this weekend: sunny and 65 degrees. The museum was pretty awesome. We saw paintings by Monet, Warhol, Picasso, and Dali, in addition to some crazy modern art (kitchen appliances, huge woven carpet pieces, a giant 3 way plug). While I enjoyed the museum, I kept finding myself staring out the window wishing I could be outside running around in the sunshine (little did I know this wish would be taken literally when I had to run down the river path to get to Hamlet in time…) After grabbing dinner at Tortilla, an amazing burrito place only in Mexico, Cali and London, (it’s the new Moe’s), we wandered into a boutique where I found the most amazing dress. I didn’t want to try it on because I knew I would have to buy it but of course I fell prey to temptation. After realizing it was my birthday in 2 days and I didn’t have anything suitable as a birthday dress, I knew I had to buy it. Love at first try on.

At this point we realized we only had 20 minutes to book it down the Thames path to the National Theatre. Sarah thought we would be fine walking at a normal pace, but oh no, after checking our progress on a map, we had practically gone nowhere after a 10 minute walk. And there were 7 minutes til curtain. Cool. We were those Americans running along the Thames screaming “3 minutes! 2 minutes! 1 MINUTE!” (Our theatre teacher had strictly warned us not to be late because in England they shut you out if you’re late to a play). We flew through the front doors and asked the first employee we could find where our theatre was (there are multiple ones in the National Theatre). After a sassy response “You know they’re starting now” (Nooo, we are just sweaty and out of breath for funsies), we managed to slide into our seats right as the lights went down. Our teacher had failed to inform us that this version of Hamlet was a modern one, so I was a bit confused when the guards in the first scene came out with machine guns. At first I didn’t like the modernization of it. It was weird to see men in business suits speaking Shakespearean English, but as the play went on, it grew on me. It was done really well and even though it was 3 and half hours long, I never lost interest. The one thing I didn’t like was the look of the actor portraying Hamlet. He looked too old and had a bald spot and receding hairline. Not what I think of when I picture Hamlet, the young prince of Denmark. He was a good actor though, so I’ll give him that.

Thursday after class, Sarah and I did some shopping on Oxford Circus (shoes, shoes, and more shoes) before we had to meet our art teacher for our event that evening. As part of class, our teacher wanted to take us to some galleries in the East end of London. The East End was quite an experience. It was very artsy and definitely a different feel than the posh area we’re in. The first thursday of every month, there is an event on Vyner Street where the galleries all open and tons of people come to drink and look at art. One of the galleries had free wine while most others had 1 pound beer. And this was part of class, baha. Most of the galleries were very strange modern art and some made me very uncomfortable (ex: Ninja Turtle Sex Museum) but there were a couple that were neat. It was definitely an interesting experience. After the galleries, we headed home to go to O’Neills, the pub with live music that we go to every Thursday. When it turned midnight, my roommate Amanda screamed to everyone in the bar that it was my birthday, resulting in me being thrown up in the air by a Spanish man and his friend, Alejandro (who told Sarah he inspired the Lady Gaga song….)

Friday, since it was my birthday, we went paddle boating on the lake in Regent’s Park because we had another perfect day! It was so pretty because the lake is lined with willow trees and filled with swans and we also saw the cutest couple row boating. The man was in a suit rowing the while the girl read the newspaper. Want to be them.

 

On the lake! Isn't Regent's Park beautiful?

 

That night I wore my new dress and went to Fabric, the biggest club in London. It was so much fun! There were 3 different dance halls and it was all crazy Euro techno music. At one point, I was pulled up on stage by a pack of shirtless boys to dance, which was hilarious. I danced til I could no longer stand in my treacherous heels. Totally satisfying birthday weekend.

 

Sarah and I (wearing my perfect birthday dress)

 

 

And the back of the dress...my favorite part!

 

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