Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter (and a visit from my favorite dad and brother!)

Ignore the atrociously drab title of this post.
You guys, the best thing happened. Dad and Zeb came to town! Crazy.

So let's just backtrack to Thursday. For lunch, I met up with my old friend Emily and her friend Lydia (which got rather confusing at Starbucks when they called names-her name, which was also my name- and I didn't order that coffee...needless to say, I enjoy my moderately unique name). Unfortunately, we only had about fifteen minutes, so we just shared about our travels. They were both thrilled to be in an English speaking country again, after studying in Spain for the past couple months! I scarfed down my sandwich as we caught up (Emily and I literally hadn't seen each other-and have barley even Facebook messaged-since graduation almost two years ago!) before scurrying off to class at the Victoria & Albert. We saw a variety of wonderful exhibits for class, and (thank you V&A for your free wifi!!) dad and Zeb messaged me until they found our little class just before we all parted ways. Their stomachs begged for a sacrifice, so we quickly walked through the Theatre exhibit before setting off to find food at the Ship's Tavern for some yummy fish and chips!

(disclaimer: this picture isn't actually from the Ship's Tavern)

The following morning we set off for Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard. Dad and Zeb sought a better view, since they could see above some of the crowd, while I climbed up and perched myself on a wall nearby. I actually enjoyed a nice view; it was incredible how many languages I heard floating around me! It was hilarious to watch: just as the show began, suddenly a herd of children floated slightly above the rest of the crowd on their parents shoulders. Those who didn't have children with them held their cameras up, and I even saw a couple iPads floating above the masses. After the horses rode off to the arch, we headed over to Trafalgar Square, where a large production of the Easter story took place! Compared to the West End theatre productions I've enjoyed, the acting was by no means phenomenal, but they did very well and did an excellent job portraying the story to such a large and diverse audience. Unfortunately, we needed to thaw out, so we scooted on over to Cafe in the Crypt (at St. Martin in the Fields Church right there on the square) for a scrumptious lunch before enjoying the lovely artwork of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery! Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus came next, just a short walk away, where Dad and Zeb did some souvenir shopping.

We relaxed for a bit at my flat, and several friends came by to say hi and chat. Dad kept trying to get some dirt on me, but his efforts proved unsuccessful. After a bit, we kicked everyone out and headed on over to The Mousetrap-the longest running show in the world! A few days ago when I volunteered at Bloomsbury Baptist Church, some older men told me that they'd seen The Mousetrap in the 1950's! Crazy. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and I believe that dad and Zeb did as well.

Saturday morning, the men set off for the Tower of London while I stayed here at the flat to work on papers and shenanigans. I have a ton to do these past couple weeks, and it's overwhelming when I think about it too much. Despite the amount of whelm I have going on in relation to school, I managed to apply for a ton of jobs online, so hopefully that will yield some good results for this summer! [Sidenote: if you or someone you know owns an awesome business and is looking to hire in the Dallas area for the summer, hmu.] We enjoyed the 8:00 service at Westminster Abbey that night in the chilly but lovely church. And I don't really remember what else we did after that, except some walking around and taking pictures, so let's just move right along.

Sunday morning Tim, Elizabeth, and I left at 5:20 AM for St. Paul's sunrise service. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that the Tube wasn't open yet, so we power walked the whole way there (1.8) miles in about twenty minutes. Dad, Zeb, and I met up, enjoyed a delicious breakfast at their hotel, and headed to St. Paul's for their Easter service!!! It was packed with people from all sides, which made getting in quite difficult and made the service less personal in general, but it was great to be back in that gorgeous building.

Following that, we got some coffee to warm up a bit, checked out St. Bride's Church, went to the South Bank (where we split a slice of cheesecake and looked around at the fantastic book fair!!) before heading out to Zone 2 for the big rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge. The air around us was full of vibrant energy-everyone was so excited, I enjoyed all the energy around me. After watching the boats take off, we headed back toward the tube, but stopped by a pub packed with people watching the race on the TV screens inside. I was lucky enough to stick half of my head in the doorway and watch Oxford win!

I hope Dad and Zeb enjoyed their time here, because it was very nice to get to spend some time with them! After they left it was back to the grind, where I attempted to be super productive, but actually have a lot of work yet to do. Only 17 days (now 16 technically since it's past midnight) till I return to Texas! I'm not sure if I'm excited or devastated.

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