Wednesday, May 11, 2011

London Love

A couple of weeks ago, just like millions of other people all around the world, I tuned into the Royal Wedding. Yes, I thought the dress was very pretty, yes I absolutely adored the hats - even the ridiculous WTF? hats, yes I had a forty minute conversation with Panda about how awful, just plain awful, Chelsy Davy looked and Harry should clearly drop her and find me. Stat.
But the real reason I watched it? It was in London. Because watching the panoramic views of all of the London landmarks transported me back to the happiest six months of my life. The memories came flooding back, and I just let them take over. I sat back and relived it all, and couldn't keep the happiness from gushing out of me.
I closed my eyes and saw...
Panda and I getting completely lost and turned around and late meeting DT at Westminster Abbey. Completely smitten with Miss Mary and her bedazzled reading glasses. The way DT looked at her, his darling wife, his "English Rose," which curiously mirrored the expression he had when explaining Anne Boleyn, and pointing out Queen Elizabeth's tomb.
Penn and I deciding to see every sight in London without taking the tube until I finally broke down and cried about my poor little feet just in front of the Gherkin. And yet we still continued to walk over the bridge and to the Tower of London where I glared at him and proclaimed "Off with your head!"
Taking three hours to walk through Portobello Road Market, driving the boys crazy and finally sending them off to find food while we stopped at every booth, sifted through clothes, antiques, handmade items, and bought dresses, scarves, and earrings.
Walking with Professor Jackson through back streets. He made us notice the graffiti, appreciate the graffiti, causing me to not be able to look at graffiti ever again without thinking of him.
Professors announcing we will be spending the last forty minutes of class in the pub discussing "deep topics"
Chasing buses in stilettos at 3 am because we couldn't find where the N9 stopped.
Sitting in the back of a cab with Sie, Panda, and Stien rocking out to Sie's ipod as she took videos while we giggled and sang in our tequila voices.
Coming back from Spain, Wales, Paris, Ireland, and stepping out of the Gloucester Road tube station and getting the overwhelming sense of "I'm home."
Following DT to East London and down some streets to a small cafe that served jellied eel. Trying the jellied eel and trying not to gag as the woman behind the counter gently suggests we try it with pepper.
Exploring St James' park on St Patrick's day, half fuddled and overly giggly as DT explained torch bearers and brought us down a quaint mews.
Heading to the outskirts of London, far down along the Thames, to DT's favorite pub. We drank pints and played trivia and danced all the way home. Panda taking DT's phone to talk to Mary, telling her how much we all loved him, to which she replied, "Oh no, he got you all drunk."
Running around Picadilly Circus, seeing Les Miserables, visiting every market, every museum, castles, and palaces. Always having something to do, something to see. Staying out past midnight every night yet still able to wake up at seven am to jog in Hyde Park and attend every class. Finding "our pub" "our restaurant." Settling in to a routine yet still adding new and exciting things.
And finally, laying in the middle of Regeant's Park, beaming up at Penn, Sie, and Panda, gushing, "This can't be real life!"

If I could, I'd return in an instant. But then again, would London be the same as my London? The London of 2010. Because yes, the experiences were wonderful, but it was the people who really made it. I didn't know a single person when I headed to London, but quickly I made some of the greatest friendships of my life. Without them, London just wouldn't be my London. I'd need to scoop up Sie and Panda and take them with me. Until then, I'll just look at pictures, and take advantage of the national news when it decides to go Britain-crazy.


  1. wow you have a way with words Annie - you make me want to visit London and every place in between. You are so lucky to have explored so many wonderful places!

  2. Thank you Kels! I do feel very lucky! Also, it's in my blood - I have a "gypsy soul" I can't stop moving!

  3. Sigh. I've always wanted to visit London but this makes me want it even MORE!

  4. Oh you must, it is too much fun to pass up!


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