So, I've just returned from a short vacation across the pond in London. It was a wonderful (WONDERFUL!) trip... and I can't thank my bud Gareth enough for hosting me nor Mihaela enough for taking time off here-and-there to play.
The trip, strangely enough, began by driving to Los Angeles — with a stop-over in Las Vegas to see my sister and her family — to wish an old roommate well on the eve of his wedding. I then took-off from LAX for a flight to London with a stop-over in Chicago. I had hoped to attend church with Mihaela Sunday morning, but snow delays in Chicago and two hours spent in London customs (good GRIEF) nipped that in the bud. Instead, I went straight for Gareth's and a short nap. After that, I walked the city a bit and then met-up with Mihaela to show her around a bit (this wasn't my first time to London, and she hooted that she should be showing her around... but she enjoyed getting the night off from playing tour guide). The plane ride wasn't all bad, of course... I met a delightful woman named Felicia, on her way to London with a pal before heading to South Africa on Fullbright.
I woke well-rested and set-out to see some more of the city. I focused on the book sellers of Charing Cross Road, and picked-up tickets to see the London production of History Boys, that night. Lunched at a wonderful little tandoori restaurant called Saint Martin's Spice, then headed over to the London Business School to see Mihaela before returning to Covent Garden for the play.
Slept like a baby again, and woke to Gareth fumbling with his keys as he returned from his week-end out-of-town. I had accidentally locked him out. I was installed comfortably in his bed, so he crashed on the couch for an spell before he headed in to the office (OUCH!). After my morning routine, I set-out to do a little food shopping for a dinner party Gareth and I were hosting that night...
The whole day was a lot of fun — shopping, cooking, and chatting the night away.
Wednesday morning, I took it slowly — I hate to rush while on holiday — and didn't get out of the flat until after one. From there, I hoofed it up to the New London Architecture... and shot plenty of photos on my stroll. After drooling over all the amazing maps and maquettes, I hopped the tube back over to Baker Street to catch-up with Mihaela. We chatted, then took the tube out to Notting Hill, where Manu (her amazing boyfriend) joined us for a walk up to this amazing little book store that specializes in food literature and cookbooks. I'd found it on my last trip to London, and was determined to return.
From there we headed down to Victoria Station and the Apollo Victoria to see Wicked. I flirted with Adam, one of the theater workers while they ran-off to find some pizza for Manu (no complaints), and then we settled-in for a delightful evening of song, dance, and deciphering.
My last day in London wasn't as sunny as the rest of my trip... but no bother. I packed in the morning, then walked over to St Jermyn to do some clothes shopping, and then up to the Marlybone high street to window-shop a spell. Gareth met me there for dinner at Fish Works — and he treated, which was especially nice.
Breakfast at Paul with Gareth, then a tube ride to Heathrow and my 11am direct flight to LAX. The plane ride was nice... no new friends made, but I did catch edited versions of Running with Scissors and Little Miss Sunshine. So no complaints... landed in LAX and spent 15 minutes in customs (way to GO!)... and then six HOURS snarled in LA traffic. Ugh. I had hoped to sleep at my sister's in Las Vegas, but I was full-on hallucinating in Victorville, so I got a hotel.
Got into Las Vegas at 9am and spent the morning with my sister, my niece, a nephew, and one of his best friends. Sissy treated us all to lunch at PF Chang (I had never been before) before I hit the road one last time... and I finally collapsed in my very own bed last night at 10 pm.
That's not all I have to say, of course, but that's enough for now... pictures and more stories to follow!
PS... Now that I'm back, I can let it out of the box that the poem The Frail Light of Light is a short homage (no pun intended) to the men of London... which means I've changed the word "subway" to "tube".