I made it to London last Friday, March 20th and feels so nice to be back. My good friend Lena, who visited Keenan in London with Brent earlier this month, dropped me off at SFO last Thursday. Thanks for the ride to the aeropuerto, Lena! I wasn't sure how I was going to manage with two 23kg suitcases and a carry-on bag. I was more terrified of lugging these suitcases up and down the tube station. Luckily, two American backpackers were kind enough to help me on the Tube from the airport, and my UK SIM card was working so I was able to touch base with Keenan who met me at Green Park. I was SO happy to see Keenan, and he of course was looking smart like a London bloke. =)
It was a beautiful, beautiful weekend in London. Taking advantage of the sunny skies, which according to Keenan is "rare," we wanted to spend the day outdoors. Keenan wasted no time and took me up to Hampstead Saturday morning, his favorite neighborhood in London. Indeed, the Hampstead Heath is beautiful especially on a warm sunny today! We hiked up to Parliament Hills where we found tons of people sunbathing, picnicking, playing with their children and dogs while enjoying the views of London. Afterward, we made our way to the Spaniard Inn, a cute little 16th century pub with a pleasant beer garden. Here we spent hours just catching up with each other, given that we haven't seen each other in two months, we had a lot to talk about!
After I left back to Berkeley in January, Keenan discovered his favorite dim sum restaurant, Leong's Legend, in Chinatown over Chinese New Year when lunching with our friend Howard, so he insisted that we go to Leong's for lunch on Sunday. It was "quite nice," as the Brits would say. My only request for Sunday was NOT to do anything too touristy, and of course, what do we end up doing? A walk to Talfalgar Square through The Mall to Buckingham Palace, to Hyde Park, and then on a double decker ride back to Clapham Common. Touristy, yes! I just need one of those yellow shirts and my tour guide. I must say spring time is lovely in London -- the flowers blooming, the freshness in the air, but nothing beats sunny California in terms of weather.
I spent the rest of the week taking leisurely walks around my neighborhood, running errands, putting together my visa application, meeting up with a fellow urban planning student at LSE, and having pints at The Falcon @ Clapham Junction with a Fulham-based couple friend who Keenan met at a UC alumni event the Thursday before I arrived. It was good fun.
Happy Spring! Lily