Monday, January 12

Randomly meet in DC in '03 and now again in London!

As I had told some of you last week I found out on Tuesday that a friend (John) from long ago who I'd not been in contact with in a long time was arriving into London on Thursday night and staying in Russell Square. Thanks to the internet & facebook, he & I were able to reconnect after 7 years of not seeing each other aside from a brief bumping into at the zoo in Washington DC probably in 2003 (but neither of us is really sure when it was.) We met for the first time in '98 in at his frat house at Brown University. I was dating his best mate so we ended up spending a lot of time hang out for about 4 years, during which time we discovered we had lots in "common" like his birthday was the same as my dad and he was at Brown University where my dad had gone some years before. During his time at Brown he met Malina, a girl I'd grown up with since 3rd grade! Come to find out they'd gotten married about a year ago . . . what a small world it is!

Well as I said earlier, he'd sent me a message on facebook saying he'd be in town & would love to meet up for brunch or something on Sunday. Friday morning on my way back to LSHTM from Imperial I went by his hotel to left a message. That night since I'd not heard from him I called the hotel & spoke with Andrea, one of his co-workers, who told me where they had planned to all meet up. Halfway there he called me so we made plans to met at his hotel & we go to the bar together.

After a bit of chatting with his conference group, Andrea, John & I went off to have a fish & chips dinner at a pub near Holburn and then as they were rather jet lagged, I dropped them back at their hotel with plans to pick him up at 9am on Saturday.

The next morning I underestimated the outside temperature and when I got out at Russell Square tube it was soooo cold out I walked faster than normal to try to stay warm & arrived at 8.50am! After a quick breakfast at the hotel (for free) and the addition of more socks & long johns they were ready to head to Borough Market. We taste tested our way around there for a bit until it was too cold for our noses & toes to manage. We then headed over to the river and down to the Tate Modern, which in my 3+ years had never been to. After about 2 hours of viewing the art work we made a bee line for one of many of Monet's famous Water Lilies, Sea-Roses (Yellow Nirwana) . After admiring the painting we had finally warmed up & decided to venture over millennium bridge to St Paul's. Andrea made the executive decision that it wasn't worth £12 to go inside especially as she was on her way to Rome where she'd see many more cathedrals! We then took the tube back to Tottenham Court Rd, where we split up so they could go to the British Museum whilst I went home to get my flat ready (make up the beds) & put on an addition layer of clothes.

The three of us met back up at Sketch, a really awesome tea place on Conduit Street (Mayfair - I highly recommend it, esp the toilets!) where we met Andrea's mate Oliver. Another American who's been living in London for just over 3 years and who works on Climate Change etc.

Around 7 we headed down Oxford Street to Selfridges for a bit of window shopping before we headed back over by Carnaby Street for dinner at Cha Cha Moon. By the time we were done eating we were all exhausted & ended up just going to their hotel to pick up their bags & back to my place for the night! We did however stay up until 2am chatting on Skype to Mike, Mr & Mrs T, Malina, and Andrea's mum.

Up early on Sunday (7am to be exact) so we could all get showered & out of my flat by 8am. Down to Kentish Town train station where we discovered that no overland trains would be running through central London so we all got on the tube via Bank & I gave Andrea directions on how to get to Gatwick from London Bridge via the First Capital Connect trains. John & I switched over to the Piccadilly line & went out to Heathrow. After dropping John off at the airport I headed back into central London to meet Kaylie at the cinema to see The Reader, which I really liked and then later in the afternoon I met up with my American mate Adrienne who I've met through the NU Alumni of Europe Group (which btw I started) to see Slumdog Millionaire which was also a very good movie.

Next on my list of want to see are Australia (even though it's gotten crap reviews & every Aussie I know doesn't like it) and Milk which came recommended by John and my god-brother Sam , but of course the latter isn't out yet over here, we are always behind in these movies!

On a side note, I'm definitely getting my money's worth out of my Cineworld Monthly Membership, since the beginning of December, I've seen the above named movies, along with:
  • Four Christmases (Vince Vaugh & Reese Witherspoon) pretty good and rather funny
  • Changeling (Angelina Jolie) VERY very good!
  • Burn After Reading (Brad Pitt, George Clooney) horrible!!!
  • Zack & Miri Make a Porno (Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks) stupid funny, which I'm not a fan of, but we missed the movie we'd planned on seeing
  • My Best Friend's Girl (Kate Hudson, Alex Baldwin) pretty good
  • Secret Life of Bees (Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifa) not as good a book of course
  • Twilight (Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson) good but I'm told didn't follow the book
Well I can't believe 2 weeks from yesterday is my thirty first birthday, but should get back to work now!

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At 15 January, 2009 01:16, Anonymous Amanda said...

Wow. I'm tired just reading this.


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