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25 February 2008

Mom in London

My mom and Ninang Lisa are visiting me in London this week. They arrived Saturday, on a flight that was delayed over an hour >.<

Saturday, I met them at Heathrow, then week took the tube to their hotel. We then traveled to Picadilly Circus and walked through the West End, having dinner in Chinatown and walking through Trafalgar Square to Westminster and Parliament, then walked more to Westminster Cathedral and ultimately Victoria. I got back to my room past midnight, and I wasn't able to work on my history paper (which was due today, Monday).

Yesterday, Sunday, I had to wake up early and I met the two of them at Westminster Cathedral, which was very convenient in a way, because the history paper I was writing yesterday was an architectural description of Westminster Cathedral itself. Anyway, after mass at 9 am, we hopped into a local pub and had a traditional English breakfast (eggs sunny side up, sausages, "bacon" aka ham, baked beans and sauteed mushrooms)--yum-o! We then walked to Buckingham Palace, where I thought the changing of the guard would take place, because there were tons of tourists flocking there at 11 AM. But, alas, no guard changing today, it would be the next day. So we walked through St. James's Park to the London Eye, which we went on! It was very nice. It was sunny as we walked through the park, but it became overcast when we went on the Eye. So, it wasn't as perfect as I expected. But the views were nice anyway. I don't know if it's worth £15, though (£35 combined with Madame Tussaud's). I'd prefer the views I got in the Alps :). After the Eye, we walked a bit along the south bank embankment, looking at the statues that are really humans. We then crossed the river and caught a bus to the Tower of London. By this point we were already tired from all our walking. We made it to the Tower around 2, just in time to catch the last tour at 2:30 given by a "beefeater," which was really fun and infotaining! So many stories of queens, conquerors, traitors, and executions! We got out before they closed down the Tower, but it started to London rain on us (aka shower), so we headed to the tube station and made our way to Baker Street to get to Madame Tussaud's before it closed. We made it in time, and we got to see humans that were really statues! Ironic, that we came all the way from California to see recreations of celebrities. There was also a Disneyland-style "It's a Small World"-style ride "The Story of London" which was very cute. It was sort of confusing to get out of Tussaud's, though, but we did, and got a bus to Oxford Street, where I bought a Sim Card for my mom's cell--I mean, mobile phone. I think the guy at the store stole the old sim card. Stupid Carphone Warehouse. We then walked around, looking for a place for dinner, settling eventually on a nearby pub. We sat upstairs and had the whole dining room to ourselves, right before they closed (there were a bunch of Italian mothers at one table talking, and all their kids at another table keeping themselves occupied; I presumed the dads were downstairs in the pub itself). We then parted ways, and I got back to my dorm around 10, in time to write my essay. I hope it turned out okay--I never wrote an essay after having had 3 drinks before!

And today, I had class in the morning. I escaped having to give a presentation in Austrian Literature (note to self: call my partner and make sure she's prepared for next week). I then had to print out my essay; the library was full, but I'm pretty sure my print credit was still -£21 so I went to the computing office in the Queen's Building. I re-reported my print credit problem and printed out my paper. Then I rushed back to the Arts building to turn it in. I then ate an empanada before my Architecture class started. We learned about early modernism, the beginnings of British Art Deco, and suburban planning after WWI. I returned to my flat to find a strong burning smell in the air. Someone must have overcooked their food. I then went to the kitchen to get some water and the burning smell was really strong. I looked in the oven to find it still on, and inside was a round block of black charcoal that looked like it was once a pizza. I opened the window and turned on the fan, hoping the fire alarm wouldn't go off. I don't know whose pizza it was; probably Nicholas. He's always leaving a mess with his cooking. Anyway, I had gotten out of my class relatively early, so I called my mom, who told me they were at the National Gallery. I made it there in under 45 minutes, taking the Central and Northern lines to avoid "severe delays" on the District due to a signal failure. Oh, London Underground, how you frustrate millions of people every day. I met with my mom and Lisa, and we quickly got back on the tube to do Abbey Road. We got our necessary Beatles-crossing shots, and headed straight for the Tate Modern (if you know the layout of London, they're nowhere near each other). The museum closed at 6; we got there are 5:15, so we went rushedly through the exhibitions, taking in as much modern art as one could in 40 minutes. When they kicked us out, we walked across the Millenium Bridge to catch a bus (an old "routemaster" style bus!) to Embankment, where I looked for a quick place to eat before our show, Mamma Mia. We ended up eating at Quizno's (they don't have all the sauces I love!) :X and then walking to our theatre. It was quite a walk, actually, from Embankment to our theatre, which was between Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus. But we made it, and we got to see Mamma Mia. It was lovely! I have Abba songs stuck in my head now (I'm listening to "Dancing Queen" as I type this--oops, should I admit that?). But it was a very fun show. My contacts were really dry on the train as I came back home, and I started tearing up as I rubbed my eyes. I wonder if the other people in the train thought I was actually crying?

In other news, I found out today I got an A in my German seminar! Yay! It's harder to get A's here than in Berkeley, so I feel really good about that.

I gotta get some sleep. I have to wake up at 6 tomorrow (yikes!) because we're going to Bath! I'm excited. But I gotta sleep. Good night!

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