Friday, April 26, 2013

Continuing Visitor Season

Last Saturday, Kenz and I decided to emerge from the flat to read in the park. The sun was up and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Not knowing how long the weather would last, we grabbed our books and hustled on out. 

Our little section of Burgess Park; it goes on for about three quarters of a mile to the left.
The sun was misleading. We sat outside for nearly twenty minutes before acquiescing to the fact that it was still too cold. The wind made it feel about 45 degrees. Whoops.

But, before heading in, we got the opportunity to see this strangeness. Who has a 4x4 in Central London?
 That evening, we met up with newly engaged Owen and Celia for celebratory champagne and water!

Congratulations you two! Finally! 
The evening went as you'd expect: several friends got together and asked lots of questions O&C don't have the answers to yet. Things like when is the wedding and where is the wedding and on and on. It was delightful. The two of them are awesome. I was told, after getting engaged to McKenzie, that I was 'batting out of my league'. I agreed. I think the same applies to Owen. We both will have 'married up'.

On Sunday, I met up with a friend of mine and headed out to the London Marathon.

We arrived after all the elite runners had finished. We walked from Southbank to Embankment to the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace, through St. James' Park, and finished at Horseguards Parade. Afterward, we walked all the way back to Victoria Station. All in all, we probably walked less than five miles. Needless to say, I was impressed with each and every single runner I saw finishing a 26.2 mile run! In fact, I hadn't planned on being so inspired; it was a nice disconfirmed expectation.


"You've got stamina! Call me!"

Lots of runners were in 'fancy dress'. 
Random Photo break:

Dustin, finding out he and I can iMessage from across the pond

Deptford High Street Market on a Saturday morning

JCVD's smug face



The entrance to The Hoop & Grapes has a distinctive lean to it

Kenz, enjoying the fact that we can leave the windows open now.

As mentioned, visitor season is upon us. Rob and Casey arrived from Knoxville on Tuesday afternoon and have been bouncing around the city since.

They didn't get much sleep on the flight over, but were eager to show off what they've learned in their ballroom dancing classes. 

Casey is a Harry Potter fanatic. This is her snuggie.

Dinnertime decorum

"It's seems easier to take a picture from the bus than the ground" - Casey

One of Casey's priorities, Potter fan that she is, was to go to Platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross Station. This is the fictitious platform where all the little fictitious wizards boarded the fictitious train to take them to their fictitious wizardry school. We didn't know whether or not it was at King's Cross or St. Pancras Station, though, so we strolled through St. Pancras first. Whereas we didn't find the platform, we did find a piano in the middle of the main terminal. Plastered on the side were the words, "Play me, I'm yours."

Casey and I both nudged, poked, and prodded Robert into playing. He and I agreed that he should play Ludovico Einaudi's Nuvole Bianche, which is a stunningly beautiful piece that I recommend you listen to while you finish reading this post. At least five or six people stopped to take a photo, video, or just listen while on their way through the terminal. Robert is just about the only person I know who can plop down at a piano, in a crowded train terminal, and bang out an awesome song from memory. It was pretty G. 

Robert's piano skills? Top level.

We did finally make it to the fictitious platform, which is, in real life, a luggage cart attached to the wall with a line of people waiting to get their photo taken by a professional photographer so that they can walk ten feet to the left and buy said picture in the gift shop, which also has tons of specialized merch for those who've made the pilgrimage.

Casey didn't let Robert or I in the picture because we hadn't read the books. I'm not sure we would've joined even if she had...

It's easy to poke fun at fandom, but we're all guilty of it in some way or another. I'm fully aware that I'm  mildly denigrating an adult obsession with children's fiction despite the fact that I often throw plastic discs at metal baskets and call it a sport.

Yesterday, they rode the London Eye as I got sunburnt in the grass, waiting on them. We strolled around Southbank, had lunch, went to a super legit candy store (that has peanut butter M&M's and Pop Tarts!), visited the Tate Modern, Millenium Bridge, and ate Swordfish Kenz cooked for us. All parts awesome.

The view from the Tate Modern

Shopping for gifts, riding the bus, taking in the views

Lunch, tube, more views

Rob has been doing CrossFit for about two years, and was disappointed to find out about my recent arm injury extravaganza. We'd been looking forward to getting to my gym together. Despite the injury, however, he convinced me to go with him this morning. I sat there, watching him, falling into a pit of despair, realizing I'll be in this sling for another 20 days.

The sling also explains/justifies the thin word count on today's blog post.

At the moment, the happy tourists are out on their own, checking out the Tower of London and the British Museum. I'm hanging back to catch up on work and Kenz is stuck in the library, finishing an extra busy week of schoolwork. We'll likely take them to the markets this weekend. They're headed to Paris early next week and the Harry Potter studio tour on Wednesday. Casey is beside herself with excitement. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't somewhat contagious. Maybe I'll read the books after all. The least I could do is re-watch the movies, right? Whatever.

Green on Green and Gray on Gray

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!