I turned on the TV this morning and just sat there in shock and disbelief. I have been to all the Underground stations where they were bombed. This is the first "terrorist attack" where I have actually been to the place that was attacked, and this makes it all the more sad and poignant for me. I love London.
The first time I went to London was in April 2000, with my highschool orchestra class (I was a little freshman!). Our teacher, Ms. Frink, organized a week-long trip to London that we were all excited to go on...except the costs kept on rising. But we went anyways, and had a fantastic time. It was the first time I'd travelled without my family, and my 3 roommates--Colleen, Charlotte, and Isabelle--were the most fun roommates anyone could ever ask for. I remember one night, when they had been playing an enthusiastic game of either Euchre or Poker outside the hotel room door, and I was trying to sleep inside the room. When they finally came inside to go to bed, they kept on having the "giggle-fits" until 3 AM in the morning, at which point I was all like "Guys, please shut up."
"heee hee hee whisper whisper ha HAHA HA HA!"
"Guys, please, I'm so...tired."
"hee hee hee ha ha whew!"
"BE QUIET, OR I AM THE ANTICHRIST!"
I really wasn't sure where the above statement came from in my sleep-deprived brain, but it made them start laughing even harder, so sleep just wasn't on the menu that day. We went to the Greenwich observatory by boat, which was absolutely brilliantly fun--Isabelle's blouse was accidentally open by 2 buttons at the Greenwich boat dock, so we started calling her "flasher" as a joke, which degenerated into all of us getting rude/odd nicknames that were completely the opposite of what we were really like. For example, my rude nickname was "Crackwhore" although I am neither a whore nor do I use crack. It was just one of those silly highschooler things, I guess.
We performed with our orchestra in two different venues. We had fish and chips! We stayed up late watching racy british television. I visited Warwick Castle, one of my favorite places ever, and Shakespeare's/Anne Hathaway's cottage, and we got to see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Company. We went to Buckingham Palace in the miserable rain for about 5 minutes. We went to Harrod's Department store, the scene of a very funny and embarrassing incident involving the Easter Rabbit. We visited the Globe theatre, and got to see a performance of Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" at Royal Albert Hall. It was a whirlwind of fun.
The second time I went to London was with my Mother, Dad, and younger sister. We stayed in this hotel called "The Carriage House" which was basically the carriage house (!) behind another home in a London suburb that had been transformed into a miniature home where guests could stay. It was crazy-expensive, and our 2 hosts were eccentric. They kept on telling us to go eat at an extremely expensive restaurant called "Chez Bruce" which I found to be the most ridiculous word combination ever--I mean Chez is so upper-crust, and then Bruce makes it sound like some rugby player or Australian bartender. We went to Madame Tassaud's Waxworks, which was a hilarious nightmare of waiting 2 hours outside before being taken into a surreal world of celebrities. We went to Dicken's House, which was adorable, and the British Museum. We took the underground quite a bit.
I am sad that London was attacked.
A thank-you to everyone for wishing us Good Luck yesterday! Biff's interview went really well, and hopefully if he can get everything together by next wednesday, he can hopefully, all things going well, get admitted! So thank you!!!
Oh, and a quick random word of advice: Don't wear shoes that make you look like a "sexy bitch" as my friend Beth called me from across Brady Street, or otherwise your feet will look like Frankenstein's. I wore these adorable heeled-sandals for a medium-length walk, and I tried not to cry or make any noise of pain, but when I got home my feet were all cut up, blistered, and bruised. I am currently limping about with bandaids, neosporin, and my most comfortable sneakers.