London with Mom
I’m writing this on the plane from Heathrow back to San Francisco, but it won’t be posted until I land. The last two weeks have been a lot: finals, goodbyes, and spring break in England. And now back to Stanford.
I spent some of my last few days at Oxford finishing up a paper comparing several sovereign wealth funds from Alaska, Norway, and Singapore. I of course wished I had written it earlier so I could have enjoyed those days more, but I sort of knew it would happen that way. Then on Monday the 18th, my mom arrived in Oxford. It was a little bit hectic because I wanted to take her around, but I also had to pack all my things up and go on various goodbye escapades. They were fun/good/sad.
Last walk around Brasenose
On Tuesday we took the bus into London to stay with some friends of my mom for a few days. Here’s what we did:
Wednesday 3/21 to Friday 3/22: London
- Went to the site of the water pump that John Snow traced a big cholera epidemic back to in 1854
- Saw some pieces of the Parthenon at the British Museum
- Explored Brompton Cemetery (an old Victorian graveyard in Chelsea near where we were staying. Beatrix Potter took the names of her characters from gravestones here, John Snow was buried here, and part of Sherlock Holmes was filmed here). It was super spooky.
- Went to M&Ms world and made a custom mix of the prettiest colors (purple, pink, and turquoise—duh)
- Took a city bus tour and FROZE sitting in the open top area (same happened on a Thames cruise tour)
- Watched the musical Matilda and loved it
- Went to Harrods, where I got balsamic jelly to put on olive bread (SO GOOD, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to explode in my suitcase).
- Met up with Franz and explored Soho at night.
Saturday 3/23 to Sunday 3/24: roadtrip to Bath and Bristol
- It snowed for the first half of Saturday. Not what spring break is supposed ot be.
- We took a little detour to go by Stonehenge, but were too cold to spend long there.
- Saw a series of 29 hillside locks in the little town of Rowde along the way. The town is 237 feet up on a hilltop, so this was how boats used to go up the river to get to it and bring supplies.
- Watched The 39 Steps in the Royal Bath Theatre. It was funny-ish.
- Explored the little town of Bradford-on-Avon and then moved on to explore the bigger town of Bath. (This picture is Bradford-on-Avon)
- Toured the ancient Roman baths in Bath. Drank some yucky mineral water from the hot spring underneath it.
- Ate dinner in Bristol and drove over the Clifton Suspension Bridge,
Monday 3/25 to Thursday 3/26: London again
- Drove out to Hampton Court (Henry the VIII’s palace) and toured his apartments, the kitchens, the apartments of William and Mary, and the gardens (including a tricky garden maze). They had people in costume playing the part of courtiers, and we were granted an audience with a fake King Henry VIII.
- Wandered the Tate Modern. I particularly liked the area on abstract photography from Latin America and the entire surrealism gallery.
- Went to the National Portrait Gallery and saw the new portrait of Kate Middleton. Returned a few days later as well and went through the 1960s-90s area (lots of Andy Warhol) and the Elizabethan area.
- Toured the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels/learned about torture and the prisoners.
- Watched Les Miserables for the first time (the stage musical, not the movie).
- Met up with Kyle and toured the Globe Theatre and ate pies in the National Theatre (appropriate, since he’s an actor).
- Saw One Man, Two Guvnors. We weren’t sure what to expect when we spontaneously bought these tickets, but it was HILARIOUS. The lead actor is a standup comic and did these hysterical routines involving both actual audience members and audience plants. I laughed so hard it hurt.
- Took a train to Island Gardens, where we walked through a tunnel under the Thames to get to Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian.
Michael took me to the airport this morning and now I’m two hours out of LA, flying over Montana as I type. It will be so weird to be back in the US, but I’m excited to see all my friends at school.