She arrived Saturday afternoon, and it has been a bit of a whirlwind since then!
Charlotte and I decided to go out on Friday night, so I woke up on Saturday at about 10:00 and left by 11:00 to head to Heathrow to pick Kellen up. Once we got back to my place, we were both hungry...so we ventured out, got a bite to eat, and then headed back here to get ready for the evening. On the agenda was the Lord Mayor's fireworks show down in Waterloo, which is on the Thames. It ended up being Kellen, Charlotte, Katelyn, Dylan, Paul, Charlotte's brother William, and I. We got on the tube around 4:30, and caught the end of the fireworks at about 5:00. After that, we went to Wagamama, which has the best Japanese noodle dishes, for dinner.
Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we decided to take Kellen on a scenic walk through London to get back to good old Bloomsbury. We walked along the Victoria Embankment for a bit, so she could see Parliament, Big Ben, and the Eye all lit up. Then we walked down Whitehall, through Trafalgar Square, through Leicester Square, down Charing Cross Road, down Tottenham, and then we were back! She got to see a few iconic London neighborhoods, and we got a good walk in on a beautiful night. We all ended back up at Charlotte's flat for a while, drinking wine and chatting the night away. At the end of the night, we all went out for some amazing London chips (fries to the Americans reading!) close by. I'd say it was a successful first day in my town.
Yesterday ended up being a rainy, nasty day. Kel and I slept in a bit, then went and got some tea at a coffee shop nearby. After that, she did a little excursion to the British Library, which she loved...while I did schoolwork. Boo. We met up again a little later and headed out for some dinner with Charlotte at Benito's Hat, which has yummy and somewhat healthy Mexican food. Last night ended up being a relaxing night, with both of us reading. We won't mention the fact (or maybe we will...) that she was reading the new Dan Brown novel while I was reading about the strategies of terrorism.
So that brings us to today. I unfortunately had classes this morning, so while I was busy learning about human rights regimes and qualitative ethnographic studies, Kellen went for a run in Regent's Park and then wandered around Bloomsbury a bit. After I was done with class at 1:00, we decided to head north to Hampstead, and I'm so glad we did! It was beautiful! The neighborhoods are quaint and interesting, with lots of little shops and bakeries and very cool looking houses. We went to Hampstead Heath, which is a big park, and checked out the view from Parliament Hill (which is supposed to be one of the best in London). It was a beautiful day, about 47 degrees and sunny...so that definitely helped. After wandering around for a while, we wound up in a pub for some wine and tea and a late lunch/early dinner. In classic British style, we made quick friends with a table full of English people next to us, and even made a connection with one. Her goddaughter actually happens to live in Windsor, Ontario - about an hour from our hometown. What a coincidence! All in all, it was a great little afternoon adventure, and was something new to both of us.
I'm getting VERY excited for tomorrow - aside from the fact that I have two classes. But after class, we are leaving for Dublin! We will spend two nights there. We should be getting in at about 8:30 p.m. or so tomorrow evening, so we figure we'll grab a late dinner, maybe a drink, and get to our hostel. On Wednesday, we are doing a three hour long bike tour of the city, which we are both really excited for. After that, I'm sure we'll do more of our own sightseeing...as well as hitting the pubs in true Irish style! Thursday should be another pretty full day - our flight out isn't until 8:00 p.m. so we'll have most of the day to explore. I'm just too excited for this.
I'll update again when I can! Love from London!