>We’ll get to that in a bit.
So I think the last time I gave you an update was a week ago, and what a lot has happened since then!
Friday, as I think you already know, we arrived at about 4am in London via the Capernwray coach. They dumped us, homeless, at the not-yet-open Victoria station. So we sat there until it actually opened, then we had to wait until 5:30 for the underground to actually start running. We got to the flat at about 7:30 and dropped off our things and got cleaned up a little. Then we found Tesco, bought some supplies and then explored the area. It started raining and we were really tired so we went back to flat and crashed, I actually had a nap in the middle of the day (which very rarely happens). I partially blame this ont he fact that I developed a slightly horrible cold on the coach Thursday night. When I woke up around 5 it had stopped raining and I was able to skype with my parents. Later we watched the sunset, which was absolutely gorgeous! We had a light dinner and then just zoned out around the flat until it was about ten o’clock and we went to bed.
Saturday was a late start, we slept in and then made ourselves lunch for a picnic of some sort and left for the day. We went to the Museum of Natural History and spent most of the day there, enjoying our picnic lunch outside in the warm sun. We walked around quite a bit and ended up walking past Buckingham palace and through Hyde Park and St. James park. We got back around six thirty and made ourselves soup for dinner, which we ate while enjoying the view from the roof of the flat.
On Sunday we decided that since we didn’t want to pay for a tour of Westminster Abbey we would go to a service there instead. It was a very good decision! We got to enjoy the Abbey choir and see all the details inside. To be honest I didn’t really get anything out of the service, it seemed really scripted but it was neat to see how they ran the service. We ate lunch in St. James park and then went to Trafalgar Square where we sat in a coffee shop until it was time to head to Hillsong London. The service started at 3:30 and was as different from Westminster Abbey as day and night. It was a really modern service and I actually really enjoyed the message. The music was, of course, fantastic. The service finished around five so we decided to head back to the flat and go to Tesco to make something up for dinner. That, however didn’t work. We got to Tesco only to discover they closed at 6 on Sundays! It was 6:05, how disappointing! We looked all around the shopping complex but we couldn’t find anything open. We got back to the flat around 7 and started looking online for places that were open and would deliver. Kate finally found something online called “Food City”, it actually looked pretty sketchy but we were desperate by this point so we ordered. Our deliver time was 8:40, but we had nothing to do but wait and hope the food would actually show up! We were quite happily surprised when the food showed up at 8:45 and turned out to be delicious, the cheesecake was frozen when it arrived but we let it thaw out and ate the next day.
We didn’t do too much on Monday, we had another late start and explored the area we were staying a bit more. We got frozen yogurt for lunch and sat by a fountain and did some people watching. After that we decided to go on a walking adventure to somewhere. The somewhere ended up being to Tower Bridge, which was a few miles from where we stayed. Since we were near a few other places we decided to walk across Southwark bridge and explored the Borough market. After that it was getting late so we decided to take the Tube back to our flat, alas I discovered I did not have my Oyster card with me. So instead of paying £1.50 or so to get back I had to pay £4. Lesson learned, always take your Oyster card on walking adventures!
Tuesday we met up with one of Kate’s friends who was visiting London with her dad for Spring break. We walked around with them and went to lunch in a pub and then headed to the National Portrait Gallery. That took the rest of the day and then we decided it was burrito night! So we found one of the few Mexican restaurants in London and enjoyed a burrito.
Wednesday was fairly simple, we went to the British Museum and then spent our afternoon finding the box office for our tickets for Les Mis. We got dinner at a classy place known as McDonald’s and then enjoyed Les Mis. It was a really great show and if you have not seen it I would highly recommend it.
Thursday we got an earlier start so we could get Wicked tickets. We found out from another Capernwray student that if you went to the box office right when they opened you could get front row seats for that night’s show for £27! So we did that and then had an entire day to wait. So we did what any visitor to London would do; we went to Buckingham Palace again. Then we decided we should see Harrods so we did that. While in Harrods we looked at puppies, jet skies and giant chocolate eggs. Needless to say, each of those things were out of our price range. Then, wonder of wonders, we found Krispy Kreme in Harrods! This we could afford, so bought a “Harrods Dreamcake” and enjoyed that while feeling like royalty. After Harrods we went to Caffe Nero to kill some more time. Then we wandered some more and went to the food court in the Victoria station for dinner and then got a Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurry after going to three McDonald’s and having them tell me their machine was broken (needless to say, I did not believe that story after hearing it twice). We then saw Wicked, front row! It was a really good show, the tech was incredible and the depth of emotion that was portrayed by Rachel Tucker, who played Elphaba, was amazing. After Wicked we went back to the flat and packed and cleaned until about two in the morning.
Friday we woke up at 4:30 to make sure we could leave by 5:30. We took the underground to LHR and got on our flight which ended up being delayed. We arrived in Milan at 12:30 and were not able to meet our ride (they thought we were on the Ryan Air flight which had arrived at 10 and had missed it). We ended up taking a bus to Milano Centrale station after sitting at the wrong place for about 25 minutes, The bus took an hour to get there. We bought our tickets at the station at a self-service machine, we were helped by a homeless man who asked for the change that the machine gave us when we got our tickets. Kate and I happily let him have it. We got on the train at 5:10, and the conductor told us to get off at Navaro (I think), which was the first stop, so we did. We thought it was because we needed to transfer there but looked at the schedule and didn’t see a transfer to Casale so we got back on. We then transferred at the proper station to Casale. While on the train the conductor was coming around to check everyone’s tickets. When he looked at ours it was clear something wasn’t right, he kept pointing at the end and we thought he was asking about the destination, but then he started pointing at the ticket of the kid next to us. His ticket had these little black marks on the end of it and ours didn’t. We finally got it figured out that we were supposed to put it through these machines before we got on the train (and that’s probably why the conductor told us to get off at Navara). So we apologized profusely and tried to explain that we didn’t know we were supposed to do that. The conductor told us that we would have to pay a 50 euro fine because our tickets weren’t validated, of course we didn’t have the cash on us to pay it so we had to explain that (all the while getting more distressed). Once we got that across he said we would have to pay at the station within ten days or we would have to pay 200 euros. We were very sad, and sort of wondering what our parents would think when we told them we had to pay a 50-200 euro fine. He then asked if we were students, we answered that we were and when asked if we had identification we showed him that we had our passports. He told us to wait a minute and then when he came back he told us we would only have to pay a five euro fine! Kate and I are pretty sure he was an angel of some sort. When we finally got to Casale we waited just a couple minutes for Nico and Maddie who drove us back to Nico’s house. Kate and I were re-introduced to his mother and sister that we had briefly met when they visited Nico at Capernwray a couple months ago and introduced to a cousin named Anna who is visiting for a few days. We had a nice Italian bread and cheese dinner, let our parents know we were alive and went to bed.
Today was fantastic, we slept in until about 9:30 and had a delicious breakfast. After that we helped out in the vineyard, tying the vines to wires so they can grow. We did some gardening and then had a light lunch because Nico’s mom decided to take us into town to get gelato! It was delicious! I had some called “Toroncino”, which was basically vanilla gelato with hazelnuts mixed into it. Then for dinner we had spaghetti, bread and cheese, chicken cesear salad and espresso. It. Was. Delicious.
Anyway, that’s the update on my life. Tomorrow will be more adventures as we go to church in Milan, I’ll let you know about that at some point but I’m not promising it will be soon. My goal is to post before I go to Kenya so I don’t kill you with an even longer post when I get back 🙂
Thanks for sticking with me!