Thursday, May 08, 2008

Monday in London - Part Two

Today is my entry that brings to a close, my story of our time in London at the end of April. When I ended yesterday, I had just received my visa and Brit Boy and I were absolutely thrilled that a few years of hard work had finally yielded such a great result. I now have my visa!!!!! (smile) What a relief. Now I don’t have to go around with this monkey on my back anymore. I am free to think of other things and not think about gathering this or that to add to my evidence for my visa. That is behind me. Now Brit Boy and I can have a summer that we can enjoy, without this in the back of our minds. I don’t feel self-conscious anymore…I have completed this task and it has taught me a lot about tenacity. And it has also made me feel stronger about me and Brit Boy. No one can ever say to me that our bond isn’t strong or true, because we have really WORKED to be together and for us, it just makes it sweeter. We have had some doubters in the past who thought that we were nuts to have a long distance relationship and to try to build this transatlantic life. They questioned the validity of our relationship or were condescending or whispered about us. Well I have learned that it doesn’t matter what they think. We know us. Brit Boy and I knew when we met over five years ago, nearly six years ago now, that this was it. It was like “hello…I see you” when we saw each other. And we have been working towards this point ultimately for years. We have completed this circle and now it is on to the next thing…together. (smile)

So Brit Boy and I walked away from the immigration office and headed back to Kensington. As we rode back into the more central bits of London, I had time to think. I just wanted to have a few moments to be with the fact that I finally had my visa. Sometimes it is good to just be with your thoughts. A lot of times in life, I think a lot of us rush past the moments in our lives and don’t just stay in the moment for a bit. I have been trying to do better with this. As I followed through, a calm came over me. It was a good feeling.

We got back to Kensington and went to our hotel room to unload my big folder full of documentation and to take a breath. We then headed out to celebrate. It was still only about midday so we had London at our feet and plenty of time to play. We decided to go out and soak it all in.

We were hungry since we had left early for the immigration office. So we headed to one of our favorite places to eat. We were kind of broke after paying for the visa, but we figured what the heck, we may as well throw a few more pounds onto the plastic to round things off. (laugh) So we went to have a steak lunch at a place around in the Piccadilly Circus area. The streets were full of locals and tourists and loud and it was glorious!! Usually we are not big fans of crowded places, but we just really wanted to be a part of the wildness of the throngs of people right in the middle of everything. We had gone to this place before back in 2007 for my birthday and the food is superb every time. Brit Boy had soup and I had calamari rings for a starter. Then we both had steak for the main meal. For dessert or pudding as they say here, Brit Boy had the most divine cheesecake and I had lemon sorbet. We also tasted each other’s dessert. We both chose well. Our waitress was so wonderful. She noticed my American accent and asked where I was from and I told her and she said that she was from Romania. I felt this surreal kinship with her, like two people away from home, but enlarging the idea of home for ourselves to include more than one place at this time in our lives. That was a great moment.

After we left the restaurant, we walked around Piccadilly Circus with all the others in this sea of humanity. I have been there before, but I always enjoy it. It is great. Piccadilly Circus reminds me of Times Square in New York…life and activity everywhere. Here is a photo of the Greek god of love, Eros, in Piccadilly Circus.

And also, here is another street scene in Piccadilly Circus. I love the architecture.

Brit Boy and I love going into the huge music store there in Piccadilly Circus. I always find myself moving back and forth to the music as I flip through the Cds on display. It is hilarious. (laugh) I told Brit Boy that they should have a dance floor in there. While we were in there I picked up some collectables. I got a small set of Jimi Hendrix and Linkin Park badge buttons. My musical tastes are all over the place and cover many genres and decades. The badges reminded me of ones I had back in the 80s with my fave idols on them. A bit of nostalgia is always good.

Then we spent the rest of the afternoon walking along two of the most fabulous thoroughfares in London….Oxford Street and Regent Street. Wow…shops, shops, and more shops of every variety. It is retail heaven. (smile) Here is a photo of a bit of Regent Street. I didn’t photograph any storefronts, but here is a photo from that day.

After our extended browsing down Oxford Street, we found our way to the edge of Hyde Park. So we walked over to enjoy a bit of nature. It had been misting rain off and on, but it was fine. We enjoyed a nice long walk along the great park.

Then we headed back to our hotel since it was going towards evening at this point. We took a breather and then headed down to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and food to eat. We went back to the hotel and ate in our room and watched television. It was a great night in.

The next day we headed home. We went back to Paddington Station to wait for our train. We sat for a bit and watched the world go by. I love people watching at Paddington. Then we boarded our train back home. It was a lovely time that Brit Boy and I spent together.

So this draws to a close my experiences over our weekend in London. I can’t wait until we go back again. And that will be happening next month. As I mentioned before, we are going to Wimbledon. I have the ticker at the bottom of this page to remind me everyday how long we have to wait. (smile) Brit Boy and I are psyched about going. I used to watch Wimbledon on television when I was growing up, so it will be a thrill to actually go. I will certainly share that experience here too.

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