So I went to London (again) for a few days and, in fact, I just got back yesterday. I think I get some kudos for posting this relatively quickly….
I booked this trip a few months ago because I had tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and didn’t know I was going to be visiting London twice in March, but that meant I had the chance to book a day trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Although, the booking of that was a DAMN MESS because I am apparently terrible at dates/times. I booked the wrong times TWICE before finally getting it sorted and correct.
I did luck out and happen to be in London at the same time as the Victoria and Albert Museum was offering a free behind the scenes tour of their Conservation Studios, so I got my ticket for that while I was visiting in March. That was so cool, even though I was the youngest person there by about 40 years (or more…) Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take photos, but I did get to see the paper, books, painting, textiles, and sculpture conservation studios. The textile studio was my favorite, there was a gorgeous 1950s-esque dress on display in the studio and “The Souper Dress” was just visible if I stood up on my toes and peered around everything.
After my tour of the V&A, a couple of artists I follow on Tumblr who happened to be in London at the same time met me there and we went through the V&A and its Undressed exhibit. I had already met up with them the day before for ramen and wandering after I landed in London and we planned to meet up again, but it never worked out. It was fun to hang out with them, though.
The next day, I was looking for weird museums to go to, so I went to the Ragged School Museum, which was really small. It was a school started for orphans and homeless children by a doctor who came to London from Ireland intending to be a doctor missionary in China, but he decided to stay in London and help children there. I was talking to the volunteer and he was super friendly and knew a lot about the museum, so it was nice to chat with him before the school groups descended on the museum. Once the kids got there, it was too loud from them walking around and he was busy so I went on to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory.
I got a ticket for the Royal Observatory and it included a free ticket to the space-themed exhibit, Above and Beyond, in the National Maritime Museum that I wanted to go to but didn’t want to get a separate ticket for, so that worked out really well! In the Royal Observatory, I got to stand on the Prime Meridian line and go up in the giant dome where the telescope used to be. It was so lovely out in Greenwich, I was amazed at all the greenery and the big boat (the Cutty Sark)!
My last stop of the day was the Harry Potter play, but I won’t say anything about that because #spoilers. Except that my heart was full of feelings for these guys:
So the weirdest thing happened when I was on Facebook, though, because it turns out someone I worked with at Best Buy who had been going to university in Hawai’i since I had left for China was in London at the same time! What a coincidence. So we decided to meet up for tea the next day at 3.
Before meeting my friend, I went to the Wellcome Collection, which wasn’t as weird as I was hoping it was going to be, and I tried to go to the Zoological Museum, which was closed. But I did get to see a trepanned skull, so that was cool.
On my way to meet up with Josh, I went to a vintage shop and flicked through the jean jackets, ultimately finding one that was super cute AND super marked down. The original price in the vintage shop was 50GBP but I got it for 18. Yes, I am bragging about my name-brand jean jacket being HELLA CHEAP cause a brand new jacket from the same company is like 100GBP. DEALS.
So then I went for tea with Josh, who I hadn’t seen in 3 years. We talked about vintage cameras, which was awesome, because he works at a camera shop in Hawai’i and does photography and stuff. We decided there are three kinds of Camera People: Big Tech (like him), Vintage (like me), and Hobbyists (like my dad). He was impressed with my vintage collection and I with the massive expensive cameras that he got to work with, so it was awesome to be able to talk to someone about cameras and them actually understand.
After that was part 2 of the HP play, where I definitely DID NOT CRY ABOUT THE MALFOYS.
The next day was my last in London, so I decided to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon. The adventure was a bit of a mess, from not having the card I used to book the tickets to not finding a place to store my bag (I left it with some theatre staff, not technically a cloakroom at all), but I did get to see Shakespeare’s house and grave and gardens, and the town was super nice even if I was a little ill. (Did I mention I got sick like Day 2 of this trip and felt like I was dying by part 2 of HP?? Cause I was DYING.) On the train back, though, I chatted with these two nice old men because one of them brought out his lil packet of travel tissues because I was very obviously snuffly and miserable. We talked about 60s TV shows and SciFi and traveling, and when I went to leave, he gave me the lil packet of tissues!
So after my train back from Stratford-Upon-Avon, I went to the airport, because that’s where I was sleeping, and I managed to get a two-seat section that I wedged myself into for a nap. Then I caught my flight at 6:30am and went home and slept!