Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

30 Days in London. The UK really, I guess. I cannot believe that it’s coming to an end already – today was our final full day all together. We split up a bit in the morning (but we all come back together later in the story!) Our breakfast this morning was chocolate croissants! Not a bad way to end breakfasts here. This morning, Alexis, Adam, Kevin, and I wanted to run into London to try to find some touristy souvenir shops. Katie was going to go with us, but she ended up going with Ahren on the morning boat tour. We only had about an hour, because we wanted to be back for lunch at Roehampton. We went to Covent Garden first, thinking that the Jubilee Market Hall would have stalls – though it turned out that on Mondays they have antique stalls, not general stalls, so there was only one place there, and one convenience store down the street that sold souvenirs as well. I bought some things there, and Kevin and I got ice creams (it was cheaper than it costs here at school!). Then, we walked over to Trafalgar Square – they found a booth on the sidewalk, but I remembered seeing a tourist shop around from when we walked. I found it, and we spent a few minutes there, before heading back to Roehampton for lunch.

lunch being cooked!
For lunch, I got food from the theatre menu – today was chicken fajitas. It was great to see the chef cook them right in front of us! And he showed us how we could fold the tortillas like a cup to eat it. Not sure if that’s authentic, but it sure tasted great – I’m going to miss watching him cook our food for lunch! A very good lunch to end our stay here with! Afterwards, we headed back into London to go on a boat tour on the Thames. Brendan, Alexis, Kevin, Adam and I walked down to Barnes and took the train and tube to Westminster (across the street from Parliament). We met Kelsey there. We boarded, after waiting for Nicole – she made it just in time! They were already putting the ramp away when she got there – but she got on board the boat! The tour went eastward, passing the London Eye, several bridges, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and made its way to Canary Wharf –about 45 minutes. It was soothing to be on the boat, but when we got further, it started getting cold, and our group went to sit inside.

We got to Greenwich, though we didn’t have much time – we wanted to do some other things, so we took pictures on the pier (hello, Eastern Hemisphere!), and boarded another boat going back west. It seemed slightly nicer – with curtains and tables on the inside portion. We sat there for a while, and then went up on the deck. A bunch of young American kids got on and crowded the boat before we got back to Westminster, but it ended up alright. We then split ways with Kelsey and Nicole who went to do other shopping.

Tower Bridge
This is about as far as we got in Greenwich
Nice interior on the second boat
I really enjoyed doing the boat tour when we did (though it would have been cooler at night!) We passed by a bunch of places and things we had already seen and been to (Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, Tower of London, etc), and it was almost like a trip down memory lane (or river?), and also cool to see things from a different angle.

My group went to Hyde Park so we could go to Buckingham Palace, and met up with Tom, Stephanie, and Sophia. Adam wanted pictures of Buckingham Palace not in a storm like we did last time (and from a far distance) – when we started walking, it rained! We stopped at Hyde Park for 99 Ice Cream cones (basically it’s vanilla soft serve with a chocolate flake) – when I got my cone, it fell over onto the ground! Sophia laughed – but then when she got hers, the same thing happened! But hers was funnier, because her glob of ice cream on the ground started sliding down the sidewalk. The vendor was kind enough to give us both new cones. We got to Buckingham Palace and took our pictures, which was nice. We came back, going through a tunnel to the tube station that highlighted the Battle of Waterloo. The tube was very crowded! We had to pass up 2 trains, because they were absolutely packed like sardines (probably because they were going to the airport, Heathrow). The train we got on was still crowded, but just enough room for us to get on. We met up with everyone on the Southbank, including Talah, Kriss, and Emma from marketing, and Bradley, a student at Sophia, Kevin, Nicole, and Ahren’s volunteering school.

Buckingham Palace
We wanted Asian food, so went to Busaba Eathai (a Thai restaurant, we wanted to go there for Ahren’s birthday) – it was pretty good food, I had a green chicken curry with fried rice. My table had Bradley, Ahren, Stephanie, Tom, Katie, Kriss, and Emma. After dinner, we walked around a bit – some people got ice cream, then Talah had to leave. The rest of us walked over to Southbank, where Kriss, Emma, and Bradley left after we took some pictures on the bridges.

We went to the London Festival Hall afterwards – there were some couches and chairs and tables we moved around to make our own little “living room.” I grabbed a coffee, some of the guys got beers from the bar. We sat around for a while, then later we did more emotional stuff. We went around the group, and each member had to go and say something about every single person in the group. It was fun, and a bit emotional, but it was a nice way to end our programme. After that, we went out onto the Southbank and took tons of pictures at night with the London Eye and Parliament! Which was a lot of fun – and emotional too! I’m really sad that we’re all leaving – I feel that we’ve all gotten very close, and ending tonight with the group talking in our fake living room, and doing group pictures with everyone out by the river Thames was a great ending.

Our living room
Out on the embankment
Kelsey and Nicole went to see Harry Potter in 3D IMAX  (biggest IMAX , 10400 watts of power!), the rest of us came back. The train was delayed a while (someone got hit at Wimbledon. Again.) but we got back – packed, spent the time, making a fake bubble bath, cleaning, watching lip dubs, football tackling – this is going to be a long night! We’re leaving in batches of 4 via taxi (seems like a reality tv show) – so I’m in the last group, so I’ll be here a bit longer. Time to go enjoy our last hour together – I hope we all keep in touch, I really love all the people in this group.

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