Dec 18, 2007
The time has arrived for the final update on our last week of the trip. We all met up at the London airport for a reunion of Kate, Carla, and Phil, and headed out to Philppa's place in Brick Lane in the South East of London, which would be our home for the next week. The first day was pretty low key, but we did make phil a birthday dinner of salmon and had a cake to mark the first of many celebrations during Phil's birthday week.
Over that weekend, we visited the Tate Modern on friday night, and got a look at the exhibit downstairs which is rather controversional for it's safety record, but we thought it was good craic (shoutout to Ireland). We spent a couple hours just wandering around the exhibits and enjoying the museum. Later friday night, we headed out in downtown central London for Phil's friend Smith's birthday party.
The next day (Phil's official birthday), following recovery from the previous late night, we all went a wandering down by tower bridge and the south bank of the Thames. We went to a German Christmas market, and a major highlight was a brass quintet who were doing excellent covers of classic rock favorites. After we had all rocked out to Queen and Bon Jovi, Kate persuaded them to give Phil a birthday serenade, which was performed with great gusto and to the applause of everyone present.
After the serenade, we went and checked out the view atop city hall, then headed over to Borough Market to see and sample the wares there. Later that evening we caught a free concert at the National Gallery before heading home.
The evenings festivities included dinner out on Brick Lane where Phil lives in celebration of her 25th. The area is famous for it's curry (also known as Ruby Murray in Cockney rhyming slang). After that, both of Phil's neighbors wre having house parties, which sort of morphed into one big block party, and was a great time.
The following day, we stayed around the area and checked out some of the local markets. We met up with Nicci, who kate and cb knew from back in Vietnam. It was great to catch up with her in her hometown.
the rest of the week flew by. We went out once more on brick lane to celebrate Phil's bday with her housemates, all of whomwere away on the day itself. we were dancing fools and had an awesome time. We wre actually thanked as we left for making the bar a more fun place to be. Not too shabby:)
Later in the week, we also met up with Anne Isabel, a good friend from New Haven who is now studying in England. The three of us had a fine reunion cocktail hour followed by a very trendy dinner on a stationary city bus.
Our last evening, we went for a tour of Parliament, where Phil works. We got an inside look at the house of Lords and the House of Commons, and even got to have happy hour in the Lords bar. We met up with Lucy and Alex two more friends from New Haven who are back in London. It was great to see everyone and catch up a bit, and thank you especially to Phil and her lovely house mates for taking us in.
After a great week, it was time to head back to Ireland for a just a day or so before heading stateside. We celebrated our last night of the trip by going out in Dublin with Ruairi and many of his Drogheda crew. The next morning, we bid farewell to the Emerald isle and headed home for the first time in 14 months.
cb and kk