I can’t believe the amount of time off that I get off of work in this country. But then again, given that I work 10-12 hour days on most days, and my caseload is out of control, I think that having a few extra days off per month is well deserved. I really liked that I got both Friday and Monday off for Easter holiday. I really needed the days off and the time to just go and do whatever.
I am still in tourist mode which means that I still have a lot of things that I want to tick off of my list. I must admit though… After three months of being here and soaking up all of the history and whatnot, being sandwiched into a building every weekend with tourists is beginning to weigh on me a bit. I guess as well that I feel envious of them. I want to feel the wonderment that I used to enjoy London with when I would come here on holiday. I miss having nothing to do but attend gallery exhibits and museums without nothing else occupying my mind because I would be “on vacation”.
Now, when I go anywhere in England (museum, restaurant or gallery) I still have real life to worry about because I actually live locally. I think about the laundry that I forgot to put in the dryer. I think about that deadline that I have for work. I think about whether or not the grocery store will still be open by the time I get back home.
I am seriously jealous of tourists.
With that said, this past Easter weekend was nice. On Friday, I managed to get to Hampton Court Palace which was awesome. Although a bit of a trek, it is quite accessible by London transit.
Also connected by London transport is lovely Kingston Upon Thames, which is not far from Hampton Court Palace. Although small and quaint, Kingston Upon Thames has some of the best areas for shopping and also good dining.
After some shopping, we wandered over to Hampton Court to tour the castle and wander the grounds. Sadly, it became increasingly chilly throughout the day so we decided to tour the gardens on another day.
If you live locally or have an interest in visiting all of the historic Royal Palaces, I would recommend that you purchase a joint membership which will get you into all five of the palaces for the reasonable price of about £67 per year. As well, being able to bypass long line-ups is quite convenient too.
I almost regretted my choice because it appeared that everyone else in London wanted to do the same thing. It was absolutely rammed packed. But, do you know what? I loved it! I know that I didn’t want to spend my money in Camden Town because a lot of the shops sold novelty t-shirts and a bunch of stuff that I really didn’t want to buy. So, I treated myself to a pedicure (sort of). These fish actually eat the dead skin off of your feet. For £5, you get 15 minutes with these little guys.
I’ve got to admit. The experience was totally revolting. I doubt that any of it was hygienic, given about a million of people plunge their feet into the same water every day… Though my feet did feel spectacularly smooth afterwards .
After I had my fun in Camden, I walked all the way to Covent Garden to grab some food and to do a bit more shopping. The walk there was the best. I passed by Bloomsbury Street (the setting of my favourite book about London The Dutchess of Bloomsbury Street). Realizing that I had not eaten all day, I made a pit stop at Wagamama, a pan Asian sit down fast food joint, because I wasn’t inspired to eat anything epically awesome.
If you are ever in London and in a pinch because you need food fast, this is the place to go. It is a bit pricey (between 10£-12£ per meal) you will get food that is fresh and dependable. The duck gyoza are really good.
After Wagamama, I headed off to Covent Garden and made a big shopping splurge at The Cambridge Satchel Company for a new leather bag (that I got monogrammed with my initials).
After all of that, I was exhausted. After an expensive purchase, lunch and the excursions of the day before, I figured that the best thing for me to do was to head home. Because the first two of my four day weekend were spent out, I was perfectly pleased to spend Easter Sunday and Monday hanging around the house, doing chores.
Tomorrow I am back at work. Although I like my job, I am not looking forward to the intense work week ahead. London can be such an intoxicating city. It can be quite difficult to snap out of lifestyle and the wandering around time after a long weekend. The London that I see during the work week is so different than the London that I see during the weekends… But, I am so grateful to be here. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My three month anniversary of moving to London is quickly approaching (in just six days). It is incredible to think that this is just the beginning of my London journey. I can’t believe that it has just started. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.