I arrived back to London Stansted just after 10PM; unfortunately, once I had passed customs and gotten my bag, there was not enough time to catch the bus into London and catch the tube home, and so, I settled in for one last overnight at the airport (well, for now at least). I worked on some writing for a while, and fell asleep around 12:30; lucky for me, for the first time, I managed to score a place on a bench (instead of sleeping on the air vent again)! I woke periodically through the night, and at 4:30AM, got up so that I could go and catch my 5AM bus to Baker Street, from where I got the tube back to Balham. I arrived home at 6:45, and because I am crazy, didn’t go back to bed. I stayed up and later headed out to have a touristy day in London, starting with the Camden Markets. I browsed the stalls without buying anything, and afterwards headed to a shop called Vivien of Holloway. This shop is known for its vintage styled dresses, and has its headquarters in London. I’ve admired their wares online for years, but upon trying some dresses on, discovered that their designs just don’t flatter me, which is best for my wallet. I then headed to Kensington to go to the Science Museum, followed by the Natural History Museum. Both of which were superb, but I particularly enjoyed the Science Museum… no surprise there. I then headed back to Balham, and ended up stayed in due to tentative plans for the night falling through… not a big deal though; I had had a long day and needed the rest.
On Sunday, I took the train to Kent to visit my Aunt Elaine and Uncle David, and my cousins, Adam and Helen. I had last seen them on Boxing Day. We had lunch outside and enjoyed the sun and clear sky– something that is usually quite rare in England, though as it turned out, the weather was quite pleasant all week! We spent the day catching up, and talking about plans for what comes next. It was a superb day, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with them.
On Monday, Adam had to leave and he took the train back up to Loughborough, where he lives. David had plans for the day, so Elaine, Helen and I took a trip to Hever Castle, which used to be the home of Anne Boleyn, who was one of the six wives of Henry VIII. (American friends, I doubt this means much to you) The castle was beautiful and quite small, but if anything, that made the visit more pleasant because you weren’t overwhelmed by countless wings and sickening decadence. After walking through the castle, we spent some time walking through the grounds, and we navigated our way through a maze! As Helen noted, there was no port key in the middle, and so we made a safe escape. During our walk, we spied a momma duck, with nine really young little ducklings! They were just precious, and the mum was amazing because she knew where each of them was at all times. After strolling through the grounds, we went and had a refreshing ice cream before heading home. That night we had fish and chips for dinner because Elaine is AMAZING and knows it’s one of my very favorite English things, and took it upon herself to ensure that I had them at least one last time before heading back to the US, i.e. the land of rubbish fish and chips. We spent the rest of the night talking, and I thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend together.
The entrance to the Camden Markets
The entrance to Hever Castle
Mama duck with her nine babies!
My cousin Helen and Aunt Elaine. ❤