||[Dec. 14th, 2012|10:27 pm]
Highlights from our trip to England:
- I love flying international. Food! Entertainment! Adorable comfort packs! Everyone gets a pillow! Flight attendants with accents!
- I am totally an independent, capable traveler. That said, Tom did most of the dirty work for this trip (figuring out with train to take and such), and my blissful ignorance was totally lovely.
- We checked into our room early, took a nap, and then FORCED ourselves to get out of bed to do something. Good move--otherwise we would have not seen anything in London. The Tate Modern is my favorite art museum in the world . . . for so many reasons. 1) It's free. 2) I love modern art. 3) The building used to be a power plant, and the recycling of the space is inspiring. 4) Their collection is awesome, and the shows they put together are awesome. 5) I have always liked and appreciated art, but this was the first place where I had a visceral emotional reaction to visual art in the same way I had reacted to theatre, dance, and music.
- Tate is right next to the Globe, the other stop I wanted to make. (I didn't see a show or take a tour . . . I just went to the gift shop. So sue me.)
- I bought warm nuts from a street vendor, and we ate them crossing the millenium bridge, all lit up. It was a very cute, "We're here!" moment.
- Had a good time at the DDD show. Backstage access at rock shows still feels super special to me. We hung out with great people, had great kabobs, went to a pub, and just had a lovely time.
- The problem with out lovely time is that the tube closes pretty early, so we were sort of stranded. I had booked a close hotel . . . but it was still almost two miles away. So in the cold, rainy weather, we walked back to the hotel. It ended up being a very sweet little walk, despite Tom's phone dying at the end, causing us to kind of "guess" the rest of the way down some questionable alleys. Tom was surprised I took it so well, which made me a little sad, for I do strive to be the type of person who rolls with the punches. I did explain to him that I didn't have to teach that day, so I had all my patience left for him--something I can't usually say most days. We got into this weird chicken fast food joint minutes before it closed, making Tom's night. Then we went back to our hotel and PASSED OUT.
- The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and set up camp in the lobby. Tom and I took turns going out to do bits of shopping. Tom went to the grocery store and bought gifts for the band. I went to this AWESOME home store and got Christmas crackers and ornaments. The real victory was not buying everything in the store though--things were SUPER CUTE. Stupid small suitcase.
- Took the train to Rye. The countryside is beautiful.
- Took a doubledecker to the festival. We sat up top, near the front, which is just a big window. Going through a small, little English town on those curvy roads was incredibly comparable to the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.
- The ATP Festival took place at this super kitschy holiday park. Think Wisconsin Dells, Pigeon Forge, Poconos sort of thing. Super awesome and super gross at the same time. The festival took over the whole location, and the concerts were held in places that usually hosted the "world-famous" show choir group.
- Tom and I did "highlights of the day" every day before we went to bed. In a way, these are just the minutes.
- I love the idea of All Tomorrow's Party. It has a really cool feel to it and sense of community. I likened it to a Barenaked Ladies Cruside . . . with cooler bands.
- I got a limited edition calendar inspired by songs by the National.
- THERE WAS AN ARCADE! When we walked through it, I stopped Tom dramatically and sincerely, sincerly said, "This is the greatest birthday gift you could have ever gotten me . . ."
- You know that game where you slide coins in, and they all collect, and a little bulldozer of sorts pushes them to the edge, and you try to get your coin to fall int he right place to make a bunch of coins fall over the edge? I got really into that game.
- I won a ring, a car, and a mini slid whistle.
- The resprt was right on the ocean. Tom and I walded to the beach the next day. There were so many dogs! All of them were named Alfie! We had coffee and tea. We had freshly made donuts. (I watched them being made--poured, fried, and then shooken up in a bag with sugar. They were very funnel cake like and very delicious.) There were horses! It was super sweet.
- DDD set went really, really well.
- I met Matt, the lead singer from the National. Tom introduced me because Matt is a big fan of Dark Dark Dark. (DDD was one of the two bands he had chosen--I think the other was Nico Muhly, a Prov peep.) I likened it to when Ben arranged for Leslie to meet Joe Biden. I did not go in for the kiss. I do regret not telling him how much I loved the Bob's Burgers Thanksgiving cover.
- Sunday, we went into Rye for breakfast and fish and chips. I really like the band, and it was great to spend time with them. Rye was super cute, and we all loved our food. In this antique store, I spent a lot of time looking at the ten pound rings. Tom did not notice.
- The Nationals set was awesome. It was long (2 hours!), and Tom couldn't make it through the whole thing, but I was there for all of it. One highlight is they kept making jokes about curating EVERYTHING (which they do curate a lot--the bands, the movie theatre, TV channels, book talks, etc.) including your mattresses. At that point, everyone laughed and then started booing . . .because the mattresses sucked. It was cute. Everyone sang to pretty much every song, and it was just awesome, awesome, awesome. They did their encore, and when you thought they were all done, they all came out with accoustic guitars, and--without a mic--Matt began leading the crowd in a group sing-a-long of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks". It was super, super special, and I totally starting bawling half-way through.
- I'm sure there were plenty of other things I'm missing (great Italian food at the airport! Christmas ornaments! Cookies for my kids! Magners cider in a 2-litre bottle!), but overall, it was a really, really nice trip, and a wonderful way to celebrate the end of my 20s.