Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer 2015: Relaxing with my London loves

After leaving Montpellier on July 1, I spent almost two weeks in London staying with Hannah and Hermann.

Yup, he was totally trying to photobomb us.

I will tell you right away, just because I used the L-word (London), doesn't mean I was in some magical faraway place having an incredibly unique experience topped with tea and crumpets.

In fact, it was the normality of it all that made it "magical" for me. For someone who hasn't lived in the same place longer than a year at a time since 2009, it's exciting to see their daily life, and how the roots these two have put down are growing. I loved relaxing in the company of my good friends in a familiar place, admiring the life they're building here.

And Damien came and visited from the 2nd to the 7th, so that was pretty magical too.

Here's a bit of what we did, in photos:

We grilled.

Hannah, Damien

 We ate.

Damien, moi, Hermann, Hannah

I checked out Brixton's new establishments since I was last here in October. (Full post to come on Brixton, by the way—it's such a cool neighborhood)

Pop Brixton

Damien and I saw a giant game of chess being played.

Damien and I went swimming in London's Olympic Pool. (Who travels to London for 5 days and brings along a swimsuit, two pairs of goggles, and two swim caps? Damien!)

We picnicked in the park and threw disc (on Damien's last night).

We played Cranium at a friend of Hannah and Herm's, and he made a delicious Italian dinner.

Herm and I got a "freelancer's lunch" one day with Chet and his friend. (I was working from "home" normal hours throughout my time here).

Their German friend, Chris (who I'd previously met once on my last day of pickup in Madrid in 2012), came and stayed for a night. We checked out the local beer garden the Friday night that he was here:

The following morning, Hannah's women's team scrimmaged New Zealand's under-23 women's team, as NZ wanted to practice before World's (which was held in London the following week).

We ate breakfasts too.

My last Sunday we went to this neat street festival that takes place every summer. (What's the name, Herm??)

One of their friends from frisbee owns a shop on the street, and actually helps plan the event each year.

We did not eat these (but we admired them).

I liked seeing this old, faded advertisement painted on brick, underneath the new, crisp paper one.

We played a gigantic game of Jenga. It was super fun, and we built it really high before it tumbled over.

Wimbledon was happening during all of this, so there was a huge outdoor screen at the festival.

And that pretty much sums up my time with Hannah and Herm.*

As always, thank you HK and HK for a fabulous time. I'm already looking forward to the next one!

*Not pictured: The two days we spent lounging around, binge-watching "The Office" on Netflix. Oooh yeah.
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