Well hello there! Sorry I haven’t been around in a while, it has been a whirlwind month over here in London. Over the course of my next two blogs, I will update you on everything that has happened since we were last together. Sound good? Stay tuned!
Here at the London School of Economics and Political Science, students get five weeks off to start preparing for our exams. I know what you’re thinking, five weeks seems like a long time. But it’s all fun and games until you take a three-hour, written exam for each of your four classes. Oh, did I mention it counts for 100% of our grade? Not so jealous anymore, are we?
To be honest, I have not spent my five weeks studying. In fact, for the first week, I was treated to a visit by my parents! It was so exciting, and kind of surreal, to have them in what has become my home over the past seven months. It also made me feel even more like a Londoner. Being able to give them a tour (and actually know where I was going) made me realize just how integrated I have become into London life.
Their time here was spent hitting all the major tourist attractions, which I actually wasn’t sick of yet! From Big Ben to Tower Bridge to Buckingham Palace, it was like experiencing everything for the first time. Our lovely neighbor back home gave us tickets to the London Eye, which I hadn’t done yet, and was a great chance to see all of London (thanks Peggy!). In addition to the famous spots, I wanted to show them some more “local spots.” For example, the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, home of the 2012 Summer Olympics, was recently opened to the public. My mom and I are both swimmers, so we were wicked excited to try out the Olympic pool (unfortunately there were no Tom Daley sightings). My dad particularly enjoyed our trip to Abbey Road, complete with the Beatles recording studio and crosswalk that graced the cover of their album. We spent time scouring for souvenirs at Portobello Market, eating everything at Borough Market, and even picnicking in Kensington Gardens.
Speaking of food, much of this trip was devoted to taking my parents to my favorite restaurants and cafes. As my Instagram feed could demonstrate, London is home to some delicious options. I took them to Wahaca, a tapas-style Mexican eatery that has become one of my favorite spots. For burgers, we stopped by GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) and Meat Liquor (which, if you have read my previous blogs, is a much-loved London establishment). I also took them to Da Mario, a favorite Italian restaurant of the late Princess Diana. As it turns out, Mother’s Day in the UK is a different day than it is in the States, and luckily it coincided with my parent’s visit! We celebrated at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, one of my favorite bakeries, with an expansive afternoon tea. After all, I couldn’t let my parents come to London without experiencing a British tradition!
Going to UNH was not only a great choice for me, but it also allowed me to be close to home. I love being able to stop by on a weekend (usually with laundry in tow) to have dinner with my parents. They too love to visit me at UNH (mostly I think it was because they love HoCo as much as I do, but I digress). This year has certainly been different for us as a family. My journey to LSE and to London could not have been possible without the support of my wonderful parents. Without their encouragement, words of wisdom, and unwavering support, I would not be where I am today. Like anything, success means nothing unless you have someone to share it with. Finally being able to show my parents, who have been my cheerleaders from day one, all that I have accomplished while abroad means the world to me. I know this trip is something we will look back on for years to come. As much as I love London and seriously don’t want to leave, it will be nice to be able to go home for dinner again.