While I whiled away the days before coming back to the US, I spent some time with Alex and Megan in their quaint town in Reigate. I'm a city girl, and good friends that they are, they remembered and took me to London for a day, but I, crazy that I am, forgot to look at the photos until now.
We started out the grey, albeit lovely day walking to the train station, where we met Megan and continued on to Londontown. Reigate is beautiful, and after leaving the lush colors of Thailand, the floral brightness of the small town in a misty grey day was welcome and familiar.
I can't tell you anything about the route we took, since my tour guides got us to our destination without any snafus. All I know is how much I love public transportation (tubes, trains, etc.) and how badly I wish that Nashville had something along those lines. Not sure at which station we ended up disembarking, so if you know, tell me! I need to get these places down if I'm ever going to live in the UK...
Our first order of business was afternoon tea at The Orangery at Kensington Palace. We walked through the gardens and grounds passing the Albert Memorial, something else that reminded me of Thailand, oddly enough. The tea was amazing, and I'm eternally grateful to our wonderful server who explained (in great detail) the order of things, and every ingredient that was included in the little cakes and sandwiches. Just after this tea was when the "where on earth am I" moments began, what with struggling to use a chip card and feeling incredibly awkward when I realized that I was working in dollars instead of pounds. Little did I know this would definitely not be the worst of these feelings.
After tea we headed over to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and yes, I was freaking out. A ton. We were able to watch from the floor a particularly whimsical production of A Midsummer Night's Dream for 5 measly pounds. Bucket list item #43, check. Afterwards we walked through Borough Market to grab some snacks and coffee.
One of my closest friends in Chiang Mai is a coffee connoisseur, so I picked him up a bag of beans from Monmouth Coffee Company, a famous shop in London. I got some for myself as well, loving the opportunity they give each customer to try each flavor, and the extensive notes they provide on each different roast and each different bean. Also, below, is Alex tying a piece of string to her finger because that's a thing.
After scrambling around looking for Ben's Cookies on Dani's recommendation, Alex headed to a previous engagement and Megan and I wasted time in shops and walking around Richmond. We met up with Megan's Sam at a Young's pub where I tried Pimm's for the first time. It really was spectacular until I realized that Young's brews my favorite stout, and I was partially devastated that I hadn't made the connection in time.