Even though I was quite sad (and also very hung over) whilst cabbing it to Heathrow Airport this morning it felt pretty damn wonderful to walk through customs at San Francisco International this afternoon and on the flight in-between I got to sit in the upper deck of a 747 (see above photo) where I spent ten or so hours drinking and eating and sleeping and watching movies (Ant-Man, Entourage and Pitch Perfect 2) and writing and after the airplane landed around three o'clock I hauled myself through the terminal and then home in a cab to change my clothes before heading to Dobbs Bar in Hayes Valley to meet up with my friend Chris (see photo below) who is in town from Austin and who, before tonight, I had not seen in fifteen years, which is absolutely mind-blowing.
Anyway, it's almost nine o'clock and I've gotta go to work tomorrow and it has been a very busy seven or so days and so I'm gonna toss in a load of laundry, brush my teeth and then hit the hay.
Because today was my last in London I wanted to suck the marrow out of each and every moment and so I partook in a great many activities including, but not limited to, the following eleven:
- A four-and-a-half-mile run through Hyde Park with Gay Running Club
- Brunch at the Hotel Indigo with Gay Running Club
- Shopping through Covent Garden Market with Co-Worker Ali
- A three-mile walk to The Samuel Pepys to down an imperial pint (it was closed)
- The consumption of gluten free beer and pizza at Pizza Express
- Hanging with my pal Claudio in the living room of my Airbnb
- Witnessing Gypsy from the stalls at the Savoy Theatre
- Eating fast food sushi from itsu en route to the bar
- Closing down Comptons of Soho with Co-Worker Lauren
- Dancing my legs sore at KuKlub with Lauren, Matt and Philip
- Eating a falafel salad from Moaz whilst chatting to my dad on FaceTime
I'd like to note, before I head to bed, that Imelda Staunton, the lead in this evening's performance of Gypsy, was so totally brilliant in all of the ways. As I watched her perform scene after scene and sing song after song I couldn't help but think that she was born to do exactly what she was doing and that my mom would have enjoyed the hell out of it and that I am a person who is very lucky.
Oh, below are random snaps from this day, which I can say, quite confidently, is now marrowless.
I had the day off from work today and so I slept until 12:30 and then set the map on my iPhone 6 to my desired destination and took off on a three-mile walk toward Notting Hill. My route delivered me down Oxford Street where, instead of the spray-painted pictures of outer space or waterfalls that are typically created in front of crowds in Times Square, the street artists were building sand sculptures of dogs lying on the sidewalk. At the end of Oxford Street I passed through Marble Arch and then stopped in Hyde Park to write for an hour or so and also to exchange pictures via text message with my dad and my sister (see above photo) before continuing on through the park to Notting Hill. Once there I walked past the home of Orson Welles on my way to Portobello Road, which houses the Portobello Road Market (see photo below), which was made famous by the film Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It was there that I consumed a burger, chips and a beer before spending a bit of time ducking in and out of stalls looking for a gift for B. In the late afternoon I traveled, empty-handed, back to Soho to drop off my things before setting out in search of a show pass for the evening. I settled on seeing Bend It Like Beckham the Musical and when I got to the ticket window to check the evening's availability the clerk asked me how much I'd like to pay and then gave me a price range and I told him £29.5 and he looked at me, smiled and said, "It pays to have good timing." and sold me a £69.5 ticket for the price that I had mentioned earlier and so I sat in the center of the fifth row for not very much money, which was dope. After the musical was over I returned home, chatted with my family and then Bevan on FaceTime, ate another falafel salad, watched clips from Notting Hill on YouTube and now I will go to sleep.
This day began with a dazzling two-mile walk to work (see above photo) and ended with Prawn Cocktail-flavored potato chips on the couch at my Airbnb and in-between I ate pizza and a gluten free brownie and thrice-fried French fries and drank far too many cocktails with gin and prosecco mixed in followed by not nearly enough Powerade and now seems like a really good time for sleep.
Oh, before I close this laptop I should write down that when I was in college my friend Hannah gifted me a book called 2001 Things To Do Before You Die by a man named Dane Sherwood (see video below) and for a while it became an obsession of mine to check off as many things in the aforementioned book as I could and one of those things was to 'Down an Imperial pint in London's Samuel Pepys pub on the Thames' and so when I was last in London ten years ago en route to Germany to visit my little brother Bryan who was, at the time, living there as an exchange student I tried to find said pub but couldn't and so last week when I told Laura that I was London-bound she reminded me to find it and I said that I would but forgot and then today while I was eating pizza on the River Thames at lunch I looked across the water and, sure enough, there it was, plain as day, so I think I'm gonna have to down that (gluten free) pint before I head back to the States on Sunday.
Also, while my co-worker Ali and I were on our way back to the office from Borough Market, an amazing and huge food and goods market located under the railway in Southwark (pronounced 'suth-ick'), with the baked goods that we were given the task of collecting for the office warming party that I came to London to help with and attend we got lost because I do that here and as we wandered past an adorable little deserted lane I asked Ali if we could please walk down it and so we did and halfway through a man in an orange sweater approached us and he was talking on a cell phone and, sure enough, it was Eddie Redmayne, the actor who won an Oscar earlier this year for his portrayal of Steven Hawking in The Theory of Everything for which he gave a super touching speech that included the line, "...this belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS."