This is mostly for my own reference! I took a two-week trip to the UK and got back Wednesday night and it was EXHAUSTING and GREAT and I had an amazing time!


- First up, several days in Northern Ireland with [profile] scriblix and her family. Her son is now ENORMOUSLY TALL, he's like eight years old and a whirlwind and hysterically funny but also pushing every single limit including those of physics. But it was wonderful to hang out with Tracy, we talked a LOT and spent much of the time just hanging out on her couch watching TV and chatting and yelling about stuff. Also she made me watch Avatar and I made her listen to Hamilton. ~friendship~

- Next, three days in Bath. I studied there in college ELEVEN YEARS AGO and wanted to revisit it, and I did, and it was a great idea. I went to the Fashion Museum and looked at corsets and a gown of Queen Victoria's and some hilarious modern stuff in their "history of fashion in 100 objects" that included Air Jordans and a crocheted bikini. I visited the Roman Baths (great as always) and treated myself to lunch in the Pump Room like a fancy fucker. I went to the Thermae Bath Spa and SWAM IN THE WATER OF THE SPRINGS, HOW COOL IS THAT, it was maybe the best part of my trip and there were a lot of best parts? The water was warm and didn't smell like horrible chlorine and I felt pretty damn special. (I also got a massage while I was there which was also good, because #treatyoself was the animating ethos of this trip.) And I visited my old program and got a ton of hugs from the two remaining staffers from my time there and struggled to remember names of other students and tutors. But it was good to see them all. Plus more touristy stuff and lots of pictures and making my feet sore.

And I stayed in an Airbnb for the first time and it worked out well? I scored a tiny house that was in the city proper but not too far from all the interesting stuff, and it was SO FRICKING CHARMING. Pink walls in the kitchen and Moomin mugs, a teeny window seat, a cosy bed. There was a bookshop nearby that I'd never visited and it was spectacular and the clerk complimented my octopus skirt. All good stuff.

- The EU referendum vote happened. That..... was a thing. Definitely shifted the mood. (And the exchange rate.) It was fascinating as an outsider and I appreciate everyone who took the time to try and explain things to me. Not necessarily something I would, you know, recommend. But interesting!

- And then FIVE DAYS in LONDON. I met up with so many great people and saw and did so many cool things!
* Dinner with [personal profile] such_heights! Right when I got into London, and right before she left to visit New York and see Hamilton! I am sad we don't live on the same side of the ocean, she is gr888. (Also, some kind of great five-spice beef curry? Would recommend.)
* A day gallivanting around London with my friend Josie! We met through Tumblr and are giant nerds and it was an EXHAUSTING and WONDERFUL day. British Museum for the Parthenon marbles and other old shit, Harrods for fancy perfume and macarons (which Josie calls "cookie burgers" and I'm on board), a transit mistake leading to a nice sit-down in Green Park, and the British Library for more old shit. Like a Gutenberg bible! SO FANCY. SO OLD.
* A show at Shakespeare's Globe! I know it's a reconstruction but it's still wicked cool and a really neat experience. I did pay for an actual seat - as someone said, I was reenacting the historical experience of someone with money. The show was Midsummer Night's Dream, which was more full-on broad comedy than I usually go for, but still entertaining. And they gender-flipped Helena to Helenus, which I thought added some really interesting resonances around why Demetrius has cast him off and his friendship with Hermia. And it rained. AUTHENTIC~~~
* A day at the V&A with [personal profile] kore_rising! We saw the exhibit on historical underwear and hit up the jewelry and theater halls as well. And then sat at a sidewalk cafe for three hours and chatted. A++ company, would recommend.
* Visiting the Horniman Museum with [personal profile] the_lady_lily and her weester! This was a wonderful day, partly because the museum was hilariously weird and partly because I haven't seen Liz in years and it was great to catch up with her and meet her son. We gazed at terrifying taxidermy, attended storytime with a very benign dude with excellent hair, had a nice long lunch, saw the tiny aquarium and even tinier zoo, and just talked a mile a minute. Good good times.

The place I stayed in London was great too - a very homey apartment in an incredibly hipstery neighborhood. I spent Sunday just hanging out on the couch reading a book from their shelves because my feet hurt, it was lovely. And a walkable distance from Dishoom, which is very trendy and buzzed-about but totally worth the very long wait.


And then I came home and took another few days of vacation to recover from jetlag, AND THEN. AAAAAAAAND THEN.

My sister moved to Colorado in March. She is loving it out there. But a couple months ago she messaged me and asked if I could help her out, because she was thinking of flying home to surprise my mom for her birthday (which is July 2d). And she wanted to keep it a secret from Mom AND Dad.

I said of course I would help, because I'm not a monster. She bought a ticket to fly into Boston on Saturday at like 2 AM. I talked my parents into coming out for Mom's birthday - it would be nice to get a change of scene, they could come see me but I wasn't coming out to see them after my big trip, wouldn't it be great for Mom to have her birthday with one of her kids. Sister and I proceeded to lie like rugs so that neither of them knew this was coming. She arrived as promised in spite of delays and my parents managed to make it out in spite of Mom's ever-changing health issues. AND IT WORKED. Mom cursed very loudly and dad made an amazing expression of surprise. And then there was cake and dinner and sister went home with them for the rest of the weekend. It was delightful. YAY US.
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