Formal Hall on wednesday night was good fun as usual (I wore my pink Betsy Johnson and Ben matched in his pink Herringbone). We made it out to Ballare that night, a local dance club, after some drinks with Gideon and Dr. Birdman…not to mention the uncanny impersonations of a Superb Fairy Wren, a three toed sloth, and definitely can’t forget our amazing bird calls…”kackaa” and “puuurrr.” Good times.
The next day Ben decided to make an appearence in Behavioral Ecology since he became such good friends with my Professor. I’m not gonna lie I’m a little nervous about their conversations and the effect it may have on my marks. After class Kate, Ben and I met Andy (Ben’s cousin) for dinner and drinks at Brown’s. It was a fun night and Ben was really happy to see Andy again, and it was lovely to meet him especially since I had stayed in Milwich with his family a few weeks ago. After dinner Andy headed back to London, and the three of us went to sing Karaoke at Pembroke College. There are a few Japanese programs that focus on learning English for a few weeks here during the summer. A few of the Ta’s that work for us also work for those programs so they invited us to join in the Japanese Karaoke and Farewell party. It was quite the scene with the Japanese students saying goodbye to one another after a few too many drinks. It wasn’t long before all of our friends joined us, and somehow Colin and Ben were in control of the mics and the song choice. Ben and I did an awe inspiring rendition of Copa Cabana – personally I think we gave my Aunts a run for their money 😉 – actually we were terrible but we had a blast and I think everyone enjoyed laughing at us. It was an awesome night, and finished by a bunch of us heading to the Fountain.
Friday morning we headed to London to stay with Natalie (a friend of Ben’s from Singapore who lives near High St. Kensington). After being kicked out of the V and A museum because of our backpack, we wandered around for a while and even had some tasty samples at Marks and Spencer’s – pretty random, but great day nonetheless. We met Natalie and Will at their perfectly located and adorable flat (only a little jealous…ok a lot), and headed to Notting Hill for a nice Thai meal at the Churchill Arms. Marina, a friend of ours from Santa Barbara who lives in London, met us for a drink after and unfortunately had an obligation with another friend. It was great to see her even if it was brief. We then went to Fulham and Chelsea with Natalie and Will to a party, bar, and club with all of their friends. It was a great evening and everyone was increadibly welcoming. We were very lucky to have such great tour guides!
Saturday morning we got up early to visit Windsor Castle, and Hampton Court. Natalie drove Will, Matthew (Will’s younger brother), Ben and I to Windsor where we walked around the precious village and the current residence of the Queen. I was very impressed and definitely enjoyed the view from the Ferris Wheel. Windsor Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited royal residence and was built by William the Conqueror in 1070 which is quite remarkable. Apparently King George V liked it so much he chose it for his family surname. Ok enough of my random trivia – sorry Ben. After lunch there we went to Hampton Court. Thanks to Natalie for navigating there and dealing with all the stress while the rest of us napped in the back!! Sorry about that I really was trying to stay awake! It was well worth the stress though to walk around the gorgeous gardens, see the Real Tennis Court, Henry VIII’s apartments, Tudor Kitchens, the Maze, and my personal favourite the Privy Gardens. My infatuation with Henry VIII and his wives definitely was inhanced by this experience! Thanks again Nat, Will and Matthew! That night we went to dinner with Talenia (another friend from Singapore), Michelle, and Alex (a friend from Sydney). It was great to meet them all and after a few Long Island Ice Teas we went home to get some rest.
This morning we met Alex in Little Venice where he was staying and walked around Portabello Road. After a nice lunch we met Will and Nat at the Tea Palace, said good bye to Alex, picked up our bags, and caught the train back to Cambridge. It really was an awesome weekend thanks to the hospitality of Nat and Will.
-Jackie (and Ben)