Eric and I took the Chunnel (otherwise known as the Eurostar) to London on the night of November 1st. Our plan was to stay with our friends Laura and Dan for a week, and then find our own place for one week to get out of their hair, then move into a flat we rented for two weeks while my Mom came to visit in the second half of November.
Laura was one of my very first interns in my old job. She struggled with me while I learned the ropes of being a “manager” (which was a bit laughable as we’re the same age), and helped me through that busy period of my life. She and her boyfriend were living in San Francisco for 6 months in their post college days, volunteering and interning. Laura is awe-inspiring Laura. I mean, this woman is studying to be a teacher and working with outer city kids, is smart as a whip, keeps a beautiful home, is a wonderful cook and has amazing style to boot. I don’t know any one else who can pull of the Michelle Williams pixie cut like Laura. Basically, I want to marry the woman but she’s already with Dan, who, let’s face it, is much more handsome than I am, so I need to move on with my broken heart. Anyway, I love her very much and am inspired by her every day.
Being as gracious as she is, she fetched us from the train station and accompanied us back to her lovely home, just across the road from the Arsenal tube station. They have an adorable place, perfectly decorated, so stylish, but comfortable and minimal. Dan and Laura welcomed us with some home made soup and dug in to hear all our travel stories up to that point. We had a great night catching up with friends (a rare treat for us who are always alone) and learning about our new neighborhood.
A note about the graciousness of our hosts. As I mentioned, we showed up expecting to just stay one week, because as anyone who’s had a house guest knows, a week is a long time for two idiots with giant back packs to invade your home. They asked “How long are you staying? One month? Two months?” (I wish!). They would hear nothing of us leaving before my Mom came. “It’s nothing to us, we’re glad to have you here.” Laura and Dan’s generosity knew no bounds. They welcomed us to their food, their space and their lives without a second thought. We would never have been able to stay in London for as long as we did, without their generosity. And indeed, we wouldn’t have liked it half as much as we did, if they weren’t there to share it with.
Our first day was spent tootling around our new neighborhood. We took a big walk up to Highbury, Islington Green and Angel to discover the area. We liked it immediately. It was our kind of place with cute boutique shops (ok, that’s my type of place), nice coffee shops (that’s Eric’s type of place) and one of a kind cafes, restaurants and a nice one screen movie theatre. Here are some photos of our home away from home.
When we arrived London was in full Autumn, cool, crisp, autumnal.
As we were in London for so long, I’ll cover it in shorter posts about all the fun things we did. Next time, Spitalfield’s vintage market!