Saturday, May 20, 2017

Unexpected reunions

Today was set aside for meeting up with my friend Sean, one of the first friends I made upon my move to Wales for university. We met during my freshman orientation week when I was trying to locate the information session about the student radio station, which he was also heading to. We bonded over indie rock and the last time I saw him was when he came to Austin about 5 years ago on a break from working at a marine station in Belize. Although I work with and associate with many international travelers, I think he has lived in some of the most interesting locations of anyone I know and I respect the heck out of him and his wife for taking on international challenges to work in marine conservation. Luckily for me, he is now back in the U.K and had time in his schedule to come into London for the afternoon.

When he asked what I wanted to do while here, I told him "eat all the foods!" so when we saw that there was a Sicily Fest at Spitalfields Market, we agreed to check it out.
 For lunch we had arancini balls, and they were the largest ones I had ever seen. Mine was filled with spinach and cheese.

For dessert we had sfinci, which are fried dough. Ours were tossed in cinnamon sugar, then drizzled with pistachio syrup and topped with raw pistachio.

Thanks to the magic of Instagram, we saw that mutual friends Andrew and Victoria were in London today to visit a David Hockney exhibit at the Tate Britain. Sean and I meandered from Spitalfields to the Southbank, getting caught in a very cold rainstorm at one point. By Millenium Bridge, some blue sky made an appearance again and from the bridge you can see a number of famous landmarks.
Tate Modern
St. Paul's Cathedral
The Shard

We headed into the Tate Modern, another wonderful free museum and spent an hour looking around a section of it. I'm a sucker for surrealism and am happy any time I get to see some DalĂ­'s. One of my favorite rooms from what we saw today was the "A View from Zagreb: Op and Kinetic Art" which features optical illusions.

From there we walked along the Thames to the Tate Britain, about 2 miles away. We quickly found Andrew and Victoria, actually bumping into them in line for the toilets before even texting them that we had arrived.

For any of you who have glanced at my links to She and Hem in previous references to them on this blog, you will see that Andrew and Victoria are new parents to lovely little Ada, who I promptly picked up for some baby cuddles. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about her in 2 weeks when I head to Bristol to spend time with the three of them, but it was a lovely surprise to see them this afternoon. 
I accompanied them to the train station at Paddington, and we had to change at Baker Street which made the perfect opportunity to photograph the walls of the station that honor Sherlock Holmes.

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