Today was one of my favorite days so far! This morning we (Hannah, Rachel, Marie and I) woke up a little early and took a ride on the tube to east London to go to Columbia Road Flower market. I was beautiful! There were vendors lining the street with live performers mixed in. There was a wide variety of fresh flowers, everything from cactus to orchids. The dahlias were huge and the whole street smelled like casa blanca lilies. I talked to two guys who were selling flowers and they said that everything from their stand comes from Holland except the sunflowers, which are from Israel. We went in a few cute shops (this street was really fun and the people were are all really friendly) and ate lunch in a tea café attached to a vintage store. What a great way to start out the day :)
Later on in the afternoon Marie and I went with Caleb and Jake to the Arsenal Stadium. There was a match going on so we walked around and checked it out. Jake found a pub nearby and we hung out for the second half of the game. There were a lot of people there so that made it exciting, even though Arsenal lost. I thought it would be a great time to have a beer, but ended up drinking half and giving it to Jake… oh well.
Tonight we went to Victoria Park for a HUGE fireworks show. We thought it was a November 5 celebration, but it was really in commemoration of The Blitz (Germany bombing Britain) and an event in honor of the victims of the Bethnal Green disaster during WWII—they were taking donations for a monument to be erected. Last year this show was the biggest in London! I think it was one of the top three fireworks shows I have been too. But then again I think fireworks are one of those things that every time you see them you are convinced it was the best thing ever. The music that accompanied the fireworks was a highlight, it was very ‘big band’ and in the middle of the show they played Ella Fitzgerald “I’m beginning to see the light” (hence the title of this post). To avoid the mob at the tube station we stopped at a playground for a little while… it was fun but after being outside that long I could not feel my toes!
It is good to be back in London. We have class tomorrow, but we have a little lull in schoolwork for the next two weeks. So we have some free time to explore. I am enjoying being here as the weather changes, seeing new things and spending time with friends. The last time I was in London was a little stressful, but this past week helped me get back on track (in a routine with personal time and study time). I also had a chance to talk to Jordan, my dad, and email with Ash. They have all been so encouraging and I love getting emails :)