With the work portion of my trip almost wrapped up, we had a rare opportunity of one of us being abroad already and the other having the time to join them. Since I’d already been in London for 2 weeks, and Liz had been here a few years ago, we didn’t have to rush through the normal speed-touring agenda that one typically endures during a short visit to a place you’ve never been.
I’d done all of the civic and religious buildings, perused the museums I wanted to see and even insinuated myself into the London arts community by securing invitations to a few gallery openings. Liz on the other hand just wanted to eat and drink like a Briton. So that’s basically what we did once she arrived.
My hosts at the BBC provided a thorough list of places that would serve in this capacity. All of these places were in Central London, near our flat in Notting Hill or close to the office in White City. However, the best experiences we had came on our second day together. We hit Borough Market for some food and drink (see picture below), and then walked along the Thames towards Covent Garden for more drink at the Punch & Judy.
The point of hitting the Punch & Judy was to see the street performers in the square below, and, in British tradition, mocking them from the safety of the balcony. There was plenty of that, but the highlight of this spot for us was the random bloke we spoke with about his love of Bon Jovi. He had to be 25, but had seen them play 12 times. And he was jealous that I’d seen them open for Ratt in 1985. It was one of those great moments you only experience when traveling – when you let your guard down and just embrace the moment because you know you’ll likely never be in that place or see that person again.
An’ after all this, won’t you give me a smile?