We arrived in London on my 31st birthday to multiple exciting train rides, ending at the famous Kings Cross station. We passed several less-than-reputable-looking gentlemen in the courtyard on what we suspect was Spice (the UK’s fun new street drug we learned about that turns people into zombie statues) including one guy collapsing at the rate of 1 cm/hour face first into an impressively large pond of presumably his own vomit. Finally we arrived at our hotel which is pretending to be a hip hostel which is pretending to be a luxurious hotel. Braving the outdoors once again, we wondered through the after-dark London public to find me birthday cake and succeeded beautifully.Today at the crack of dawn, I got to run around like a child again, this time at the Tower of London. Heather pretended to be amused as I jumped up and down pointing at my favorite weapons, speculating out loud on the historical uses of 500-lb mortar shot, and commenting on which were the “best” forms of torture used in the tower dungeon. My favorite part was watching her walk nearly right into 2 of the tower’s massive pet ravens perched on a hand railing that apparently “blended in.”
In the afternoon we went for tea at the Langham Hotel, which is the kind of place where a guy in a top hat eyes you up upon entry to make sure you’re not a commoner and then someone lays a serviette across your lap because you obviously can’t be bothered to do that yourself. The amazing wait staff/butlers let you choose from an extensive tea menu (offering a tea sommelier if you need help) before bringing a feast of tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off (because we’re civilized), scones, and a selection of desserts that the queen herself would coo over. The food was amazing, and my last bit of chocolate truffle went down the hatch after nearly 2 hours at the table. We got to spend the next half an hour enthusiastically people watching while waiting for our bill and when I finally got his attention to ask for it, he ran off and returned with a birthday cupcake. How sweet. Then he disappeared for another half an hour. It was definitely fun to pretend like either of us were made of money for an afternoon and sip the fanciest of teas with the cool kids. Be warned though that “going for tea” can absolutely take 3 hours. What’s for dinner?