S: London Adventure 2010
BC: "The opportunities for enjoyment in your life are limitless. If you feel you are not experiencing enough joy, you have only yourself to blame." – David E. Bresler | “Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before.” – Erich Fromm | “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – - Andre Gide
FC: London Adventure 2010 Rebecca Suzuki
1: Rebecca Suzuki | June 9th – August 8th
2: June 9-14, 2010 On the plane trip over, a really nice guy helped me get my suitcase up in the overhead bin. Turns out he's a pastor who helps run a bible college in Majorca. We talked for the whole first part of the flight. When I landed I had to drag my luggage around the terminal to find a shuttle company to take me to the hotel. I finally got in a van with a daughter, mother, and grandmother from Missouri. We had a nice chat all the way into London. Then it was just the driver and I trying to find my hotel (he had never heard of it!). It took forever so that by the time we got there and I tried to tip him he said, "no, by now I feel like you are my daughter!" I was so glad to get settled. Once I got going with the UoD group on Saturday, the fun began! We watched the world cup game England vs. USA in a pub which then turned into a bar crawl! Sunday we had orientation and then my roomie and I managed to get Stefan to take us on a practice run to our internship locations. The three of us walked ALL over and he showed us some great places like the Ice Bar! Then a group of us went out to dinner for a last hurrah before work starts. Today I started my internship right in Leicester Square. Turns out I’m working with two different companies Jamie Wilson Productions and Perfect Pitch Musicals. Right away Andy sent me to hand-deliver a contract to another theatre! Then the other intern Jennifer and I grabbed lunch and ate in Trafalgar Square. It was very picturesque and it felt cool to blend in with the locals. After, I sat in on a meeting with another producer and the two writers of a new show. We went to a cafe and were there for 3.5 hours! So if this musical ever makes it big, I can say I was there while it was developing! Getting home on the tube was so crowded in rush hour I had to wait two trains in order to smush in!
3: Friday, June 18, 2010 Yesterday we went to the wine bar and then I went with a new group to The Big Chill House. Today, I’m off to Buckingham Palace with some FIE people. After some pictures, we walked through the park to Big Ben and the London Eye. After gawking like tourists we stopped for fish and chips. Then I set off on my own to the post office by Leicester Square to buy stamps. I popped into the National Gallery and went to Piccadilly Circus. I took the tube to Holborn to get a few groceries at Sainsbury’s before getting home and getting ready for the night’s festivities! Our night started off late and poorly. When we set out it was quite cold and misty. We were trying to meet up with Reese but we didn’t get good directions so we ended up making it practically to the Upper Street and then were told to turn around! Giving up on Reese, we decided to go to the Big Chill House. Of course right after we checked our IDs and bags and made it into the blessedly warm bar, we get a call saying he’ll meet us at Nido! We get back there and somehow just missed him but then met up with some of the guys in our group who, along with everyone else in the program it seemed, were going to the Absolut Vodka Ice Bar! We tried making reservations but they said they were all booked so we took the tube to Oxford Street to wait at the Ice Bar and see where everyone was headed after. However, when we got there, we were able to get in on the next time slot (you’re only allowed inside the actual ice bar for 45 minutes at a time) I splurged on a raspberry champagne drink before we all cued up. They throw parka-like ponchos over your heads and send you in! It is absolutely freezing but for the first bit you’re just so excited to be in a room completely made of ice that you don’t mind. Some people’s drinks somehow glowed in the ice cups! The music was blearing and we all took fun pictures around the bar. One by one Morgan, Jess, and then Erika gave into the cold but I lasted until the very end! After, we grabbed a cab back home and went to the Big Chill House to dance. We stayed up talking in their room eating leftovers and making plans before we crashed! It ended up being a really good night!
4: Saturday, June 19, 2010 We started today with the bus tour, stopping for lunch at the Hard Rock Café and going on to Westminster Abbey. A few of us rushed into the gift shop to buy some chocolate and then got lost from the group! In the evening we headed to Leicester Square, had dinner in Chinatown, and got Gelato for dessert. We decided to pop into the Oxygen Bar while we waited for the clubs to get going. We were the only ones on the dance floor but the songs were so contagious I couldn’t help myself! We walked around Leicester Square and eventually took the tube back to the Big Chill House then headed home early.
6: Sunday, June 20, 2010 Today Jess, Morgan, and I woke up early to try a self-led walking tour. We set off early and had a great time finding and reading about secret spots. I had fun breaking into my British professor accent. We looked in lots of churches and found the Stone of London where I proceeded to trick Jess and Morgan by “reading” out of the book that the tradition was to hop on your left foot, walk in a circle, and then throw a penny into the stone’s case. They were searching through their wallets for the penny until I told them it was all a hoax! We saw a bit of St. Paul’s Cathedral and then headed back to Nido to get ready for afternoon tea. We got all dressed up and met up with Morgan’s friends. They had deserts in the shape of Big Ben, The London Eye, and Tube stops. It was so cute and really delicious! We stopped into Marks and Spencer’s on the way back.
7: My Stone of London hoax!
8: Monday, June 21, 2010 I caught a cold yesterday so I am staying home. I slept in, ventured to Tesco’s and then ate lunch while watching old home videos and movies. Tuesday, June 22, 2010 John took FIE to the Brick Lane area also known as BanglaCity, in the East End. A few of us had lunch at Giraffe before I ran off to work. Right now, I am sitting in Jamie’s (of Jamie Wilson Productions) desk, yes, in the boss’s seat, eating a chocolate bar that Claire got for me downstairs! The end of the workday was fun with Claire, Jen, the new intern Flow, and I discussing theatre. Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Got to sit in on a meeting with the sound designer who was nominated for a Tony for A Little Night Music. Then I was shipped off to EMG Marketing group to do some work there. The England game was on so the whole office crowded around the TV! I got out early and wandered through some shops around Angel station before heading to Covent Gardens where I watched the street performers and even saw a man juggling chainsaws! Thursday, June 24, 2010 Happy Pitching Day! This morning I went on my very first double-decker red bus with FIE to go to our tour of the Globe Theatre. Then Becky and I took the bus to Trafalgar Square to have lunch at a café right by my work. Andy, Pip, Jennifer and I walked to the Lyric theatre where 4 shows were pitching today. We got back to the office around 6pm but stayed late to help Jamie make investor packets for Tell Me on a Sunday. Friday, June 25, 2010 I ventured on my own to the British Library before heading to Regent’s Park to write out some postcards. In the evening, Becky and I met up and went to Victoria station where we grabbed pasties for dinner before seeing Billy Elliot with Erika and Elizabeth.
10: Saturday, June 26, 2010 Today was the Stonehenge (it literally is just a pile of rocks!) and the beautiful city of Bath Day Trip! It was a wonderful day, very hot but blue skies and sunshine! After lunch and exploring we met up with the group to go on our Roman Bath tour. In the evening we met up with Eugene the club promoter in my FIE class who got us into China White where Jess and I got to experience VIP status!
11: Stonehenge ROCKS! haha
12: Sunday, June 27, 2010 Today a group of us took a bus to Oxford where we made sure to hit all the Harry Potter sights like the Great Hall, the Infirmary, and the Grand Staircase they used in the first movie. It was one of my favorite places and an amazing day!
13: Monday, June 28, 2010 Today was a bumbling office sort of day. I cleaned, worked on ACT, and took myself to lunch at Bella Italia. I got to meet Frank, who was there to pitch 2 new musicals. He had written and performed in a piece on Broadway years ago called A Day in Hollywood/Night in the Ukraine. Here are some pictures of the office!
14: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 Today FIE took us on the Inns of Court walk. No, it was not a walk where we got to see the best Bed & Breakfast’s of London as I had been suspecting, it was actual the Royal Courts of Justice. We saw people walking by in their robes and little wigs (no big sausage curls though, those are for the head honchos!) You can go in and listen to any hearing; they say it’s the only free theatre in London! We ended the tour right by Temple Church seen in The Da Vinci Code! Becky and I walked close to Holborn Station and had breakfast at Café Rouge. Then I headed off to work for the big production meeting. After serving tea and biscuits to everyone, Jennifer and I went on an errand to the bank and to pick up a chord and then Claire said to just hang outside and see a bit of London! So we got Gelato and sat in Trafalgar Square. At the end of the day I met up with Ivy for dinner and some shopping down Regent Street where we found this huge toy store called Hanley’s. We had fun taking pictures and reverting back to childhood! Wednesday, June 30, 2010 The office was in Dublin to see the closing of When Harry Met Sally, so it was just the interns, Jennifer, Flo, and I enjoying a relaxing day! I left at 3pm and went toward Oxford Street to do a bit of shopping before I met up with Jess. We stopped into Marks & Spencer’s to grab picnic food. We met up with Erika and then headed to Hyde Park for the Kings of Leon concert. Thursday, July 1, 2010 John gave a lecture on Parliament in FIE. At work, Claire told us about the cast dinner they had for the closing of When Harry Met Sally in Dublin. I had done a lot of research and calls to find a place that would stay open late and give them a cheap pre-set dinner. She said the place was fantastic, so my hard work paid off! At the end of the workday Jennifer and I hung out the meeting room window to get pictures of Ashley Greene during the premiere of Eclipse.
16: Friday, July 2, 2010 Decided to head out to Stratford-Upon Avon with Becky today. It was a 3 hours bus ride, but it was so worth it. We took one of those hop-on, hop-off tour buses and got to see all the sights like Shakespeare’s house, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and the working farm of Mary Arden, as well as the theatre of the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was a really beautiful day!
17: Saturday, July 3, 2010 Today Morgan, Erika, and I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. We headed off to find lunch at a pub in the Portobello Market in Knotting Hill known for this Saturday market. Then we walked down the streets to look at all the stalls. After, we went home to prep for tonight’s dinner dance cruise on the River Thames. When we all got downstairs it felt like we were at prom! We made a ridiculous trek to Embankment station to get to our boat. They had a great dinner for us and then we all headed up to the dance floor. Toward the end of the evening we were all dancing and the boat crew pulled off the roof of the boat. It was so surreal to be dancing on a private boat on the River Thames under the stars! When we docked we knew we wanted to go out since we were all dressed up anyways, so we took the tube to Leicester Square to haggle the club promoters for a cheap deal. We decided on Ruby Blue. As we were going toward the entrance a guy named Tom came up and asked if he could pretend to be part of our group to help him get to his friends. In return, he paid my cover charge and bought me a drink. He found his friends so we decided to check out the dance floor upstairs. Tom found us soon after and got us up to dance. The DJ played a great mix of classic oldies and popular current stuff so I was happy! I learned he’s a rugby player from Wales who was in town for the weekend for a friend’s birthday. While I was waiting for the private car to take me back, I met a guy from Poland so I explained I was half Polish! He probably didn’t believe me but I thought it was a nice ironic ending to a perfect night!
20: Sunday, July 4, 2010 Happy Fourth of July America! We decided we really needed a rest day to recoup from all the sightseeing and activities we’ve packed into these first 4 weeks! And what could be more American than grabbing breakfast at Starbucks and going to the cinema to watch Eclipse! After the movie we went to The Nag’s Head pub for some late lunch/dinner. I got a fried chicken wrap as another homage to America! Monday, July 5th, 2010 Work was really fun today! For lunch Jen and I got Chinese in SOHO and picnicked in Leicester Square. I finished reading one of Frank’s musicals The Snark: And How to Hunt It. Jen and I took a chocolate break at the little shop down stairs where I’ve been discovering new European chocolate bars. I got a card and a package from Grandma and Grandpa today so Jess and I shared all the cookies, chocolate, and snacks! Tuesday, July 6, 2010 Today FIE went on the Parliament tour. The first hall was huge with stone everywhere and an amazing ceiling with big oak arches like the Great Hall in Harry Potter. From then on the rooms became increasingly opulent! We got to go into the House of Lords and see the throne the Queen gets to sit on when she opens Parliament. Then we headed over to the House of Commons. There was a really cool room in the Tudor style that had portraits of Henry VIII, his 6 wives, and the whole Tudor line. After the tour Becky and I went to the Pizza Express by Embankment station. I got locked out of the office since everyone was moving storage stuff today, so Claire told me to take a break and Jamie would call when he got back. I decided to finally experience the shopper’s fantasy that is Primark, this amazingly huge store with really cheap clothes! Jamie forgot to call so I didn’t have to go back to work. I dropped off my stuff and changed before heading out to the Queen’s Theatre to see Nick Jonas in Les Miserables with Erika and Morgan. After trying to get in contact with the stage manager, I met up with the others for dinner at ITSU one of those revolving sushi bars. When we got home, Morgan and I went to the café to munch on Oreos and found a place to stay in Brighton. What a wonderful day!
21: Thursday, July 8, 2010 This morning we went to the FIE Foundation house at Gloucester Road to watch a movie about skinheads called This is England. At work, I had to call every single theatre that When Harry Met Sally played at to check if they had any of our lost lighting equipment. My ear was glued to the phone for the better part of the afternoon but it was fun hearing the different accents from all over the country. They were setting up the premiere for Inception tonight but I had to rush off with Morgan to catch our train to Brighton! From the train station, we took a cab to Kempfield House, our B&B and were amazed! We couldn’t help but squeal in delight to see the large size of the room and our 4-poster canopy bed! We walked all the way down the pier to look at all sweet shops and carnival rides. | Friday, July 9, 2010 We woke up and had a delicious breakfast downstairs. We rented lawn chairs and laid out on the pebble beach listening to music. Later we walked on the right side of the pier and explored all the stores down there. We got to meet up with Becky on the pier so we walked down there and treated ourselves to a little snack! Morgan and I got these amazing Belgium waffles on a stick that are covered in chocolate. We walked through the arcade and found a gambling section! No cash wins but we did get free cookies and drinks just for being in there and gambling! Then walked back to shore and went in search of some shops. We found a candy store called Fizziwigs and a cupcake shop! Needless to say we were in a sugar comatose by this point. After Becky left, Morgan and I got dinner on the pier and then lounged on the free deck chairs before going back to Horatio’s to get a jug of sangria and warm up. We had so much fun talking and singing along to the music that we decided to go for a second jug. By the end all our inhibitions went out the window! Workin’ My Way Back to You came on and I started singing along. Morgan bet me 5 pounds to get up and dance on the empty dance floor in the middle of the now crowded bar. So I went out and made a fool of myself and had a great time! Soon after we headed out in search of more free biscuits from the casino before going back to Kempfield. We changed into out PJs and watched TV.
23: Saturday, July 10, 2010 Today we ate, finished packing and called a cab. When we got back, we waited for Jess and then went to see Harrods. We explored all 5 floors stopping off at the chocolate café where I got the best Tiramisu I have ever had! We pined over the Louis Vuitton purses but were able to tear ourselves away when we looked at the prices! We took the tube one stop down to Hyde Park, walked down the side, and then took a bus toward Angel station, where we got Thai for dinner. Sunday, July 11, 2010 Woke up early this morning to catch our bus from Victoria Coach station or at least that’s what the email confirmation said! After much confusion and running around we found our bus on the Green Line across the street and got seats together in the back. When we got there we followed the crowds to the castle. We waited in a huge line to see Princess Mary’s doll house. Then we walked through the Drawing gallery, which shows just a few pieces of the Queen’s massive collection of expensive drawings and art pieces. There were a few sketches by Hans Holbein, the famous court painter during King Henry VIII’s time, and some interesting sketches by Da Vinci too. We moseyed on through and hit the gift shops before getting lunch at a Greek place. We weren’t sure what else to do in Windsor beside the castle so we went to the Sightseeing tour bus since the man let us sneak on for the child’s price. I really love those double-decker open-air bus rides! We got off at Eton College (which is high school level here). It’s the famous prep school that Prince William and Harry went to when they were young. We walked over the River Thames and found a cute little place to get dessert. While we were waiting for our bus, I went into the church where Prince Charles had his second wedding to Camille Bowles. When we got home we watched parts of the final game of the Football World Cup (Spain vs. The Netherlands) on the computer instead of battling the pub crowds!
24: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Today FIE took a walking tour starting by the Millennium Bridge and walking down the South Bank. After lunch with Becky, I went off to Leicester and went to my post office to buy even more stamps! After that, I popped into the National Gallery. When I got to work, Flo was trying to assemble an office chair. She couldn’t get the last piece to fit though so I offered to help. I borrowed a multi tool from Chad and disassembled it completely so I could put it together correctly. Then I did a bit of trip planning for Jamie and Andy who are going to Edinburgh for a festival. That evening Morgan, Jess, and I went to a Hookah place (or as they call it here, Shisha). Then we really wanted dessert and ended up going to McDonald’s since it was the only place open with ice cream. We all got Yorkie McFlurrys and got into a fit of giggles! On the way home, we made the pilgrimage to Platform 9 3/4!
25: Friday, July 16, 2010 I am exhausted but I had such an amazing wonderful day today! First we stayed up until around 11:30pm packing and then woke up at 4:40am. We walked down to St. Pancras International station and got into the Eurostar terminal. After our ride through the chunnel we dropped off our luggage and then went in search of food at a boulangerie (bakery). I got to have my coveted pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) right off the bat! Our plan was to walk to Notre Dam and then follow the Seine River to hit the Louve and everything beyond. We were quite confused following the map but we started going in one direction. We started to get a bit suspicious of our sense of direction and pulled out our map to reconfigure ourselves. To our surprise a man on a motorcycle with his son on the back pulled over to help us! It was the sweetest, kindest gesture! It was as if he was single handedly trying to change the stereotype that French people hated Americans! He knew some English and it helped that Erika could speak a bit of French. He explained which metro to take so we thanked him profusely and set off! We toured the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Musée d’Orsay. After dinner, we went back to the Lourve and went straight for the Mona Lisa. There was a carnival outside so we took a ride on the Ferris wheel for beautiful views of the Louvre, park, Eiffel tower, and Montmartre. We got some snacks and took the metro to the Eiffel Tower to sit on the grass and enjoy the setting sun and the music. It was the best part of the day! We even got to see when the tower started to sparkle for the first time of the night. Then Stefan stopped by to say hello and advised us to try taking the stairs up the tower instead of waiting in the huge lines. We had fun huffing and puffing up the steps, trying not to think of the pain in our feet. We took the metro back to the hotel. Turns out we were the last of the Dreamers to check in so we got our keycards and went to get our luggage. When we got up, Jess and I were so excited to be in the luxurious and spacious hotel room after living in our cramped Nido room!
27: Saturday, July 17, 2010 We woke for breakfast downstairs and it was so worth it – they had little crepes and Nutella! We headed out to find the RER C train. When we finally got to Versailles it was absolutely packed with people. We decided to skip the long lines to get inside, seeing as the gardens are the real masterpiece. We rented a small rowboat and took turns rowing, taking pictures and just enjoying the beautiful day! On the way back we all fell asleep on the train and missed our stop by one so we had to walk from the Musée d’Orsay to the Arc de Triomphe. We got French hot dogs (they put it in a baguette) while we walked up the Champs-Élysées and it was so delicious! We took some pictures around the Arc and met up with Morgan and her friend. Then we took the metro to the Opéra de Paris (or Opéra Garnier) which was really opulent. After we set off to find dinner and on the way I had a classic Marilyn Monroe moment when I passed over a metro grate and the wind sent my skirt flying! “I see London, I see France, I see Becca’s underpants!” After eating, we decided some relaxing was in order and decided to go back to the lawn in front of the Eiffel tower since we had so much fun there last night. We found a great patch of grass and settled down, and that’s when the fun beganThese two guys next to us with those rented city bikes asked if we could take a picture for them and send it through email since they didn’t have a camera with them. They introduced themselves as James Somerset (who we later found out is a TV personality in NZ where he does a sports comedy show after retiring from a Rugby injury) and Brad Allam from New Zealand. Brad was really good at bargaining with all the sellers who go around with beer and wine. We decided to get a bottle of champagne to share. Brad got us a great deal for a nice cold bottle and he popped it open for us. We talked and played games. By the end of the night we went through 6 bottles of champagne! I loved just lying down and staring up at the Eiffel tower thinking how surreal it all was. I even took a ride around the park on James' bike and would shout “bonsoir” as I passed by. We eventually got a cab back to the hotel and crawled into bed. It was such a silly and memorable night!
30: Sunday, July 18, 2010 After Jess and I enjoyed breakfast, we all sat on the beds laughing at ourselves and the events of last night. After checking out, we took the metro to Montmartre. When we got there we had to search around a bit to get to Sacré-Cur Basilica. It’s on a hill and there were so many sets of stairs to get up! We finally made it up and found the hoards of tourists. We sat on the steps to the church in the sun and listened to a street performer. Then we toured inside the church before heading out to explore the smaller streets. We got some amazing gelato (cappuccino and Nutella) and headed back down in search of Moulin Rouge, eventually spotting the famous red windmill. Then we decided to go relax in the Luxemburg gardens. We got our luggage and went to the station so we would have enough time for customs and security. I picked up a bottle of red wine for Mandy and a tiny bottle of Absinthe. It was an exhausting but incredible weekend!
31: Monday, July 19, 2010 Today I answered a ton of phone calls, “Jamie Wilson’s office, how can I help you...of course, can I ask who’s calling please...ok hold one moment please!” It’s ingrained in me now. I went with Andy and Claire to scout out the hotel for the photo shoot. Then I went to the printing place to make more copies of the Departure Lounge investment packets. After, I went out on a search for boxes to make into Christmas present props for the photo shoot. I decided to treat myself to lunch at the Mexican restaurant right in the square. Tuesday, July 20, 2010 FIE took us on a tour of the financial district. We saw the area where William Wallace (Braveheart) was killed. We went to the Museum of London where I got to try on an English gable hood, a Tudor period headdress and an old fireman’s hat. I also got a picture in a mobcap with Stefan in a tri-corn hat! At work, Jen and I went on a search for Christmas wrapping paper! We stopped by Snog (same as Red Mango) for a pick-me-up afternoon treat and then spent the rest of the day wrapping the gifts. At 6pm I walked over to meet Morgan and Jess at Covent Garden. We finally tried Ben’s Cookies and then grabbed food at a restaurant with seating in the square so we could listen to the street performers. We had fun talking about our Paris adventure and laughed so much remembering it all. Wednesday, July 21, 2010 Today was the Night Before Christmas promotional photo shoot at the Radisson hotel! We got so many quizzical looks carrying all the Christmas gifts across the street! The kids were so cute and so excited to meet Father Christmas! Later Flo, Jen, and I had a picnic lunch in the square. In the late afternoon, Jamie got back and introduced us to Claire Sweeney! She’s a pretty big West End celebrity who will star in Tell Me on a Sunday! Thursday, July 22, 2010 FIE was really interesting because we had a guest lecturer who talked about the rebellion fashion scene and art work like Banksy. At work, Claire showed us pictures they chose from the Christmas photo shoot. Then I worked on updating our Perfect Pitch facebook page. Today was the Night and Day premiere with Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise so Jen and I ended up staying late to get pictures!
32: Friday, July 23, 2010 Mandy and Joe have finally arrived! Let the Suzuki Siblings Adventure begin! After being really nice and letting them nap a bit, I enticed them to get going. We walked past the station toward Covent Garden, stopping at the Don Mar Warehouse where they did the revival of Parade. We stopped at Ben’s cookies for a treat. I snuck them upstairs to check out the office and then we went around the corner to see the Odeon theatre and walked in the National Portrait Gallery to see the Tudor stuff! In Trafalgar Square, we got to climb on the lions before getting Pizza Express and gelato. Then we took the tube to see Nido. | I Love You Chando! | TEAMWORK
33: Saturday, July 24, 2010 Today we took a train from Paddington Station to Bath. We got a map and made our way across the bridge, by the church, and the Roman baths. Then we went to the Jane Austen center. We picked up pasties and sat in the little circle lawn and enjoyed a picnic. When we got back, we picked up some food at Marks & Spencer and came back to the hotel. We broke into the Irish Cider and tried the Absinthe. Then we headed over to King’s Cross to meet up with my friends. We went to the room where the siblings got to meet Josh and Jess. Since the Castle Bar was closed again, we went to the Big Chill House. The music wasn’t great but us girls went to dance while Joe and Josh talked.
34: Sunday, July 25, 2010 After lunch, we walked to the park across the street and sat down for some planning. We decided to go to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. We took pictures by Eros and then took the tube to Hyde Park Corner and had fun exploring. We got to see some stragglers finishing a triathlon. We also found this amazing tree that was inverted so it looked like a big hut. We went past the Serpentine pond and then found our way to the Prince Albert Memorial statue. We walked across the road by the Albert Music Hall and then past a music college to find the nearest tube stop. We went to a Lebanese restaurant for some falafel and baklava before watching a BBC show about Sherlock Holmes in modern day.
35: Monday, July 26, 2010 Today we took a train from Liverpool Street Station to Cambridge. We considered punting but decided it wasn’t worth the possibility of tipping over! We got some pasties and then just kept walking around the city and looking at all the different colleges. We sneaked into an open college and walked through its gardens. Then we managed to walk back to the train station and get back to London. At Liverpool Street, I showed them Spitalfields market. Once Morgan, Erika, and Jess arrived, we went to dinner at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen and then found Dennis Severs’ House at 18 Folgate Street. The man outside explained the “game” to us. We were to remain silent and just look and explore starting downstairs and moving up the house. You see it from different time periods and lifestyles. There were real burning candles, real food out on the tables, the sounds of horse carriages, and even a black cat running around. It was a really fun and totally unique experience!
36: The Tree of Knowledge! | Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Today we met up with my FIE class to tour St. Paul’s Cathedral. After, Joe and I decided to walk up to the Whispering Gallery and the outside viewing deck on the top for some amazing views! After lunch, we headed to the Millennium Bridge to reenact the Harry Potter scene. We checked out The Globe theatre for a picture op and then went into the Tate Modern across the way. We were heading back over the bridge when I saw a guy selling those World’s Smallest Kites. He was really nice and we started talking. I picked out a flag with the Union Jack on it! He was like a modern day Bert from Mary Poppins! After a quick nap, we rushed over to Harrod’s. Luckily I know my way around that store now so I led us to the chocolate café for some tiramisu. Then we went to Leicester Square and ate at Garfunkel’s before catching Avenue Q at the Wyndham's Theatre.
38: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 Today I went to work at Jerwood Space in Southwark where they hold auditions and rehearsals. I ran the Departure Lounge auditions, getting people from the café downstairs and bringing them up to the room. It was fun meeting new people and having conversations with them. At lunch I went exploring and got some pasta to go, stopping at an Urban Garden I stumbled across. It was really an amazingly beautiful place. It was right under the railway and there were different fixtures: a little hut, a swinging tire, a little artsy wooden gazebo, and lots of flowers. The guy who was working the area went into the little hut right in front of me and asked it I wanted a cup of tea. We got talking and I found out that he was one of the people who created the place. After work, I quickly met up with Joe and Mandy for dinner and then rushed back to King’s Cross to go to the final seminar. After, the siblings and I ventured to High Street to go to a French restaurant called Le Sacre Coeur. They were playing the Amelie soundtrack and we got a table on the sidewalk where we enjoyed crepes and a plate of profiteroles to share. Then we took the bus back down and I got off at Nido while they went back to the hotel. Thursday, July 29, 2010 Another day of auditions and another location! This time it was at the theatre they will perform in, the Waterloo East Theatre. I got kind of turned around at the station but I found my way when I saw the music director, Paul. We were the only ones there, so we went in and met Gerard the theatre manager. They were still finishing up building the theatre so he gave us a grand tour. It’s right under the railway arches and you can hear the trains pass all the time but it is a really cool space! In the evening, Jess, Morgan, Erika, and I teamed up for the UoD scavenger hunt as team No Pescado/Champagne Blackout! We raced around the city and Morgan was even going to get a piercing to rack up 20 points for us but we couldn’t find an open shop! The pictures are priceless and considering there were only 4 of us in our group we still managed to place high!
39: Platform 9 3/4 (4pts) | "Dancing with a stranger on the tube" (5pts) | "Old lady flicking the camera off" (4pts) | "Serenading a stranger" (2pts) | "Playing a subway performer's instrument" (2pts) | "Human pyramid in front of King's Cross" (4pts) | "Pence coin of every denomination" (2pts) | "Mind the Gap!" (4pts) | 5 Nationalities: Irish, American, Scottish, Swedish, English (2pts) | "On a double decker bus" (4pts)
40: Friday, July 30, 2010 Today we finally got to go into Westminster Abbey and were surprised at how extremely cluttered it is in there! We saw the tomb of Elizabeth I and buried underneath, her sister Mary. We got lunch and then took the tube to Oxford Circus to check out the huge Hanley’s toy store! Then we walked down Carnaby Street where we ironically found an American Diner. Mandy decided we should grab drinks like all the locals do after work. We were going to speak in British accents and were having a good laugh figuring it out until we realized how odd it would be at the end when we paid with an American credit card!
41: Saturday, July 31, 2010 We had breakfast in the Pearl Restaurant. Then Joe went back to the room while Mandy and I took on Primark. We went back for a quick nap and then rushed to the Flemings hotel in Mayfair for afternoon tea with Natasha and David! We talked for hours sharing our European adventures. Then we said our goodbyes and the three of us took a walk along Green Park to see all the artwork. Mandy and I went off to Oxford Circus before meeting up with my friends to go to Mahiki, a club across from the Ritz. Jess, Erika, and I decided on the Coconut Grenade drink that came in a coconut. When they finally opened the downstairs it took awhile for the dancing to start and the music wasn’t great. Eventually, we got a cab to the Rocket bar right by St. Pancras station. We had a lot more fun dancing amongst the boisterous crowds there!
42: Sunday, August 1, 2010 The siblings and I had a picnic in Green Park and enjoyed the summer weather. We walked to Buckingham Palace where I tried out my mini kite. We took the tube to Tottenham Court Road, one of the places they mention in the Harry Potter books. Then we explored the Camden Markets before grabbing dinner at the Nag’s Head Pub and settling in to watch the Sherlock Holmes BBC show.
43: Monday, August 2, 2010 Mandy and Joe woke up super early to leave for the airport. I ran into Jen on the walk to the office. She was picking up money and then going to the post office so I decided to join her on the errand. The rest of the day I kept busy. I put the CDs into the song books and took them to the post office. For the last one, Andy said we should just hand deliver because it was to a person at the Palladium Theatre by Oxford Street where Sister Act is playing. I found the theatre and then got to go through the stage door! Tuesday, August 3, 2010 Today was my last walking tour with FIE. We went to Lambeth North station to go to the Imperial War Museum. John took us in and explained some of the planes, missiles, and tanks in the front gallery then we viewed John Singer Sargent’s famous 1918 painting entitled Gassed. After exploring the museum, Becky and I decided to get off at Piccadilly Circus. We walked on to Carnaby Street and ended up at the American Diner. We had lunch and she interviewed me for her senior thesis about stage managers. At work I listened to the Perfect Pitch Songbook while putting the CDs into the books. Then I went to hang out in Jamie’s office and work on the hotel reservations, Edinburgh info document, and Perfect Pitch facebook page. I got back to Nido just in time to meet up with Jess, Morgan, and Erika to go out to dinner at Pizza Express! Wednesday, August 4, 2010 This morning, I went to Covent Garden in the rain to pick up a Birthday card for Jen and thank you cards for everyone in the office. During the day, Jamie had us all act out a Dick Whittington panto, a British genre that he wants to start producing. I got to do some ridiculous accents and we all had a good laugh. After work Jamie treated us to dinner at Yate’s in the square and we went on a bar crawl as an office goodbye and to celebrate Jen’s 21st. After Yates we went to this bar in Soho across from Jersey Boys and then found this tiny Piano bar under Charring Cross. Flo and Rowan joined us and we took over the private top level area. We got drinks and danced and Jamie and I got to talk a lot. A whole summer of working for him but one night out on the town and I finally got to know him!
44: Thursday, August 5, 2010 Today we had our last FIE class with John Makay at the Foundation House. We were in a new room today because the Alfred Hitchcock room we were normally in was being painted. Then off I went for my last commute to work on the Piccadilly line! It was so weird getting off at Leicester Square and I got so sentimental walking down Irving Street and taking notice of all the shops and rooms above it. Jen and I went out to lunch at Yates and got a nice table with couches. Later in the day Jamie played some fun musical theatre songs that livened up the office. Jen and I got to go on a final run to NatWest and the post office. I gave out my thank you cards and we said our goodbyes. Andy gave us Perfect Pitch shot glasses! In the evening, the girls and I went to the UoD goodbye talent show where Stefan surprised us with some champagne and a memorable toast! Then we went to Pizza Express before loading up on snacks from the Nido café and hanging in the rooms watching videos. | Here’s to the big ships Here’s to the small ships Here’s to all the ships in the sea But the best ships, are friendships Like the one between you and me! | Friday, August 6, 2010 Jess and I grabbed food at the café and then went off to Leicester Square. We went to the post office first so that she could mail the gifts for her boyfriend Josh’s birthday. We ate in Trafalgar Square where they set up a huge maze. We hit up some gift shops and made our way to Covent Garden. The four of us had our goodbye dinner at Aqua. After remembering the good times and celebrating our summer, we had to come back to our rooms and pack up.
45: It takes a lifetime to live, We wait for ever too much. And then realization dawns, to dying moments we clutch. ...It takes a journey of discovery, On the tube or the tracks. To find your way to the station, but beware, mind the gap. We did rocket and roadhouse, yes the sports bar too. But Bond you sly devil, I couldn't get to you. Spent a summer in London, say goodbye to my room. Too bad t'was not bigger, because basically we spooned. Going back to our hometowns, to our tacos, clean feet. It was legit while it lasted, goodbye until again we meet. We're proud to be dreamers, even those pukers in France, Can't waste a lifetime in waiting, let us go, take this chance. - Megan Dempsey (I changed a few things from the original)
46: Saturday, August 7, 2010 I woke up early to see everyone off. It was so sad to say our goodbyes but at least I had one more day in London. I went to check in my bags at the hotel and then enjoyed a picnic in Hyde Park. I took a bus to Trafalgar Square and then walked to the TKTS booth. I decided to go crazy and bought tickets for War Horse and Love Never Dies. I spent some time browsing the shops in Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus before going back to get into my hotel room. I walked to the National Theatre to see War Horse first and was really amazed by the puppetry. Then I met up with Becky for dinner and to say goodbye before running off to the Adelphi Theatre for Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom of the Opera. Sunday, August 8, 2010 I overslept and had to quickly rush out of the hotel. I amazingly got the same taxi driver that Mandy and Joe had when they left so we had a nice conversation to the airport. Once I got through security I got some downtime in the really nice Business Class Lounge. I filled up on the free food and relaxed until it was time to board the plane. As soon as I got through customs Mom and Dad were there to greet me with Taco Bell! I was so sad to leave England but I know I will go back one day!
48: To my Future Self, I hope you can always look back fondly on the summer you spent in London! I’m already sad that my time here is coming to an end but I will make the most of the time I have left. Tomorrow morning I’m off to Paris for the weekend! I have so many more memories to make so that no matter how tired and stressed I get this coming school year or any time in the future, I only have to look back at all this and be happy! It will also push me to work hard so that I can come back! I love getting around on the tube, walking through Leicester Square like I own the place, and sitting in Trafalgar Square like a local. What a life I lead here! The friends, the food, the places I’ve seen and explored have been amazing! I have experienced so much and for that I am thankful! I love London and I will make it back here again! | Cheers Mum and Dad! Right now we are sitting in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, or as Joe puts it, “we are sitting amongst a whole lot of dead people” | Mum & Dad Suzuki | Irvine, CA | U.S.A. | Bonjour Mama! Sitting with Mandy and Joe in Green Park. We’re finally getting some sun today! We had a huge feast of a picnic and laid in the grass for a bit. It’s a very idyllic day and a nice way to spend the time with the siblings. We will all be home soon. London may have stolen my heart but I will always find my way back home to you! | Mama Suzuki Irvine, CA USA | I thought this card would be fitting since Versailles is one of my favorite places and right now I’m in another fav place – a restaurant! I’m at the Garfunkel’s in Leicester SquareI do enjoy the independence I’ve gained. Before I would never have dined alone! Now I walk around by myself, eat, go to shows! There’s a certain freedom about it. | Future Becky Los Angeles, CA U.S.A | So I have a question for you: How come every time I come around, my London, London Bridge wanna go down?! | Mandy Suzuki Pasadena, CA U.S.A | Excerpts from postcards I mailed home.
49: This really was the best decision I have ever made and I feel so lucky to have been here. It sounds so typical but I really have learned so much here and grown as a person. I feel like if in 2 years time I want to come back and try to live and work here, I would have the courage to actually do it! Who knows, maybe Jess, Morgan, Erika, and I might do a service trip to Guatemala or plan a trip to New Zealand like we keep talking about! The truth is that I never wanted this summer to end but it has made all the difference in pushing me forward and giving me motivation and courage to go into the real world! I will miss Jess, Andy, Pizza Express, getting into bars/clubs, becoming friends with strangers, tube rides, Leicester Square, Big Ben, British accents, Premieres, King’s Cross, Nido (go figure), and so much more! | I cannot believe that my time here is already gone! I miss you all so much but this has just been such an amazing experience that I am so thankful I was able to get. So thanks to the rents for letting me do this and props to Mandy for doing this first and expanding our horizons! | Well I can’t believe this is goodbye (for now at least). It was a perfect summer and I’m just so sad it had to end. I’m glad I have so many great memories, pictures, and souvenirs to keep me happy. Thank you for letting me experience this! | The Suzuki Family | Irvine, CA | U.S.A. | Well it’s my last day so I’m hitting some fun places. Too bad it’s so chilly tho! Finally real London rainy weather I suppose. I think the city of London is crying with me! We don’t want to part! Well, I’m off to my adventures! | The Suzuki's Irvine, C.A. U.S.A | The Suzuki Family Irvine, CA U.S.A. | Hi Daddy! I just wanted to send you a postcard from the place where ALL your money is going, Harrods! You can tell Mandy that there is definitely NO wedding fund left anymore! I felt it was my civic duty to single handedly boost England’s economy in one go! Though the truth of the matter is that all my money is probably going into buying all these stamps! But I have enjoyed sending out cards to you all back home! I want to share all this with you! | Papa Suzuki Irvine, CA USA | I took a red bus from Hyde Park and got to sit on the top in the front! Who needs to pay 25 pounds for a sightseeing bus when you can just take a double decker! It is sad saying goodbye to everything but I am also keeping my eyes open for new stuff. | Rebecca Suzuki | USA | Los Angeles, CA