“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard
Future bestselling YA author, friend of the blog, and buddy IRL Caitlin came into town Wednesday and frankly, it was a nonstop adventure. Caitlin is married to one of Jeff’s old college flatmates who now works for the NBA in China – we know such interesting people! Terry, the flatmate in question, was at a basketball conference in Monaco (his life is such a trial), so after spending some time in Paris, Caitlin took a train north to visit us. We probably went overboard in the entertaining, but she was our first visitor in London so we naturally had to put out all the stops. Which included:
Food (Holy mother of chocolate, so much food!)
An exhibit on the Cheapside Hoard – a staggering amount of Elizabethan jewelry that was buried and abandoned.
Sightseeing around London
Hitting up the West End for, count ’em, two shows
The Tate Modern
The Southbank Center’s Real Food Market (like I said, lots of food)
Waterloo Book Market
The National Gallery
Wandering in Soho
John Snow’s cholera pump (she was a public health major)
and a small taste of the London Marathon (mostly the crowds)
The gastronomic highlight was the hours we spent lingering over an afternoon tea at Liberty talking history, culture, tales of university days, exchanging expat life stories, and encouraging one another in our writing pursuits.
I was delighted at her delight at the tea. Which was delightful!
And after the multiple hours spent digesting this, we hopped straight over to Burger and Co. since the caressing taste of ground beef hadn’t crossed her lips in months and this was a situation that had to be rectified immediately. Then we dashed to the theatre. Which was frankly the tone of her entire visit.
Clearly yes! Burgers can do that to a girl who hasn’t had one in months.
Sometimes it’s just so relaxing and wonderful to talk to a person who gets what’s going on in your life without a lot of context. She can grumble over issues with her flat (and I can commiserate), while I confess my troubles with some of my novel plots (and she can laugh and provide much needed perspective. She recommends books, I recommend theatre, we fit in both. She’s seriously the perfect guest and we were so lucky she came up to crash on our (newly purchased just for the occasion) air mattress to inaugurate our guest bedroom (read: living room minus the coffee table).
I’m hugely lucky to know so many interesting, marvelous people, scattered across the globe but still wonderfully accessible via email, Skype, and letters. And visits! Here’s hoping we can get to China in the next few years to return this stellar one.