9th July: Corey and I celebrated our one year anniversary this month. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year. In fact, we are both terrible. We kept accidentally booking events and hang-outs with friends and then had to cancel because we’d remember it was actually our anniversary on Sunday. Were we forgetful because so many people were traveling to London in July and we were just overly-excited about visitors? We finally had to put the date into our calendars as we were clearly not very good at remembering anniversaries. While the anniversary bit is a work in progress, we never tire of talking about how our friends and family made our wedding day so special. We had the BEST TIME EVER, and we will reminisce about it whenever we can.
We decided a tradition we’d like to start on our anniversary would be to do something new each year. To kick off our annual endeavor, we took a day trip to a small seaside town called Rye. We read that this Southeastern town had a long stretch of beach and a nature preserve and it was just 90 min from London by train. July 9th was a very hot day with very sunburnt Brits on the beach! The waters were waveless and shallow so it was perfect for kids with floaties and inflatables rafts. We didn’t make it to the nature preserve, but we did find picturesque Mermaid street!
*I’m bummed have zero pictures with our July visitors. Maybe because so many have traveled /lived in London already, I lost my focus?*
I think Marc was our first visitor in July. Marc and Corey were basically in a emotionally-attached relationship before I moved to London (they will admit it, too). While Marc lives on the East Coast now, it felt like a homecoming for him since he spent a few years living in Bermondsey. He still hadn’t been to Lahore so it was great to have that experience with him. Now, I’m already missing him thinking that we’ll have our first NFL season at Hippodrome Casino without him.
Next up: Taya! If you think we’re traveling a lot, you should meet my friend Taya. She’s a dynamic lady, thoughtful and hilarious, and is changing the world little by little. She also previously lived in London, but is now in Dubai (we’re setting up a trip asap). We caught up for an evening at Jazz Verse Jukebox at Hoxton Hall. The poetry and singing was really great, and we plan to buy tickets again for the show this month. Miss you, girl!
PhD Graduation: Al and Gypsy visited to celebrate Al’s graduation from Oxford! The last time they were in London, we introduced them to Sam and Abs over a Sunday roast. This time, we met Al and Gypsy’s mates at the Jugged Hare, and the champagne was flowing! Such good conversation, and bar snacks to boot.
Dreamgirls: Janine and Danielle stopped over before their summer trip to Scotland. Janine is a homie from Infinity and I was really happy to spend more time getting to know her partner, Danielle. It was easy to see why she lights up J9’s life. We walked Regent’s canal, took a jog to Columbia flower market, caught a show (Dreamgirls), and of course, ate our faces off at Ottolenghi. Each day, they’d visit landmarks when I was working (Savoy for tea!), and then we’d reflect at the days’ ends over dinner like a true team and family.
Dinerama and Dancing: Sam clearly lives in London, but I have to include her bday celebration because it was the last London-y thing I did before wrapping up July. It was the perfect time to celebrate because it was also the conclusion of my Summer Institute work. It started as a low-key night with great people and good food from Dinerama. I met her colleagues, hung out with Rich’s siblings, and shared plates of dumplings and tacos with Corey’s friend, Ricardo. Then we went dancing at a spot around the corner. I loved the effort but sometimes I’m just older than I remember (oi!) Cheers to my dear friend!