Posted by: jackterrett | April 2, 2010

Week Three: Donny Dickson

After three weeks in England, I finally got a little taste of Middlebury again as my good friend Donny Dickson visited for the weekend.  On route to Berlin to find Stanis (and study, one assumes), he decided to stop off in England and hit up Welwyn Garden City with me, and all that the local area has to offer.  After a peaceful Thursday night (debating whether or not to go to the Roller Disco – we eventually chose not to due to tiredness and their policy preventing us from taking photos!), we went out for our first “night on the town” on Friday.

Not with much more of a plan than making an appearance at the “Flirt: Doctors and Nurses” night at the University of Hertfordshire, we ventured over to Hatfield by bus in the pouring rain (helping Donovan to negotiate the strange British currency).  We arrived at the Forum at the University to find the place deserted – either we went to the wrong place or wild nights in Hertfordshire don’t start at 9pm.  Regardless, we visited the nearby convenience store for a couple of drinks and chose to walk around the beautiful campus to kill some time.  We even came across some great trash-bags that we fashioned into make-shift raincoats – too bad the rain stopped soon after we’d made them.  We stumbled across a very happening student bar, in which we decided to spend most of the evening – singing karaoke (Backstreet Boys, of course), making friends, and being asked to vote for so-and-so in the upcoming Student Union elections.  Too bad we can’t vote.  Midnight rolled around and only then was the queue for the Forum (the club I mentioned earlier that had been our initial destination) beginning to line-up.  Unfortunately, the last bus left at 12:45, so as we both preferred to not sleep on the damp streets, we took it home.  Nevertheless an adventurous and fun night in the Welwyn Hatfield district!

On Saturday, we ventured into the capital city to see all the delights London has to offer two American tourists (sort-of).  First, we visited Buckingham Palace where we were immediately swarmed by Asian tourists (despite being a wet and miserable March morning) – one of which insisted on having her photo taken with Donny!  We then headed to the legendary, needs-no-introduction, #1 tourist attraction in London – that’s right, you guessed it…the Guards Museum!!!  Yeah, well, I didn’t want to go there either, but Donny insisted.  Not really being the militaristic types, Donny and I didn’t get too much value out of our 10 minute visit besides a few photographs – worst of all, the museum staff didn’t even let us don the soldiers uniforms that they advertise you can wear in their flyer!  Turns out it’s only for kids!  Seriously??!   Following that, let’s say, bit of a let-down, we wandered around London – exploring aimlessly on foot, rather than by Underground.  We came across many greats, such as Big Ben, Westminster, London Eye, Tower Bridge, the “Gherkin”, the Monument, and so on.  We spent the afternoon at the Tower of London and made some brilliant friends (the photo above speaks for itself).  In the evening we took a quick visit to Harrods (saw a £795 Easter egg, 1 metre in height!) and took a nighttime walk through famous Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.  A long day in the city was topped off by a delicious Subway sandwich (to go with our McDonalds from lunch) – it’s good to know that we’re never too far from the comfort of the USA!

Donny finished up his stay in the city of gardens with a more relaxed Sunday – morning run, grocery shopping, visit to the local “Homestead Lane” and “Homestead Court Hotel” for a photoshoot (missing our much-loved Homestead crew), evening trip to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D, long waits for the bus, crisp eating sessions, and much more.  What a weekend!

Check out my Facebook page for photos from Donny’s visit!

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