So this a little collection of short stories of things that have happened while we’ve been on the road but aren’t really big enough to warrant their own blog post. But the stories are amusing, and I felt like sharing them.
Seeing Harry Potter in London
Both Rob and I are Harry Potter fans, we both have read all the books and seen all the movies, so when we found out that the Harry Potter play was previewing when we were in London we knew we had to go. The tickets for all the preview shows had been sold out for months from the box office though, but we found out that if you go super early on the morning of the show you can sometimes get extra tickets that had been returned. Who is returning their Harry Potter tickets I don’t know, but I guess it happens.
On our last day in London we got up at 7AM and got to the box office in the West End. There was already a line of about 10 people outside by the time we got there just before 8, but we got in line anyway, and waited. And waited. The box office opened at 9, and we continued to wait. Slowly people started getting called in, just a couple at first. The man running the whole thing told us, he’d call more people in as they got more tickets returned. There would be no way of knowing how many would be available or when we’d be able to get them or for where in the auditorium they’d be. So we waited some more, and slowly we got closer and closer to the front of the line. I started to get nervous, what if there wouldn’t be any left? It would be just our luck that we’d waited all this time and they’d run out right before getting to us. When we finally got to the front of the line, I was literally hopping up and down with anticipation of whether or not we’d get any tickets. Then the box office man came out, said that they had 3 sets of 2 tickets left, I got so excited I let out a little yelp. We ended up being able to buy tickets for the 2:00 showing which meant that now, at 11:30 we had to run back to our hostel, drop off our backpacks, change, and get back to the theater. The show was amazing and totally worth getting up early and waiting in line for almost 4 hours.
Cruising Around Milan
We got to Milan late in the afternoon, it was just a stopover city on our way to Cinque Terre but we had some time so we figured we’d explore a little bit. Rob had been to Milan back in college and sort of knew his way around, I’d never been so I was excited to do a little bit of exploring. We made our way over to the Duomo di Milano it was too late to go inside, but the golden hour sunlight made the square and the cathedral look spectacular. It really is a beautiful church with so much detail in the architecture, it is also enormous, the doors themself are probably at least two stories tall.
After milling around with the pigeons and other tourist in the square we wandered on and found a park. We could hear music playing so obviously we had to follow the sound, and we found a jazz band playing in a sort of open air club. There was a bar with cafe tables & chairs and plenty of people just sitting on the grass sipping cocktails and listening to the music. We ordered ourselves some drinks and bread and cheese plate and found a cozy spot on the lawn and hung out listening to music for the rest of the evening. As the sun went down twinkly lights in the trees came on, giving the whole scene a very romantic summer evening vibe. It felt like a scene out of a movie, and was the perfect way to spend a summer evening.
Architecture Festival in Venice
We happened to be in Venice during the Biennale di Venezia, an arts and architecture festival. This year the exhibitions were focused on architecture from around the world. Different countries set up architectural displays ranging from eco-friendly designs to modern and abstract concepts. Rob was having a field day, having studied architecture in college, this kind of thing was his jam. I was also quite impressed with some of the exhibits, especially the ones that were sort of interactive. There was one that was a giant abstract blob cave thing that you could climb inside of. Which of course I did, then realized it was about a thousand degrees in there, started dripping sweat and had to basically slip and slide my way out. Super graceful.
The Jim Thompson House
One day while Rob was working, I decided to take a little touristy excursion by myself in Bangkok. I’d read about the Jim Thompson house being a beautiful old house with a lot of history, so I figured I should check it out. I managed to take the BTS (Bangkok’s skytrain system) to the right stop and walk the rest of the way. Once I’d found the grand old house, I bought my ticket for the tour and was lead to where my tour group would be starting. I must have been running a little late since I’d hit up the bathroom before joining the tour because everyone had already taken off their shoes and stowed there belonging in the little lockers provided. I tried to square away all my things as quickly as possible and catch up with my group. But I ended up standing around in the waiting area only to find out I was standing with the wrong tour group, it was a German language tour. I asked some of the other tour guides where the English tour had gone, they tried to point me in the right direction but I never ended up finding my group.
I decided to just wander around and check out the house on my own. While wandering around a security guard stopped me and asked where my group was, I told him I’d gotten lost from them and he told me “oh, I think I know where they are” and led me to a group, it wasn’t my right group but I joined them anyways. But the guide must have noticed that I wasn’t part of her original group and had another security guard take me to the end of the tour and basically ask me to leave. I thought that was kind of stupid, so I wandered around the garden area for a bit more, until the security guards began eying me again and I just bailed. It was such a weird and stupid situation, but it is the kind of thing that seems to happen to me.