Thursday, November 25, 2010

Further proof I have the best friend ever

We finished off our South Africa trip with a stop in Oliviershoek, nestled on a pass overlooking the stunning Drakensburg Mountains, and a whole day devoted to souvenir shopping for Helen in Durban and then we were off to London for a few days of real life before our African adventure.

Little did I know that Juan was more sneaky than I could have imagined and a surprise was waiting for me at the airport.  Claiming that his friend, Tom, had generously offered to pick us up at Heathrow (in addition to letting us crash at his place for three days), it didn’t seem strange at all to be hanging out at the airport for a bit.  I vaguely remember him acting a bit preoccupied but I absolutely did not know he was watching for Danielle, whom he’d coordinated a surprise visit with.  Seeing Danielle strolling to the meeting point far surpassed any excitement created a few moments earlier when we saw paparazzi running after a sun-glassed, recently nuptialed Russell Brand…

We spent our first night wandering around London, drinking cider at an English pub followed by wine and room service at our hotel.  Posh hotel, wine and best friend = best battery recharge ever.

We spent the next day replenishing my dirty, stretched out wardrobe.  Oh, how I love H&M.  That evening our plans were ruined by the idiotic woman behind the desk at our hotel who informed Juan upon arrival that no one under the name "Lackey" was staying in the hotel. We waited in the lobby for an hour drinking wine sold in the glass (amazing) before we finally tracked him down at the restaurant.  We later bribed the night receptionist with Toblerone for her name ("Linda") and details (Latvian and not so bright: "Lights on but nobody's home").  Too bad London isn't the sort of place you can get someone fired for ineptitude.

I couldn’t have asked for a better 30th birthday present!

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