My cousin Jared was set to graduate from the National Film and Television School at the end of March; so my dad and I planned on meeting in London to celebrate his graduation as well as recent engagement.
But life had other plans.
Less than a week before my dad was scheduled to fly to the UK his partner slipped on a pesky patch of ice in the Sierra Nevada mountains and broke his back. Logically, this meant that my dad needed to stay home in California and ensure that a drugged and mostly bed-ridden Vince made a speedy recovery.
So I was forced to tough-out London on my own.
OK, maybe tough-out isn't the right phrase. My aunt and uncle wine-and-dined me to the moon and back and it felt more like a luxury cruise than a struggle of any sort. From sun-up to sun-down on Saturday the five of us (Aunt Sandi, Uncle Jack, Jared and his fiancée) hopped from beer to beer with champagne in between.
We started the day by taking the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge where our first stop was lunch, of course. I excitedly stuffed fish and chips down my gullet and washed it all down with a pint of local ale.
From there we meandered (slowly, remember the pint of ale) through the charming old town before snagging a bottle of champagne for our punt ride on the River Cam—we were celebrating a master's degree and an engagement after all. I may have snuck a couple of cans of pre-made Pimm's Cup aboard also. After the leisure cruise we made the logical next stop—more beer—before walking back to the train for London.
As if all of that wasn't enough we decided we needed to go out with a bang at Le Relais de Venise, a French restaurant with no menu and only one delicious option: steak and fries. After plenty of beef and potatoes and three bottles of wine we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant and made our way home.
The next morning I woke up with a headache (no idea why) and slowly made my way to the British Museum (to look at artifacts stolen from all around the world) and Hyde Park before taking the Heathrow Express to the airport.
And finally, as reconciliation for such a taxing weekend British Airways consoled me with a completely empty row of seats to spread out on for the short flight back to Berlin.