I love the feeling of victory when catching the Tube right before the doors close. I love how Londoners are completely certain that you stand to the right and walk on the left, but completely uncertain if that applies to every day sidewalk movement. I love the markets and the many flower stands that seemingly pop up out of nowhere. I love finding blue plaques all around the city telling me where people of merit once lived. I love that on sunny days, no matter the temperature, Londoners will be sun bathing in their bikinis in the park.
I love the ale drenched air of pubs. I love drinking Elderflower Presse at every opportunity. I love chocolate orange cookies from Ben's Cookies and Pistachio Almond Cronuts from Dum Dum Donuts. I love Paul Rhodes bakery. I love Hob Nob biscuits and pear drop sweeties. I love the custom of afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream. I love finding great Indian Food.
I love how small the theaters are here. I love being a groundling at the Globe, even in the rain. I love biking down Pall Mall under arches and British flags. I love how the Brits pronounce most things so properly, but then throw in startling sounds like Pasta (pronounced like Fast) or Pall Mall (pronounced like Pal Mal). I love going to Evensong. I love walking across the Golden Jubilee Bridge and along the bank of the Thames. I love Trafalgar square with its buskers and its giant lion statues. I love all of the art museums, all of them.
I love the looks we get when we ask waiters for suggestions, especially when we ask things like "Is the blueberry muffin good?" I love the reaction when we announce we are from Utah (my favorites so far have been 'Yee-Hah!" and "that's a pretty progressive state"). I love duvets and towel warming racks. I love the meadows of that unfortunately named, Rape. I love foxgloves and poppies. I love the cheese. I love corner yogurt and muesli. I love sassy Ffiona and her delicious french toast.
I love the men in navy blue suits. I love the young man sitting on the bench in hide park with his shoes off, just reading. I love the white haired man feeding the pigeons. I love Louis, the host at Wagamamas and Jade, the shop girl who works at the flower stand by the globe. I love Kurt, who helps manage Dan Hillier's artwork. I love Robin for the way he uses the word beautiful so sincerely. I love the wander-lust surrounding the city.
But, despite how much I love this place, I also love the feeling of coming home. I love being with my family. I love driving my car. I love sleeping in my comfy bed and having my closet full of clothes. I love an abundance of vegetables, fruit, and water. I love how efficient americans are. I love seeing the moon and the stars. I love sunny weather. I love relaxing back into the regularity of each day. For sometimes it takes the splendor of a city like London to remind us what is splendid about normality.