I set out bright and early this morning with Kamilah, Allison, and Liz to hit up Primark before the hoards of shoppers descended. Primark is my new all-time favourite UK clothing store (sorry Topshop, you've gotten a bit too pricey!) However because it is so inexpensive, it gets insanely busy (like waiting over half an hour to get into the fitting room, which is what I did when I went a few weeks ago). Kamilah had the awesome idea to get there right when they opened, and we did just that and it was perfect! I got four things for 30 pounds (which is $45). Then we stopped at Dorothy Perkins, which offers a 15% discount with a student ID card and I found jeans that actually fit and won't need to be cuffed or hemmed, so I had to buy them. I'm not quite sure how everything will be fitting in the luggage, but we'll get to that tomorrow.
Then I went out to Hampstead Heath, in the north of London. It is a great big park (or heath), with lots of paths for walking, bicycling, or riding. There was even a bathing pond and lots of athletic fields! I started at one end of the park, and wandered all the way through to the other side, spending a few hours doing so. You'd never know you were in London:
I stopped for awhile at Parliament Hill, which has a lovely view of London (you can see St Paul's and the Shard in the center)
Back at the flat, it was time to work on the problem statement. For dinner I went down to the Thames and got a pizza from a little food truck, and just walked along the river absorbing everything. And I finally crossed the last thing off my London to-do list by walking on the beach of the Thames. There were tons of people around, and I'm sure they all thought I was crazy looking for stuff at the water's edge, but I will fully embrace my dorkiness especially when it means getting not only a seashell but also a clay pipe stem from the 18th century! Back then pipes were disposable, so when you were finished you just threw it in the river. It seems they can be pretty common to find, but I only saw one!
Nothing is planned yet for tomorrow, except the one must-do is packing (unfortunately).