Since Wednesday was my leaving do and I’ve now had some time to reflect and recover, here are the highlights.
I started a bit before everyone else with I went with my cousin Mike over to Henry J Beans for a pint of lager. It was a quick, quick visit, but very nice. I like hanging out with Mike, because he makes me feel like the coolest person on the planet. And he always tells people about my eyes when I was newborn. Funny, but true. He gave me some Amsterdam treats from his wife Geanie and then I hailed him a cab and sent him off to Heathrow Airport with his Vice President.
Then I met up with Maureen and we headed over to the Phene Arms. Just like Dan had promised, we had the back room of the now chic little pub in Chelsea. For those of you who live under a rock, Dan is my secret Swedish boyfriend. Secret because he doesn’t even know about our fantasy life serving pints of ice cream and ale in Chicago.
People began arriving. First to get there was Tom, the male nurse from Belfast who I met on Christmas at the same pub, with Sean–another hospital worker who had a flat tire outside of Phene Arms. A few minutes later, Graham and Matt arrived. Graham and Matt helped build the Res Hall and have remained true friends to all of us at IES. They are terrible amounts of fun-remember the night in the black cab? The night Matt kept ending up in my chest and blaming it on bad braking by the driver.
Then Kremena and Stephen, two of my RAs, quickly followed by Chris (IT Consultant), Kaleem (RA), and John (a random connection through the expat community.) Later the center arrived in full force, all ready to chat about my earlier bikini wax and upcoming back treatment. Debby, Chantal, Sally, and Louise were all in for the evening. Rosa from the coffee shop came along with another of the baristas. Finally Miia and Helena got there.
It was a raucous party. Dan had to run out for an emergency keg of Guinness–it was St. Patty’s day, after all. I got to be the guest of honor–since it was my leaving do–and sit on the couch opening presents. I got the photos back today, Debby should really be in the papparazzi–she took the photos of the gift opening and it is minute by minute action. Even one where I almost burst into tears, but hold it together.
As the party was winding down, a few of us headed to Po Na Na’s for one last drink and maybe a dance. I did finally get my UK snog that night, (snog = kissing) so all-in-all it was a great night. A great party by anyone’s standards. A great party by mine.