A couple years ago right before I left for my epic solo cross-country road trip, I stopped by my grandmother’s apartment in Virginia Beach. She was so delighted I was going on this trip and exclaimed “Oh, I did that for my 70th birthday!” I was both smitten to hear her story and exasperated that my trip hadn’t even started and it would probably pale in comparison. Throughout all of her travels my grandmother made friends – and most importantly, kept them – now she reaches out to friends from all over the world.
One of these friends is Bernard Winchester, a charismatic retired professor conveniently living in a house on the outskirts of London. His personality – obsessive with directions, constantly exploring, and filled with quirky vignettes – is best presented in our email exchanges:
As we started to make plans for me to stay a weekend in August, the emails continued:
With much consternation (there was no free wifi at St. Pancras!), I found Bernard in his Dracula society t-shirt. We tried but failed to meet up with the Dracula society for the cemetary tour. We did make it to the volunteer meet-up at the Pre-fabs (more on that later) and went on several more adventures as I decompressed from my internship and prepared to meet up with my Dad for a final tour around England.