Thursday, May 3, 2018

Some Family Comes to London | April 13 - April 21

***I would like to preface this by apologizing because this post is long overdue.  When I got back from London, I quickly jumped back into life and started working.  Then I went back to school for a little while for Spring Weekend and then drove to my friend's school to watch her play Lacrosse.  Basically, these two weeks have been busy, but I'm back!  So here we go...

My Study Abroad program officially ended on April 14, but I stayed in London for an extra week because my mom and sister flew over to see the city.  I didn't film this week because I already had a video that I had to wait to upload and I didn't want to deal with two.  I did kinda regret this by about Tuesday, but then it was too late, so you only have the written word for this part.

Friday, April 13
I was able to meet up with my mother and sister on Friday because all of my finals were done by Wednesday night.  It took me three buses to get to them which was very interesting with a giant suitcase, a carry on suitcase, and a backpack.  When I got there and got settled, we decided to go out and get something to eat and then we walked to a Poundland.  When we got back to the Airbnb, we watched Baywatch.

Saturday, April 14
We spent today at Camden Market, walking around, doing a little bit of shopping.  And then we went to Primrose Hill and walked up it to see the city views of London.  We then walked past the London Zoo before grabbing some food and heading back to the Airbnb, where we watched The House.

Sunday, April 15
When I was at my internship someone told me about the Shoreditch Flower Market, so we decided to check it out.  And it was crazy.  There were so many people I don't know how you're supposed to be able to enjoy the flowers.  The ones I did see - through gaps between people's heads - were very pretty and smelt amazing.  We walked through it once, and then I said, "Let's go to this cool place called Borough Market" which we did, only to realize that Borough Market is closed on Sundays.  So we grabbed a late lunch and then made our way back towards our house.  We watched Hidden Figures, which I would definitely recommend to anyone.

Monday, April 16
Can one visit London and not go to high tea?  I'm pretty sure the country immediately deports you if you try.  I'm kidding of course, but my sister wanted to go to tea, and she found a really cool one.  It was by a company called B Bakery, and it took place on a double-decker bus, so you get to be chauffeured around the city while you eat finger sandwiches and mini cakes.  I personally, don't drink tea, but they had hot chocolate so I was good to go.  It was a very cute experience and I was glad we did it.  When we got off of the bus, we walked to Buckingham Palace and after taking pictures, we tried again to go to Borough Market.  This time it was a success, and I bought a meat pie and some fudge.

Tuesday, April 17
Today was exciting as we went down to Brighton and spent time at the beach!  We walked along the pier and then walked around the Lanes.  We got some food and had a nice day in the sun.

Wednesday, April 18
This morning started off slow because we were waiting for my second cousin and her mom flew in and they were making their way to the Airbnb.  Once they got in and had some time to get settled we made our way into Central London.  We walked around Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and then made the journey to Harrods.  By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted from travel and walking.

Thursday, April 19
Today started, 4am early.  We had to be at the train station by 6am because we were headed to Paris for the day.  However, when we got to the station, our train was canceled, which caused some minor panic for a minute, but we were able to get on the next one which was only 50 minutes later.  Once we got to Paris, we walked to Notre Dame before grabbing a bite to eat.  We decided to do a Hop On Hop Off bus tour because we only had a limited amount of time and didn't want to spend all of it walking from one place to another.  I really enjoyed the bus because they had headphone jacks that gave you the history of all of the things we drove past, so we got to see more than we planned.  We got off the bus near the Eiffel Tower and contemplated walking up it before deciding the line was too long, so we went to a park in front of it and took pictures with it instead.  We also went to a perfume factory and a Longchamp bag store.  It was a fun, jam-packed day.

Friday, April 20
This morning we went to Sky Garden, which was one of my favorite places in the city.  The views were amazing, and it's a nice place to sit and have a drink.  From there we went down the street to the Tower of London, where we got a Beefeater Tour and saw the Crowned Jewels.  By the time we did those two things, everyone was ready for lunch.  Personally, I thought we should have stayed a little longer and seen more things, but I was outvoted, and I had already been there twice before, so I've seen pretty much everything there.  We got pizza from Zizzi's before making our way towards St. Paul's Cathedral.  However, we ended up getting sidetracked by a bar because it was such a beautiful day and everyone was out and about.  We also got to meet up with a friend of my cousin's who she met a couple summers ago.  We walked around with her, finally made it to St. Paul's and then went to another bar where we met some people and hung out for a while.

Saturday, April 21
After almost four months, today was the day I was heading back to the USA.  We really only had time to get breakfast and then make our way to the airport.  My cousin and her mom were leaving from Gatwick, and me, my sister, and my mom were leaving from Heathrow, but they were in Terminal 5, and I was leaving from Terminal 3.  Somehow I ended up in a priority economy seat, which was amazing.  It's incredible what a little bit of extra leg room will do on a long distance flight.  I have no idea how I got the seat, either.  The girl sitting next to me was my age, also coming back from study abroad, but she said she paid extra and chose the seat.  There is no way I would have paid extra money for a plane ticket, at least not on purpose, so I don't know what happened, but I'm not complaining.  When I landed at the airport, I hung out with my dad as we waited for my mom and sister's flight landed.  I bought myself a Coolatta from Dunkin Donuts to welcome myself back into the country.

And that's that.  Like I said, I'm back working and hanging out with my dog for the summer.  I think that because this last week was with some family and had a more vacation feel to it I was able to adjust back to being home easier.
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