So France seems like it was 3 years ago. I’m already forgetting some of the finer details of living abroad. I wanted to write down a few of my favorite trips and memories before I get old, wrinkly, and even more forgetful.
As I promised all those months ago, the answer to the cliff-hanger. THIS is the continuation of the “To Be Continued” Ireland blog post!!!
After Ireland, Kelsey, Jennifer and I flew to London. To be honest, I was not super excited to go spend the weekend immersed in the city life of London after being in peaceful, green, nature-y Ireland. But I was excited to spend more time with the two of them, so I had a positive attitude.
The first day, we explored a bit (of course). We started out our journey with some tea-time. We were looking for some cheap place to eat, because as I’m sure you know, London is expensive. We decided to go to a cute little tea-shop-to be all British and whatnot- where they had these tins of loose leaf tea that you could smell and choose which flavoUr you wanted. We got tea, sandwiches, and for dessert, a delicious piece of pecan cheesecake…..mmmmm!
After we refueled with that tea and lunch and continued on our way to see the London Eye and started our search for London Bridge, which surprisingly to me, was not the famous, beautiful bridge that Amanda Bynes walked across in What A Girl Wants. London bridge was a straight-up let-down. It was just a concrete slab and a little sign to mark it. Now, if I were a songwriter, lyrics about that lame bridge would probably on my list of the Top 5 things I would want to sing about the LEAST. But to each his own I suppose…
My favoUrite part of London was definitely the giant street market we went to that was situated underneath a bridge-type deal. It was jam packed with vendors selling all sorts of food and drink, like cheese, hot soup, allll kinds of sanwiches, pastries, honey, etc. And you could sample the food at most places which is always adds bonus points in my book. There was an entire dead pig skewered on a stick in one of the butcher shops…. Like, ew. At least I think it was a pig. It may have been a shark or something. I just remember being really shocked by whatever animal it was (Kelsey or Jennifer, can you help a sista out? What was that thing?) We got hot soup and these HUGE steak sandwich subs and ate them on the curb. I remember it being really cold out and I was not properly dressed for the weather (I did have a rain jacket though!).
At night, we went to the famous London Ice Bar, but not before getting hopelessly lost in the expensive shopping part of London. I think we may have seen Harrods, but don’t hold me to that. It may have just been that I saw it marked on a map. Anyway, with Kelsey, our Princess in Shining Armor, leading the charge, we made it to the bar eventually. After a long wait and making a few strange, very drunk friends, we got into the lobby of the bar, got our robes on, and got thrown into the freezer. It was so cool (get it?). Even the shot glasses we drank out of were made of ice!
The drinks we got at the bar after we left the ice room were absolutely delicious! They were all very fruity and girly and perfect.
Coming back home that night, we were amused to find our South African 50 year-old bunkmate in the room. Talking to her was…..interesting….. She was not the nicest woman, and she was quite opinionated, but she gave us Pop-Rocks, so she earned a few brownie points.
The next day was rainy, big surprise, so we decided to get cozy and go to Starbucks for the buy one get one free seasonal drink deal they were having. We got one of each and sampled them all. So good. We definitely had some belly-laughs while sitting there. One things that set us all off was when Kelsey told Jennifer the “code” to open the “bathroom”, which was actually the storage room.
We saw Big Ben and spent some time playing in the leaves in a park. We also rode the Tube, and yes, they actually do say “Mind the Gap”. We spent some time at Buckingham Palace that night- it was very peaceful sitting there with the two of them- and it was neat to see the Palace at night rather than during the day when people were bustling around it.
The next morning, we woke up to catch an early flight. Our taxi was a bit late which set us back; we were nervous but it ended up working out and we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Now, I’d been in France where they eat gelato and McDonalds serves milkshakes that are the pathetic size of my fist. So when I saw the milkshake place, I was PUMPED. It was 5am but I didn’t even care. I got myself a large Kit Kat milkshake and a chocolate croissant. I was enjoying it and we were laughing about the ridiculousness of the situation until I happened to look at the monitor- and our plane was boarding! We had to sprint ALL the way to the end of the airport. Kelsey and I were the absolute last ones at the gate, panting and sweaty, but Jennifer was nowhere to be found. I ended up running back up to find her. She was wearing heels and had a rolley luggage bag which slowed her down even more than normal. I showed her the way to go and we made it back with not a second to spare. It was QUITE the early morning adrenaline rush.
We made it back to Lyon safely and I’d never been happier to spend the day in my dungeon-cell bedroom in Residence Andre Allix. I was wiped out, but it was so completely worth it. I bonded with some amazing girls and got to see some beautiful countries- it was an awesome week of vacation!