Keep calm and put the kettle on

By Brittney Durbin

Alright, I should start by saying I was not clever enough to think of this title on my own. I got it off Pinterest, but when else am I ever going to get to use it?

Also, should you just prefer to look at pictures, I am going to create another post tonight after my classes, since I took so many. I’m more of a visual learner myself, so I try to cater to those who have a similar mindset.

Anyway, my trip to London was AMAZING. I cannot even begin to describe how refreshing it was to be in an English speaking country again (especially with all the adorable accents).

However, I must admit that I was having a bit of a panic attack the week before about Zach and my flight.

You see, the Spaniards (and also other countries in the EU) decided to have a general strike the EXACT day of our flight. At firs,t I was just excited that I wasn’t missing a day of school since classes were canceled, but then I was informed that the buses would not run, the taxis would be slow and there was a very good chance our flight would either be super delayed, or not even go at all.

At this point, I thought Murphy was starting to rear his ugly head again.

Needless to say, when we woke up Wednesday and called a taxi (much earlier than necessary to prepare for the delays) Zach and I were pleasantly  surprised when it arrived promptly 10 minutes after the phone call was made.

Landing!

Also, besides having to wait a solid 30 minutes at the airport to check in, everything ran smoothly. In fact, the worker at the EasyJet counter even let me check my bag for free! (A rarity in any country, in my opinion.)

If you want to know how the flight was, you’ll have to contact my boyfriend because, as usual, when I ride in cars/planes/trains for more than 3o minutes, I fell asleep for the majority of it (oops). But I did wake up in enough time to catch our landing into Gatwick!

We had to take a train into London itself since the airport was outside the city, but it was nice to see the countryside. (This I stayed awake for.. haha.)

Once we got off the train, Zach and I had our first experience walking across streets where cars drive on the opposite side. Maybe we forgot about this little piece of information, or whatever the case might be, but if it hadn’t been for a lady waiting to cross as well, Zachary and I both would have been road kill. From that point on we always looked at the road because, unbeknownst to us, they say “look left” or “look right” depending on what side you’re on.

Yummmm!

Anyway, once we checked into the hotel it was off to explore the city a bit. Upon my request/begging since he wanted “real English food,” Zach took me to Chipotle since I had not been in three months! I was a little disappointed because it didn’t taste exactly the same, but hey, any Chipotle is better than no Chipotle! Especially if you are eating Chipotle and people watching in London!

From there we went to see “Les Miserables” at the Queen’s Theater. It was my first time ever seeing the musical, or anything to do with the story to be honest. I quite enjoyed it, and thought the cast did an amazing job!

St. Paul’s

The next day was Thursday, or as I affectionately called it, Harry Potter Day! However, we did get up early and head over to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

We didn’t do the full tour, but walking around and going into the entrance just to get a look was still amazing. It was so different than the cathedrals in Spain and, for the first time in awhile, I was excited to visit yet another church.

Now I got a lot of grief for this by a certain person (cough cough… Zach… cough cough) but I’m still going to make a post about the Harry Potter Studio Tour.  I had been looking forward to it for months, and since it is something that can only be seen in England, I feel justified in my blogging experience.

Alright, since you all have been warned about the post to come, I can continue on with my stories.

Friday brought more cultural endeavors. We got up, ate breakfast and headed over to the tube. I must say, taking that was an adventure in and of itself. Like many Americans, I am a rather big fan of my personal space, and so when strangers invade it I get a little uncomfortable. However, when I didn’t have some rando’s armpit in my face, I did enjoy the tube. It was quick, and Zach downloaded an app onto his iPhone that showed all the different lines and such. Plus, I got great enjoyment whenever they said, “Mind the gap.”

When we arrived at the Westminster Station, I expected to walk out and then proceed a few blocks before seeing any of the big touristy stuff like Big Ben or the London Eye. Boy, was I ever wrong. As soon as you exit and walk up the stairs, there it is! Right in front of you! It was simply amazing. I remember growing up and learning about it in school, but then to finally see it with my own two eyes was something I will never forget.

From there we walked past the Abbey, and then to Buckingham Palace. I don’t think either one of us realized how far it was to walk to the Palace from where we were at, but it was cool to see more of the streets of London. I only took a few pictures at Buckingham, so I’ll share those on the picture post.

For lunch Friday we had fish and chips, and I must say it was delicious! I am

Rosetta Stone!

one of the world’s pickiest eaters, so the fact that I actually liked it surprised me. I can’t say the same thing about Shepherds Pie. Though to be honest, I’d rather not go into that.

To finish up the day Friday, we went to the British Museum. This was more for Zach because museums with a bunch of old artifacts aren’t exactly my thing, but it was right up his alley. I did enjoy the Rosetta Stone though, and found it to be very interesting. Also, I liked looking at the paintings.

Saturday was also jam-packed with activities! We started off by touring Parliament, which was amazing to see. I wasn’t much for listening to the tour guide speak (it was early and I wasn’t ready for a history lesson) but I loved the architecture  and artwork of the building. It was simply beautiful, and it was cool to know that we walked in the same rooms the Queen has been in before.

From there we went to the Arsenal game! (It wasn’t that easy getting there. The  tour ran late, the tube took forever, and thus we ended up running for a good part of the journey). For all you soccer fans, I must say that it was the game of a lifetime. Attending this sporting event was definitely Zach’s idea/desire, but once we were there I was glad we went.

Zachary also surprised me by taking me to Harrods! However, because of my lack of self-control while shopping, I handed him my credit card for the duration of our trip there. This place is AMAZING. It is every shopaholic’s dream come true. With five stories full of clothes, kitchen items, shoes, sporting goods (including a 84,000 pound shotgun), a puppy store/spa and anything else your heart could ever desire. It was spectacular, and Zach even let me pick out my early Birthday present! (And the boyfriend of the year award goes to… )

After Harrods we headed over to an Italian restaurant on the other side of town to meet up with my godmother! We didn’t realize it until she arrived, but we both planned trips to London that overlapped. It was so great to see her, my godfather and god-sister. It’s crazy how big the world can be, but yet how small at the very same time.

Sunday morning we got up and took a boat tour before our flight. Despite it running super late, I definitely recommend taking one if ever in London. I got some amazing pictures, and it was something I had never done before.

Congratulations! You made it to the end of my very, very, long post. I hope it proved slightly entertaining/informative.

Like I said, I’ll post more pictures after class of London, and then tomorrow its Harry time!

Cheers!

2 responses to “Keep calm and put the kettle on

  1. Sounds like you had a blast! Hope you enjoyed good ole London🙂 Loved your brown sweater outside St. Pauls…actually I’m obsessed with it! Where’s it from??

  2. I just saw this comment! And yes, I loved London! But as for my brown sweater, I got it in some random store in Valencia, Spain. (Which is about a 2 hour drive from here). However, you can probably find similar ones online!

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