....and I may or may not have seen some underpants.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in London.
It's been a while since the trip, but really?.....it's London. I think any day is a good day to share such a beautiful adventure; but before I get into my sappy little summary, I'd just like to say this was by far the best memory I've ever made in my life. So with that said, here's my story.
When I got to the Heathrow airport, I was full of anticipation, excitement, drowsiness, and just not sure at all what to expect, what was going on, and really, wasn't super close to any of the girls I knew I would soon be housed with. Nevertheless, I had packed as if I planned on never returning (and secretively, maybe that was the plan all along.) I couldn't even lift my baggage off the conveyer belt. Okay, I probably could have, but why would you when you have a gentleman of a coast guard to help you with it? When I finally found Christina, we both gasped in relief to see a familiar face. We took the cab to the nearest tube station and from there took the tube to our London campus. Looking back, I have no idea how we managed to not mess up once on our first tube adventure; those things are tricky. Either way, we made it there, found our assigned flat, and discovered we were housed in Heaven, ahem, I mean Camden, and it. was. perfect. It is a hub for eclectic street fashion and food. So, Camden...Heaven...seriously the same thing. We were in London for about a week, got settled in and acquainted with what would be our new home for the next month, then headed off to Paris for five days. We went to various fashion and textile museums and of course the Louvre. Somehow, having Printemp, the Louis Vuitton - Marc Jacobs' exhibition, and the Louvre as our classroom sort of felt like cheating. I witnessed some of the most unbelievable displays of fashion couture I have ever seen in my life. Seriously incredible. Oh, and that little thing called the Eiffel Tower? Yeah, saw that a few times too and it blew me away ev-er-y time. Our last full day in Paris was July 4th! Obviously this isn't their independence day, (and yes, we did realize that) but come on, America is pretty cool and we're fashion majors.... like we're NOT going to bust out a red stripe or two or seven.
We returned to Camden on the 5th only to leave for Bath and Wales the next day. We spent the weekend taking in the gorgeous scenery and architecture that surrounded us and hanging out at the local Pig in a Blanket at night. My apologies: Pig and Fiddle. (Don't let the name fool you. This pub was the place to be.) We traveled to the Chepstow castle, the Roman Baths, Stourhead Gardens, Stonehenge, and my personal favorite: Tintern Abbey. After our time in Bath we headed back to London/Camden. It felt so good to finally be "home". We went to concerts, "did that lauuuundry", met up with Big Ben, were mesmerized by the London Eye and went to this place called Buckingham Palace. Have you heard of it? We were asked out by a couple of the royal guards behind the gate there......yeah, it's hard for us to believe, too. I still can't believe I got college credit for having the time of my life. Don't get me wrong, studying in a city so beautiful isn't the easiest thing when you need to actually, you know, study; and when they say "study abroad" they really mean no sleep for an entire month.
....no seriously, sleep is very hard to come by and so is ice water, but all is well by living off of Chicken King and white sauce. Don't even get me started on white sauce. Delicious.
All of these experiences were beyond incredible, but there's something that was even better than all of the sightseeing, concerts, and adventures combined. I know you're simply dying to know what it could possibly be, but ponder no more. All of those weirdos I now call my friends and the people we met along the way, they are the ones that made my trip a royal gem (Like that 530 carat diamond we saw in the Crown Jewels). Without them, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the O2 would have been absolutely nothing. Okay, that's a lie, but my experience wouldn't have been nearly as meaningful or memorable. I treasure my girls, the people that came along for the ride, and the best souvenir a girl could ask for.....my lovely boyfriend, whom I met the very first day I arrived. I love you guys to London and back.
This post is for you.