Alright, alright, alright.
Thanks, Matthew McConaughey.
Everyone sit down, hold on to your hats, and put your head between your knees.
I have a new post coming your way. CALM DOWN, CALM DOWN! It’s been a while, I know. But let’s be real – how many people even read this nonsense? Besides you, mom.
I got back from my two week vacation to Jolly Old England almost four months ago. Holy cow, that’s ridiculous. But anyway, I got back from probably the best (sorry mom and dad) two weeks of my life thus far. It was my first time travelling without adults, because guess what? I AM the adult! I went with my boyfriend, best friend, and her boyfriend. They were a great group of people to go with, and we didn’t even fight, which was surprising to be honest.
It was remarkably easy, much easier than I think we all expected, to navigate our way through airports, tube stations, and busses. London is a great city to get around in, there are tube stops everywhere and busses in between them. Our Oyster cards allowed us easy access to everything, even though we had to top them up quite a few times.
We stayed with a lovely couple and their daughter for 8 days, in Dagenham. It was a little outside the central London area, but it was the cutest little neighbourhood. Franco is Italian, and Lisa is Swedish, and they were the sweetest people ever. We only paid for one room, but because there were four of us, they let us have two. We were joined part way through by a lovely French girl, and even though it was a small space, it never felt uncomfortable. My boyfriend and I slept in a bunk bed, which was hilariously fun. I got the top bunk, just FYI.
The first real day we had in London I think I honestly almost cried, I was so happy. We took the bus to Barking Station, where we caught the C2C into the Tower Hill tube station. We got to know the Underground network incredibly well, and learned to read actual maps.
We went on the London Eye, visited Millennium Bridge, walked all the way to the top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London, checked out the Globe Theatre, toured Tower Hill and All-Hallows by the Tower, went up Tower Bridge, took a Thames river tour, and took a hop-on-hop-off bus tour with the funniest guide. We visited Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, M&M World, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square. We marvelled at Westminster Abbey, walked to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and ventured around the National Gallery. We visited the Florence Nightingale Museum, wandered through the Churchill War Rooms, paid a visit to Sherlock Holmes, explored Regent’s Park and the London Zoo, and got our pictures taken at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. We went to Stonehenge, and went on the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour London, which was basically the best thing ever. I cried a little. Then we transferred to Dover, where we stayed at a cute inn with the most amazing Indian food. We explored Dover Castle, where I had cream tea for my 21st birthday. Best birthday ever. We walked up the White Cliffs of Dover and made a day of picture taking and trying to see France (we did see it btw).
Long story short, it was an outstanding trip. The fact that it happened to coincide with the election and the 70th anniversary of VE Day just made it that much better. I am just so proud of all of us for making it through without any major issues and surviving our first trip without any chaperones. I wanted to go back the minute we landed in Toronto, and I honestly want to live there one day. I need to return and visit other towns throughout England and Great Britain as a whole, and I hope that day comes sooner rather than later. England has my heart now, and I don’t think it’s letting go anytime soon.
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