London, England

Getting to London was almost like coming home early. I was staying with family, I knew a few other friends in the city, and I’d been to London twice before. It was so nice to re-visit and explore this gorgeous place again.

I didn’t feel like being a tourist anymore, so I didn’t use my camera as much as I did in other cities. I went for walks with my cousin’s lovely wife all around the city, we looked for apartments for them (it was like being on House Hunters! my dream..), and I ate at Pret a Manger almost every day – their sandwiches are out of bounds. We walked through Hyde Park many times, and up and down the Thames on a sunny day. I explored Portobello Road for the first time with my new friend Chris (we had an overpriced smoothie at a café Gwyneth Paltrow is known to frequent, because we’re fancy), watched street performers in Covent Garden with my new friend Elle, and got late-night milkshakes near Carnaby Street with my very old childhood friend Emily.

My cousin and his wife are such fun and funny people, and we spent our evenings having nice dinners, going for walks (enjoying London’s Indian Summer!), and watching bad movies (not kidding – in 4 days, we managed to watch both Conan the Barbarian [don’t do it, just don’t] and Aladdin). We tried for lottery tickets to the Book of Mormon twice, to no success. It was still fun to go down to the theatre, enter the draw, and cross our fingers while the actors announced the lucky names.

My time in London was just the most lovely, relaxed few days. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

London Fog

So tomorrow is the big day. We take off (hopefully) at approximately 8:50 in the morning. No, it’s not ideal. But since we are flying standby to take advantage of a serious discount, we wanted to be sure to get on a flight, and this one (obviously) is wideeee open. Hopefully that means we’ll get to fly first class! My friend ‘I’ said she got a first-class pod on her way over a couple of weeks ago so we’ll keep our fingers crossed. :)

I finished packing a few minutes ago and it was remarkably painless. Of course, when packing is painless it always makes me feel like I have forgotten underwear or something else major. But no, this time I worked in sections, flitting from the bathroom and organizing toiletries to my bedroom, weeding out unnecessary clothes, packing my carry on, fixing up my wallet and separating out my liquids for the plane. Now that I think of it, it was sort of a chaotic way to pack, just moving wherever I felt like and abandoning projects that didn’t work at the time. Eventually I got everything in to its appropriate places and did it with room to spare. I have plenty of room in my suitcase for food, new clothes, souvenirs, more new clothes! I’m bringing one suitcase (looks like a duffel bag but has wheels and is rather ingenious), one backpack as my carry on, one over the shoulder bag for travel and to use during the day sightseeing, my purse (big boho style bag) and one clutch. Or maybe two. I can’t decide between them. I tried to pack fairly light, mostly nice tops, dresses and skirts and some shorts/t-shirts for the sightseeing parts of the day. I hear London is quite posh in dress (I can’t remember from when I was there last) and especially for the theatre and restaurants, it’s important to look nice. So, that’s that!

Since the last post I made on the subject, I have taken some proactive measures against the conflicts that are sure to arise. I created a powerpoint presentation (yes, nerd, yes) highlighting (via cartoons from Bitstrips) the consequences of not planning out our trip vs planning our trip! We also made sure to list absolutely everything we wanted to do in London and made some compromises etc etc. I typed out a loose itinerary for the week and we’re doing everything we want :) This includes but is not limited to: Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guards, British Museum, V&A Museum, Chicago, Sister Act, Camden Lock Market, Trafalgar Square, Little Venice, Picadilly Circus, Oxford many fun and interesting things. I am so excited to go because I think I will really appreciate the city this time around. Last time I went to Britain we were in London for a week and then Wales for three. Also, I was younger, but really what I remember most was the Wales, our relatives, etc. This time around I have my camera, my friends, my style sense. I am ready to be Taking London!

I might try to type some posts on my friends computer (not bringing my baby to London haha) or else I will just blog blog blog when I get home. Also: stay tuned for my review of the Beyonce concert! :)

Wish me luck and bon voyage, I’m going to have the time of my life. :)

Love, s.


So the latest news in my usually quiet life,  is that in a week and a half, I’m going to London, UK with my two best girlfriends! Charmed life. One of those two, let’s call her I, is lucky enough to own a London apartment that she has now not lived in for over ten years. How lucky are we! I kid you not. To top that off, her mother is a flight attendant and can therefore by flying with us get us all a deep discount on the flight. Basically, it is an amazing opportunity, since there is no guarantee I will ever again get such cheap flights to Britain.

There is one small catch: the kind of catch worth blogging about, I think. This particular catch (not including the other catch which is that our third best girlfriend may be unable to take time off work and come with us) is that my other best friend, let’s call her L, has a bit of a control problem, at times. As well as currently a money problem. Basically what this means for me is frequent frantic phone calls, slightly stressing about how much time she should take off work, when we’re going to plan this, freaking out, etc. The problem arose when last night I realized that if we were to do this trip, and she were to be stressed, anxious, rushed and broke the entire time, she would likely be cranky. Which would make me cranky. Which would make I overcompensate and try to keep the peace (which gets annoying in itself). Which would make the trip unenjoyable for all. We had a lengthy phone argument, which resulted in L getting extremely upset and hanging up on me. So. I feel extremely bad about it, because I can’t blame her for being stressed. It’s stressful!

I am now faced with the current situation. There is no backing out of this trip, not that I really want to, and yet I also do not wish to be rushed or complained to for a week abroad. So what to do, what to do. Since I know my friends so well, I know the best policy is likely proactiveness, setting rules, setting out a plan in case of conflict. Planning out what we want to do when, so as not to create problems in the moment. Deciding exactly where everyone wants to go and making sacrifices based on those decisions, so that everyone is happy. Putting agreements in place to ensure no unnecessary arguments. Showing up with a smile on my face and a positive attitude, ready to compromise and stand my ground, not get aggressive or angry, not get moody and enjoy myself no matter what. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity after all!

..Easier said than done.

Wish me luck!