I cannot believe it has already been nearly six months since I have last traveled abroad. Considering I was not blogging during the time I went to London, I am more than happy to share my three week trip with you. A little innuendo: this post is rather long, so apologies in advance.
If you have not ever been to the United Kingdom I am so utterly sorry for you; I am sorry for the fact that you have not gotten to share the appreciation for it’s people, architecture, history, culture, and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, cuisine.
During my three week stay I traveled to multiple cities and towns with my girlfriend, Maggie, and her direct family of six. We were immensely fortunate to have her extended family take in us aliens for the time being as they are all citizens in the great city of London, England. Her grandparents lived just outside London in the town of Enfield. Maggie and I were placed at her Aunt’s house which had a lovely, English aesthetic and a pinch closer to downtown London.
When we landed the first thing I realized was the heat wave traveling through the airport. I figured the AC had broken or that this part of the airport is just not air conditioned. It comes to find out that it is irregular for London to get much heat ever; In fact, during our time there, London had hit record breaking temperatures of 85 degrees Fahrenheit and above everyday. Since it is not a normal temperature pattern to be that hot during English summers no one had air conditioners or fans. This did not help with the jet lag.
The first day of the trip we slept. Jet lag hit us hard for about two days, but we persevered and went to hangout with the family that first night. The next day involved a realization of how ignorant we were towards the area we were staying in. Maggie and I had no idea how to get anywhere and we also had no cellular service to navigate us. We had to be cabbed around by family to get anywhere. The first place we went to was Ally Pally:
This palace was extremely charming and had shops, museums, and a beautiful overlay of London. Ally Pally was the first place we ate in public and the first place I had to exchange currency in a foreign country.
A few days later the weekend came, WOOHOO! Off to the beach town of Brighton. When I heard that we were going to a beach town I was so excited and couldn’t wait to go swimming in the ocean and relax on the sand.
Plot twist: Brighton is made up of pebbles. Although it was not an ideal beach like the lovely ones we have on the east coast, it was an amazing area to explore. There was a bunch of hole-in-the-wall shops that sold second hand goods and tourist items. Brighton was also the sight I went to my first local English pub.
While the weather was so hot and dry there was hardly rain. After arriving back to the London area we finally saw our chances of experiencing the iconic English rain showers; It was but a disappointing drizzle. You see, I prepared for a lot for rain showers. However, I did not get any use out of my preparation. Still, we must persist and take every opportunity to do a photo shoot.
Finally the day came I finally get to see the downtown area of London! We got dropped of in Covent Garden and let us get lost in it’s beauty. This led to the more tourist-ish areas of the city. I am not going to bore you with words when I can show you photos! Just know that it was extremely hot, windy on the bridges which results in a bad hair day. The water is very brown and of course we had to take every tourist picture possible.
|Fun Fact: Big Ben is covered in scaffolding until 2022. If you make a trip there before that do not expect to meet Ben at his Best.|
Vineyard Vines, Belt: Brooks Brothers,
Footwear: Jack Rogers
There are a numerous amount of other pictures that I would love to show you, however, there is so much more that we did. At the end of this post I will attach a few other, random, fantastic pictures for you to enjoy.
The following day Maggie, Haley (Maggie’s sister), and I got the pleasure of doing a red bus tour! This was so exciting for me because I had never done one and it just seemed like the thing to do as a tourist. Away from the busy city traffic, the bus tour was wicked fun.
We eventually got off the bus tour at London Tower, which was an 18th century prison and is now a museum. We ended up getting lunch at a sandwich shop named Paul. Paul had amazing sandwiches and even more incredible macarons. I am not a huge fan of macarons, but when in London… When I say this macaron was as big as my hand and made of the utmost quality, I mean it.
|Fun Fact: Many people believe that the photograph above is of London Bridge, however, ignorance is bliss! This is Tower Bridge. London Bridge is nothing but a strip of street above water.|
With the red bus tour we also got free vouchers for one water taxi ride. Check out that sweet gravy water!
On our next stop we visited Buckingham Palace. The Queen was out of town on a holiday. But just because the Queen was out of town does not mean the Palace grounds were not chaos. I do think Buckingham Palace is a tad overrated and it was not one of the most monumental moments of my trip.
For those of you who do not know me I worked at Brooks Brothers for almost four years in Greater Boston. Brooks Brothers taught me so much and was a second home to me while I was employed there. The next photograph is of Brooks Brothers in downtown London which I spent much of the day trying to find without a navigation system. Now this is monumental:
Days later we walked three miles from the tube station to find Abbey Road. Abbey Road is where the Beatles were photographed walking across the street and the photo ended up being their album cover. There was a coffee shop with Beatles merchandise about a meter down the road. What I noticed from this exciting place of music history was that it was just a normal road; A road just like the ones you and I drive on everyday.
Into the night Maggie and I were asked if we had interest in going to the theatre. I explained to Maggie’s uncle that I have always wanted to see Wicked and luckily enough he had the perfect connection. With great seats and an unbelievable performance we saw Wicked at 7PM that night.
With our trip was finally coming to an end, we traveled into the countryside to stay with a different side of family… More family. The town was called Orpington. The family had a chubby pug called Dylan who was the highlight of the last bit of our holiday. It only took the entire trip to go clubbing. We walked around a town on a very tall and steep hill rich in nautical culture and history; This was the location I found my very best yellow raincoat. We also went on an excursion in a cave.
At last, our three week, amazing holiday came to a quick stop. I enjoyed the trip immensely, but all good things must come to an end. I hope you enjoyed coming along for this journey with me and liked the fun facts you may have not known before reading this. In fact, if you continued reading this post as far down as this I appreciate it and you deserve a Paul macaron! As I promised, a few additional pictures will be added to the post below.
I will be traveling to Germany, France, Czech Republic, and Finland in May for a month long abroad trip. If you have suggestions on where I should go after that please drop it in the comment section!
// Probably Rob
recreated from post on 1/24/19, itsprobablyrob.blogspot.com