One of the trips that my school organizes for it’s international students is a weekend in London. I got to spend a night in London last semester before I went home for Christmas break and I fell in love with it. Needless to say that I was super excited for this weekend. The only thing that made it better was the fact that I was getting to spend it with some of my favourite people. Since Lisa, Haylee and I are all international students, we were all going. However, we were able to invite Charlotte and Josh to join us as well. We left that Friday in the late morning and arrived in London in the evening.
On the way to London we saw a lot of sheep because Wales has sheep. Except the sheep all had numbers on them. Being the curious soul that I am, asked why they had numbers on them and Josh quickly replied that their numbers were the order they got killed in. At that point I had a mental breakdown thinking about the cute fluff balls that sheep are all lined up to head off to slaughter and our trip to London was cut short. Just kidding. Josh is a butthole and said that just to be mean and to see my horrified reaction. Never mind that he almost made me cry. As it turns out, the sheep and their babies get the same number put on them so they can be easily paired up again.
Charlotte was staying with one of her friends and the rest of us were staying in a hostel. After some quick hugs we all set off in our own directions for the night. Our hostel was about a half hours walk away from where we got dropped off. Except we got a little lost and wound up taking the scenic route to where we’d be sleeping for the weekend.
That night we walked around the area we were staying in and had a fairly early bedtime. The hostel was really nice and we were staying in a dorm that slept 28 people. The way the room was set up, all the bunks looked like human-sized wooden cubby holes. As you can see in the pic, these bunks are not meant for the tall! At 5’9″ I had my head pressed against the headboard and I was almost too tall to fit in my cubby. Sleeping in there made me feel like a vampire because this is what I imagine sleeping in a coffin would be like.
The next day we set off on my first full day in London! We started off by briefly visiting the British Museum. After that we walked up and down Oxford Street. I couldn’t believe how busy it was! I’ve spent the last 10 years living in different parts of the Greater Vancouver Area and I thought those areas were busy! Or at least I thought they were busy until I was on Oxford Street on a Saturday!
We walked and shopped most of the morning. One of the highlights was when we found a candy store. Haylee, Lisa, and I were the epitome of “kids in a candy shop”. The store had lots of North American brands that we love and we all took our own trips down memory lane as we found the things that we loved. The best part was introducing Josh to some of our childhood favourites like Air Heads and Pop Rocks. We stood out on the street and watched as Josh ate his first Air Head and had his first palm-full of Pop Rocks. He liked them both and I got a kick out of watching his reaction as the Pop Rocks began to spark around in his mouth.
Not only did we get to spend a weekend in London with Josh, we got to meet his parents too! We went out for dinner with them and Josh got to torment us while the rest of us tried to make good first impressions. He introduced Lisa by saying she was the American with the knife in her bag because he is a brat. Thankfully his parents have a good sense of humor and they went right along with the jokes and dinner was really nice, relaxing and full of laughs. It was a lot of fun getting to sit down and get to know his family a little bit.
After that we set off to meet up with Raz and to see Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross! At first I wasn’t overly excited to see a cart sticking out of wall, but as we stood in line to get our pictures taken with it, I found myself being more and more excited. I didn’t start reading Harry Potter until I was in my twenties, but I loved the books so much that getting to be in a place that was in the books had me bouncing in giddy excitement.
When we were done having our pictures taken, Josh left us to go spend some time with one of his friends and Raz took Haylee, Lisa and I to see Big Ben and the London Eye. We went for a small walk across a bridge that I don’t know the name to and basically hung out until it was time for Raz to leave.
Haylee, Lisa and I then carried on to Leicester Square because I wanted to go to a few used book shops. One of the things that Lisa was looking forward to while we were in London was going to Chipotle. Up until that point we hadn’t had the time to go to one. Then I remembered seeing one in the area the last time I’d been to London. If it weren’t for Haylee holding onto Lisa’s backpack, Lisa would have run out into traffic. That’s how excited she was for Chipotle.
We ended our night with getting frozen yogurt and hanging out in our hostels lounge while our phones charged.
The next morning we woke up early to go to the famous Abbey Road Crossing! To be honest, I wasn’t overly interested in this stop, but I loved going there with Lisa, Haylee and Josh. They were all really excited for it and their excitement was infectious. I played camera person while they played in traffic to mimic the famous Beatles Abbey Road photo. Thankfully the road the crossing is on isn’t a busy road because they wound up crossing the road several times while I took photos and videos.
One of the things that I love about London is how it seems like such a huge city…until I start to walk around it. It’s amazing to think how much has been fit into such a small area. The train station in our area was closed that morning so we wound up going for a nice walk to get back to where we were being picked up so we could drop our bags at a place where travelers can store their stuff while they are in the city.
The best moment of the day was when Haylee, Lisa and I were walking to meet up with the rest of the international students to go home. Lisa and Haylee both had to pee and the only toilet we could think of that was close to us was the one you had to pay 30 pence to use. First of all, I was shocked to see that you have to pay to use toilets, and second of all Lisa totally did a face plant running up the stairs to get to the bathroom. I was looking down when I heard a crash and looked up to see Haylee crossing her legs while she laughed hysterically. Then I looked at Lisa and saw her face down at the top of the stairs while her whole body shook with laughter. I lost it. Between Lisa biffing it and Haylee almost peeing herself I had to sit down on the stairs because I was laughing so hard at both of them. I actually laughed so hard that I wound up needing to pee too!
We all made it to the toilet on time and then slowly made our way back to where the bus was picking us up to take us home. All in all, I loved my first full weekend in London.
Side note: I got the equivalent of an A- on the last two assignments that I’ve submitted and I continue to go to class despite my best efforts to talk Haylee into skipping one or two. Basketball is still a blast even though we’ve only been practicing these past few weeks. My netball team also won their last two games and apparently we have a chance at winning our league! My room also sometimes smells like feet because my shoes get stinky and I sometimes hoard dirty socks like their treasure. I’m pretty sure this proves that I’m probably never going to fully grow up.