So I embarked on my 3- week European excursion with about 80 other 17-18 year old newly graduated high school valley kids this week and our first stop was London, England. After a ten hour flight we nestled in to the cobbled, pub-filled streets of the swanky city and CELEBRATED. Serena and I bought a bottle of wine as our first legal alcoholic purchase and it was the most liberating thing of the entire world. Of course this care-free feeling only arose after the stress of figuring out Serena’s money situation was dealt with. She had left her purse in the London airport, which had her credit cards and ID in it, so we searched for it for an hour to no avail and then came up with a money solution which meant we’d transfer her money to my credit card. The good thing was that we knew nothing worse could happen after that, except of course Serena feeling like she had a ball of tar forming in her throat slowly moving down her body from God knows what and us getting lost in London at 3 am. on our first night out. We went to the zoo bar and I had a very poorly made margarita and some other encounters. Of course I am a discreet blogger, thus you may imply whatever you believe from what such generalizations truly mean :) We struggled to find the busses and figure out what streets we needed to take to get back to the Stanley Hotel, our INCREDIBLE residence which housed our lovely room, a most likely 25 by 15 inch room with one bed for three girls and three large suitcases. If you are imagining Kansas after the Wizard of Oz tornado just imagine worse. The floral walls were v cute. I thought returning at 3 am was crazy that first night in London, BOY did I have no idea what I’d be doing later than that in the future. The next day we got up fairly early and watched the changing of the Buckingham Palace guards who waddle like penguins. It was a cloudy English day and we visited the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye from a distance, the Tate Museum of Modern Art, Abbey Road and other places that I cannot remember and don’t feel like looking up. London has a very funky-metropolitan, urban, underground artsy vibe and I LOVE it. It is super fun to talk in public and see locals do double takes or stare when they hear your valley girl dialect, because they think Americans rock. Also, their metro/train station is awesome and Serena and I cannot stop discussing how much BETTER Los Angeles would be with an underground metro. We were very worried that all of the drinks and good here would leave us obese and first trimester-seeming in our bikinis by the time we reached Cannes, but the crazy amount of walking and metro stair climbing we’ve done is making me think otherwise! After the sight seeing, the group encountered a little public set-up with an amplified guitar open to anyone on the street to pick up and play. I got right up there and whipped out Blackbird from the Beatles and then a sing-along to Rip Tides by Vance Joy. The guitar was missing a string, it was on the spot and I was a bit unprepared, but I felt great afterwards because playing guitar and singing makes me happy and doing things that make me happy are healthy and you should just choose happiness!!! Buzz ( the guy in charge of our tour) posted a video of my performance on Facebook and so far it was gotten 1,200 views, so that’s PRETTY exciting. That night we embarked on a cray journey to the XOYO club, which is the coolest place we’ve ever been to. We danced the night away and met many London boys, they are quite fun. Afterwards we took a taxi home and went peacefully to sleep at 5:30 in our squished bed. That night was the first I could say I was in the club goin’ UP on a Tuesday.
Day three in London was a free day and Serena and I shopped and walked until we genuinely dropped. Harrod’s is a department store from Heaven and exploring it is the equivalent of Christmas morning because it is filled with shiny, sparkly clothes and jewelry and toys and gifts and everything your heart desires. We headed over to Selfridges and after independently searching through all the cute clothes, both re-met to find that we were holding the same exact black suede skirt. This only furthermore proved that we are the same person in two different bodies, if the fact that we are both ENFP personalities and my sun sign as a Saggitarius is her sign (Pisces) and the fact that we think and say the same things all the time didn’t already prove this. We also shopped at King’s Road and admired all the fashionable teens crossing the streets. I stuffed myself with chicken pot pie and fish n’ chips for dinner and drank my first cider! Or first, TWO ciders ;) We then headed over to the bar the local British gal we made friends with while shopping called, Sketch. Sara, Serena and I made friends with the DJ and. Pixar animator dude an drank fancy juicy drinks and explored the incredible art. The bathrooms were separated into independent cubicles shaped as giant white eggs!! Our taxi driver told us all about the insanity of studying to get your black taxi license which consists of three years of memorizing every bar, club, and restaurant and street name in London and how to get to these places. It is such a privilege to be one in his eyes which is so interesting and incredible! He is also a firefighter and had cute tattoo sleeves AND was cute and British, so we obviously enjoyed the ride. From taking the “choob” to pretending to be British and meeting fun people and laughing in Pubs and splurging on Top shop and walking our feet to the point of numbeness and literally living out an episode of Skins inter night clubs, I am confident in saying that we had a bloody hell of a good time in London. On to Paris!!!
~ xoxo Ali ~