Well I’ve been in England for a week and all kinds of craziness has already happened. This might be the most eventful week of my life so far! There have definitely been some bad moments but for the most part I’ve been having an amazing time. I absolutely love this country so far. The buildings and scenery are gorgeous; the people I’ve met have been hilarious and really kind. I’ve wanted to post about so many things but it’s been tricky to get wifi, especially on my computer. Things have slowed down a bit so hopefully I’ll have some time to go back and write about some of what’s happened.
New Years Eve/Day was by far the craziest. Here are some highlights:
- First of all we flew overnight. We ended up getting economy plus seats which are a little more roomy than the economy seats and that was great. What wasn’t great was the child in the row in front of us who was the biggest terror of a child I’ve ever encountered. This kid was talking very loudly, crying, full on screaming, refused to leave his seat belt buckled when he was supposed to, climbed on his mom while she was sleeping. All while his parents just sat there looking annoyed and trying to ignore him. That combined with the plane seats meant Sophia and I got about 30 minutes to an hour of sleep.
- Border control was a little intimidating but not too bad. He asked a lot of questions and I was afraid I’d answer something wrong and they’d kick me out.
- From the airport we hopped on the tube to get to our first hotel. At some point during the ride, we suddenly realized we didn’t know where our hotel was in relation to the tube station. Or how we were going to get there. Brilliant. After dragging our stuff up a bunch of stairs (providing some laughter for some people sitting across the station) and standing in the (sprinkling) rain for two hours trying to figure out if the bus went to our hotel, we called a taxi. From a number that a lady recited to us by memory. We were desperate. I spent the whole ride praying that we’d actually get there instead of being the storyline for the next Taken movie.
- Luckily we made it and we got dressed and ready to go out for NYE with Jackie and Rebecca. We almost fell asleep on the ride to the city but once we got there we had a great time. We went to Camden, ate dinner, and checked out some pubs. Then we went to wait for the fireworks which were THE GREATEST FIREWORKS I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Then the fireworks ended and we had to move in the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen trying to get out of London. It was madness. Thousands of drunk people – including some classy 15 year old kids drinking on top of a porta potty – and the streets were filled with empty bottles and trash.
- Walking along in the madness, we met these super nice English guys who took us to Soho, which was so much fun. Until it hit 2am. I still hadn’t slept since the day before and while I got a second, third, tenth wind, at 2am I was DONE. I could no longer even pretend to enjoy myself.
- Finally at 3am Sophia and I started making our way out of London. We took the tube to the train station, still in the midst of chaos as crowds of people are trying to leave Central London. When our train got there, it was already packed full of people and there were a lot of people trying to shove themselves into it, so we thought, “oh, we’ll just wait for the next train.” Turns out the next train wasn’t til 4:22. Then we found out the bus was no longer running from the train station to our hotel. So naturally I started crying in the middle of the station, wishing I was just at home where I owned a car and could have already been asleep.
- We finally got to Hayes (which is apparently the ghetto because everyone kept saying “why are you staying in Hayes??”), took another somewhat less sketchy taxi, finally made it to our hotel, and at 6am I finally went sleep after being awake for 40 hours. And then we slept until dinnertime.
So there’s my story for my first day in this country/the most eventful New Years celebration of my entire life. And that’s the shortened version of the story. I hope you got as much as a laugh over all the pain as we did. 😉
I have lots more stories about London and I’ll hopefully get to those soon but tonight we’re leaving to Scotland! We’re taking the Megabus to Edinburgh and staying in a hostel. Hopefully we’ll make it back……