I grew up all over the South and in Central America. I spent my high school years at a boarding school in CT before heading off to college in VA. However, after a year I transfered to MN and pledged Kappa and graduated (a semester early!)with majors in Art History and Spanish. My life is simply amazing and I am SO incredibly blessed to have a loving family, marvelous friends and the best job in the world. I adore sweets, all things pink and green, a good movie, trying new restaurants and a great DIY project.
Ok, it has been five weeks since I ''checked out'' and I would be lying if I said it has not been glorious. While I have at times missed blogging it is amazing how much more free time I have had and how I am able to more fully enjoy things. I have not even been reading blogs and have also really cut back on Twitter. Anyhow, even with all that being said there are some things I really wanted to share with some of you. It is way too hard to send photo filled emails to person after person and I personally think it gets annoying when people clog up my news feed on Facebook with constant updates or loads of pictures. Of course the best way to avoid all those things is by updating my blog.... So, while I am not planning on coming back full time, or even part time for that matter, I do want to share my current UK journey with my family and all of my friends as well as partially document this trip and then see how things go from there. So, here goes...
On the 4th of July I packed my bags and headed to DFW to jet set across the Atlantic to England. I have always enjoyed coming to Europe, but England is hands down my favorite country to visit. I simply love all things British as you know and feel like this is such an epic year to be able to be here.
Beantown Prepster and her wonderful hubby, Paul, picked me up from Heathrow at noon on Thursday. We made our way back to their house and then Melissa and I spent the afternoon on the go exploring her darling town. I have to say I have traveling down like a pro and have had ZERO jet lag! Ambien is of course a huge factor in this as is a good inflight routine and full night of sleep.
We headed to my favorite UK chain, Pizza Express, for dinner. The dough balls were out of this world per usual!
On Friday morning we were up bright and early to catch the train into London. We had a busy day ahead including a tour of Buckingham Palace. Though I have traveled to the UK numerous times this is something I had never done. I booked my ticket online a few weeks in advance and had no trouble getting my preferred time. Melissa had an unfortunate mishap with the incompetent ticket lady and unfortunately did not get to come in with me. However, while she enjoyed her tea at the Intercontinental I perused the Queen's State Rooms and then stocked up on goodies at the gift shop.
Melissa and I walked everywhere on Friday and our feet certainly paid for it on Saturday. However, I always prefer a good walk as your really get to explore a city in depth. We got to walk by so many historical sites including Westminster Abbey.
Before lunch we headed to meet our friend Jennifer whom we both met through blogging. She invited over to her flat (which has the most amazing view of Hyde Park!) before the three of us headed to The Wallace Collection. While the service was terribly slow we enjoyed a delightful time together in a beautiful place. I had been to The Wallace Collection on previous visits to London, but never dined there. If you are looking for something to add to your next London trip you should most definitely consider this.
Jennifer was SO kind to give me the most beautiful napkins and tea towel. She read my mind as I almost bought the tea towel at the Buckingham Palace gift shop earlier in the day. I think my mother might be calling me shortly asking if she can have this Jubilee momento :)
After lunch we headed towards the shopping district...Oxford then Bond Street. I find Oxford Street to be a little too packed and touristy for my personal taste, but it was fun to be in the crowds for a bit before heading to a more quite area. Plus, I found the most amazing scarves- think Scalamandre zebras- which I need to go back for. I am obsessed and might just need every color if Melissa lets me go back.
We popped into Piccadilly Arcade (more photos to come later) which is one of my very favorite places in the city. Of course we could not resist taking a break at Laduree. I was THRILLED to get my hands on an exclusive Jubilee box as it was one of my must-haves!
Laduree is celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and have a collection of special flavors. While all their regular flavors are divine I have to say that these anniversary flavors are to.die.for. The Strawberry Candy with Marshmallow filling is literally one of the best things I have ever eaten. I am already getting excited for my next visit so I can snatch some more up!
After a brilliant day in town it was back to Melissa's where this sweet fur ball awaited us:
What a trip this has been thus far! I have many, many more photos and details to share over the next few days. I have a feeling lots of Union Jacks, beautiful gardens, fascinating plays, fun gifts, delicious eats, friend meet-ups and maybe even a touristy photo or two will be in our near future!