Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Eurotrip Days 7 & 8: London Bound, "Home" at last

There's not a ton to say about leaving Germany except the following;
  • I actually flew out of LUX (Luxembourg) from the tiniest airport ever.
  • I had to go through passport control to leave (weird, never had that happen!)
  • There were a bunch of French frat-boy-bros on my plane (thank goodness for noise cancelling headphones!)
  • Customs at Gatwick was stupid ridiculous and took forever because apparently people don't know how to follow directions to scan their own passports
Saying goodbye to Dani was so difficult (like with any friend outside of the States) because I really don't know when I'll see her again. I usually see her once a year, and lucked out enough to see here THREE times this year! I hope I continue to be that lucky!!

The upside of leaving Germany was that I got to land in England, where I saw Hannah for the second time in just a few short months (and later I saw some family too!).

Once I landed I hopped on the Gatwick Express to get to Victoria station and a short Tube ride later I was meandering through London looking for the Strand Palace Hotel, where Hannah was waiting for me.

Our plans:
  1. Go out.
  2. Get drunk.
  3. Have a blast.
Mission accomplished, all around!
Landing in England - it always makes me teary-eyed and nostalgic, because it truly feels like coming home every time!
A random bus and my face.
London looking London-y
Finally sighted! Our hotel!
Selfies everywhere.
Obviously I found the hotel. I cleaned up (because I was gross and sweaty from the train, tube, and walk), and Hannah called a cab so we could book it to the cocktail bar we were starting at.

I will spare you the details of the entire night, but it was a total blast! I had about 7 cocktails at this first place (I don't even know how because it was about seven billion times more sugar than I have ever consumed in my life). I kind of did well documenting them...and then it all fell apart.

My favorite bit of the night (aside from being out in London with my best friend!) was that Hannah's friend, Sarah, met up with us. She was so hilarious and fun...there will definitely have to be more girl's nights when I go back...or when they come here!
Drink one.
Drinks two and three.
Four and five?
More drinks...and Sarah looking a bit nervous?
Five and six? Six and seven? Who knows.
Or maybe this was seven? I don't know. But it was a pornstar martini and that's how I ended that place.
Hannah said this place reminds her of her youth...all the cheesy songs they play!

My second 'favorite' part of the night due to sheer stupidity and providing me with a good laugh: We met up with a group of Sarah's friends at a pub to end the night. One of the guys ended up being super annoying and unfortunately latched on to me literally for no other reason than my accent. I kid you not: All he wanted to do was talk about how well traveled he is. It took me a fair few minutes to escape him, but he spent it all being a condescending arse, trying to flash his money. I don't know what his goal was - maybe make himself feel like a big shot? - but he spent the whole time talking about: How much more of America he's seen than I have - how have you not been to Colorado, eww, you went to Idaho? What's wrong with you??; That the Cubs are better than the Sox -that's when I said we couldn't be friends; That Scotland isn't a country - whaaaaaat...??!? I've lost all respect for you!; And generally acting like an entitled you-know-what.

I can't even explain how hard I was laughing inside, and after that misery I made it back to Hannah so we could laugh about him saying Scotland isn't a country?!?!?!? I do my best not to make fun of other people to their face or behind their backs, but some people are so clueless, and it was proof that you don't have to be American to fall into the "dumb and loud" stereotype!
I think I look pretty good after a night of hard partying!
This burger though? That's what really looked good. Two AM burger? Delicious.
I loved hitting London at night. It was something I've never done before but felt I should have...and I finally did! Definitely need to do that again!

Saturday - Heading to Hannah's
Saturday morning we woke and breakfasted at the hotel restaurant (included with the room) and then packed up to go back to Hannah's. I won't lie, my stomach was a little off from all that sugar the night before, but I was excited to get back to hers and see Paul and Miles!!!
I wasn't kidding about the selfies everywhere thing. That poor dude behind me got snapped eating his breakfast all because I needed a picture of a long, long escalator!
I feel like the Tube is easier to use than just about any underground system out there! Super traveler friendly if you're ever in town ;)
Standard Tube hallway
We finally made it back to Hannah's (I spared everyone from selfies in the car when Paul picked us up), and the following are my "Welcome Home" pictures:
Daphne, getting a good sniff of Archie

She's adorable and she missed me *heart*
The ice cream man went by and Hannah insisted on 99s for us.
Children. Pros at making the biggest mess possible out of anything. Also: how adorable is my godson!?!?!?
It cannot go without mentioning that MILES CAN SAY MY NAME!!! Like, he can actually say it. Hannah obviously worked on that with him because most kids either can't say my name, or nickname me immediately. I get it too, three syllables is a lot! But Miles has "Christina" down pat!
This was also my first time meeting Percy, the scruffy new addition to the family!

He finally warmed to me, but he hated being picked up.
Hannah makes the best guacamole, and she obliged me with this.
No point being in England and not eating my weight in biscuits!
After all that guac and biscuits, Hannah and I of course went out for dinner. Given our wild partying the night before, we decided dinner and a movie was in order, so we went to a restaurant called Giraffe and then to see Bad Moms. I loved the movie!! Hannah had already seen it, but it was so good that she was totally fine going again.

And with that, we wrapped up my first full day in England! At home, comfy, and well fed...and it was soooooo good to be back ;)


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