The Start to the Greatest Month of 2013

Quite a bit has happened since the last time I updated this thing a little over a month ago! So, where to begin?  I'll forewarn you - this is going to be a long one! 

 For some reason, a lot more seems to happen to us in the UK in a span of three weeks, than in five months in the US... I last left off when I was in Florida, preparing for Heather and my big trip back to the UK.  Well, it was a very uneventful three weeks spent in Jupiter.  My days went very accordingly --> Wake up, work out, lay out, job hunt, sleep.  That was about it.  You would think that sounds like 'the life' for some.  See, my parents live in a place most would describe as paradise:

A condo right on the beach, fully equipped with a balcony, pool, hot tub, etc. All the luxuries.  It's a great vacation spot, and I love being here to visit, but it's hard to vacation for three weeks when you've got one of the biggest trips of your life right ahead of you.  While I was excited to have time to apply to as many jobs as I could find, and work on my tan, I was so ready for London! 

 When I say 'time to apply to as many jobs as I could find,' I don't mean that with any ounce of sarcasm.  I literally applied to every job I could find.  I had my ideas of industries I wanted to go into, but I figured if someone is going to talk to me, why not give it a shot? I'm 22 and like most 22 year olds, I want a job - the only difference is, I want it on the other side of the world. 

 Three weeks after the many grueling  hours of sun tanning and swimming (okay, okay, it was pretty nice for a while), it was finally time to get ready for London.  I had about five meetings/interviews set up, with different companies, connections through people I knew, and a recruitment agency.  Heather ended up getting around the same amount of meetings as well, which was absolutely ideal seeing that we were trying to make the move together. 

 Okay! So! It's Tuesday - the start of October, and the most looked forward to month of my year.  Flight boarded to Newark, to meet up with Heather and head back home to the UK together. After five long months, we were finally back together! (Which really is no time at all, compared to the year we had to wait before we saw each other again the last time..)  and going to London! Was this real?


New York City from the sky - Bye America! 
We're baaaaack!

It's strange, describing how you feel when you've been away for so long.  I haven't touched UK soil in over a year, and it felt all to familiar to be back.  We grabbed our suitcases, which I should actually call boulders, because of how difficult it was to lug them around, and headed down to the Tube.  Carrying suitcases that are most definitely over the flying weight limit, when you are a weak little girl, is an impossible feat.  And that's no sarcasm - it was absolutely impossible.  When most Tube stations don't seem to believe in elevators, it makes things pretty difficult.  I really wanted to just throw my bag into the train tracks, but with the help of generous strangers, or people who just saw how pathetic we looked, we managed to get our bags through the Tube and into our hostel.  

And then with the help of four more backpackers in the hostel - we were FINALLY to our room .......... just until we had to lug the suitcases out again later that evening to our friends, Nicole and Ciaran's flat on the other side of London.  Whatever, these complaint are very minimal to the thought that we were actually back in London.  I would have carried that suitcase with me everywhere if that's what I had to do to be back there again.


So we checked into the hostel, which - there's no joking here - was a room the size of a closet with five triple bunk beds jam-packed into it.  Now we've stayed in all types of hostels, the great ones and the not so great ones, and I am a dedicated lover of staying in hostels.  I love the backpacking atmosphere, meeting all types of people from all walks of life, and having a great time.  But I will say, this hostel sucked.
Actual size.  Not pictured - the suitcases in the middle of the room because, well, that's the only place that they were able to go.


Again - I would have stayed here for the entire trip, if that's what I had to do to be back again.  I will say also, that this is the last of the negatives of the trip, because after this day, everything for three weeks straight was absolutely perfect. And that's not an exaggeration again - Absolutely perfect.

We dropped our bags off at the hostel and immediately headed out into the city.  We were right over the bridge from Tufton Street, where our flat was located in Westminster. Obviously that was the first place we had to go.  It was very surreal coming back, but not being able to tap our key to get back in.  I felt like we still lived there - I walked these streets hundreds of times!

The greatest view.
Flat 3 - 48 Tufton Street - Yes. We were spoiled.
Why won't the key work?
Westminster Abbey Dean's Yard. Our daily commute. 
My favorite alarm clock.
'That picture' that I never took because I thought I was too much of a local to.

We took our daily routine from our flat into the Dean's Yard, to Parliament Square and down to the Westminster Tube Station.  Is there any debate on where we went next? St. John's Wood, of course.  Had to make a quick visit back to Abbey Road and the area that we were soon going to live. Don't laugh, we are going to be able to afford to live here one day.
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The signing Holly and I made a year and a half ago!
Our future home.
Me too ... sort of

After the quick visit, we went down to Oxford Street to do some shopping at Primark.  With how disgusting cheap this store is, it was almost like we were throwing anything we saw into our baskets - why am I going to care if this sweater actually fits me if it's only 6 pounds? I'M SOLD.
We spent as much time as we could possibly tolerate before we had to get out of there.  Luckily, we didn't spend TOO much money there, but that was the first of about five more trips throughout our trip.  We checked out, and headed back to the flat to grab our bags to drop of at Nicole and Ciaran's before our Liverpool weekend.  That was another adventure I won't even get into - it sounds similar to the one I told in the first few paragraphs - can't lift bags, hundred of people helping us, sad, weak, pathetic, etc. etc. etc...
It was so great to get to their flat, because it had been over a year since we had seen them too! They live in this amazing flat in East London, with a great view of Canary Wharf and Olympic Park.  We spent a few hours there catching up, until we realized we hadn't been asleep in 32 hours, and we had a train to catch the next morning to Liverpool.

Canary Wharf
Olympic Park
Parliament and the Eye 

I didn't realize how long this post would be - I mean, it's only about the first day in London!  Clearly enough happened to us, that I should probably break this up into parts.  Next post - Liverpool!


Where The Heart Is - An American in the UK. Theme by STS.