ugh. i totally did not want to come back to texas. i literally had the time of my life. i don’t think i knew what living life really meant before this trip. it was incredible… i don’t think there are words to describe how liberating those short seven days were. but, alas, here i am, almost two weeks into being home. i thought i’d share a few of my 600 pictures with you. don’t worry, i’ll just do highlights from each day.
i got to heathrow airport about 7:35 a.m. london time, which translates to 1:35 a.m. dallas time. i was interrogated quite intensely by the customs official, much to the chagrin of my weary body and mind. it went something like this:
customs lady: purpose of your trip?
me: uh, vacation.
customs lady: are you traveling alone?
customs lady: friends or relatives in the country?
me: nope (very proud of my independent status)
customs lady (now suspicious): alone? vacationing alone? that is very, uh, adventurous, for a young lady.
me (thinking that adventure was the whole point of my trip): uh, yes. i like england.
customs lady: i see that. you’ve been here twice before, but didn’t leave the uk. what are you going to see or do this time?
me (totally panicking now because i suddenly couldn’t remember a single landmark, market, or activity that london had to offer): uh… well… um… big ben? and, uh… trafalgar square?
customs lady (now very suspicious): you didn’t see those the first two times you were here?
and on and on for almost ten minutes. i was in a complete durr! state of mind and kept digging a bigger hole by bringing up how i had wanted to go to school there (red flag! an alien wants to come find a job here!), etc. she finally let me pass through, but i am completely convinced that i was being tailed until i got on a train to paddington station.
i stayed in northern london (my favorite area) at the arosfa hotel. really lovely little place that rated #35 out of 1,000+ london hotels on tripadvisor and priced very reasonably for a single room with its own bathroom (small though it was). it is just on the outskirts on university college london on gower street. there were really beautiful views outside my hotel window and loud college living going on each night on the corner, which i could appreciate and then totally zone out. i was pretty beat most nights.
i started out at the british museum, which i’ve never been to (why couldn’t i think of that with the damn customs lady?). i went to say that i’ve been. i’m not a big fan of artifactual museums, unless they are artistic or decorative, e.g., the victoria and albert museum, which i love. i wandered around for almost two hours and had to call it quits from sheer boredom and onset sleepiness. i did see the rosetta stone, though, which, as a linguist, i found interesting.
i meandered through the bustling streets for awhile before heading over to russell square and later tavistock square. i am a huge fan of trees and taking pictures of them. i thought this one was particularly great.
and, of course, the ubiquitious red telephone booth. this one was perfectly aged.
i pretty much stumbled my way back to the hotel and had a very tasty boots sandwhich in my room before promptly passing out for the night. it doesn’t sound too terribly incredible yet, i realize, but it wasn’t necessarily what i saw that made the trip. it was how i felt and i felt great being so far from every single person i knew — and realizing that i was thriving on the inside.