List of Places I’ve Been

Day 29 – 31 Day Blog Challenge

For Day 29, I am supposed to write about where I have travelled. As I have written many detailed posts about my most recent travels, I’m just going to list some places, and include some great pictures. Sound good?

K great. Thanks.

North America:

  1. Michigan (I live here lolz)
  2. Ohio
  3. Indiana
  4. Illinois
  5. Missouri
  6. Kentucky
  7. Tennessee
  8. Georgia
  9. North Carolina
  10. South Carolina
  11. Florida
  12. Minnesota
  13. New York
  14. Puerto Rico
  15. Canada

Caribbean/Mexico:

  1. Cozumel
  2. Haiti
  3. Jamaica
  4. Grand Cayman

Europe

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Netherlands

 

Ok this list actually isn’t so bad. I used to think that I’ve never really been anywhere and that’s definitely a lie. I have been to places. I haven’t really seen places. I’ve driven through or flown through most of the states on this list. And I really want to visit more countries. And my boyfriend really wants to do a road trip through some of the states in the U.S. at some point.

This was actually fun. I’m going to keep updating it every year. I feel much more accomplished! Please see below for some pictures of all of these places!

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Any countries or places you think I absolutely must go to? Comment below!

 

Much Love

xxx

From One Side of the Pond to the Other

Day 22 – 31 Day Blog Challenge

The Best Thing to Happen This Year

One whole year. In the grand scheme of everything, one year isn’t much. But for me, it only took one for my whole life to completely turn around…

Don’t worry, this is a happy story. 

During the month of March in 2016, I was going through an absolutely horrible time. I got stuck in a position that was sucking the life out of me. And as I know that sounds dramatic, that’s exactly how it felt. One day I woke up and saw myself becoming this person with so much anger inside of me. Even my health started to suffer from the amount of stress I was under. I was not happy. And that, right there, was the bottom line. I was not happy.

I was travelling to Kansas City, MO for work. I never wanted to be there and desperately wanted to get through the week so I could get home. That is, until I met someone. He was British, which scored him a lot of extra points. He was cute, and very funny. And even more than that, he always laughed at my jokes. We immediately became best friends. I couldn’t wait to go to work in the morning, and made sure we all went out to dinner afterwards so we could spend time together. Eventually, we would plan to get drinks before the dinners so we could have some alone time. I could feel that we had this special connection, but in the moment, I denied everything. I told myself I didn’t like him that way because he lived in the UK and I lived in Michigan and how the hell would this ever work. I didn’t even want to be in a relationship at the time. I was very happy being single….

LOL.

It was two months after we met and the last night we had together before he was going back to the UK for a month. And he kissed me. Finally. 

I had to drive him to the airport the following morning and then go to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. And on the way to their house, I remember calling my best friend and telling her, “I know this sounds crazy but everything inside of me is telling me that he is the one.” And he felt it too. In that moment, we both knew. There were no discussions as far as how we were going to do long-distance. There were no questions on if we should go through with it. Because we both knew that what we had found was worth it. And yes, obviously we are doing this.

It has been about 11 months since that moment. And it has not been easy. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried myself to sleep or cried to him on the phone (poor guy) because I missed him so much. The only time we get together is an hour a day when I get home from work to FaceTime. We have been fortunate enough to take holidays to visit each other. But we’ve quickly run out of money. It’s hard for me to go to family get-togethers, it’s hard seeing other couples in public, and it’s even hard watching movies or TV without him.

But the best thing about long-distance is that we have been able to truly value the time we do get to spend together. We make it really special. We’ve had the opportunity to realize that we can’t take each other for granted. We’ve become so strong as a couple. I honestly don’t think there is anything we can’t handle now.

But the one thing that got us through all this time is that we made the decision that someone would have to move somewhere. And from that moment on, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We talked a lot, weighed our options, and listened to each other’s opinions. But the biggest factor in the decision making was how I felt. I fell in love with England. I somehow feel that I get along and understand the Brits better than my fellow Americans. I actually seem to fit in with everyone I have met over there more so than anyone I have met here. It’s a weird feeling, but when I spent my first week there, I felt like I was finally home – that I finally found a place where I belong.

I went back to the UK for 10 days in April and I can’t even explain to you how depressed I was when I walked into the airport to go back to the U.S.. I felt like I was abandoning my heart. And in more ways than one, I was.

That’s why making the decision to move to London was easy for me. I haven’t been happy in Michigan for a long time, if ever, to be completely honest. And I know that this is the right decision for me.

So at the end of June, I will be making the biggest move of my life. I will leave the U.S. and everything I have ever known, and go live to the UK to be with my boyfriend, the love of my life.

We are so excited. We’ll eventually get our own flat, our own furniture, have our own space. We’ll be able to book long weekends for cheap prices to the countryside, or Spain, Italy, or Greece. We’ll get to fall asleep next to each other, and wake up next to each other. I’ll get to annoy him in person all day long. And he will do the same. Trust me.

It will be amazing. Just the simple things like making dinner together or doing laundry together is better when the other is around. We both have gotten so many compliments on how much happier we are since we’ve been together, but imagine what people will say once we’re actually in the same country! Ah, well, I guess I’ll have to update you in a couple months then…. 🙂

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For now, I’ll get back to packing and selling everything I own. Cheers!

Yeah, ’cause that’s what ya say!

 

If any of you have tips or tricks on international moving, please let me know! I need all the help I can get. Comment below, or contact me on my Contact page!

 

Much Love

xxx

 

Back to England

For those of you who don’t know, my boyfriend lives in England. I went to visit him the week before Christmas and fell in love with London. He had planned every waking moment of the trip so I wanted this next time to be a bit more relaxed. And it was. But we still were incredibly busy. How do you justify not going out and doing something when you have 10 days in England and so much to see?

So far, you’ve had the chance to read about the highlights of my trip – from Bath and the Harry Potter Studio Tour. But I’ve decided to give you a glimpse into what the whole ten days was actually like, in a diary-like format.

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Flight from Detroit to Atlanta, two hour layover, with a connecting flight from Atlanta to London.

First flight was delayed for an hour and a half so that as soon as I landed in Atlanta, I had to run from the gate to the complete opposite end of the airport. The airport is constructed like T A B C D E F. I landed in A at 6:45pm and had to get to F for my flight that would depart at 7:25pm. I got to the gate just as they closed the door, running and waving my arms screaming “WAIT!” Yes, exactly like you see in the movies. With a stroke of luck, they let me on the plane. I come to find out that it was empty in economy where my seat was and I got the entire row to myself, as did others.

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The flight to London went rather smooth but I knew there was absolutely no way my bags were going to arrive with me so I had a good 8 hours to prepare to be very disappointed in Delta. Which seems like it’s becoming a usual during my international travels.

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

The plane landed at 8am local time and, as predicted, the bags were still in Atlanta. Well done, Delta. So I had to arrange for them to be delivered at D’s flat the next day. They had no way to tell me what time so I was given a number to call later that night to check if they had been put on a flight yet or not.

So I’m in London but have nothing with me. I don’t have soap for a shower, makeup, ANY clothes besides the smelly ones I got there with. Nothing. So we were forced to go shopping. I went to Boots and H&M and spent £150 on basics. Women are not cheap. And with my psoriasis and acne-prone skin, I needed to make sure I was getting good enough products to tie me over.

I finally showered and felt like a real human again around 2pm. With half the day already wasted trying to manage Delta’s screw up, we traveled into London with the hopes of doing some walking and getting some food and drinks. We saw the Tower Bridge again and went to the Dickens Inn for dinner and a bottle of Prosecco, as usual.

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Sunday, April 9th, 2017

I woke up to Delta’s notifications that my bags had landed in London. After talking to Virgin Airlines on the phone, they said there was no way to know when the bags would arrive, but we should expect them sometime in the afternoon or evening. It’s an absolutely ridiculous thing to say. I was on holiday, and we had plans to go to Southampton to visit D’s sister and nephews. I called them back and told them we’d pick them up instead. So we showered and set off back to Heathrow. I got my bags, changed my clothes, threw on some makeup, and we made our way to Southampton for the day.

As driving anywhere in England takes forever, we had lost out on a lot of time so we weren’t able to see any sights while we were there. We went to his sister’s house and made our way to The New Forest for a walk with the kids. It actually felt like we were in the Forbidden Forest, it was very pretty, and we had a beautiful day.

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We went to a local pub, got some food and ice cream, then made our way north east back to D’s flat. I finally got to give him his birthday presents, over a whole month later, and he was a very happy camper.

Monday, April 10th, 2017

We woke up with the intention of spending the day in Londan tan (London town). We went to Harrods, and a local pub where I finally had some fish and chips (and mushy peas – yummm), then went for a walk in Hyde Park and St. James Park. We had one more quick drink at a pub, then went back to the flat to meet up with his flat mate and head to Top Golf.

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Top Golf was so much fun and I’m seriously very bummed we don’t have one in Michigan because I want to go back soon, especially with the weather finally getting nicer.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Tuesday was Bath day! And no, that doesn’t mean we woke up and took a bath. We drove to the town of Bath in the English countryside. I wrote a very detailed post about what we did and included many pictures so be sure to check it out here if you haven’t already. It was gorgeous and my absolute favorite part of the entire trip.

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

The drive back from Bath took 6 hours which accounted for the majority of our day as we slept in and got breakfast in town before departing. We came back exhausted from the drive and if I remember correctly, we hung out at the flat and went to bed early. I have no photo evidence of doing anything special and this night is a complete blank for me…

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

We decided to have a lazy morning as the first five days had been jam packed already and I do love having time to do nothing. We originally had plans to meet up with a friend of mine later that night to go to Dinerama in Shoreditch, but those plans got cancelled and we were actually extremely happy about that as neither of us couldn’t be bothered to leave the flat. Therefore, D made me his special Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner and we watched movies.

The sauce is spectacular. It takes a couple hours to make and the smells are overwhelming. He could open his own restaurant with this meal, no joke.

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Friday, April 14th, 2017

We were able to have another lazy morning to lay around the flat. It took me all day to muster up the courage for a shower as we had plans later that night to meet up with some friends for a birthday dinner and night out.

We went to Gaucho’s, an Argentinian Steakhouse for dinner. There were 10 of us in a special back room where we spent over £1,000 on dinner and lots of drinks. The food was alright, the service was lacking (but it’s not America, ya know?) but the company was wonderful. We then tried going out to a few places, but as it was Good Friday, and a bank holiday, we were striking out. We finally made it to a place called Barrio’s which we had all been before – last time I was in town – which was hoppin’ and very fun.

The night ended there as everyone got tired and decided to turn in. No pictures as we were having too much fun to be on our phones. Quality time with humans, how bow dah?

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

We didn’t have any special plans for the morning but we did decide to shower up and go back to Top Golf as I still had two free games to play and D wanted to try out the new swing I helped him to attain. Instead, he almost murdered me by managing to hit the golf ball against the metal wall. It came soaring towards me, I tripped over my own feet trying to run away from it and pulled a muscle in my arm. We made a huge scene and provided some comedy for the groups near us. You are welcome Top Golfers!

We had plans later that night to see a friend of mine, who lives in Canary Wharf, to eat and drink at her flat. The night was filled with lots of laughter and lots of alcohol. We had a very early morning the next day so we weren’t able to stay out too late and got the tube back to D’s flat. I was fortunate enough to witness a proper drunken night on the tube, and even got to watch someone get sick in the carriage in front of us. Joy!

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Sunday, April 16th, 2017

Happy Easter Sunday! We got up really early to get ready and drive north to see D’s family, as this was really the only day we could fit it in. Unfortunately, we only had a couple of hours to spend with his mum before she had to get to work. We both were the definition of knackered and I fell asleep in the car on the way back. D had to stop to get coffee as he could barely keep his eyes open driving back.

As soon as we got through the door, D took a nap, and then we popped in Harry Potter to prepare for Monday’s little outing…..

Monday, April 17th, 2017

We had to get up early again, to catch brunch in London with one of D’s friends. We spent a couple hours in Old Spitalfields Market (LOL – the name kills me), with a couple bottles of Prosecco, then headed back so that we could drive to the Harry Potter Studio Tour!

I designated a separate post for that experience because it most definitely deserves its own post. You can read about it, and see more pictures here.

We didn’t get back until late and I had to pack up my suitcases as my flight was very early the next morning.

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Flight departing at 9:25am at Heathrow back to Detroit, MI. We left the flat at 6:30am, and didn’t arrive until 7:45am. I’m not kidding when I say it takes forever to get around England. The M25 is awful – I hate it with a passion.

The moment I got out of the car and started walking into the airport, I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to leave. The flight was horrible, even though it really wasn’t. It felt like it had gone on for 12 hours. I finally made it home around 2:45pm local Detroit time, absolutely knackered.

I managed to unpack, do my laundry, eat some food, and got into bed at 6:30pm where I fell asleep the moment my eyes shut.

And below is the picture of all the crumpets, Toblerone, Honeydukes’ sweets, and the chocolate egg I brought back with me. Hooray for diabetes!

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The trip was amazing. We had done so much together, it felt like I had been there for an entire month. We had a lot of fun and it was so nice to spend time with him as it had been 94 days since we had last seen each other.

We only have about 24 days until we see each other next and we’re obviously already counting down. I miss London and I miss my boyfriend, but at least I’ve got the memories, and the billions of pictures, to filter through until next time.

 

Much Love

xxx

Exploring the English Countryside in the Town of Bath

A couple weeks before my trip to England, the boyfriend told me he booked us a night in the English countryside, in a place called Bath. It is known for the Roman-era baths, which we never got to see. But quite honestly, it didn’t even matter. The town was absolutely breathtaking. The old yellow stone buildings, the water, the horse-drawn carriage. We got to our hotel, which was actually a bit difficult to find. We had to drive up all these really steep hills and through long winding roads. When we got in to hotel reception, they had told us our room was upgraded. We stayed in room Two of the Combe Grove. And this was our view!

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Pictures couldn’t even do it justice, but just look at the grounds.

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We had a couple drinks and a snack (meaning truffle and Parmesan chips) and then went into town where we walked around and stopped for a drink at a couple different pubs.

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We came back to the hotel for the latest dinner serving. In the morning, we got ready and checked out of the hotel with the plan to go to Brighton for the day, with a 3 hour drive in front of us. The car wasn’t having it and being very moody so instead of risking it, we decided to drive back to D’s flat. And that’s where we got stuck on the M25 for 3 hours making our drive home take 6 hours!!! Moral of the story: the M25 is an asshole.

All in all, this trip was amazing. I would highly suggest anyone to go to Bath if looking for a trip through the English countryside. The sights are amazing. I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the rolling hills, but believe me when I say it was worth the drive to look at.

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Have any of you ever been to Bath? Or is there another town in the English countryside that you think I absolutely must go?? I may do so sometime 🙂 Comment below!

 

Much Love

xxx

Where to Stay in New York City: FiDi Vs. Tribeca

Chances are that if you’re reading this post you’re thinking of taking a trip to the Big Apple for some reason. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, where you stay can really make a big difference. The city is so big. And it’s really nice when you have bars, restaurants, and shopping near you. Not to mention, you want to be in a good location to see some sights. So that’s why I’ve decided to write this post.

I’ve been to NYC three times in my life. The first time, I stayed with a friend who lived in the Financial District. And we had a lot of fun and I remember liking the area. So when my boyfriend and I scheduled a long weekend to meet in the city, I found us a hotel in FiDi (short for Financial District – pronounced like WiFi). At that time, I had a ton of hotel points with SPG saved up from all the traveling I had done with work, so we only looked at SPG hotels in the city.

Aloft – Financial District

We ended up at the Aloft. If you’re not too familiar with the city, FiDi is pretty much at the tip of Manhattan. It takes forever to get there, especially if your plane lands during rush hour on a Thursday night. There was already a strike against it just for that reason. The hotel was very modern looking, and nice. The room was clean and equipped with what we needed. But it was tiny. I mean maybe 200 sq ft? Ok I just looked it up. Yes, the rooms are 210-230 sq ft. If you have more than one person in it, you feel a bit claustrophobic.

We did, however, try to find quick bites to eat nearby when we first got in as we were hungry. We walked for a mile until it started raining and had yet to find any kind of bar that was still serving food and drinks. We were in a dead town. In NYC! We ended up walking back to the hotel, and ordering from Seamless. We went to grab some wine for the room to save money for the rest of the weekend, and when I called down to the front desk to ask if they could send a corkscrew up, they said that they don’t do that and I had to go down to the front desk for them to open it for me. Which was really really weird…. (And that actually inspired me to buy a travel corkscrew so I no longer had to rely on other people to drink my wine.)

When I came back up to the room afterwards, my boyfriend was hiding behind the door and jumped out at me as I walked through the doorway. I screamed BLOODY MURDER. And no one came to see if I had been murdered or not. So I feel like that says a lot about the people on that floor. I’m not advocating murder or anything, but it seems as if you could get away with it if you’re on the top floor of the Aloft. Just saying.

All in all, I’d give the hotel 4 stars in general, but about 1 for convenience if you’re there for pleasure. If it’s a work trip and you’re traveling solo, it’s actually quite perfect. It’s right near Wall Street and the room would be fine for one person. We did have a pretty awesome view, though.

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Sheraton Suites – Tribeca

The second time we went to NYC was for my birthday week in November. As I stated above, we had to stick to using SPG hotels because of all the points I had so we stayed at the Sheraton in Tribeca. It was AMAZING. The hotel was in a prime location near a lot of shopping, bars, sights, and a wine store right across the road that we became very good friends with. We would have been better off buying a whole case of Prosecco considering how much of it we drank during this trip…

The hotel had been renovated so it was in very good shape. The bathroom was much more open, as was the room. We didn’t feel so claustrophobic in this one. And the view? Oh. My. God.

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Above are the birthday mimosas D poured for us as soon as I woke up in the morning. It was lovely. We couldn’t get enough of this view. And the best part is that because I am an SPG Platinum member, we got access to the lounge on the top floor, which had a rooftop terrace. We would go get our free drinks and sit outside and stare at this every single night.

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They actually gave me a complimentary breakfast coupon, but we never used it, which is quite silly now that I think about it.

As you can probably tell, I liked this hotel much better. The location was great. We were right around the corner from the subway. We had a wine store across the street. Shopping was only a couple streets over. LOTS of very good restaurants nearby. And the hotel staff was very nice and friendly and cleaned our room exactly as they should have. Not to mention, Sarabeth’s was right around the corner. And I can’t even express how much I loved to go to Sarabeth’s for brunch.

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We really didn’t have many complaints. And nothing beats that view and the rooftop.

I’d give this hotel 5 stars. I think if we ever go back to Manhattan, we would stay there again. We enjoyed it very much!

 

Any other hotels or placed you’ve stayed at in NYC that you absolutely loved? Comment below!

 

Much Love

xxx

Ooh La La, Amsterdam!

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This is how I feel beginning to write this post, as it’s going to be so hard to put into coherent words. I’m just excited reliving it right now!

It was the 23rd of December. My plan was simple. Land, get my car, drive home, unpack, do my laundry, take a shower, go to bed, and go to my parent’s house for Christmas Eve festivities in the morning.

Needless to say, the plan fell through.

So I arrived at Heathrow airport really early. The lady checking my bags even let me check them both for free because, “It’s Christmas.” I went and got some breakfast, went to the Harrod’s in the airports, then walked to my gate once it was announced. When I arrived at my gate, I was told the flight was delayed due to high winds. This flight was to take me to Amsterdam for an hour and a half layover then straight to Detroit.

But the flight was delayed. It was delayed so much that I missed my connecting flight to Detroit.

I had to go to the transfer desk for them to put me on another flight. I came to find out there wasn’t another one until the next day at 10:45am. Meaning I had to spend a night in Amsterdam. Alone.

Now most people would freak out at this point and go on Facebook and rant and rant. And normally I would have freaked out – without the social media ranting. My plans were all messed up, I didn’t have my luggage with me, I was in a strange country all by myself, but I was quite giddy about it. I was a little nervous, but was embracing the experience this was bringing me. I bought myself a converter to charge my phone and set off to the hotel the airline booked for me.

The hotel was shit. It was a 2 star at best. But I was determined not to be negative.

I Facetimed D, who had traveled to Amsterdam multiple times and he told me a a good place where to walk around. So I requested an Uber to drive me and walked the streets of Liedesplein.

I saw the beautiful canals, all the pretty lights they put up for a light festival, almost stepped in puke, saw the famous bench from “The Fault in Our Stars,” saw the rainbow bridge, and even walked as far as the ice rink near the “iamsterdam” sign and the Van Gogh museum.

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The rainbow flower strip in one of the canals
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The famous Rainbow Bridge – really hard to get a good picture of this with my phone
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The infamous bench from “The Fault in Our Stars”
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Pretty lights for Christmas

It was freezing cold. The wind was at least 20mph so I didn’t last outside long. I went to an authentic Italian restaurant and ordered myself a pizza. Then went to a sweet shop and tried a couple of different sweets. And last but not least, I even bought a waffle with dark chocolate hardened on top of it. It was delicious.

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Oh this was so good. I wanted to eat it all, but sadly could not
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Could barely eat half of this
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And for those of you wondering if you will ever find an empty Lush, it is located in Amsterdam. You are welcome.

The Dutch people are all very nice, and everyone speaks English. Out of all the strange countries to be stranded in, this wasn’t so bad. And it was a free night!

All in all, it was a pretty neat experience despite the fact that it was completely a surprise. But it really ignited something in me that I knew was always there, but had been hiding in a little corner of my heart: wanderlust.

Now when I see a new place, I don’t think to myself “Oh gosh, that looks gorgeous. I would love to go there someday.” and knowing full well it’ll probably never happen. Now I think “Oh gosh, that looks gorgeous. D, we HAVE to go here. I’m putting it on my list.”

Now it’s conceivable.

But I also need money for these things. So it may be awhile.

 

Any crazy travel plans of yours ever get messed up that it ended up being a positive and enjoyable experience? Comment below or write me on Twitter -@knackeredchaos!

 

Much Love

xxx

London, Baby!

This post kind of picks up where the Virgin Airlines post left off. As soon as I got off the plane, I was at London Heathrow Airport which is the definition of chaotic. In 2015, it was listed as the third busiest airport in the world. My boyfriend picked me up with a single red rose, mind you, and we set off into the sunset!

LOL nope. Just kidding. Never going to happen.

Anyway, we had planned to do a bit of a celebration for Christmas that night as I was knackered (exhausted – for those who don’t speak British English) and we were going to spend Christmas Eve and Day apart. He had already gone out and bought a Christmas tree for us to decorate, so we had to go buy decorations. We got to his flat, located in Romford – near Essex – and decorated the tree after I showered and changed my clothes. We then spent the rest of the day drinking Prosecco, listening to Christmas music, and watching Christmas movies. He made his famous Spaghetti Bolognese – which was insanely amazing – and I fell asleep on the couch…..

Only 1 hour of sleep on the plane. Can you blame me??

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Christmas Tree Selfie

 

I was only scheduled to be there for a week so we had a lot to fit in.

The next day we slept in and had to run out to the store as my curling iron and straightener were not heating up with the adapter I bought. We had plans later that night to eat at Sushi Samba with some friends, which is located on the 38th and 39th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in London. The food was delicious, the company was lovely, and the views were spectacular. We went out in Shoreditch to a couple of different pubs afterwards and spent the rest of the night intoxicated like a regular British person would.

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M and I out in Shoreditch

On Sunday, we woke up with a not-so-carefully crafted hangover that was only to be cured by a McDonald’s breakfast/lunch.

No, I refuse to call McDonald’s brunch.

This is when I discovered that Coca-Cola changes their recipe for different countries! The coke probably had half of the sugar it has in America and it was so much better. I honestly felt ignorant for not knowing this and ashamed for my fellow Americans. As a nation, why are we not actively questioning the ingredients in our food and drinks? I was plagued by this the entire trip – still am. It’s a scary thought, and probably for another time…

Moving on.

Later that night, we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. And this absolutely had to be included in my list of favorite things to do in London. I believe it’s open in December and January every year. We had a blast! We were there for 3 hours and probably only went through ¼ of it. You don’t have to pay to get in, but you do have to pay for all the rides and games. You buy the tokens and use them for your fun. We decided to each choose two rides of our liking, to keep it fair.

The first one we went on was a spinny one, called “The Waltzes.” I was freaking out for this. It’s D’s favorite ride and he spent the entire time giggling/screaming in my ear. It was hilarious. We could not stop laughing, and in the end, I loved it. I also chose a ride that slowly rises to the top and then free falls very quickly, and almost made D crap his pants. I thoroughly enjoyed that. We had to get a drink afterwards to calm him down. I had my first mulled cider. YUM. We left and came out near the West End of London and walked around for an hour or two until we decided to get the tube back to his flat.

Monday had been designated tourism day. We got up early and saw everything from the London Tower to the Tower Bridge. We had an appointment to have champagne at the top of the Shard, so we walked along the South Bank until 3pm. It was foggy and there wasn’t a whole lot of visibility which was a tad bit disappointing, but we still got to see enough of London from the tallest building in the UK! See selfie below.

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Top of the Shard

We also managed to get to Somerset House, Covent Garden, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace.

We were able to end the night at Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station. I was absolutely delighted. I mean, look at my face.

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And here D and I are sitting next to each other on the train. He’s 6’7” and I’m 5’2”. Can you tell?

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Tuesday morning we went to Greenwich Park and stood next to the Meridian Line. There was an amazing view of London once you managed to walk up the steepest hill in all of the world.

This is probably not true, but it felt like I had been climbing a ladder for three years.

It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear and we had perfect weather.

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Greenwich Park at the Meridian Line

Later that night we went for a 15-course dinner at a place called Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs. When you walk inside, they take you to the back of the restaurant and you sit around the kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare the food, while drinking champagne. This has also been included in the list of my favorite things we did in London. The food was so weird. One course was parsley ice cream, and in another the chef used beet root as part of a dessert. But it was all so very scrumptious, and the staff were very nice and accommodating. We would go back in an instant. Some of the food served pictured below:

Afterwards, we went out with my best friend who also lives over there, M, and had some drinks around Westminster. We went to a famous club called Tiger, Tiger, which was not that great despite all the talk about it. The clubbing scene isn’t really our thing, but we managed to have a good time anyway.

Wednesday, we went up to Swadlincote – near Burton – to meet D’s family and home town friends. The drive was about 3.5 hours, so we spent most of the morning driving. We got to his mum’s house and visited with her and his sister and her wife. Then his aunt and uncle came ‘round so we could all go out to dinner. This was another one of my favorite parts about the trip. His family was absolutely lovely, and I’m not saying that just because they could potentially read this, but because it was the truth. We just spent the entire time laughing, which is what I usually do with my own family, so it didn’t feel all too much different. After dinner, we went out with his friends he grew up with. And the rest of the evening was filled with even more laughter. We stayed the night as we had a long drive back and we had been drinking. A lot. A lot of drinks. All the drinks.

So on Thursday, we left to go back to his flat for our last night together in England. *insert very sad face here* Even as I’m typing, it makes me sad that I had to leave. We just stayed in and spent quality time together before getting up early the next morning to catch my flight.

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Gorgeous English sunset on our last night

I did not want to leave. And I miss it every day. I had crumpets with tea every morning for breakfast. If you’ve never had crumpets before, you are missing out on more than you could ever imagine. If you’re ever in England, you absolutely MUST try them with some English Breakfast tea. It is divine. And you will become addicted. You have been warned. (PSA – don’t buy the American-made ones. They’re horrible and made me feel really sad because we tend to butcher everyone’s food.)

As you can see, we were busy the entire time I was there. There was always something to do, and we didn’t even get through half of it. Next time I go back, we are going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Like that is not even a question. It’s happening. And many many more things planned.

Crossing my fingers I get to go back soon…..

What are your favorite things to do in London? Any restaurants or places I must go next time I visit? Comment below or write me on Twitter – @knackeredchaos!

 

Much Love

xxx