Sunday, August 1, 2010

London Calling! *Warning: Long Post, 3 days of Updates!!*

Sorry, I couldn't think of a good name :)

I tried updating while we were there but we were pretty busy, and for some reason the pictures weren’t uploading so I saved the post to be written later.

This weekend, we took the Euro Star train to London. We decided to spend this weekend in England to visit my family while we were over on this side of the globe. It's neat to know the train can get you there! It was Ordy's first time on a train and it was all in all a good experience. 

Gare de Nord Train Station
Waiting in the Incredibly Long Line
1st Train Ride! :)

Ordy and I barely made the train to London with the long line. There were at least 200 people in front of us and the sign said the train to London was already boarding. There was no organization whatsoever in the Paris train station. We arrived at 2 p.m. and the train was set to leave at 4:30, we had plenty of time, we just had no idea how everything worked or where to go. The woman who printed our tickets told us to arrive 30 minutes before departure to “queue” for the train… We did, only we had no idea it was going to take us almost an hour. Thank goodness our train was late in departing (which is rare), something mechanical must have come up because it was supposed to leave at 4:30, and we got on at 5:00, with it leaving at 5:04. We really got lucky. (We would have missed that train and missed London completely because the tickets were nonrefundable). We took the 2 and a half hour train to London’s St. Pancras International Station and waited until my uncle could come pick us up.

I was so excited we made it! I really was nervous something would happen, because I’m so used to just traveling with my dad and just following him. He knows his way around almost every country it seems, and I was kind of worried I wouldn’t be able to follow signs or directions. When I finally saw my uncle and we were loading our luggage in his car, I took a deep sigh of relief. I only had to worry about Sunday’s return (but I’d worry about that on Sunday I told myself).  It took us about 2 hours to get to Brighton, luckily without any typical London Friday evening traffic. We got to the house and had the most incredible Turkish Chicken Sandwich Wraps for dinner, made our plans for Saturday and called it a night.

Brighton Pier- pebble beach

Saturday was the most fun we’ve had in a long time. I truly enjoyed spending time with my Brighton family. I think my entire bed (mattress, pillow, duvet, etc) was made entirely of feathers, it was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever been in, and I would hesitate before getting up. We woke up to the best breakfast and English tea (tea + milk), and we made Ordy Boy taste Marmite (absolutely disgusting). It’s like a yeast preserve and tastes like a rubber eraser. Why Britt’s love it is beyond me.

They had the cutest boxer puppy that made me miss my Bandit so much! He was so friendly and goofy you couldn’t help but love Alfie! I have a feeling he is going to be on the bigger scale of boxers, his paws were huge!

After breakfast, we went down to “the lanes” (although they’re spelled differently there), which is the cutest area by the Brighton Pier. We decided to spend the day down there and see the area. It rained the night before but around 1 p.m. the sun was so bright, making me peel off all the layers of clothing I had on. We walked around the lanes and made our way to the pier. The lanes remind me of Virginia Highlands/Little 5 Points area. Everyone seemed free spirited/earthy/organic/hippiedippie. Haha. It was a lot cuter than L5P, maybe because it was cleaner and less grungy. I guess it’s a little like the West Coast. We walked around and tried to find souvenirs, since I knew both of our sisters would have loved the area and shops there. After looking around, we walked down towards the beach and ate some fish and chips by the pier. The Brighton Beach is a pebble beach, and my cousin was saying that even though the water is freezing, as soon as the sun comes out people jump in because it’s warm in comparison to their wintertime. After our lunch, and walking around, my uncle suggested to go to the countryside. So we went home for a bit to grab Alfie and take him to the countryside with us. He was so stinking cute in the back (“boot”), sliding around on the cardboard they put down for him.


It was about a 15 minute drive to the “countryside” and it was amazing! Rolling green hills, sheep on the side, horses, and cattle grazing. I loved the windy roads to the top. We got to the pub and I loved it!!! It was the cutest concept of a bar with an outdoor area where you could sit at the picnic benches they had (dogs on leashes allowed). You would just grab some beer from inside and sit outside for hours, no rush to leave, and no one to kick you out. It was great weather to sit outside and just enjoy the day. Ordy Boy tried whatever my uncle had which was a Kronenburg (sp?), and I had my typical girly/childish cider beer that everyone makes fun of me for- but I loved it, so that’s all that matters. My cousin was joking that kids in England don’t even have to have an ID to buy the cider beer, and that 11 year olds had it like apple juice haha. We spent a good 2 hours outside just watching Alfie play with other dogs and talking outside soaking up the sun. I really wish we had something like that in America, or at least in Atlanta.

Ordy and Alfie!

After the pub we went home to get ready for dinner. We had 8:30 reservations at my favorite Indian restaurant, Hove Tandoori. As soon as we got in on Friday night my uncle made plans to take us Saturday night, I had to have my British Indian food. No one in Atlanta even comes CLOSE to good Indian food! We got to Hove Tandoori and it was the CUTEST restaurant. So quaint and charming - unlike Indian restaurants at home where you either sacrifice ambiance for food quality or vice versa. We each ordered different meals and put them in the middle to share ‘tapas style’ I guess. I couldn’t try the other meals because of my spicy food tolerance (or lack thereof), but Ordy tasted a little of everything and looovvveddd it. I was SO excited because I get nervous making him try new things. We were so stuffed we felt like being rolled out of the place. We made it home and immediately got into our elastic waist pj’s to feel comfortable.

I was sad our trip was so short since we were enjoying ourselves so much. My family was so accommodating and the best hosts (not surprised, just grateful), and I can’t wait for them to visit the states so we can share the hospitality. I felt spoiled being waited on hand and foot, but I know we wouldn’t treat them any less when they come visit.

Sunday morning rolled around, and after another amazing breakfast, Ordy and I headed to the train station. Another close call to get to the platform, but we made it thankfully. One more night in Paris and then we are headed home! It seems like we’ve been away forever! I’m ready to see my family (Bandit included). I know one thing, when I get back I’m going to be M.I.A. for a while just cleaning, unpacking, and enjoying my house for a few days before I do anything! It’ll only take a day or two because I want to spend the rest of my summer with my friends before the madness of school begins! Can’t believe today is the first day of AUGUST! That’s crazy to me! I’m very blessed to have been able to get away this summer before I go back to the demanding schedule of the upcoming semester. Tomorrow will be a (very long) travel day, so I won’t be updating until we are safe in America. We leave Paris in the afternoon and get to Atlanta later that evening. I’m going to sleep as early as possible, because even when we’re ‘home’ we have at least a 2 hour wait in customs…so close yet so far away! Can’t wait to see the messages/calls/voicemail when I turn my phone on! 

No comments:

Post a Comment