So, You're Going To London: Part 1
It's Tuesday, and like me, you're a little sad all the royal wedding hype is over. To be honest, I wasn't too excited about the whole thing since I thought Kate and William's wedding couldn't be topped, but Meghan and Harry's wedding was one for the books. My family woke up at 3:30 a.m., with tea and pastries, to watch the ceremony.
A lemon blueberry cupcake topped with a St. Germain and vanilla buttercream with edilble flowers from Sprinkles made for the special occasion...can you say yum?!
Everyone had their reasons for watching; some wanted to see history happen, some wanted to see what celebrities were going to show up, some wanted to see the dresses and hats, but I think we can all agree that we all saw a very happy couple sharing their love in front of the whole world. I wanted to see a little bit of everything (especially the fashion), and watching the ceremony made me feel nostalgic about the trip I took to London for my 22nd birthday.
Who can honestly say they don't want to at least visit the U.K. after the wedding? You can go for adventure, romance, or in my case, for independence. I wanted to prove to myself that I could plan a trip and go somewhere new all by myself. Of course, I was scared out of my mind, but thanks to technology and friendly locals, I made it just fine.
No mean reds here, just happy reds...
So the whole thing started when Hamlet tickets went on sale. Nothing too out of the ordinary right? Well this version starred Bendict Cumberbatch and he would be performing live at the Barbican Theatre, which is located in London. There was so much buzz around this show, and I had to at least try to get tickets, and if I didn't, oh well. I "stood" in line digitally for 3 hours, dozing in and out, seeing that I was the 1,000 person in line. Then I saw the line was getting shorter and shorter, and finally, I got a ticket! I honestly thought I would never get a ticket, and once I did, it hit me: I had to plan a trip to London. Luckily I had a bit over a year to raise the funds for my trip, and paid it off in full a few months after getting my play ticket. I would highly recommend going through travel agencies like Virgin Vacations, which help you plan your trip while they take care of your flight, hotels, and sightseeing tours.
Places like this!
The whole thing didn't really hit me until the day I had to leave. I wouldn't physically have family or friends there to help me, even though I knew they were a phone or video call away. I haven't been on an airplane since I was a little girl, so the whole thing was kind of nerve-racking. The good thing is, there were plenty of people who knew the right answers and directed me in the right places. My flight was split in two: the first was from Orange County to Atlanta, with a layover of two hours, then a overnight flight with the final destination being Heathrow Airport. The overnight flight to London had to be one of my favorites since all you see outside your window are stars, and you wake up with a glorious sunrise overlooking Ireland and finally, the U.K. Of course, the first day I got there, it was raining.
Is there anything more glorious than London in the rain?
I landed Tuesday morning, and being the first day of Fall, I was not used to how chilly it was, but it was lovely nonetheless. I booked a ticket for the London Eye the same day, but I was just so tired I decided to stay in.
Hmm, maybe your first cups of tea in England might beat that...might.
Wednesday morning, I woke up at 7 a.m. to get breakfast at the hotel (which was nothing short of delicious!) and spent the rest of the morning getting ready to go out. I was staying in Ilford, which was a few stops away from the Liverpool Station, where I could get all the trains and tubes I needed to get to the places I wanted to see. I needed a dress for that night since that was the night I was going to see Hamlet, so I stopped by Collectif. I not only left with one dress, but two, a blouse, swing pants, and a black pencil skirt. I got back to the station, and I was just so confused and overwhelmed that I started panicking and broke down at my hotel room. I was so far away from the people I loved and I didn't know what to do. After a short nap I felt refresed and forced myself to go because this was an amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of my favorite actors live and performing one of my favorite plays. So, off I went to the Barbican, had lunch in their yummy cafe, bought a few souvenirs from the gift shop, and enjoyed the show.
Can't start the day without a traditional English breakfast
Just another day in the life of a Londoner *le sigh*
That me in the corner...hi!
All I ate was sandwiches and chips on this trip...I wish I was joking
Almost a whole year building up to that moment and it was FANTASTIC!
The play ended around 10:30 ish at night, and I started freaking out again because I had no idea how to get back to my hotel. Lucky for me, a cabbie was incredibly helpful to point me in the right direction. I thought the streets would be void of people, but no, the streets, bars, and restaurants were full of patrons, which gave me a sense of comfort. I finally got to the station, which was only a 10 minute walk from the Barbican, with the train back "home" full of people at 11 at night, which honestly surprised me. I finally got to my hotel, and knocked out.
Thursday morning, I came to a realization that I will never overcome my fears if I don't go out there and experience the world, well London. Thursday was booked for the Tower of London, which was a must for this paranormal-loving history nerd. They have free guided tours every hour, with a real Beefeater guiding you around the famous spots at the Tower. You get to see the famous ravens, as well as where some very famous (and infamous) individuals met their end. There was one building that had the crown jewels on display, and it took all of me to not recreate that one scene from Sherlock. There was live animation on the walls, which changed with the music that was played, which was nothing short of amazing. Once I left that building, I checked out the grounds and left to make it to my next destination.
Mixing old and new skylines...
And elephants oh my!
*U.K. national anthem plays in the background*
Oh and selfies with Tower Bridge, of course.
I mean, of course!
I took the tube to my next stop, the British Museum. I was awestruck by the grandeur of it all; it was just amazing to me that I got to see the artifacts from books I used to look at as a kid (my dad loves archaeology and started me young). I also had a reunion of sorts with the Egyptian artifacts there since the British Museum did a tour with them a few years back. It's just incredible how so many ancient artifacts have stood the test of time and are just there for everyone to see (and for free!). I could go on and on about all the beautiful exhibits, but I'd rather show you in pictures.
My favorite piece from the museum.
Speaking about going on and on, I decided this post would be best split in two. Seriously, it's alot. Keep your eyes peeled for part two, where I'll talk more about my trip, as well as some tips and tricks for travelling on your own. Thanks for tuning in!
And that's a wrap! Make sure to check the blog for more fun posts! Till next time! ♡ - Daniela & Premier Amour Follow Premier Amour through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and make sure to join our mailing list!