Up at 7:30am. Packed and ready to go :) my mom was having a minor heart attack about me leaving. We met Kinsey at some gas station so that we could all drive to the airport together! Once we were at the airport I realized that my mom was being VERY chill compared to Kinsey's mom. Her mom had printed out about a million sheets of information on scams travelers should avoid and everything. Also she told us that the number one rule we HAD to follow was "don't talk to strangers and don't make eye contact when you're walking on the streets." She said it was our homework for the flight to memorize all of the scams as well. We said of course Lisa. Did we actually study it? For about a minute. But then we were distracted by some guy that wouldn't stop talking to us. He said he was good pals with Uchtdorf. So we broke the number one rule and we were still in Salt Lake.
Finally we boarded. Our first flight was from Salt Lake to Seattle. Wasn't super long. I sat by a super nice Hawaiian woman and a crazy Mormon mom. The mom was having a hernia because her kids weren't right next to her on the plane. She put up such a fuss that they gave her free flyer miles! So she'll be flying with Alaska Airlines real soon. They found out that they were both LDS so they talked about that the entire flight. I joined in at the end and they absolutely loved that I was traveling. They asked me all about it! They were great.
In Seattle we had a four hour layover. The layover started with food because we were going to pass out if we didn't eat. After eating we sat down at our gate and we played What Are The Chances. And let me tell you... It was HILARIOUS. Ashlyn had to go up to a couple and tap on their knees and just start dancing for them and then walk off. I was dying. Then Kinsey had to go in the middle of the crowd and clear her throat super loud, set her hat on the ground, and start dancing. She got the WEIRDEST looks hahaha my dare was pretty mild. I had to go up to this guy who was like 3 feet tall and grab his hand and kiss it and then bow. He almost didn't let me. He was resisting me. Ha we eventually had to go sit at another gate. Then we just chilled for the rest of the time.
Our next flight was from Seattle to Rejkavic, Iceland. That was a freakin long flight. Seven hours to be exact. I watched Thor 2, read, watched Friends, and the cute little Asian lady next to me absolutely loved looking out the window with me and taking a thousand pictures. She was great. Headed to Paris! I also tried to watch an Iceland movie. I didn't enjoy it. It swore. A lot. And showed awful things. I'll tell you when you're older. Anyway. We landed in Iceland and boy was it dreary. Super cloudy and rainy. But pretty!! The entire flight I couldn't understand anything the flight attendants or pilot or the people around me were saying. Being in Iceland it was worse. We didn't know who to ask questions to!! But we eventually figured it out. And that's where we met Rob. He loves Bourbon. Wouldn't stop talking about it. He wanted to drink it right then and there but it was 7am and that would be crazy.... Haha
The flight from Iceland to London felt way longer than it really was. I sat next to Ean. A very strange kid who loves traveling and lived in Helsinki for a while. I slept for like 30 minutes but it felt like much longer. I actually got to sit by Ashlyn on this flight! So we watched the dumbest movie called Enough Said. Hated it.
Eventually we got to Heathrow and had to go through customs. That took FOREVER. Then we took the underground train to King's Cross and slipped into Platform 9 3/4 for a bit!! Kings Cross is amazing!! So big. Then we ate some pizza. Then wandered around for a bit. And now we are on a train headed to my great friend Jamie Burns' place.
We finally got to Jamie's house after a beautiful train ride. Went out to eat at Nando's :) our waitress was from Germany mad she asked us if we liked the restaurant before we had even eaten. We were like "we'll let ya know...." Haha they also have very small portions in England. it poured a ton that night as well. We passed out at 10pm and woke up at 4am completely awake. Haha time change is rough. We eventually fell back asleep and woke at 1pm. Haha it'll take us a while to get used to this ha
May 28, 2014
After waking up at 1pm we got ready and had some cereal and then we walked around Kings Lynn. We saw a kid named Aberforth like Dumbledore's brother!! It's a beautiful little English town. We ran into a Church of England and walked around it. The cars here are TINY. Everything here is tiny compared to America. We seriously haven't seen one obese Brit yet. The accents are as cool as ever and they are so polite. It's so gorgeous. Everything is so old and historic. We get stared at a lot. Ha we decided its because we are like so super gorgeous with amazing smiles. So we'll just stick with that.
After walking around the entire town we came back to Jamie's and ate and then he got home from work! He drove us to Hunstanton. On the way there we stopped off at the Queen's palace and took pictures outside :) once we got to Hunstanton we walked along the streets and the coast. It was super pretty!! We played what are the chances again and Kinsey had to sing I'm Proud To Be An American in the arcade so that was funny. Ashlyn had to sneak in the amusement park and go on the slides. I didn't have to do anything luckily. We went to a cute cafe and got fish and chips and some shmoo (milkshakes). The shmoo wasn't great. It was just suuuuuuuper thick milk. Kinda made me gag a bit. Ha as we ate we fed some chips (fries) to the seagulls and they were talented! We would chuck the fries into the air and they'd catch them in mid air!! Oh the things that entertain us. On the way back to the car we met a cute little family and the dad asked where we were from and we told him America and that we lived by California and he said oh that's miles away! But what I heard was oh there are models over that way! And so I responded with yeah we're all basically models. And he just laughed and said yeah you look like models! After he left everyone told me what he really said. So..... That was embarrassing.
We stopped at the Rising Castle. Jamie said there were rumors that people had seen ghosts there. The castle was locked unfortunately. We tried to climb it but to no avail. So we climbed around it. No ghosts though :( ha it was a blast!!!
We got back to Jamie's and his lovely mother, Ashley, made us dinner. Salad and pizza and scones (delicious biscuits). So good. To end the night we watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I because it only seemed fitting.
May 29, 2014
Woke up. Ashley made us breakfast! We had crumpets! And they are delicious!!! After breakfast we packed up and took the train to London. On the way we played rummy. I won. Yeah wuuuudup. Once we got to Kings Cross we got on the tube (the subway) and went to our hostel, Rest Up London. My first hostel. And for a hostel it was freakin nice!! At least I think. Ha we had bunk beds and we had the room to ourselves :) it was POURING and glorious. We just dropped our stuff off and headed to the Tower Bridge. It was an incredible walk. We saw the red phone booths, the double decker buses, cathedrals, humans, craziness. We stopped at the Church of England and there was a service going on. So we watched a bit of it. It was super weird ha they walked down the aisle singing and carrying giant crosses and candles. The lady freaked when I walked in at first because I was carrying a Subway cup and she told me I couldn't have it in there 3 separate times. The first time I was like sorry! And then I drank the rest real quick. The next two times I was like RELAX ITS EMPTY. Geez lady. We left after a few minutes and reached the London Bridge. We took pictures with the Tower Bridge in the background and then walked to the Tower Bridge. On the way there I tried to play fetch with a dog. He was bored and just walked off. And then we were climbing some steps and Jamie straight up ripped his shorts hahaha hilarious. He had to go the rest of the day with them ripped ha we took a million pictures with the Tower Bridge. We walked across it and went to this other tower that seriously looked like a knights castle. It had a moat around it and everything. That was when we switched our phones around so we could actually get pictures of ourselves on our own phones. I'm a genius. A self consumed genius ;)
On the walk Ashlyn got a sample of some roasted peanuts and gave some to Kinsey. Kinsey has a severe allergy to peanuts. As she pops them in her mouth and starts chewing she says "these are almonds right?" Ashlyn says no they're peanuts and Kinsey immediately spit it all out but not before her freakin mouth started swelling and she got a rash on her forehead. She downed some Benadryl and luckily the symptoms went away but fetch I was scared!!
Anyway, then we got some souvenirs and then made our way back over the London Bridge and found Alma's Pizzeria to eat at. It was so good! I got spaghetti with meat sauce and it was perfect. We asked the lady if she could tell we were American and she said definitely. Ha then as we were leaving she said I'll see you in America when I go there! And we said uh yeah.... Do you realize how big it is? Ha oh we'll. after that we got on the tube and went to Trafalga Square and took a ton of pictures and got on some lion statues. Then we had a Big Ben sighting so we walked towards it. It is AMAZING. It's much bigger than I thought. We walked across another bridge and you could see Big Ben and the London Eye. We got some real nice pictures. The London Eye was lit up blue. So cool. Then we just walked around and saw where the Prime Minister lives and there were some Russians out in front protesting about the problems between them and the Ukraine. So there were huge guards out there with ginormous guns. Sketch!!
We went to Covent Market and got some ice cream at McDonald's and then headed back to the hostel. The TV room in this hostel is freakin cool. A million bean bags. Chairs that look like royalty. Flat screen TV. Man. Livin the dream! We talked to a nice man about biking for a bit in there. Then we went to bed :)
May 30, 2014
Well the day began with waking up, getting ready, and heading out. We rented Barclay bikes for the day! They have this weird system where you can rent the bike for the day but you can only have it for 30 minutes at a time. So you have to know where the other bike stops are and drop it off before 30 minutes are up or you get charged £10! Way dumb. So we picked up some bikes and rode them to our new hostel called the London Eye Hostel. Riding bikes around London is scary. Traffic is going the opposite direction, everyone is honking, there are a million buses.... Sketch. We finally got to the hostel and we couldn't check in until two so they had us leave our stuff in a locked room. We were nervous to leave our stuff but we just did because our backs were breaking. We picked up some bikes again and headed to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards. We got there at 11:05 and we thought it started at 11 so we were rushing but we couldn't find a bike drop off! We finally found one and walked to the palace.
When we got there, there were seriously a million people outside of the palace. We found a wall to get up on and we had a way good view! The guards start at the guard museum and they're dressed in those funny uniforms with the ginormous furry hats and red suit coats and they play a song on a bunch of different instruments as they march towards the palace. They stop traffic and everything for it! It's pretty cool! They send two sets of guards in so after the first one we were just chilling on the wall and one of the police guards came to the wall and started yelling at everyone on the wall. "Get off the wall. Get off the wall right now." But it was fun while it lasted. Ha
When the second round started we had relocated to the middle of the palace grounds so they walked right past us! It was brilliant. They have police on horses guide them and everything. Once it ended, we found Freddie and Ram and took some pictures and then left to find food. Freddie took us the most round about way but we finally found a quaint little place called Westminster Arms. I got the olde English Steak Pie and it was seriously unreal. So good. We got a good laugh catching up with everyone and reminiscing about camp and stuff. After we left we picked up some bikes and went to Westminster Abbey, Trafalga Square, National Gallery, Chinatown, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Fleet Street, and St. Paul's Cathedral. We did a lot of walking. A lot of biking. And a lot of laughing. And a LOT of picture taking. Riding bikes was the best. You travel faster and see much more! At the National Gallery we watched a street performer put fire down his throat and do the limbo like 4 inches off the ground with fire on the limbo stick and a wooden pallet with 2 inch nails sticking out under the limbo stick. It was way cool! And he was hilarious. Except he was wearing leggings and they were SO TIGHT and you could literally see everything. Pretty gross. One thing I learned was that street performers in England are very different from the ones in the US. They don't monitor their language or their dirty humor for children here. Ha at least they're different from the street performers I've seen in the US. Ha at Covent Gardens we saw another street performer that juggled a chainsaw, a sword, and an apple. He was nuts. His laugh was.. Awwwwhhhhhhful. But his show was cool! Ha
We went to Tesco and picked up bread and PB&J, said bye to Jamie, Freddie, and Ram, and grabbed the tube to Wembley Stadium. On the way the train that was supposed to take us all the way there just ended all of the sudden like 4 stops away so we got off and thought we could walk there. So we started and it felt like we weren't getting anywhere. So we asked some ladies that were passing us where we needed to go and they sent us down a different road and we finally found the proper tube. We didnt have money on our Oyster card (the tube card used) so we started following other people in the entrance. Picture this: you scan your card and the gates open for about 3 seconds. If the person that scanned their card goes quickly you're golden and you'll make it in with them but if they don't they you end up having the gates close on you and it's right embarrassing. We made it. Luckily.
We got to Wembley Stadium to go to the England vs Peru football (soccer) game (their last game before World Cup) and there were massive amounts of people there. It was brilliant. We didn't have tickets though and the tickets were sold out so we had to find people selling tickets on the street. Apparently it's illegal because we found a guy selling tickets and he said "£80" and we just said alright because we wanted to get in so bad and as we were counting our money he turned and said "hurry hurry. The police." So we basically just gave him our money, he gave us the tickets, and we walked away like nothing had happened. Ashlyn screamed she was so stoked. All of our tickets were for different gates and you have to enter in through your gate because to get in you scan your bar code and it won't let you in if you're at a different gate but we thought "no biggie we'll meet inside". So we made plans to meet in the middle of our gate letters. I was in N, Ashlyn was in L, and Kinsey was in K. So we decided if things worked out we would meet inside at gate L. If things didn't work out we would go back out and meet at gate K. We were worried our tickets weren't real. Ha that became the least of our worries. So I walked to gate N and went in and I was feeling great! As I walked over, I realized that gates K and L weren't there. I was so confused! They were outside but not inside. What?! So I asked one of the workers where they were and they said they were on levels 3 and 5. So I asked how to get there and they said it was impossible for me to get there. I wasn't allowed there at all. So I asked if I could go out and come back in and they said no re-admission. I felt completely lost. I started freaking out a bit. I had so many thoughts! How will I find them again? Where should I go? How could I get a hold of them? But that was impossible. No wifi. No service. No contact. I was very alone. So I explained my situation to a worker and they led me to another worker who led me to the information desk and they brought a security officer over and he took me through a security door and pawned me off on another security guard who took me up a lift and we walked around and finally I saw Kinsey and Ashlyn. Ahhhhhhh relief! The security guard was supposed to just escort me up there so I could find them and plan a meeting spot and then take me back down but he just left me there! So we were all able to sit by each other haha can't believe it worked out. The Brits are very very very serious and uptight about the seating in their football stadium. They have workers everywhere guarding everything. We were lucky to get in next to each other haha
During the game everyone got a laminated paper that was bent like a fan and they hit it against their hand and it's freakin loud. The English get seriously into their games!!! It was incredible. There were over 83,000 people there! They all started folding their papers into planes and throwing them at the field trying to hit the Peru players. None of them made it very far except one. One guy threw his plane so perfectly that it hit one of the Peru players right in the head hahaha it was hilarious. He was in the section next to me and everyone started cheering for him and they all turned and faced him and used their clappers. It was seriously unreal. England ended up winning 3-0. Their goals were brilliant.
Leaving the game was an adventure in and of itself! Imagine 83,000 people trying to get on the same tube. Insanity. We all looked like ants. We were headed to Freddie's house and it was awful trying to find our way there. We took like 3 different tubes to get there. Eventually we made it after following Freddie's voice memo that he left on my phone. It was way fun haha it felt like a scavenger hunt. He didn't know any street names or anything so his voice memo was like "walk a little ways and then turn left and a bit down the road there's some stairs. Walk up the stairs, slight left, slight right, more stairs." It was fun trying to figure out where to go haha except it was midnight and we were in the "projects" of London. So sorta sketch. Don't tell my mom.
We made it to Freddie's and he was having a house party! They didn't have red solo cups though! They just use nice glasses ha pretty different. We had a dance party that was fun as well! We played charades in dance style and it was awesome. You had to dance while doing the action and everyone had to guess. We did household chores charades. Funny. We tried to head to our new hostel but apparently the tubes stop running at 2am and don't start up again until 6:30am! So we were stranded and our stuff was still at the hostel. Oh boy. We had a good time though! We tried English tea. It tastes like cow manure smells. We stayed up until 5am and then passed out, all three of us in Freddie's dads bed. Haha
May 31, 2014
We slept in until like 11:30 ha we're pathetic. Ha the time change is still murdering us. We got up and went to the shop and bought food for breakfast and came back to Freddie's and Freddie made us bacon egg sandwiches, an English meal. It was delicious. The bacon here is freakin good. It's huge and fatty and divine. Way better than American bacon. After brunch we had to go to the hostel to get our stuff and shower for the first time in like 5 days. Getting to the hostel was such a chore. We had to take the bus. Bahhhh. We didn't know the bus system well. We went to the wrong station at first but a lady helped us find the right one :) we had to get money on our Oyster card so we put £5 on it and they only took cash but when Kinsey went to do it they didn't have change for her. So our bus came and she tried to pay on the bus but he wouldn't let her. Ashlyn and I had already gone on and sat down and so the bus driver kicked her off of the bus and pulled away and we had no idea! So Kinsey started yelling our names but it was too late. We were gone. We got off on the next stop and walked back to find her. So we paid to take the bus one stop. Great. Ha
We got money on her card and she paid for the next bus and Ashlyn and I snuck on because we felt like it made sense. So we finally got to ride on a double decker bus! Like the Knight Bus! What a great adventure it was. We got to our stop and walked to the hostel. We finally got to shower and it was magical. We got all of our stuff (it was all still there! Phew!) and we cancelled our reservation there because Freddie said we could stay at his for the weekend. We met a girl named Leila from Australia while we took turns showering and she was interesting! We exchanged information so we could ask her any questions we needed to about Australia. Our first real travel friend! Nailed it. Finally we headed back to Freddie's. It took forever. From leaving Freddie's to getting back, it took us 4 hours. FOUR HOURS! It was 6 by the time we got back! So we ate PB&J and played on Freddie's Tinder account and watched Alfie, a Classic British film. It was nice to have a relaxing day :) Freddie made us a delish dinner. He's a chef. Straight up.
Stay tuned for a thrilling Part II ....