Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day 1 - What. Just what.

I'll just begin with my flight because, well, that's where this entire trip begins I suppose. Virgin Atlantic is AWESOME!!!! The food was great (surprise!), only one baby made a fuss twice throughout the entire seven hours, and I got to meet the most perfect Irish couple. I hope to be like them one day, traveling the world and holding one another close. Now that's real romance. This airline also had the most amazing movies to watch and music to listen to. I am so impressed. If I could fly Virgin Atlantic everywhere, I would. Not to mention, the flight attendants were incredible and an overnight pack with a toothbrush, toothpaste, pillow, blanket, and eye cover were all included. Why can't every airline be like this - sheesh! Also, the plane was so huge that it had a second floor - yes, a double decker plane. How is this even possible?

Enough about how brilliant my flight was - time for the good stuff. Today felt like an entire week in one day. First, we took the train from London Gatwick to London Bridge. By the way, I made it through customs without one single Strugglebus moment; go me! The currency is strange, but more on that later. The train took approximately 45 minutes (maybe?), and Brittany and I were only slightly turned around. We made it to the hostel without getting lost - again, a great feat. We checked in our luggage for a few pounds. She was on the Strugglebus, though, because her suitcase is enormous and wouldn't fit in the locker. Eventually, it worked out, and we headed out to explore.

We almost tried to get lost in order to discover some great London sights, but we didn't and saw some beautiful architecture and historical monuments. In other words, our legs and feel were complaining about all of the walking they hadn't done in a long while. We did find a great pub called The Draft House, which had, well, draft beers and the famous fish n' chips. The food was great, and my first legal drink (how precious) was pretty good. I got a Camden Pale Ale, of course, but it was a bit bitter. Plus, after all that walking and food, I was bound to experience some nausea. We made it back without me spewing anywhere like a volcano, though, and even got to check in early.

St. Christopher's Inn - London Bridge.
View from my bed.
The hostel is interesting - not bad - just interesting. There are 11 bunk beds (22 altogether), and we are next to the window in the corner, which is a nice spot. It allows some air to flow through, and it's away from the sunroof. There are cute American guys all around us, so I'm not complaining. They ended up being our London crew, so it really worked out nicely. The washrooms (not bathrooms!) are small and kind of sporadic. I had a real Strugglebus moment trying to shower - oh lawd. Basically, I got as sweaty trying to figure out how to get dressed without getting my wet feet on my clothes as walking around all morning. I managed somehow, but I felt just as nasty as before I showered. I did drop my makeup bag and shattered a section of my eye shadow, which saddened me, but at least I have the remaining shadows, and nothing else broke.

On a happier note, our attractive fellow American friends decided we wanted to do the Pub Crawl, but we missed it - go figure. Instead, I got some chicken wings and 2 for 1 vodka and pineapple juice, and we decided to try and get lost in London on our own. This was a fabulous idea - no sarcasm, either. We took the tube to Waterloo, enjoyed more beer (I downed a pint of delightful Guiness like a champ!), and viewed some great sights, like Big Ben and a random Shrek and cowboy. We lost two of our seven, but were reunited at the hostel during karaoke night. I was quite drunk by this time, but I sobered up enough to know I was NOT going to sing. The DJ conveniently cut off performers right as a friend and I were getting pressured into singing. I'm still slightly tipsy, but I'm ready for sleepy time. It was a wonderful day, and I'm so glad I have friends to go venturing around London with tomorrow. Off to the London Eye we go!

P.S. The accents were an immense amount of culture shock. I wanted to marry every British guy that walked by. Also, there are WAY more attractive men here than in the States. Just saying - the men need to get it together over there. I'll be damned if I end up marrying an American man. That is all. Ciao until tomorrow!

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