Towards the end of March my school gave us a week off for spring break and with a week to go, I hadn't planned anything. I was surfing facebook one evening and received a message from a family friend who lives in Surrey. She graciously invited me to stay with them if I was ever in the area, so I booked a flight!
The first night I arrived pretty late and it was almost 10 p.m. by the time I navigated my way across the city by the metro system to meet my host. The next morning we got up early and headed out to see Brighton which is on the coast. The town itself was adorable and had the cutest streets full of interesting shops and definitely had a personality of its own. We ended up walking along the boardwalk and lunching on fish and chips. It was really nice to be back on the beach again after all of this time being away from Santa Barbara. The next morning I woke up early again and took the train into the city. My friends from school back home happened to be spending their spring break in London as well and we planned to meet up. They treated me to tea time at the Ritz where we caught up on life and gabbed away (mostly about boys of course). Afterwards we caught a bus to Notting Hill and had a lot of fun tooling around Portobello market. We'd all seen the movie "Notting Hill" and were so excited to be in the same neighborhood that the story took place in.
After a full day of wandering around and taking in the sites, I headed back on the train to Surrey for the night. The next morning I got up early once again. I had planes to meet my friend Kasia at Buckingham Palace to watch the arrival of the guards, but when I got there I found the place packed with hundreds of people. I was pretty overwhelmed for a bit but decided to sit near the fountain that we said we'd meet at in hopes of running into her. Five minutes later she showed up right in front of the fountain! We had a laugh about the situation and then made our way to the front of the crowd. It was a lot of fun to watch the guards come in, some of them marching with instruments, and all of the policemen on horses. We decided to cut out early and walk around the city for a bit to take in the sites. It was such a beautiful day and I enjoyed soaking in the sunshine. We walked through some amazing neighborhoods. We ended up grabbing some salads for lunch and eating on the steps of the National Portrait Gallery which was awesome for people watching. We also walked through the museum after and got to see a few Monet paintings which were surreal to see in person. After that, it was decided that a walk along the river would be perfect and we made our way up the Thames in the opposite direction.
I want to give some shoutouts to the beautiful people who made this trip so amazing! A huge thank you to my hosts: Miatta and Ambah. You made me feel so welcome and at home, I couldn't have asked for a better time with you guys. To Rachel: thank you for spending your last day of your trip with me, it was an incredible surprise that our trips lined up so perfectly. And lastly to Kasia: with friends like you I will always be rich in happiness.