London!

Not too long after my trip to California I went abroad for the first time in my life. My dad took me over to see my brother who was taking some college classes in London during summer 2015. We stayed in the cutest boutique hotel, The Kingsley, just a few blocks from The British Museum. The rooms were small, but cozy. The breakfast there was delicious BUT their modern bar was the best feature of that place. We would end every day having a drink or two relaxing on the comfy sofas in such a quaint environment, perfect after a busy day when not having recovered yet from jet lag. After checking in we met my brother for some global cuisine at a small French-inspired restaurant, Savoir Faire. We had a great light lunch before sleeping off the jet lag, or at least trying to! later that night all three of us went to an amazing authentic Italian restaurant, Giotto Italian. BEST spaghetti and tiramisu!

We had less than a week in London and each day was definitely not wasted for walking and site seeing. The first day was parliament-Big Ben, government buildings and statues, the London Eye and Trafalgar Square. In the afternoon we met up with my brother to go see St. Paul’s Cathedral (from Mary Poppins!) and the London Wall-a defensive strategy built by the Romans. But, first we had lunch at a great Japanese place, Koto, where we coincidentally ran into some other NC natives!

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The next day my dad and I went out ourselves to tour The British Museum. I was intrigued by all the history and artifacts there was to admire! Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone exhibits were my favorite. Afterward, we finally got to ride the top level of a double-decker bus over to the Royal Palace. That place is HUGE. I mean, even the gates and statue as you walk up are just majestic you can feel the royal history everywhere. Oh, and the guards were just a delight to see in their red uniforms and tall hats. This day was definitely a typical London rainy one. We ended the day at Sophie’s Steakhouse and Bar.

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Our last day was spent on the Tower Bridge and after lunch at the Spaghetti House, we met up with my brother to go see Abbey Road/the Studio and (one of) Paul McCartney’s house. I proudly was able to sign Erik’s and I’s names on the wall outside of The Beatles Abbey Road Studio. Security doesn’t allow you to go inside, but viewing it from the street as well as the famous crosswalk was still a treat. We go back to the hotel a bit early, so while my brother and dad enjoyed drinks in the bar I took it upon myself to do some VERY fast shopping. Can’t ever travel without bringing fashion back with me, of course! One of my foreign friends suggested some places, but due to my time limit and store hours I only made it to two…well, technically one and the second was a happy discovery by me. I popped into Dorothy Perkins where I found a cute green fringed kimono, some long blue shorts (you’ve seen these two in many of my Instagram pictures) and nice flower shirt for my mom-I had to find something for her to wear from London and brag about at work! After that I headed over to Primark where my speedy shopping came into play, the store was closing in 45mins! I’m a pro at speedy shopping and having quick glances at what’s on the racks/shelves, this place was a challenge. I’m talking about imagine how overwhelmed you feel at any Forever 21 store and multiply that by 3 and add a second story. Since I had already treated myself, I decided to use the first bit of my time finding a nice shirt and jacket for Erik. Then, as the loud speaker announces 15mins. until closing, I dashed over to the women’s section and VOILA my eye caught a great light-weight jacket, burgundy red that would be perfect for a night out or to wear to work. The last one, it fit! Our last night was spent with great food and indulging wine at The Delaunay.

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Needless to say, my first trip abroad was truly an adventure to have and I was so thankful for all the experiences I got to soak in. It only inspired me to want a list made for other places internationally I’d like to see. If you ever are in London, check out some of the sites and restaurants I visited, and as usual, any questions or suggestions are always welcome. Cheers!

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