- Ride on a double-decker bus? check.
- Go to Notting Hill/ Portobello Road? check.
- Harrod's department store? check.
- London Bridge (Which is actually called TOWER BRIDGE, much to our chagrin) check.
- Check out Big Ben/Parliament? check.
- Buckingham Palace? check.
- Hyde Park? check as well.
- CamdenTown Market/Camden Lock? check.
- Dinner in SoHo? check.
- Check out Trafalgar Square? check.
- Check out the sights at Picadilly Circus? check.
- St. Paul's Cathedral? check.
- Tate Modern? check.
- Shopping on Oxford St.? check.
- Mummies and Rosetta Stone at the British Museum? check.
|James Park at Sunset|
I also really enjoyed a trip that we took to Surrey, England to Hampton Court Palace, the Palace that housed the Tudor dynasty, including the famous king Henry the VIII. We hadn't planned on going there beforehand, but the idea of setting foot in a palace (you can't go into Buckingham palace until August and September when the Queen goes to Scotland) was very appealing. The surrounding town was charmingly "English" and the palace itself was magnificent. The gardens were lovely...I much prefer English gardens to French ones. Isa and I put on tudor-style robes while we roamed the castle.
|Hampton Court Palace!|
The best part about the trip had to be the amazing weather. I wore dresses and tank tops for the majority of the trip. It only rained once, and we were inside during the majority of that. Besides, it was during my birthday "High Tea"at Harrod's and the rain added to the ambiance, giving the afternoon a more London-y feel. Tea was amazing...definitely the highlight of the trip for me.
|A classy 21st.|
As fun as London is, it's still weird to be so far from your home and loved ones on a birthday. My mom usually sends a cake to USC, but since I was in London I wasn't expecting one. My resourceful mother, however, managed to get a friend of a friend in London to drive to Alexa's dorm at King's College and give me flowers, a card, cookies, and a stuffed teddy for my birthday. Alexa, that clever devil, managed to surprise me with a Victoria Cake, an amazing sandwich cake with fruit filling and frosting in the middle, even though she was swamped with work the entire time we were there.
|It's ma birthdayyy|
|Om Nom Nom|
I really enjoyed little random things about that trip as well; meeting Alexa's floormates and going to a "fancy" PizzaHut lunch buffet on the first day, going to some random club that turned out to be really nice in Picadilly Circus b/c some club promoter woman told us we could get free wine if we went. Seeing hot guys in leather aprons working at an S-and-M themed cupcake shop in SoHo, eating Venezuelan cachapas in Covent Garden, getting a pint with Nick F. in Notting Hill and avoiding crazy drunk english dudes threatening to throw rocks into pub windows....good times. All in all, definitely a memorable way to celebrate one's 21st :)
|British flag cupcakes at "Cox, Cookies and Cakes"|
|On Millinieum Bridge|