Well it has taken approximately 4 days for me to actually sit down and write this, but for about 3 and a half of them I have known that at some point, before I turn 35, I want to be comfortably residing in London full time. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I got extremely lucky with weather and other than a bit of afternoon drizzle a few times, it has been sunny and a cool 65 for the past few days, or the fact that we live in South Kensington/Chelsea, but regardless I absolutely love it. To quickly recap the past few days, here is what I’ve been up to –
Day 1 & 2 – Tuesday/Wednesday
Arrival day! After flying all night we landed in London around 7.45am and it was straight into a new day. Running on about 2 hours of sleep and maybe a combined 7 with the night before, we went through customs, grabbed bags and piled four girls and 8 bags into a traditional cab to head over to our apartment. Driving through London was gorgeous and I just couldn’t wait to get out of the car and explore!
Our rooms are a bit on the smaller side (I have equated the bathroom to that of a boat), but I was able to fit all my stuff to things are clean (just for you mom). Following the adventure of unloading two suitcases, it was off to pick up our orientation packets and explore the area a bit. After more unpacking and organizing, Heidi and I grabbed dinner outside and enjoyed our legal glasses of wine before curling up in bed to catch up on some sleep.
Day 3 – Thursday
Thursday was a heavy day of orientation and walking. From 9am – 3pm we were in and out of Chelsea Old Town Hall for our orientation with a few breaks for lunch and coffee. We took the lunch break to explore the streets of Chelsea a bit and walk down to the River Thames to enjoy our lunch. Following all the orientation business it was time for a bit of food shopping, phone activating and a welcome reception.
Day 4 – Friday
This is when I started to actually feel like a local.. until I have to start pulling out money and I’m utterly confused (but getting better). I had a bunch that I wanted to get done first thing (get my phone active, join the gym, open a temporary bank account) and none of this was accomplished, although I tried to do it all. After lunch and regrouping I headed back out to join a different gym (with ease) and then to get my phone working (also with ease) before we headed into Piccadilly Circus to explore before seeing 39 Steps. We walked through Piccadilly, around Chinatown and saw some street performers before the show (which was hilarious).
Day 5 – Saturday
Continuing the trend of busy days, Saturday morning included a tour of Parliament (which is gorgeous and unfortunately I couldn’t take photos other than in one room, but it is perfection) and then I headed back to the apartment to grab food and drop things off. After relaxing and trying to fix a hacked website (this took two hours on saturday and another three on sunday to fully solve) I headed out to do a bit of shopping before going to meet up with a friend who is also studying abroad to grab dinner and go out to listen to live music at a bar. Dinner meant my inaugural Nando’s Experience which was everything I had expected… I now understand. We also found the book benches that are currently spread all around London (I saw a few more on Sunday).
Side Note – The level of cars here are crazy and to date I have seen the Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin, Ferrari, BMW, Audi & Bugatti dealerships and at least a few of these cars driving at any given time, along with a Rolls Royce and a few other cars that could probably pay for my college education. Considering property around here is sold for over 50 million pounds it makes sense, but still blows my mind.
Day 6 – Sunday
Sunday started with a guided bus tour and a visit to Tower Bridge among other sights in London, then it was time to finish fixing the hacked website, grocery shop and plan for the week. I also purchased my first bottle of wine (a pink Moscato) so I can check that experience off the list. Classes begin tomorrow and updates should happen more frequently now that I’m settled and not focusing on fixing a hacked website.
More Updates, shorter posts and plenty more photos (which I will actually use my good camera for) to come!