Monday, September 30, 2013

One month down

I have officially been here for just over a month! So far I am not homesick yet and loving it! I was so nervous to come here that I would say I was border line scared right before I left only because it is across an ocean and I was going somewhere completely different...but I can honestly say I love London and I do not know how I am ever going to want to leave. My favorite thing hands down in the tube. The tube is just the best thing ever! I can get around the city seamlessly and be anywhere within 30 minutes at the most! I of course have found my favorite breakfast, pizza and burger places. 








I walk everywhere so its ok to eat right? Maybe? Probably not...
I made a list of things I wanted to try and accomplish before I came here. It is on my blog under 95 things. So far I have completed 23 things on my list! 

As well as done so many other things I never thought I would get the chance to do! One month down two more to go, who know what kind of adventures will be around the corner! Cheers! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Masquerade Madness

True to girly fashion I love to dress up! I have been dressing up for as long as I can remember, even enlisting my dad and sometimes my brother (sorry Jonathan) to dress up with me. So naturally when a co-worker from this summer asked me if I wanted to accompany her to a masquerade ball I didn't hesitate and said yes! The ball itself was put on by the Last Tuesday Society (which is apparently is slightly difficult to become a member of). The balls are normally open to the public to purchase tickets and proceeds go to a charity, in this case an orphanage. I went for a classic look because that's normally the way I dress anyway plus I only brought one cocktail dress to London. 


My dress was by BCBG and so was the jacket. 



My mask and shoes. 


None of my flat mates were home when I got ready so I tried to take a full length picture of myself (mostly so my mom could see). This was my attempt. 




Hi. 



All put together!



The ball was in a house (I think it was a house of sorts) on the Strand. For those of you who do not know what the Strand is, it is the London Eye is just across the river Thames so it was a really nice location. 






One thing I will say is the Brits do not mind nude people. Being an American I am not used to seeing nude people walking about but the ball had hired performers to be nude as well as people passing around appetizer so....yea. It was interesting. 




The menagerie was just that a room with exotic animals. Now when I think exotic I think peacock's and tigers but neither of those animals were in the menagerie. Nope, it was filled with spiders (a tarantula), snakes, lizards and other creepy crawly things. The only cute thing was a chameleon and I only liked him because Rapunzel's friend Pascal was a chameleon in the movie. I still did not touch or hold any of the animals I did look at them though. 


Elizabeth (my co-worker/friend) and I had no idea that the dress code was clothing optional (hence the naked people) but most of the guests were in a range of costumes. Some Marie-Antoinette and King Louis XVI style like my DJ friend here, some pirates, some men in kilts, some from the 1920s and then the rest of us in cocktail dress. I loved every moment of it and it was such a great London experience. Hopefully I will get to go to one more before I return home. 


I even passed by the palace on my way home in the taxi. It was a great night! Cheers! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Her Majesty the Queen

Since it is the end of  September most of the historical houses or estates in England are closing for maintenance and for the residents to return to their homes. So we squeezed in going to Buckingham Palace so visit the Queen! Ok so she wasn't really there, she is on Holiday in Scotland until the end of September but we did get to see the state rooms which was really cool. They also had a coronation exhibition where they had the Queen's coronation dress and robes available to see as well as other gowns and robes that were worn that day. Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures inside the palace but I did snap a few outside! 


Sara and I after the tour. 



The back of the palace leading to the gardens. There are 38 acres of royal gardens by the way. 


Pretty right?


In front of the palace. 




The gang! Sara, me, Caitlin M., Caitlin W. only missing Natalie. 






Chris and his ladies!



Hi Caitlin!



The tour was totally worth it and I contributed to the upkeep of the palace so that is cool I guess. Cheers! 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paris Part Deux

Day two in Paris, that is still weird to say that I was in paris!!! Anyway the weather was much much better the second day than the day before. First we started out with a trip to Montmarte to see the Sacred Heart or Sacre-Coeur. 


Pretty right!?




The area overlooks all of Paris which resulted in this gorgeous view! 


It still amazes me that I am not tired of looking at churches but everyone is different than the last that I just can't help but be fascinated by all of them. 



Plus the architecture is amazing and I am a sucker for stain glass windows. 




After wondering through the church we found an artist on the street to draw my portrait. I had heard that Montmarte is flooded with artists but I had no idea that they are literally everyone coming up to you and asking to draw your portrait. Luckily my artist was pretty good and had been drawing for 25 years and after 10 minutes of standing still this is what I ended up with. 


Not bad right? I like it and it is something that I will have for a long time to remember my time in Paris. I really did get lucky with a good artist because the women in the pub next to me showed us hears and it was awful...anyway after being on top of the city we made our way back down and went to Notre Dame! 


Hello there. 




















Being inside Notre Dame was a weird experience but in a good way. It was so massive that I almost felt like I was in a dream because the church just kept going and going and going. It was breathtaking and I was blown away by how much time and work it took for the church to be finished. They really do not make churches or even buildings like this anymore.  





Hello gargoyles. 


Awkwardly got this couple taking their bridal pictures...oops. 


After Notre Dame we stumbled across the Lock/Love Bridge. The bridge itself obviously crosses the Sine but apparently there are bridges everywhere like this in Paris. The idea is you lock a lock onto the bridge with your partners/lover/family member/dog/cat/whoever onto the bridge and throw the key in the river to symbolize your unbreakable love. The government actually tried to stop people from doing this but it did not work and the lock bridges are still there and very crowded! 


It is so sweet and romantic that the bridge is overflowing with locks. 



For those of you who do not know my parents just had their 25th anniversary which is amazing. Let's be honest I would not even be abroad let alone in Paris with them if it was not for the fact that they decided to get married and then have been married for 25 years. It is truly a great example and I hope to be that lucky in love, life and marriage as they are. Naturally they wanted to lock a lock onto the bridge. 



LJB and SJB


There go their keys. 



I also locked a lock onto the bridge for my boyfriend and I. 


 

WH and CCB.


Bye keys! 


Here are both of our locks! 



Next we ventured back to the Champs Elysees to hit up the stores we had missed the day before. 


We found Laduree! Yes it was yummy, yes we got a dozen and no we are not ashamed. When these macaroons are made fresh every day why wouldn't you go in and get some?! I had the best time in Paris with my parents! I am so happy that I got to spend time with my mom in London last week and time with both my mom and dad in Paris this weekend! It truly was a blessing that they both had to come to Europe for work while I am abroad. I love them and miss them both! Cheers!