I Miss London

The London trip that I went on two years ago happened again in May/June and so I saw a ton of Facebook posts about it and it makes me miss my time there so much. Yes, I’m 100% that person that thinks about her study abroad experience so much and I talk about it a lot too.

It would be my absolute dream to live there someday, like I truly felt so at ease there and comfortable that I wish I could go back almost every day.

Anyways, today’s post is just going to be a photo dump of a bunch of my pictures from London because damn I miss it!!! I really wish that I had more pictures but I was in a stupid phase where I needed to just be “in the moment” which was great but there’s a lot of stuff I realize I’m missing in my memory because of whatever dumb memory issues I’m having. I have decided though to not include the 200+ pictures that I have from the Harry Potter studio tour… You’re welcome.

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I loved just walking the streets, seeing all the old buildings and aimlessly wandering in our free time. We had a lot of planned things but had weekends free, as well as at least a few hours every day in which we had time to ourselves.

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Oh gosh and the food. Coffee, pizza, fruit, tea. So good. That bottom right picture in the grid is a waffle topped with Nutella and ice cream. There was a group of us that went to Hyde Park twice and got these waffles both times. If I’m being honest, I didn’t try a whole ton of stuff while I was there but that’s mainly because I tried to keep my food budget as low as I could. We paid for most of our own meals and I wanted to be able to splurge when I felt like it so most of my meals came from Pret a Manger (GOD I MISS THAT PLACE SO MUCH THEIR CHEESE CROISSANTS WERE EVERYTHING) and Tesco.

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I miss the public transportation. I have a huge phobia of driving and living in a suburb means I have to drive literally everywhere because there is absolutely no public transport in my city at all. Being able to hop on the Tube or take a bus just about anywhere I needed to go was something far more wonderful than I ever considered it being. And being able to walk a lot of places was great too, like there is so much to do so close together, it’s crazy.

Of course I miss the access to theatre too. These are a bunch of pictures from when I toured the Globe as well as some Shakespeare wall art/graffiti/mural thing that we saw somewhere else. We saw so many good shows. When we did go to the Globe for a show, we all took the standing 5pound tickets and wow, it was so immersive to stand that close to the stage for the show it didn’t feel like we were standing for over three hours at all.

Every time I think about all the shows I saw, I can’t help but think of how grateful I am to even have had that opportunity. Matilda, Kinky Boots, The Woman In Black, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, and so many more. It always makes me want to pursue theatre again. I was really into it back in elementary school and then social anxiety took away all my confidence and I’ve forever wanted to be able to try acting again, or I guess just anything in theatre again and I have no idea where to even begin… So I just keep avoiding it altogether and getting just a little bit sad every time I see a new play or musical.

Also I love that I had to take a picture of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre but never saw it.

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I spent quite a bit of time walking through parks with some of the other people I was in London with. The weather was really nice most of the time that we were there (bordering on hot most days and I definitely wish I would have reevaluated my clothing) and the parks were gorgeous. So many flowers and cool trees. And swans that liked to flirt with one of the other girls. We spent a good amount of time just sitting around in the sun and reading, writing, people watching. Sometimes too much time in the sun though, a number of us got pretty bad sunburns (I somehow magically avoided it).

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Another thing that London is full of is museums. I spent so much time going to museums because they’re all FREE. The amount of stuff that I learned and saw, oh my heart.

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I mean look at all of this. I got to see two of my favorite paintings in person. How crazy??!!

I’m still just so in love with London. And I wish that I could go back. I learned so much, saw so much, just did so much. It was truly life changing and I love looking back on these pictures and remembering all that I got to do. Truly, if you ever have the chance to study abroad, do it!!

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Review: Again, But Better

Today I’m going to be reviewing Again, But Better by Christine Riccio.

Here’s the synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Prethoughts to reading this:

I am SO excited. I feel like I’m going to end up inserting myself into this book and loving it a bit too much, I did the same thing with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I studied abroad in London and I miss it so much and I already feel like I relate to Shane and her college “inexperience”.

I just read Christine’s note at the beginning and my heart swelled. If this story is what she says it is it’s going to be so great. Reading about someone who hasn’t “done it all” by 20 is going to be revolutionary for EVERYONE who has ever felt less than for not doing what it seems like everyone else is doing.

I got an autographed copy and I honestly still feel so hesitant about annotating books that are hardcovers or that are signed. It gives me so much anxiety even though it’s my own book that I spent my money on and I don’t loan books to people anymore so honestly, why should I care?

I’m also really nervous because I can’t help but wonder if this is going to be a really bad youtuber book but maybe this will change my mind from those thoughts. It’s just really frustrating to see things get so hyped up and then getting disappointed…

Okay… Today is March 8, 2019 and I am beginning Again, But Better… Let’s do this!

Immediate thoughts after finishing this the same day I began reading it:

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. I want to both love it and hate it at the same time. The story was just what I needed to read right now but at the same time there were so many things that made me either uncomfortable or just feel not happy with the general story.

Non-spoiler review:

After some long thoughts about this I’m rating the book 3/5 stars. Leaning somewhat towards a 3.5/5 stars but I’m rounding down because I just don’t know how I feel. There were some parts of this book that bothered me but I’ll touch on those in the spoilery section.

I loved how this read like a movie, it felt so real to me, I can definitely see Christine’s film background in this. Another thing I really liked was the banter between characters. I found myself chuckling quite a bit at the things they said to each other.

Now, would I have bought this book and read it had I not been following Christine? Yes, 100%. The book itself had a plot that interested me greatly. It was a story that sounded like I could relate to it and in the end it was. It showed a lot about learning about yourself and learning how to be your own person. It showed hard lessons to learn and how important second chances can be. Would I recommend this book? Yes. I think if you’re looking for a quick contemporary read then definitely check this out. This wasn’t the story of my dreams but even going into it with very low expectations that I would like it I was pleasantly surprise.

And lastly, I got one of the first copies that was printed so the end of her note says 2018 instead of Christine and I will be giggling about that for years to come.

If you’re interested in picking up your own copy, you can find the book at this links!

Amazon Affiliate Link // Barnes & Noble // Book Depository

Next I’ll be moving into a more in depth review with spoilers included…

SPOILERS AHEAD: STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK AND DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED

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