London: Day 1

Welp, just when you guys thought that I could not possibly get any more sophisticatedly cool, I up and did it. Right now I am writing to you all the way from across the pond in good old London, England, where I am making myself as available as possible in case Prince Harry decides that he wants to date a super opinionated and not-at-all-British commoner. Don’t count me out, Har, because I did help guide some Brits across the crosswalk today after I made eye contact with a taxi driver who gave me the nod, and man, did I feel local af.

Anyways, today is the first day of a two-week vacation with 3 of my most favorite women in the entire world, all of whom share the same last name with me, which means that the sky is the limit when people ask how we are related. I can basically say anything, and they will believe me. The freedom is outstanding. (But it’s nothing compared to the freedom that we have in America. Don’t get it twisted.) Here with me are Sophie Barterian, my cousin, Linda Barterian, my aunt and mother of Sophie, and Paulette Barterian, designated matriarch of the family. All together we make The Barterian 4, or as my hashtag would call it, #BartsAbroad. (Thank you, Matt Upshur, for your genius hashtag assistance, as always.)

So, I decided that I am going to write an entry every day (as long as I’m not on a date with Prince Harry) to keep everyone updated, but also to really put into writing all of the awesome things that are happening. Because guys, there are a lot of awesome things.

We arrived at 6:25am this morning, local time, making it about 1:25am back at home in Detroit. The flight was great and I had a really delicious vegetable couscous dish that was honestly the bomb dot com. The only downside of the entire flight is that I had a child behind me that was really working my American patience. He kept taking his shoes off and propping his feet up on my arm rest. Like…his foot was touching my arm, guys. His foot, my arm. Foot. Arm.

Other than that, the flight was uneventful and pretty good. We got off the plane and walked 12 miles uphill in the snow both ways to baggage claim, and out the door to find a Danny Devito type of looking man carrying a sign with my name on it. MY NAME. I honestly have never felt cooler in my life. I probably could have kept my cool status in tact had I not yelled, “Oh my god, that’s me!” and jumped up and down clapping. So, I was the coolest person in the world for about 3 seconds.

We got to the hotel and decided that we were going to lay down for a bit, but just all ended up laying on our beds giggling and chatting, so instead got up, got dressed, and walked into an area with a bunch of little cafes for breakfast. I got a traditional English breakfast with tea, beans, vegetables, eggs, toast, and potatoes. It was scrumptious. I could go for more of dem beans, if we’re being honest. Like…now. We ended up walking by this place where they were selling arancini on the side of the road. Just selling it. It was so nonchalant as if arancini isn’t one of God’s and Italian’s greatest gifts to us. I wanted to buy all of them and make a bed out of them and just lay there. I didn’t, but I wanted to. (If you’re wondering what arancini is, I really am just questioning what you’ve been doing with your life. #GoogleIt).

After that, we were in a food coma, so we collectively made the decision to go back to our hotel room and sleep. (During which I had a dream that I was on a professional soccer team which is ludicrous because I refuse to run under any circumstances. And also ludicrous don’t know how to play soccer, but mostly the running thing.) After resting for a bit, we grabbed a taxi and hopped on a train to make our way into Oxford.

I don’t know if you guys know this, but my cousin Sophie is a genius. I’m not being dramatic here like I was a second ago about making a bed out of arancini (wasn’t really kidding about that either, to be honest). She wants to be an astronaut, and by she wants to be one I mean she is going to be one. This will work out nicely for me because in the movie The Martian, there is this NASA sweatshirt that I really want. Christmas gift, Soph.

Anyway, Sophie is looking at Oxford University for grad school, so we spend the day walking around the grounds and making her pose for 6 million pictures while she lead us around the city. We actually go to meet up with one of her high school friends as well who is studying abroad here. It was divine. Oxford is divine. The architecture was, as they say, magnifique. I don’t know who actually says that but please know that I just put my fingers together in a pinch and kissed them like I am old French man.

It really is unreal, guys. At every turn, I found myself slapped in the face with something that just blew my mind. I feel like I haven’t fully processed that I am here yet, and when I do I will probably just sit Indian-style on the floor and cry. Just wherever I am at the moment. Sit. Cry.

After walking for awhile, we found a local pub, got some food, got on the train, and came back to the hotel room. Jetlag is hitting us hard and we are ready for bed. Well, they are. I am still ready for beans.

Anyways, I’m starting to get delirious and will end up embarrassing my mom by saying something really non-Christian or just honestly downright weird, so I am going to wrap it up by listing my 3 note-worthy moments of the day, in a segment I like to call Today’s Top 3:

  1. I was taking a picture of a pub door when a man emerged and adamantly asked me to not take pictures of him. I tried to explain that I was just taking pictures of the building, and he kept insisting that I stop taking pictures of him with his beer. I have never been more confused. I don’t think he has, either.
  2. The ticket agent at Paddington Station told us that there was “No way” that we would make the train to Oxford because it was leaving in “2 minutes time.”  Being Barterians, we took that as a challenge AND GUESS WHO RAN THROUGH THE STATION AND MADE THE TRAIN. (It was us if you guessed wrong.)
  3. It was really cool for me to see Sophie totally in her element and exploring the world that she wants to be a part of. She is wide-eyed and brilliant. I loved following her around (mainly following her because I had no idea where I was going) and seeing a world of possibilities unfold in her eyes.

Anyway, till tomorrow guys. It’s time for me to go down to the lobby and see if they have beans before I go to bed.






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