Top o’ the morning to you.
Wait, no. They don’t say that in England.
Today started the same way that every day that I am on vacation starts for me: with me waking up at the buttcrack of dawn. I don’t know. I just do not put any value in sleep while I’m on vacation. My mind is just ready to go, I guess. This morning, however, I managed to fall back asleep, as it was 5:45am, and we all woke up around 10.
Today was pretty awesome. 20,000 steps kind of awesome. We did a ton, saw a ton, and ate a ton. I am currently writing to you with one eye opened and wondering if I might actually fall asleep on my keyboard before I am done chatting with you.
We started the morning with grabbing some coffee from Costa (which we were told by our concierge is “significantly better than Starbucks, in my opinion.”) With our coffee in hand, we jumped on one of those double-decker tour bus things. This is a dream. I felt so cool, guys. What did we see today? Let me tell you.
- We saw Big Ben, and ladies and gents, the rumors are true. He’s huge.
- We saw Parliament, Westminster Abbey (which I called Downton Abbey all day, like a true butthead), and the Eye of London.
- We saw Buckingham palace, and I laid next to the flowers for 45 minutes waiting for Prince Harry to come out, but he didn’t. He must’ve not receivedÂ the messages that I left.
- We froze our tushes off on the bus tour but were able to learn lots of stuff about London, Like, for example, did you know that one of the bridges (I can’t remember which one. I got distracted by a crepe stand) was finished by the women of London while all of the men were at war? LOVE IT. (Both crepes and women’s rights)
- We saw a bunch of other BEAUTIFUL famous statues and monuments, none of which I remember their names, more than likely because of other crepe stands.
- I saw somebody that I thought was Clint Eastwood’s son and I got really excited.
- We saw “the world’s most famous bridge,” London Bridge, which honestly looks like a Detroit overpass above 94. Â The cool bridge that you always see in postcards isn’t London Bridge. It’s another bridge called “not London Bridge.” (Crepe stand.)
We also did lots of risky things today, as we are Barterian’s and are wild.
- We snuck 4 of us through the turnstile into a public bathroom because they wanted us to pay 20p to pee? Like ummmmm,Â I’m the one doing all of the work here. Why am I paying you? You should be paying me.
- We crossed the crosswalk at least 4 times before the light turned green and said to go.
- Twice we didn’t even use a crosswalk. WUT.
And lastly, we did a lot of exciting things today!
- Aunt Paulette got new shoes that didn’t give her any blisters and we all rejoiced! (Literally…we all rejoiced!)
- I got “into the map” like Joey did in Friends and explained the whole sequence of events for my family. (Which really confused Aunt Paulette because she thought that they were my actual friends.)
- Sophie literally led us all over the city and acted as tour guide for us. She was “in the map” way more than I was.
- I found a beautiful tree, in full bloom with white flowers, that I spend about 7 minutes under it, spinning. Literally. I was spinning in circles under the tree. I think a local family thought that I was drunk because I saw them quickly move their kids past me.
All in all, it’s been another amazing day. But I would have to say that my favorite part was at the very end of the day.Â We decided to visit our local market and bring home a dinner of cheap wine, cheap brie, rolls (we couldn’t find baguettes), veggies, and hummus.Â I cut up the food with a pocket knife (it was better than my other option of using a spoon), and weÂ all sat around our hotel room eating it, laughing about funny stories from past Christmases, my memere, and grandpa, the way that the same jokes seem to circulate through all of the men in our family and just life in general.
I know that I’m a blessed person, but tonight it kind of hit me that I am in another country with two of my aunts and my cousin…and we’re all getting along. We WANT to be here with each other. We would have picked to come with each other if given a choice. This wasn’t forced or anything…this was thoughtfully planned.
I don’t know, sometimes it just smacks me in the face how insane it is that I ended up in the family that I ended up in. It’s crazy to me that I am somehow ended up as part of a family that loves being around each other. It’s crazy to me that we can laugh about the things in life that have hurt us. It’s crazy to me that, at all different ages, we relate to each other so much.
I don’t know, guys. Just feeling tired and full of brie and like I realllly need a shower, but mostly just feeling super fortunate and lucky.
P.S. If you want to see any of my London pics, feel free to add me on Facebook, or just click HERE to see the album!