My last week in England was a pretty incredible one, if I do say so myself.
Monday, Thea and I decided to head into Reading to do some last minute Christmas shopping, and to just get out of the house for a bit. We grabbed lunch at Marks & Spencer’s, and had a great time wandering around the shops for a bit. We headed back in early afternoon, and watched The Young Victoria, Thea’s favourite movie, in the evening.
Tuesday, Thea and I baked cookies in the early afternoon, before heading into town to see Sisters. That was a bit of an odd experience for me, as the movie takes place in Orlando, where I live. I still enjoyed the movie, but it was a bit unsettling to watch so close to leaving. We had another quiet evening at home after the movie.
Wednesday was a bit more hectic. We spent the morning getting some last minute things done, because Rhys and Henry were driving in to spend the night! They arrived about 1.30, and we all headed to the supermarket to get some food to cook for lunch. We ended up making some very delicious gluten free pizzas. After lunch, we headed upstairs for a bit, and played “Name That Tune,” a game Thea has that involves playing different popular songs on a kazoo, so everyone can guess. We had so much fun, and eventually stopped bothering with the cards that came with the game, and just started playing whatever suited our fancy. In the evening, we decided to go to a local bar called “Smokey Joe’s,” which is a Confederate themed bar in the middle of Maidenhead. We got to see Issy, Phoebe, and Liv while there, which was nice, and I got to meet some of Thea’s friends from home! It was a really fun night, and lovely to see some familiar faces.
Thursday was another quieter day. Thea and Henry cooked an awesome English breakfast for us for lunch, which is probably one of my favourite meals, and the three of us played board games most of the afternoon. We had a wild time playing The Game of Life, and when Rhys joined us a bit later in the afternoon, we all played Trivial Pursuit. Around 7 or so we decided to get going to Henry’s in Weston-Super-Mare for the night, so we said goodbye to Thea’s parents, and headed out. We stopped at McDonald’s when we got in for a quick bite to eat, and drove to the pier to eat in Rhys’ car, before headed to Henry’s. We got in around midnight, and stayed up until about 3 just goofing off, before realizing we should probably head to bed, as we were getting up at 8 the next morning.
The next day, we got up and headed into Bath the see Kieran and his friend Nie. We walked around the shops for a little bit, before going for lunch at this really good barbecue place. We wandered about a bit more after lunch, and Kieran pointed out some interesting sights, like the Roman Baths, and the Abbey, before we decided to go ice skating. I haven’t been ice skating in ages, and I had an absolute blast. Everyone took a little while to get their feet under them, but we had so much fun together. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. After skating, we drove to a pub to hang out for a little bit before Kieran and Rhys took Henry, Thea, and me to the train station. I had to say goodbye to Kieran, Henry, and Rhys at this point, which, unsurprisingly, was not fun. I think the only thing that kept me from losing it (more than I did) was the repeated mantra of “April,” and telling myself that I will see them again. The ride back to Maidenhead was good, and Thea’s parents had food for us when we got in. Thea and I spent the evening in my room, finishing up my packing.
Saturday morning, I caught the train into London from Thea’s, which meant that I had to say goodbye then to Thea. I’m still not sure how I wasn’t a complete wreck the entire train ride into London, but I think the fact that about two minutes after I boarded the train, she and I were already texting about something mundane had a lot to do with it. Plus, April. It also helped that I had to focus on getting two suitcases and a backpack around Paddington station, and onto the Tube. I finally made it to Allison’s, and we lugged my stuff up the five flights of stairs to her room, before heading out with her roommate Jordan to do some shopping. We spent a while at Primark, and grabbed some cheeky Nando’s for a late lunch. Allison and I then headed to see In the Heights, which is a show I’ve been dying to see, and we absolutely loved it. Someone warned us that there was a lot of Spanish, but we found that it was still easy to understand, and the music is brilliant. As we had to go to King’s Cross Station on our way home, we decided to stop by Platform 9 3/4 before heading back to Allison’s, where we stayed up packing her stuff until 4 am.
The next day was move out day, so Allison and I got all our stuff to a hotel near Heathrow before heading back into the city. We went by Abbey Road before headed over to Covent Garden for a lovely afternoon tea. Afterwards we just wandered around Covent Garden’s shops for a while, and enjoyed our last evening in London before grabbing some fish and chips at one of the pubs for a last meal. It was a great way to spend our last night.
Monday was leaving day- I headed to the airport, boarded a plane, cried a little bit, and before I knew it, I was home. It really is nice to be back, and I missed my family loads, but I still can’t believe I’m gone. I miss everyone so much it almost hurts. I want us all to stay in touch so badly, these have become some of my best friends in such a short while, and I want them to stay in my life. I think that’s the hardest part, is the uncertainty about when I’ll see these people again. They’re not even on the same continent, and it’s not an easy trip to make. Now that they’re in my life though, I can’t really imagine it without them- and I guess that’s why someone invented FaceTime, right?