London was one of the few places that I had a list of all the sites I wanted to visit. One of my must-do items was the London Eye. It was fairly close to my hostel, so I made my way over first thing in the morning on my third day in London. I decided I’d buy my tickets to the London Eye first and then go back later in the day. After waiting in line for tickets for a long time (note: buy in advance), I learned you could purchase in advance for a specific time. On the advice of the attendant I made a reservation for 8:30pm. It was dusk as I lined up to board the ride and by the time I was in the air the sun had set. The last slivers of light slipped away to darkness and all of London lit up. The city sparkling below me was absolutely magical and I’m so happy I opted for that late ride. The first picture above, of one of the carriages with Big Ben in the background, took me the entire ride to capture. I didn’t think I’d get that shot and I’m really happy it came out (even though it’s on an iPhone camera). The second photo is now the wallpaper on my home screen; I just love the angle of the shot and the sky behind. Definitely some of my favourite photographs from London and one of the neatest experiences. At the end of the ride a little warning is announced to stand on the marks for your picture to be taken. It happens very quickly, much like on a roller coaster ride, and only myself and one other family heard the announcement. So, if souvenirs are your cup of tea, now you know!
It’s a wonder I haven’t written about London sooner. Probably because I did so much in my 6 days and it was such an unbelievable dream come true; I wasn’t sure where to even start! This picture was taken in the spur of the moment and was so perfect (at least I think so) that I had to show it first. It fully encompasses London transportation and I personally love it. It was taken on my first day in London, as I was making my way to the Tower Bridge. I never mentioned this before but, I am the luckiest girl on earth! The whole 110 days I was travelling, it only rained on me 8 days! This was especially miraculous in London as it pretty much goes with the territory. It’s true though; they had gotten a terrible stretch of rain just before I arrived but my 6 days weren’t only dry, they were sunny and beautiful. I could not have had a better experience and fear if I ever return it would not come close to my first visit. Tower Bridge was a must for me so as soon as I got there, I headed over. Taking about a hundred photos, I walked over the bridge, pausing to snap a “selfie” here and a picture there. I desperately wanted to remember that moment; it was one of two things that symbolized London to me. Afterwards, I went to a nearby pub and ordered fish and chips. This is a huge feat, as I do not eat fish. I ordered it in memory of my father and ate 3 whole bites before my stomach started to churn; but at least I tried. The next morning I finally got to accomplish my childhood dream of riding a double decker bus; I have to say, that was my favourite. I grinned ear to ear; even after I missed my stop and had to run back a whole kilometre to make my tour group on time! There is way too much more for one post, so once again you will have to wait for more entries. I will say though , after finally visiting, I still wish I were British (for the accent) but I’m have second thoughts on the whole princess thing, it just seems like a lot of work.
As a way to commemorate my trip (other than my spoon collection) I opted to collect bracelets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them from every single place because that would have been a lot to wear and I was packing light. The collection actually started in New York City in 2012 with my first Alex and Ani bangle. Right before I left home I added to my arm with NTIO bracelets I purchased online and a Brave collection (all of which ended up falling off). A special gift to ward off evil from a dear friend completed the look before I even got on a plane! I wore these bracelets everywhere, even swimming (except for a select few that would tarnish) and to bed. Growing the collection as I went; I added piece by piece, losing some and gaining others. By the end I was kind of over the weight on my wrist, but every time I look down at them it brings a smile to my face. This trip was so life changing and special; I love having little souvenirs to remind me of that time. Along with the bracelets and spoons, I did get some magnets and a few knick-knacks. Most of these extra souvenirs were sent home from abroad, the lack of luggage space was a challenge to say the least. I will say, every time I had to climb stairs or lift luggage overhead though, I was utterly grateful for my carry on. Now, each time I hang my keys on my Barcelona key rack or open my fridge or look at the Oia glass decoration in my bathroom; I remember this great time in my life. And every time I wear these bracelets it brings me back to places I saw and the amazing experience I was lucky enough to have. There is something to be said for souvenirs.
June 13- October 1, 2013
Left to Right: Florence, Nice, Antibes, NTIO company, Paris, Dublin (Alex and Ani), NYC (Alex and Ani), Gift from friend, London, NYC (Alex and Ani).
Others that are not pictured were from: Athens, Popeye’s Village, Brave Collection, Switzerland, Barcelona.