A long weekend in London {and then back home to Phoenix}

Germany > London, Friday night

Fuck, okay so — it was amazing to be back in London. It was such a sweet note to end on. But it was an emotional roller coaster as we had literally the most perfect London day backed up to possibly the worst day ever (not just in London).

It started out great though with our travels from Germany to London. Even just getting on the plane and hearing all the lovely British accents and being surrounded by all the polite, jovial British people was just fucking heart warming. It felt like going home.

We actually flew to Manchester because it was cheaper to fly there and take a train to London than to fly directly to London and we didn’t mind one fucking tiny bit at all to have to take another baller, first-class train ride — it seemed like the perfect way to go out.

After we landed, we hopped on a quick train from the airport to Manchester Piccadilly and I saw basically the hottest guy I’d ever seen, dressed in tweed from head to toe:

London 2018

And then on our second train we saw the most glorious sunset ever:

London 2018

We were served ciders and dinner again on the train and it was just the best two-hour ride down to London. We arrived at Euston and then hopped on a city bus to our Airbnb, which was in northern London. We try to check out a new neighborhood each time and this was no exception. We had a little trouble finding it and Kris ended up fucking me by making me walk up a hill that was unnecessary, but ultimately we found it and it was the cutest fucking place ever and our hosts were the most adorable hipster couple that literally would sit in the mornings in oversized knit sweaters listening to BBC on a retro radio while grinding coffee by hand for the Aeropress. It was like you couldn’t even make this shit up. But seriously — look at our darling room and their cute-ass place:

London 2018

It was Friday night and our hosts were going out with friends like normal people, so that gave us some nice alone time in the apartment to just shower, get settled and chillax.

Saturday: Best Day

Okay today was seriously ridick. We woke up to our cute little hosts doing their cute little Saturday morning routine. They recommended a bakery up the road from their place so we headed up there for breakfast and coffee. It was called Gail’s and it was INSANE. I mean. It was right out of a damn movie. There were huge loaves of freshly baked bread in the window, a giant cooler full of chia puddings and fresh juices, and then a bakery case to rival all bakery cases + coffee to boot.

Gail's Bakery, London

After the best breakfast ever, we walked around the corner and ducked into Hampstead Heath. It was fucking magical. The parks in London just blow my mind. You’re right in the middle of the biggest city in the world, yet you feel like you’re in the country.

And within the park is this glorious 17th century estate called Kenwood House that is now open to the public as a museum.

Kenwood House, London

And of course they had a darling as fuck cafe where we had tea and cake on the the fantastic patio and it was the most beautiful, sunny day to enjoy it.

Kenwood House, London

Afterwards, we continued wandering south through the park and I was feeling like a goddamn princess:

London 2018

On our wandering through the park, we actually ran into our hosts! It was just such a Saturday, neighborhoody vibe. The dude was there to swim in the men’s bathing pond even though it was in the 60s! We hung out with them for a few and then continued walking, popping out on the other side of the park into Camden Town where we ended up standing on a street corner waiting for the cross walk with 3 contestants from Bake Off! Liam, Yan, and Stacey and their kids. It was just such a darling little scene and so cute to think of them all still friends, with their kids, just chillin on a Saturday together long after the show had ended. You’ll just have to trust me, okay? It’s them:

London 2018

It was super fun to walk through Camden, but there was way too much going on to make it inviting to stop.

London 2018

We stopped at a Pret on the main drag in Camden and got some picnic food to take to Regent’s Park. That was just so lovely. We ate our delicious food and we sat on a bench for a really long time people watching and then we laid in the grass in the sun and just lounged. It was such a perfect day.

London 2018

Eventually we had to leave the magic of the park because we wanted to hit an M&S to grab sunset snacks and dinner food and then be able to get to the top of Parliament Hill for the actual sunset.

If you don’t know what M&S is, well it’s a magical place. It’s a high end grocery store, but they are known for their prepared food and it’s a way to eat hella cheap while still feeling fancy. They also have delicious single serving deserts and cocktails in a can. It’s pretty fucking great. Kris got a cocktail and I got some popcorn and we picked out a Mix & Match dinner kit to make stir fry when we got back home. Then we headed up to the hill:

Earlier in the day at Kenwood House we had learned that there was this old Lord Whoever The Fuck guy who had a bunch of kids with all his different mistresses and was generally kinda freaky and we overheard the docent describe him by saying:

"He was always very keen on having a good time in all sorts of ways."

And that was just about the most British thing I've ever heard. I think it could also be my boyfriend's new tagline and we referenced it here while he was looking extremely fucking British with his little hat and his G&T in a tin and I just love England so much.

After a great sunset, we went back to our Airbnb and out little hosts were headed out again for the evening so we got to cook our little M&S stir fry dinner and feel like we had a little flat in London all to ourselves and we watched an episode of The Bodyguard and I just basically never want to leave.

Sunday: Doomsday

So it started out totally fine. We decided to try out Parkland Walk from Highgate, near our hosts house, towards Finsbury Park. This is one of only two pictures we took that day, if that tells you anything.

Parkland Walk, London

After we got to Finsbury Park, it just wasn’t that great, but we exited and started walking down the high street towards a grocery store we wanted to go to for this non-alcoholic spirit (Seedlip!) that we really wanted to try. The high street was just awful — totally dirty and overstimulating and commercial in a ghetto way….and the walk to the store was way longer than anticipated and then when we got there they were super crowded and didn’t even have the thing we wanted and we were just frikkin spent.

We decided to get on a bus and get the hell out of that area and just go somewhere we were comfortable. We headed towards Trafalgar Square and started walking up the green strip towards Buckingham Palace and even that didn’t shift our mood. It was just a shit day. We sat in Green Park on a bench and there weren’t even any people to watch. I know that sounds so, whatever, but just…our spirits were in the goddamn toilet. We decided to have a final meal at Bill’s, our old comfort spot. We mapped the one closest to us and started walking there.

The walk was insane, it was so awful. The streets were so fucking packed and at one point we were routed through this department store that was gigantic it took up a whole city block, hence why it was quicker to cut through it then go around it. But I nearly had a full on panic attack I literally like felt the room spinning, it was so loud, there were so many fake smells, it was such chaos. I just tried to talk myself through it and tunnel vision focus on the back of Kris’ head and just follow him out and even when we got out I was just really shaken.

Then we got to Bill’s and it was bad. The music was really loud and the mood and decor were just off — we didn’t realize Bill’s chains are totally independent so they can put their own spin on things and this spin was bad and I was sitting in my seat on the verge of tears and I just wanted to leave but I felt so bad for my sweet boyfriend who just wanted a nice meal at Bill’s, but ultimately we decided to leave. Our poor waiter, too — we were like it’s not your fault it’s totally not you, we’ve just had a day and need to go home.

We stood on the street corner and I was just frozen. I didn’t know what to do or what I wanted to do. We saw an M&S across the street and went over there only to find it was a little quickie stop kiosk, but that was just going to have to do. We just needed to get on a bus and go home, but we needed food. I couldn’t find anything, I just felt like a zombie. I bought two apples because that was just the only thing that didn’t sound vile.

After we got home I just went to our room and I was so exhasted. Eventually our hosts came home and Kris went out there to talk to them and then I went out there and washed and chopped my apples and started to feel normal again, but shit. It was really the pits.

Monday - Our Final Day

This morning our hosts both left for work so we had a nice quiet morning to just eat some cereal, make some coffee, and pack our bags. We took the bus to the train to the airport and went to the lounge. It wasn’t as nice as the one at LAX, but it was better than the general waiting area and of course there was free food. The flight home was nicer too because it was during the day so we just felt better. The norwegian flight was just as nice and I am so very glad we did that. We got served two nice meals and the snacks I had stolen from the lounge filled in the blanks.

The super shit thing though was after that 11 hour flight, we landed in shitty LAX and then had to wait to get on a super shit Delta flight home. It was just kind of a sour note to end on, ha. But it was fine. Our flight ended up being delayed, but the actual flight itself was perfectly fine and quick and Michael picked us up and he had brought us milk and cereal.

It felt good to be home, but goddamn our house was filthy.

I didn’t really notice it until the next morning because nothing was immediately “wrong”, but in the light of day it was just like everything was covered with a film of filth like they hadn’t swept or mopped in three months and it was just dag fuckin nasty.

The day after you get home is always the best though — you’re up at 5am so happy to be home and ready to just clean the fuck out of your house, unpack all your shit and make an epic grocery store trip. There’s nothing like that first day of settling back in and we did just that. Woke up at 5am, sat on the futon with shitty-ass coffee that we poured milk into, eating more cereal and just getting to town. Cleaning until we couldn’t clean anymore, having another round of cereal, and then heading to Trader Joe’s. I hope we never have to sublet our house ever again.