Tuesday, June 30, 2009

engine check, breaks check, wings check

In 15 minutes I am leaving for the airport. The same airport that has had two plane crashes in the last month. I know that sounds horrible- but that's because it is.
I am already usually a little nervous flying - but these facts and figures are not helping me today.

Deep breaths.

Faux Pas 1: cause I am sure more are to come...

The more I learn French, the more I learn I know nothing at all.

Example # 1

The other day I took two girls to a restaurant and attempted to order water.

Me: Carafe Du L’eau S’il vous plait (Craft of water please)

Server: Petit or grand

Me: Grand

The server then returns with three large coffee’s. Clearly a mis-understanding I try to explain that’s not what we wanted, we only wanted water- The server then cleared all the coffees from in front of us, only to return five minutes later with 3 large cups of hot water for tea.

I gave up.

Example number 2:

Sitting on the Metro the other day I saw a Lady wearing really cute shoes. In attempt to practice my French I turn to the lady to compliment her shoes:

Me: “J’aime vous Cuisses”

Lady- gasp and an awkward look of horror comes across her face

Me: “Je suis desolee “ (I am sorry), uh uh uh pointing down to her shoes, “Vous Chaussures”

Lady: Get’s up and moves down the metro

Me: Immediacy get off the next stop to avoid further embarrassment.

In an attempt to compliment the lady’s shoes, I accidently mispronounced the word for shoe and told the lady: “I like your thighs.”

Monday, June 29, 2009

Spectacle de Danse

When I first arrived in Paris I became involved in dance classes as a way to meet people in the city and to do what I love- dance. I never imagined that taking a class would have ended up with me dancing on stage, but it did. Last night after 5 months of taking class here in Paris was the student showcase and I had the absolute time of my life performing with the girls I have come to know over the course of this time.

I loved every moment of being a part of the dance show. I loved being there early in the morning to start rehearsal. I loved practicing on stage, watching other groups do run throughs of their routines and everyone spurring one another on. While sitting and having someone do my hair and makeup the way they had been instructed made me feel like a model being transformed into what the artist wanted and that was essentially what our performance was last night. We were transformed into the vision our teacher wanted. My hair and makeup and costume were all things I would never wear independently but putting them on for an eight minute performance and becoming someone else was an absolute blast.

Getting all glamafied! My hair was out of control and I absolutely loved it!

Being that dance is a form of art, people are inspired by many different things. One of the choreographers said he got one of his ideas for the show when he saw a student bend down and tie their shoe. But the two most influential inspirations of the show last night would be Michael Jackson and the Jabbawokeez. With the unexpected death of Michael Jackson, suddenly many of the solo’s of students incorporated many of Michael’s famous moves, and during intermission only his music was played. Second- From the show “America’s Best Dance Crew” there were about four routines that took the Jabbawokeez style and wore masks while dancing. Those who had to wear the masks I felt horrible for, in having to endure the insane heat while dancing under the lights, but for some the routines the masks really made their performance stand out.

This was my first french friend, she is amazing!

The entire day was sort of a surreal experience for me. I have always wanted to be in a dance show since I was in high-school and would watch in awe of the performances the dancers would put on. After college I started taking classes of my own, but never imagined I would actually ever have the opportunity to perform. It’s insane to me how small desires of your heart can be answered even when you are sent off to a foreign country and don’t speak the language. I am so thankful and blessed that last night one of my many crazy dreams came true- and how thankful I am to the Lord for giving me that desire of my heart, while I was here in Paris.

Girls from my dance class right before going on stage.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Flip the Switch

Last Tuesday complete devastation hit my apartment… My internet service went out!


I called my service company and they told me someone would come next Tuesday to fix the problem.

Tuesday came – I waited at my apartment for someone to come as I was instructed. No one did. But! I did receive a phone call from a technician informing me that the internet was reactivated. As instantly that my internet went out- it was now turned back on, a week later.

The best person to describe this entire situation is Brian Regan. This sketch fully describes my disconnected phone and internet situation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Keep Swimming

There are a few things I know I am good at in life. I am good at making and keeping friends- I just love people. Second- I am good with food. I love to eat food. I love to make food. And I love to share food with people. Thirdly- I am good at working out. I am a person who has lots of energy and I need to workout in order to keep myself happy and energized. I like all forms of working out from Dancing, running, workout classes, Pilates, riding bikes with friends, basically I’ll try anything – and I actually enjoy it.

The last few weeks here in Paris I have been rather down. I was unsure what was wrong with me. I knew God wanted me here for this time, I knew that I was blessed, that I actually wanted to be here, and that everything was good- but I wasn’t as happy as Katie could be. Then over the weekend things started to click together for me. I missed being who I was- there are many pieces of my U.S. life missing here in Paris and I needed to find a way to get them back- to get myself back.

I have friends here- I am not a complete loner- but life happens and it’s hard to find a good time for everyone to get together. I needed to be more intentional about meeting up with people my age. That was the first step. Eating was still happening and plenty of it. I am in France after all – Bread (check), Cheese (check, check), wine (check, check, check). So the eating was still in balance- but the working out had fallen to the way-side, or away altogether. I am not going to list for you all the excuses reasons, but tell you what I did to resolve this issue that had thrown my entire personality off the tracks.

Once the light clicked that it was the lack of working out that was making me most miserable in my own skin here in France, I decided I needed to workout and get me back to being happy go lucky me. After dance class on Sunday a girl mentioned she went swimming and I thought- “I want to go swimming!” I found my local pool and it’s only a block and a half from my apartment. I couldn’t wait to be a fish in the water swimming free!

When I arrived at the pool, I was warned me that the water was cold. I shrugged and continued on my way thinking I could just warm up as I swam a few laps. I head to the pool, and felt it with my hand and thought, “not too bad.” I then jumped in and suddenly felt like Rose when the titanic sank and she couldn’t breathe due to the freezing temperature of the water. Gasping for breath and trying to get warm I thought about how there were other people in the water, it couldn’t be that bad- but these people must have really been polar bears cause this water was glacial.

After swimming a few laps I did finally get warmed up. Now, at this pool there were no ropes to divide the swimming lanes. It was all just open and you could swim wherever you would like. Not having dividers is fine- as long as people know how to swim in a straight line. At one point the girl who would have been two lanes down while doing the breast stroke found her way into what would be my lane and thus incidentally frog kicked me in the side of my ribs. I then simply moved over some more and hoped she would go back over two lanes.

My next crazy swimmer run in was again with a lady doing the breast stroke (apparently the breast stroke is more common than freestyle here). We were both headed toward one another and as she pulled the water down and around her outstretched arms had grazed over my butt. Okay- I know I am from San Diego, but I am not the Shamu petting zoo people!

My favorite part (insert sarcasm here) with the lack of lane division, was the young girl who found it appropriate to hangout in my lane. I do believe she swam half a lap at one point but the rest of the time she simply hung on the wall where I am supposed to turn kick off of and chat with her friends who sat on the benches. My next lap, she was dropping her key and diving down to pick it up while I was then swimming above her, hoping as she came up her head would not ram into my stomach. There was not a lack of open space in the pool- if she didn’t realize that fact, I did and I moved down to avoid her. The best part- she then too moved down because her friends were now getting in, this is when she began the floating leisurely at the end of my lane. I just wished she would sink. In a country as formal as France, this girl lacked all swimming etiquette.

What I didn’t understand about the girl was that this was the “lap pool.” There were other pools for her to “float” within. There was a pool for just hanging out. There was a pool just for diving. There was even a pool for those under six years old. After the floating girl left, then came the water polo boys. They were throwing around their ball, sometimes landing on my head or requiring me to toss the ball in their direction mid-stroke. I didn’t mind them really because they stayed in an area of the pool where people weren’t swimming. They were causing no harm or disruption they were just having fun.

After what seemed to be an adventurous hour of swimming, or swimming for survival(Swimming in the pool seemed to have more turbulence than swimming in the pacific.) I left feeling good. I felt like me and as though I had done something and done something well. In that hour in the pool I was able to slightly shift the tables and gain a part of me back. It made me think of Dori from Finding Nemo and say to myself, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” and I know in time I will make it through all of this too.

Hey Mr Grump Gills
You know what you gotta do when life gets you down?
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming
Just keep swimming swimming swimming
What do we do we swim, swim, swim
OH HO HO How I love to swim
When you WAAAAAANNTTT to swim you want to swim

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Mini Please

I do a lot of walking around Paris. It’s really the best way to see the city, watch the people, and discover new and exciting characteristics of Paris.

I was roaming around St. Germain and stumbled upon a street, where I believe you may have had to own a Mini Cooper to live here, because every other car on this street was a Mini. The Mini as a means of transportation makes sense when driving in Paris. Due to the small, narrow, over crowded roads, the Mini is the perfect car to zoom all around the city in. I was so enchanted by all the Minis I wanted to show you a few of the Minis from this small little road I discovered.

Some of the Minis were older (eh hem, I mean classic) and smaller (yes there are smaller versions of the Mini Cooper. I suppose it should then be called a Tini):

There were more subtle and common longer Minis:

And my favorite- A fun, bright, convertible Mini accessorized with a cute little dog too!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Not so S.O.S experience

After vowing to myself I would have a calm and relaxing weekend of cleaning, studying, and watching movies- I absolutely did not accept an offer to take two pre-teen girls to a Jonas Brothers concert on Sunday. I was not at all intrigued to see the Jonas Brothers (JBs) and I did not not hesitate before saying, “Yes!” Thus I will dedicate this post to a "Not me Monday" hosted by McMama. You can join by going here.

On Sunday I did previously have planned dance class but now afterwards I would be meeting the mom and two teens in Paris to head to the concert. When getting dressed in the morning I did not neglect to think ahead and chose to wear boots instead of flats or flip flops. I would have realized I would be going to a concert and doing lots of walking and that flats for flip flops would be a much wiser and practical choice over boots.

After meeting up with my two pre-teens (Amy and Rose) their mom wanted to grab them a snack. While sipping smoothies I did not see a guy that I had met the previous week while staying at the hostel in London. No way would I two weeks in a row, run into this guy from Australia, in two separate countries. That is not random at all.

Amy and Rose were not at all eager to the Jonas Brothers. Nor did their excitement necessitate us being at the concert doors two hours before the doors actually opened- or three hours prior to the show starting. Arriving early to the concert did not mean standing in a mob of people for two hours of pushing and shoving of some trying to get closer to the front, or endless screaming for the cameras and chants of JONAS! JONAS! JONAS! Not to mention there was definitely not a staunch smell of teenagers in the hot sun in a country where deodorant is often optional. Too bad they usually chose the wrong option. While standing there my only thoughts were absolutely not consumed on my feet and how they were not KILLING me one bit this entire two hour period. I was just as enthralled with the prospect of seeing the JBs.

When the gates finally opened- it was not like a mad dash and bull run to get through the entrance. Girls were not trampled on or pinned between mobs of people and the metal bars that created the entrance boundaries. It did not take a team of 300 pound body guards the size of professional football defense linemen to keep these 80 pound teenagers in line and entering in a calm and collected fashion.

After making it into the arena it was not even hotter and more humid inside than it was outside. We were not now crammed like sardines in the floor area with everyone trying to get as close to the stage as possible. The smell in the venue had not drastically increased in the more compact, steamy ,sweaty surrounding we now stood in. At this point of entering the arena I did not take off my boots. I would be strong enough to tolerate and stand in my own shoes.

While in the massive crowd of people, I was not at all worried about losing Amy and Rose or the prospect of them being trampled upon. My first concert was at 15 to see Linkin Park with my best friends- at one point a mosh pit had formed – last night at the Jonas Brothers I did not at all once think that these young girls were more intense than the rockers at the Linkin Park show- this is a Disney boy band for heaven’s sake- how crazy can the fans be? Crazy. Hormonal teenagers and the sight of cute boys singing them love songs kind of crazy.

During the concert it was not so ludicrously, swelteringly hot that girls were fainting throughout the crowds. I did not see over twenty girls get pulled out and carried off by security because they had become too weak. Security was not bringing out communal bottles of water to quench the thirst of everyone in the floor area- nor were they taking water and splashing it onto the masses. When the opening act Demi Lovato performed after each song she did not say, “Man it is so hot in here.” I was not the only person in the entire audience that could actually understand what she was saying. Yea for bonus points on behalf of speaking English.

Prior to going to the concert- my knowledge of the JB’s was their hit single S.O.S and that they wore bow ties. I was not at all surprised at how cute these boys were – nor do I now have a teenage crush on Nick and Joe Jonas. I am not a pre-teen that would go ga-ga over these young boys after seeing them in concert. Being there with Amy and Rose, two best friends, did not make me want to be 13 again and with my best friends at a fun concert. I was also not at all surprised I ended up knowing over half of their songs- my music taste is more refined and cultured than catchy, poppy, boppy, hits geared towards young tweens.

Halfway through the show I did not lose one of my boots, I never lose anything. I did not then proceed to get down on the ground on my hands and knees searching for my missing boot. I was not completely relieved when I found my boot that had shimmied itself five people down. Phew.

Cute little Rose is about 4 foot five and 70 pounds and thus much shorter and smaller than others attending the concert. Throughout the night I would not have to hunch down so she could use my shoulder as a support as she attempted to jump higher and higher to see Nick Jonas over the towering crowd. At the same time Amy is not so sweet and kind that she would keep being pushed back through the crowd- I would not have to grab her arm and pull her through 5-10 people who had previously pushed her back out of her place with Rose and me. It was not hard work keeping this concert experience as best as possible for the two of them.

During the second to last song, I did not look at little Rose and see that she was getting weak and light headed. I did not have to carry her and Amy out through the crowd and get Amy to the restoration area before she passed out. I was not at all worried. Once arriving there I did not actually have to check in both Rose and Amy from the heat exhaustion and dehydration. I did not feel like the worst chaperone for having both girls end up in this area to recuperate. I did not feel slightly better that there were 5 girls already in the waiting area and three who arrived shortly after us. The temperature from where we were standing to the rest of the area was not a minimum of a ten degree difference- it did not feel like stepping out onto a cool oasis.

At the end of the night I did not overall have a great time. I did not enjoy one bit seeing the Jonas Brothers perform or even more not enjoyable was watching Amy and Rose see their first live concert to their favorite boy while singing and dancing to all of their favorite songs. I was not endeared by the fact that Rose spoke only five words in English the entire night, but was fully devoted to every single Jonas Brothers lyric. And I without doubt did not realize that it is much more work and responsibility taking two 12 yr olds to a concert, than going with a group of your friends. It is not a completely different experience at all.

After getting to bed at 1:30 am on my relaxing weekend, I was not utterly exhausted with feet throbbing from pain. That would never be me, I am much too young to be this tired. Plus knowing I need to be in French class at 8:00 a.m. the next morning I would be sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour to be fully rested for a morning of class.

Above my bed I have a skylight that can open up. I occasionally leave the sky light open at night to let in a breeze and some cool air. The weather in France is not so unpredictable that one day it can be sweltering hot and then next pouring down rain. I would never have to worry about such impulsive weather and can freely sleep with my window open. Thus – I was not surprised at all this morning while in the midst of peaceful restorative beauty sleep, to be awoken not by my alarm, but a rainstorm showering down on top of my head and all over me and my bed. No, no, no, nothing so random, obscure, and silly would ever happen to me. My life is flawlessly calm, impeccably serene, and the perfect picture of being composed.

Friday, June 12, 2009

scatter brained friday

Today’s blog is going to match how I am feeling- random, out of sync, and unsolvable.

First- SYTYCD I am so glad this show is back on. I love the dancers, and more the most part I love Mary Murphy. Her screaming has never bothered me in the past- until this year, nay- this week. Mary, the dancers want to hear you scream because it is rare. When you scream for 9 out of the 10 dances- it loses its pizzazz, and over done. So please for the sake of the enjoyment of dance- use words over sounds. And for me to say this takes a lot- because I too am expressive and understand that sometimes a scream is the only way to fully express how you feel. But my ears and mind were exhausted and stressed by the end of the show- to the point I was relieved when one couple did not receive a scream from you.

Second- I am starving. I have been starving for the last four hours, all because I am unreasonable. There is food- but it’s not what I want. Ideally I would like a two taco combo from Rubio’s. That is in no way shape or form possible here in France. I don’t want to spend money- but I also don’t want the food I already have. I don’t want to go out and pick something up. So I will continue to sit here and starve until some way the hunger beats out my stubborn nature of getting what I want. Because I will not get what I want until I return to beautiful sunny southern California.

Third- I am so excited to have NO PLANS this weekend. I am sort of mentally and physically exhausted from all the going I have done the last month. It’s been a blast but my apartment looks like someone broke in and threw all my junk and clothes everywhere, my French homework is pretty behind, and this week I got busted in dance class for not fully knowing my routine. I am actually looking forward to folding my laundry, dusting my counters, studying my verbs and I always enjoy practicing dance. Best part is I can watch movies and feel completely guilt free once these three things are complete.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Girl Trip day Three

It’s the last and final day of the girls and I being in London. London is fabulous I feel as though I am actually in the U.S. someplace, maybe on the east coast somewhere in a mix between Boston and New York. It’s strange to hear English as the common language, be able to read sign postings, and see T.G.I.Fridays as an option for a restaurant. Anyways I digress because today is the DAY! It’s B-Day! Britney! Britney! Britney! Me and the ladies couldn’t be any more excited. But before the big event there are still some sights to see in good ol’ London. Let’s go!

It's raining it's pouring, the girls are out touring.

Our first stop "London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down" or as Fergie would say, "How come every time you come around my London London bridge wanna go down like London London wanna go down."

Regardless what song gets stuck in your head as you walk acorss this bridge- you quickly realize this bridge is nothing to really sing about. It's quite famous- but quite plain, basically the bridge is a bunch of cement blocks. Especially when compared to the next bridge down that is adorned is life and decor. The Tower Bridge is beautiful and the one that people should be singing songs about.

After checking out the London Bridge and the Tower Bridge we headed to probably my favoirte site in London- The London Tower. This place was super cool- It felt like you were walking in history and in a distinguished place. The London tower held many purposes- the first being a royal palace, Oh la la. It also served the purpose of being a fortress of protection, watching for those who were preparing to attach Britian. Many of the walls in the Tower of London range between 11-15 feet thick. The London Tower is also where they kept prisioners who were commiting treason against the King. And last but not least, this is where people would be tourtured or even more grotesque, beheaded. "OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!"

This first picture is of the outside of the London tower. On the walls you can see small slits that look like crosses- those were the only holes that would provide light to the prisoners held within the walls. In this fortress there are a total of twenty towers each served a different purpose and hold fascinating stories.

This is the entrance to the the Towers, at the top of these arches are metal spikes that weigh one ton and would be released to capture intruders or others trying to escape. We had to run through quickly so they wouldn't capture us cause they know was can get a bit crazy.

If you go to the Tower of London you have to take a tour by a Beefeater. This is the best tour I have ever been on. It was funny, fast paced and every informative. Our guide had our group laughing through the entire hour tour.

Most people who were beheaded were done outside the tower walls where all of the public could come and see. But beheaded royalty were finished off here.

The coolest and prettiest place to see in the London Tower lies behind these walls. Inside are kept all the royal jewels, crowns, and diamonds!!! This is why the ladies come and see the Tower of London.

After checking out the history of London it was time for an ancient feast of British Pie! This meal totally hit the spot. Warm, filling, and delicious- what more could you ask for.

After a day of walking around in the rain and taking in a ton of history we are pretty wiped out. But it's time for our next adventure so we grabed a coffee and got on the train and enjoyed the relaxing ride. ahhhh

Our next stop... The Circus Baby!

After playing around in the entrance way of the circus we headed inside where the show was about to start. We took our seats and watched the opening circus act.

And then prepared for the Main event!

As Perez came on- we knew Brit was next rose to our feets and prepared to have the night of all nights and ready to have to all out fun.

These two beautiful people were our seat/dance partners for the Britney concert. They were so much fun and might have loved the show even more than me- and I am not sure if that is actually possible. My favorite thing about this picture is litterally one second before the shot was taken they were dancing like crazy and some how they were able to perfectly pose themselves for this shot. And then immediatly went back to crazy dance mode.

We danced, danced, danced and sang our way through the entire 90 minute Britey show loving every minute. Once the show was over we had to head back to the hostel to pack because we needed to leave at 4:00 a.m. to catch our plane back to Paris.

We landed in Paris and headed straight to the Seine to end our trip on a sunny, relaxing note. Ahh Paris how we love you.

Thanks girls to the best trip to London a gril could ask for. I am so glad you were able to come I had so much fun. We'll have to do it again sometime. Love you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Girl Trip Day Two

Welcome to day two of the adventures of London with me and my Besties! We are having a had such a blast and I hope you are too following us along. So here we go!

The hostel we stayed at provides free breakfast in the morning. Food + Free= So there! So before headed out for the day we joined the rest of the pseudo college students, in a free breakfast. Serious flash backs of the first week in college came flooding in, when you entered the dining area of the hostel. There everyone was, carrying their trays, and sitting in their groups of friends traveling together. And there we (or me) stood looking for a place to sit. Not wanting to intrude on anyone else’s table, but also not wanting to be sitting alone, in a room full of people sitting together. I mustered up some courage and saw an empty seat as another girl was sitting down. I asked if she minded I sit at the same table and she welcomed me with a smile and said the best English words I had yet to here, “No go right ahead, I am alone.” Whoo hoo Me and my friend have found a place to sit AND someone to hangout with. The girl we met was named Anne-Marie and she is a flight attendant who decided to take a quick trip to London because she had never been and had a few days off. How awesome is that!?

Anne-Marie was amazing and we decided to hangout together the rest of the day. Most of it was just walking around London. Best of all – I now had someone to help take pictures of me and my girls. Every time I pulled out my pictures Anne-Marie would crack up laughing- but it was a better response than the “loony lady” looks I was getting from everyone else trying to figure out what I was doing while taking my pictures of pictures.

We first went to West-minster Abby- the day before when we went the tours inside were closed and today when we went you couldn't take any pictures inside. So after touring the inside we realized that the changing of the guard was about to take place and rushed over to the Buckingham Palace. All Hail to the Queen!

Leading up to the palace there is a long street filled with the British flag. While crossing the street, the girls and I decided to take a picture but we were literally almost run over by a car who saw us as a target and this shot was all we could get. Ashly and Andrea made it safely to the curb.

After watching the changing of the guard we walked through a nearby garden.

Our next stop was the Picadilly square which was a bit like New York Times Square. Filled with lots of stores I could never afford. But it was a really fun environment to be around.

The drizzling continued throughout the day. Just enough to be annoying because you don't want to be using an umbrella but 5 hours of drizzling leaves you soaking wet. So we all decided to find a place to go inside and get warm and dry. We headed back to the hostel to rest a bit and then get changed and get ready for our evening out.

After re-convening for our second half of the day we headed out to a pub where you can get delicious cheap warm food. We had potatoes with cheese and bacon (yum) and and a Shandy. Shandys are a common drink among the Brits where they have a pint of half fosters and half sprite. If you were to have a beer this would be my preference.

Now are you ready for the BEST part of the day! Just wait to be astounded! Before coming I had purchased tickets to see "Chicago." I have always wanted to see this play live and figured I needed to see one show while in London. (Wicked was a last minute splurge) I was also excited when Anne-Marie decided she too would join in on the Chicago fun. Interestingly enough- Anne-Marie was from Chicago and had never actually seen the play. So we took our seats and got ready to watch "Chicago!"

Okay so here is the amazing part- playing the male lead role of Billy Flynn (performed by Richard Gere in the movie) was done in London by: The One! The Only! Drum roll please................... CRASH!


I am not even kidding!

Okay now how hilarious is this!? I will give you a few moments to compose yourself from all of your hysterical laughing- cause I know I am still cracking up about this.

Now come on, Jerry Springer playing a lead role in a Musical? How is this possible? And the role is quite fitting, dramatic, lying, cheating, bribery- it's like he was hosting his talk show right on stage with a 1920's cabaret musical. Jerry actually wasn't quite bad. He didn't do much dancing- and the rest of the cast mostly danced around him- but he did sing quite well, it was just difficult to place him in a serious role when all you can picture is his ridiculous talk show.

Best part- at the end of the show while the cast takes a bow- a small chant of "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" began from a small corner of the crowd. How classic is that.

The end of the play brings us to the end of Day Two. I loved day two. It was leisurely, quirky, and fun. The biggest blessing of the day was having Anne-Marie to hangout with the entire day. She was so much fun and it was great to visit the sights of London with someone who you instantly clicked with. I am so thankful I met her and got to know someone so cool while on my London excursion. Tomorrow is the last and final day before the girls and I leave our adventures in London.

Girl Trip Day One

In honor of celebrating my 25th birthday I headed to London with my four best friends- Ashly, Andrea, Brigitte, and Cynthia. Due to the minor fact that I live in France, I really don’t get to hangout with my girls quite like I used to. (That whole distance thing can be a bit of an obstacle.) But, because I have the best friends in the world that a girl could ever ask for (and I can say that cause I am on the other side of the world so I know it’s really true) Ashly and Andrea pitched in to buy me a ticket to see Britney in London, and when Brigitte and Cynthia saw Britney in Anaheim, Ca they kept me in their sprits and photo shopped me into their pictures. (I told you they were the best.)

Can you believe they get even better than just buying tickets and photo shopping??? Well trust me they do, and here is the proof: They even came with me on my trip to London! I was so excited to have my friends with me touring around London. It was the best reunion and way I could have ever spent celebrating my 25th!

Below you will find day one of our three days worth of London adventures, excursions, and fun!

The girls first met me in Paris where we then together flew over to London- here we are waiting for our flight to board.

Once on the plane it was time to get all buckeled up.

When we arrived at Luton airport we had to take a bus into the city- turns out London is very green and the girls enjoyed looking out the window as we leisurely drove into the center of the city.

We had a bit of time to kill before we could check into our hostel so we had our priorities- first eat! And second tour. We took the tube to the Notting hill station and found the cutest little resturant to rest and eat some food. This resturant served lots of fresh salads, tartines, quiches, soups, and beautifufl desserts.

After placing our order we sat around and chatted for a little bit catching up on all the time we have missed. We loved the wooden tables and the beautiful fresh flowers on our table. It was so refreshing to be in a calm environment catching up with my best girls.

Oh la la our food has arrived. Yum! toast with Camenbaret walnuts and pears. Delish! Loved the pretty presentation.

After resting up a bit and enjoying our lunch we headed into Notting Hill. My favorite movie is Notting Hill so this was a must see for me while in London. Portobello Road is exactly how Hugh Grant describes it in the movie. There are tons of great antique shops, there are some great clothes stores, and our favorite store front was the extreem hair and makeup center. We were not brave enough to go in and get makeovers. The best part of this street was that all of the store fronts on this street were painted different colors bringing each store to life in an orignial and vibrant way.

After enjoying the lovely Portobello Rd, we decided we were tired of being turtles and carrying our backpacks around and decided to go check in at our hostel. We stayed at a hostel called "The Generator". The Generator is basically a state school college dorm. Filled with Bright colors and around 800 travelers staying at one time. It was insane how many people were continually coming and going. But you can't beat a room for 15 a night so we were sold on this deal. We were upgraded from a 10 girls room to a 4 girls room and stayed with two girls traveling from the U.S. and another girl from Australia who just finished a 4 week tour of all of Europe.

My favorite part of checking in was that the Generator held the Golden ticket. Better known as my Britney Spears ticket!!! I was very nervous about my Britney ticket because 4 days before the concert I still had no ticket in hand even though I had ordered it two months previously. I was hoping it would have been delievered by the time I arrived at the hostel and it happened to arrive one hour before we did. phew.

Brigitte and Cynthia's favorite part of check in was the Happy Hour sign.

Ashly and Andrea's favorite part of check in was getting the chance to lay down and rest for a few moments before I made them trek the remaining day around London.

After getting settled in, we headed to the Westminster Abby area to just walk around and get adjusted to the city. We absoultly loved the Tube system. It is very easy to learn, work, and fun to ride. The best part was how polite the tube was. Everytime you approached a stop a recording would come on and say, "Please Mind the Gap," in a wonderful British accent. And rather than having exit signs, there would be signs saying "Way Out" to direct you to the exit.

Once exiting the metro we were standing face to face with the Amazing Big Ben! This clock was amazing to see. It is so large and beautiful filling this busy block with life, authenticity, and history.

Then we walked down the street and took a gander at Westmister Abby where you can visit the tombs of the deceased royalty and many others. Along with where the coronations of Kings and Queens take place. Inside the structure and architecture is exquisite. There are some of the best stained glasses I have yet to see in Europe and there is a ton of detail throughout all the halls within this strucutre.

After hanging out at Westminster Abby we crosseed the street to take a look at Parlament. When crossing the streets in London they provide the pedistrian with directions on which way to look before crossing the street. If you were to ever be hit by a car- I would say it would happen in London- I am pretty sure when they see pedistrians in the road they speed up. They must take the points game a little too seriously.

This is Parlament. The sky's were so bright and blue today it makes this shot almost look fake.

For the evening activites last minute Ashly, Andrea, and I decided to go see Wicked while Brigitte and Cynthia decided to go out for the night. We were able to get half price tickets at a kisok in one of the metros and loved having the ability to go see Wicked in London. It was a fabulous show and I thought it was the best Alphaba voice I have yet to hear play the role.

After a long day of traveling and roaming all around London, it was time to get some sleep, we had another big day ahead of us planned for tomorrow.

Sweet Dreams!