Yesterday I was very close to Taylor Swift. Like I-Can-See-Her-Calf-Muscles close. And it was the most amazing feeling. After performances by Vance Joy, John Newman, and Ellie Golding, Taylor made her way onto the stage and announced that we were in a crowd of 65,000 people. I was in a group of only 4,000 who were lucky enough to be in the general admission pit closest to her. Waving our signs in the air and dancing the entire time, the three of us sang our hearts out to every song on her set list. When the show was over we walked the few blocks home to Kate's flat continuing to sing as we went, pausing only to talk about how great we felt.
In the morning we woke up to a farmers market taking place right outside Kate's window. The smells drifting into the flat, we quickly got dressed and ventured out. We were met with more rides, plenty of booths, and some really amazing donuts. I got peanut butter with berry compote and I'm fairly certain it changed my life almost as much as seeing Taylor Swift at Hyde Park did.
With only 2 hours of class time, Fridays make for an easy day. Having the entire afternoon free opened up so many different opportunities for exploration. It was difficult to decide between shopping on Oxford Street, visiting a market of antiques, or taking the tube to the London Bridge to watch the sunset. Naturally we decided to do all three. Shopping brought a new outfit and long lines, the market gave me the best ham and cheese sandwich I've ever eaten, and the bridge of course provided an amazing view.
It's crazy to think that an entire week has passed since I stepped foot off American soil and touched ground in London. Time is passing by both very slowly and incredibly fast. I am no longer having to think about which side of the walkways to use (left) or which line will get me home the fastest (Metropolitan) and instead get to focus on seeing and doing everything I possibly can while here. And also eat ice cream along every stop of the way.
Top: J Crew (no longer available)
Trousers: American Eagle
Sunglasses: Brass Plum
Necklace: Forever 21
Ring: Forever 21
Wallet: Forever 21
Bracelets: J Crew (no longer available) and Something Silver
This morning a guided boat tour along the River Thames took my class to Greenwich to explore the town and its old naval academy. Our professor went into great detail about the history of the school and its architecture. My favorite story was of the artist commissioned to paint the inside of the dining hall. After being told his payment would be decided by how many square yards were completed, Sir James Thornhill made sure to cover every inch possible.
I think it's safe to say that London has made me very good at two very important things: navigating the underground, and eating ice cream in parks near Buckingham Palace. After several hours of walking (followed by several more), this is probably the best possible way to spend an afternoon.
After a being late for class on the very first day of school due to problems with our tube station, I was concerned that London was off to a bad start. With heightened emotions I went through the rest of the day, loving my classes but quickly becoming exhausted from lack of sleep and the 4 hour walking tour the course entailed. Once we returned home late that night I laid on my bed and crossed my fingers that the next day would be better.
And it was. Infinitely. With a fresh and less stressful start, Katy and I arrived just on time. We spent the day on another long walking tour which concluded right next to London Bridge. Our professor recommended a pub around the corner where a small group of classmates stopped to relax before heading home.
Katy and I then met Kate for an adventure to Hyde Park where we were surprised to find a small festival happening with food, rides, and an outdoor movie. Snacking on "the best brownies in London" we sat until sunset before catching the tube back for the night.
24 | Seattle, Wa