We had a late flight home, so we had time to hang out before heading to the airport. After lunch, we found the I Dream Of Jeannie stuff in Cocoa Beach so that D could pay tribute. He’s like obsessed with Barbara Eden. It’s weird, dude.
We had a really good weekend hanging with our friends. We always have the best time with them. D, in particular, needed this time away to unwind. That said, we are both super happy to be home. I’m ready to hunker down and be a homebody for a while.
Sansa is soooo mad at me. Lol.
I have to be at the cancer center bright and early tomorrow morning. Hopefully my doctor will have a plan to get rid of all this swelling. It’s painful and ugly and I hate it. Oh and apparently I now look cancery enough that people give up their seats for me. Sigh. But I really did need the seat. I’m literally disabled and I don’t know how to handle it. It’s such a mind fuck.
More of the same today: bar hopping mostly. I’m not the drinker that I used to be, but I had several frozen cocktails today. It feels like saying goodbye to summer.
I’m in a weird place mentally. Watching my decline is really starting to fuck with my head, and my self-esteem is in the gutter. I’m so bloated and swollen. I look pregnant. My knees and feet are so swollen that I can hardly walk. I’ve been sucking it up, but it hasn’t been easy. We haven’t really talked about my cancer at all this trip, which is both a good and a bad thing. I feel like I’m just a total bummer to be around at this point. I don’t know…I’m struggling and feel kind of alone.
Still – I’ve had a good time, and I’m glad we got away. I can tell it has been good for D especially. He def needed a vacation.
Day 2 was all about drinking and shopping. I found the cutest little boutique in downtown Melbourne, which had a bunch of cute stuff, including a lot of Betsey Johnson (I love her stuff). I bought the cutest dress and two pairs of shoes. Pics later.
I was asleep before 9. I am still recovering from London and have no energy. I’m actually looking forward to spending a few days in bed post-chemo.
I started the day with a headache, so instead of braving the crowds at the crack of dawn in hopes of catching a glimpse of the funeral procession, I watched from the comfort of bed. After hearing about Lina’s experience out and about, I have no regrets. London is absolutely insane right now.
We hooked up around 2:30 pm. After getting some much needed caffeine, we set out on today’s mission to see some of the oldest pubs in London.
The first stop was the Seven Stars. It’s allegedly the oldest. I say allegedly because apparently there is some controversy surrounding this. But it’s also across the street from the Royal Courts of Justice, and said to be a big lawyer hangout, so we were super excited to see it. Unfortunately, it was pretty disappointing. It was super small and really, really shitty. Being old is no excuse to be filthy. The only bright spot was the pub cat: The General. He was gorgeous and I managed to get in a few good pets before he fucked off out the door. We weren’t far behind him. It was a one beer and out sorta situation.
Next up was The Prospect of Whitby, which was quaint, clean, and much more our speed.
I decided to go full British being it’s our last night, and ordered steak & ale pie and sticky toffee and date pudding. It was…okay. The food here is just not my jam. Sorry, British friends. 😬
I absolutely love the pet culture here. People bring their dogs into the pubs and stores. I have met many adorable doggos during my time in London, which I’ve enjoyed immensely, of course. The downside is that there is a lot of dog shit on the sidewalks.
Oh what a trip! I had to buy an additional (small) suitcase to get all the souvenirs home. My flight leaves tomorrow afternoon, and I’m so, so ready to see my family. That said, I had no idea how much I needed this time away to discover more about who I am now, and what I can do. What I’ve discovered is that there is still a lot of life left in this old gal, and she’s way ready to live big. And in that spirit, I leave for Florida on Thursday morning!!
We had afternoon tea at The Milestone Hotel, and it was absolutely fabulous. The ambience was so delightfully British. I had a lovely tea called Planter’s Mistress, that I’m determined to buy before I leave. The food was abundant and delicious. I had the best scone I’ve ever tasted, and the texture was simply heavenly. I’ve never cared much for scones before, but I’m now addicted to scones topped with clotted cream and strawberry jam. We got the champagne upgrade too, which made the experience all the more decadent.
We spent the rest of the day shopping for souvenirs. We both had things we wanted to get for our families. We ended up at King’s Cross Station, made famous by Harry Potter. I’m not really a HP person, but it was cool to see all the happy people freaking out about it. I was able to get gifts that the family will enjoy, which means British flag stuff for D, and hoodies for the kids. I’ve also bought a bunch of candy that we can’t get in the US. I’m fascinated by all the little differences.
Tomorrow is our last full day in England. It’s also the Queen’s funeral. Our plan is to watch it on the big screen in Hyde Park. Afterwards, we will probably end up in a pub somewhere. I’m not sure what to expect really. It’s supposed to be quite crowded, and it’s also a holiday. So who knows what will happen.
I’ve had a fabulous time here in London. I feel like I’ve seen and learned so much in the short time I’ve been here. I plan to expound upon it in another post. I’m too tired now. That said, I miss my family very much, and I’m definitely ready to go home.
I didn’t go to sleep until around 4 am, so we got a late start to the day. We grabbed drinks at Starbucks first (chai for me), and chatted for a while. Then we went to a pub for lunch.
I had a grilled cheese toastie and some chips. The food here has been quite bland for the most part. I considered getting the fish & chips since it’s the iconic English meal, but…yuck. 😂
After lunch, we grabbed a taxi to Oxford Street for some shopping. I got to go to Primark, which was an experience! It was huge, and crazy busy. Too busy. The vibe was like a mix between an Old Navy and an H&M. Anyway – the prices were soooo good. I got a fuckton of stuff for like 70 pounds. Then we walked around Selfridge & Co, a super fancy department store. Apparently there’s a show about it, that Lina says I need to watch. I bought the cutest shoes that I’m excited to show off.
For dinner, we hit up a Thai restaurant near our hotel. Decent food. I had a very tasty beer, and we planned our day tomorrow.
We have a reservation for afternoon tea tomorrow, and we’re hoping to make it to a tour of The Tower.
I’m having a really good time, but I def miss home. Still – I’m shoving as much living in as I can while I’m here. I love how late things stay open. I wish our restaurants stayed open later in the US. Oh and I love all the little corner convenience stores. Oh and Boots is fabulous!
I’m tired and my brain is kinda fried. My legs are still quite sore from yesterday. I’m meeting L tomorrow morning at 9 am for breakfast. I’m really enjoying my time with her.
Yesterday was all about seeing the Queen lying in state. We stood in the queue for 15 1/2 hours. It was hell on our bodies, but spirits were high. We met lots of really cool people. Everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming. Plus, Lina and I had lots of time to chat and get to know each other better. She’s awesome!! ❤️
Once we entered Westminster Hall, where the Queen was resting, the mood immediately changed. Completely silent but for sniffles. The room is absolutely breathtaking, and you can just feel the rich history in the atmosphere. It gave me chills. So many feelings overcame me that I completely forgot about the epic pain in my body. Lina and I held hands while we cried and walked through paying our respects.
My bestie got a pic of us on the livestream. We’re coming down the stairs on the left in our matching hoodies.
We took the tube back to the hotel, and I’m proud of us for figuring it out at 2 am while exhausted and in hella pain. I saw a rat though. Eek!!
Just woke up around 11:30 am on day 3. My legs are so freaking sore and stiff. I’ll be limping around London today, I think.
I made it! I’m jetlagged af, but I’m here. Feeling better after going to bed early tho. My friend’s flight was delayed overnight, so I spent the first day on my own just wandering around. I stuck close to the hotel so I wouldn’t get lost, and because I was exhausted anyway. Nothing too exciting to report so far. I’m loving the accents, though they are hard to understand. It makes me wonder how mine must sound to them.
Today we are going to stand in line to pay tribute to the queen, which is the entire reason my friend is here to begin with. I decided I wanted to join her, even though the queue is like 8 hours, because it’s such a huge historical event. I’d regret not trying. Hopefully my body will cooperate.
I’m all packed and ready to go. Leaving for the airport in a couple of hours. I’m still kind of in disbelief that this is even happening.
The friend I’m going with is obsessed with the royals, so she’s planning to stand in line to see the queen for however long it takes. I’m not sure if I’m up for it or not. I’ll see how I feel when the time comes. The line is crazy long.
I hate flying. I especially hate flying alone. We’re on different flights since this was so last minute. I have Xanax, headphones, and a sleep mask, so I’m hoping I’ll get a bit of sleep in. But I’ve downloaded several new books to my kindle just incase I have insomnia, which is the most likely scenario.
I’m feeling pretty good, so I’m def in good shape going into the flight. I go to Charlotte first, and then to London. The London flight is 8 hours. In coach. Ugh.
I let my bank know I’ll be in London, so I should have access to all my money. I also got cash to exchange just in case. I have my meds, toiletries, chargers, passport, lymphedema sleeve, and way too many clothes. I think I’m ready.
Squeeeeeeeeeee. Omg. I’m going to London. I want to drink tea, shop, eat in old pubs, ride on a double-decker bus, just all the things.