Back to Britain // Besties Abroad

Kelly and I returned from our trip to England at the beginning of April, and I've been meaning to write a series of recaps ever since. Where did the past two months go?! The week went by so quickly – it felt like we'd just arrived when it was time to head back home. If you were following my blog last year, you may remember that Kelly and I recapped 2018's trip with a series of three posts. I decided to do it again this year, even though it's so late.

In today's post, I'm sharing my favorite photos + three good things about each day. It's the same format I used last year, and I like narrowing down the highlights from the trip! If you missed it, yesterday I reviewed the six books I read while traveling. And stay tuned tomorrow for a little chat about what I've been doing back at home!


1. NO AIRPORT STRESS • Last year, I got to the airport and discovered that my first name was spelled wrong on my passport. Once I got home, I had it fixed and replaced. So it was such a relief to check in and make it through security with no issues! I'd been so anxious on last year's flight but was able to enjoy myself this year.

2. DELICIOUS MEAL • My dad took me to the airport because Nick was traveling, and we left so early for the airport to avoid traffic. That meant I had lots of time to kill once he dropped me off, so I decided to sit down and eat. I got El Taco, and it was delicious! I talked to Kelly on the phone while I ate and basically got so hyped to see her soon.

3. READING ON MY FLIGHT • I'm not a nervous flyer, but I was so worried about my passport last year that I was on edge the whole flight. This year was a totally different experience! I didn't have anyone in the seat next to me, so I got to settle in and read The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. It was perfection... minus the fact that I barely slept.


1. REUNITING WITH KELLY • Do I even need to write anything else for this day? The obvious and biggest highlight of my first day in London was finally seeing Kelly! She was waiting for me at Café Nero, reading her Kindle and looking ready to take on the world. I was excited to be in England but happiest to be hanging out with her!

2. WANDERING IN COVENT GARDEN • Once we'd checked into our hotel and freshened up, we headed off to get Shake Shack. They were having a grand re-opening in an hour (what?!) so we explored Convent Garden and regrouped by getting fish and chips at The Round House. It wasn't what we planned, but I think it was even better.

3. VISITING OUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE • We were both so exhausted on our first day and were struggling! So, we headed to our favorite bookstore – the Waterstones in Piccadilly – for some coffee and shopping. We both had to buy Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane, obviously! Then we got pizza and passed out at 8 p.m.


1. COTSWOLDS TOUR • Kelly found this highly-rated Cotswolds tour online, and I am so glad she did! It was one of the best things we did the whole trip. Becky picked us up from the train station and took us all around the area. We stopped in cute villages, learned so many cool facts, and took all our prettiest photographs. I want to move there.

2. AFTERNOON TEA AT BECKY'S COTTAGE • At the end of the tour, Becky took us back to her private thatched Cotswolds cottage for afternoon tea. Her entire kitchen table was covered in sweet treats, and I'm still dreaming about those delicious scones. It was the perfect and most charming way to end the day!

3. SO MUCH LAUGHTER • Honestly, we laughed every single day of the trip, but it deserves a special mention here. Being on a tour with strangers, even if it's a small group, can lead to some hilarious moments. We could not stop making covert eye contact when the know-it-all in the group offered yet another opinion. 


1. EXPLORING CAMBRIDGE • Kelly and I were so excited to visit Cambridge, but we both agree: Oxford still has our hearts. The weather was great and so many of the colleges are beautiful, but we just didn't love it as much as we expected. I'm so glad we went, but keep reading to hear about the best thing we did there...

2. PUNTING DOWN THE CAM • Once we were done wandering around, we made our way to Quayside Punting Station and booked tickets for a one-hour guided tour with Scudamore's. It made the entire trip to Cambridge so worth it! We learned so many cool things about the various colleges and got to admire the gorgeous architecture. 

3. SEEING SIX THE MUSICAL • We made it back to London early – after surviving an awful, packed train ride back with a huge group of loud, drunk youths (lol). Later that night, it was time for Six the Musical. I'd read about it online months before and got Kelly obsessed with it because duh, a concert-style musical performance based on the six wives of Henry VIII? She lives for that shit. And though I'm meh on musicals overall, we both loved it!


1. CHARMING SUSSEX TOWN • Kelly and I knew that we wanted to spend most of the trip visiting cities outside of London, and we ideally wanted them to be day trips. Rye came up in our searches, and we decided to give it a try. The town is near the seaside, full of medieval half-timber houses and cobblestone streets. It was adorable!

2. PERFECT GIFTS FOR MY BOY • We enjoyed coffee at Apothecary, ate lunch at Simon the Pieman, and just enjoyed wandering around the city. But one of my favorite store was Penny Royal gift shop. I found three of the cutest Jellycat stuffed animals to bring home for my little boy, and he's still so in love with them. A total win.

3. THE OLDEST BOOKSTORE IN LONDON • Once back in London, we devoured biskies from Cutter & Squidge and just wandered down streets in that area. Our last stop of the day was Hatchards, a gorgeous bookstore where I treated myself to three books. Then, we turned in early in preparation for the next morning...


1. READING ON THE TRAIN • We blearily left our hotel while London was still in darkness for an early train to Paris. Kelly had suggested the day trip, and I was all in! She was able to nap for the two-hour ride, but I started The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren and found it hard to stop at 85% when we pulled in to Gare du Nord. 

2. A PERFECT SPRING DAY IN PARIS • How do you summarize an entire day in Paris in one bullet point? The weather was perfect, and the city was gorgeous. We got to admire the Notre Dame (before the devastating fire), pose by the Eiffel Tower, browse Shakespeare & Company, and wander down the Champs-Élysées. Swoon.

3. FIVE GUYS & MACARONS IN BED • We were wiped out when we made it back to London that night, so we picked up Five Guys and headed straight to our room. We ate burgers and fries in bed while watching ridiculous British TV, and then we treated ourselves to the macarons we'd bought at Ladurée that afternoon. It was heavenly!


1. CHANGE IN PLANS • For our last full day, we'd planned to visit the Jane Austen House Museum. But rainy weather + learning that part of it was closed for renovation led us to cancel our train tickets. It's on my travel bucket list, but I'd rather wait and see the house in full. And hopefully on a day I can explore outside!

2. ALL AFTERNOON IN THE BOOKSTORE • So, what was our Plan B? We grabbed coffee at Costa and then headed back to the Piccadilly Waterstones. We found two comfy chairs and settled in for an entire afternoon of sampling and debating what books we'd buy. It was the best way to spend a rainy day! I have no regrets.

3. SEEING WICKED THE MUSICAL • When I told Kelly that I'd decided we should cancel our tickets, I suggested doing something that I knew was at the top of her "if we can" list: seeing Wicked. She was thrilled! I had fun seeing it again, especially with someone who loves it so much, though I definitely preferred Six. Shhhh!


1. LAST MORNING TOGETHER • We headed home on the same day this trip, and our flights were earlier than they'd been last year. Sadly, that meant we didn't have as much time together in the morning. We were leaving from different terminals, too, so we didn't even have that consolation. With one last hug, we were off!

2. FINISHING THREE BOOKS ON MY FLIGHT • After some coffee and a croissant at Heathrow, it was time to board my flight. I got lucky again and didn't have anyone sitting next to me. But what was even better? Finishing three great books on my flight! Traveling solo, I had very little to distract me and couldn't stop reading.

3. REUNITED WITH MY BOYS • Once I'd landed and had my luggage, it was time to wait for my ride home. Nick didn't head to the airport until our son woke up from his nap, but I enjoyed an iced coffee and sat on a bench outside until they arrived. The trip was amazing, but I was so happy to be home and with my boys!

Check back tomorrow to see what I'm doing back at home!

1 comment

  1. I loved seeing what you guys got up to on your trip together! It looks like it was so much fun, particularly all the day trips (of which some are also on my own bucket list now, thanks to how much you enjoyed it). Glad you could go on another adventure together!


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