Friday, January 31, 2014

21 in London

Well guys, as of Wednesday I am now 21 years old. Isn't that crazy? Where did all of that time go?

Spending my birthday in London was really nice. I kind of worried that I'd be sad all day because being away from home on a special day like that is extra tough. I slept in, took a shower, and met up with Anna around noon to make some travel plans. We ended up booking our flight to the south of France for April. We still need to plan the rest of the trip, but I'm looking forward to it now that I know we're starting off somewhere so beautiful!

After booking our flight, Anna headed out to see a play and I went back to my building. I had a package from Harrods waiting for me and I was really excited to see what was inside. I got up to my room and opened it, and I found an adorable teddy bear and lovely card from my aunt and uncle. I still have to come up with a good name so let me know if you have any suggestions! :)

I spent most of the day being lazy and watching movies in bed (which was really nice) and then got ready for dinner. I met my friend, Amy, downstairs in the lobby and we took the tube to Piccadilly Circus. I had made reservations for me and eight of my friends to eat at Nonna's Kitchen. We had gone there during orientation and loved it so I figured it would be fun to go back. It was definitely a good choice!

I ordered the 8" parmigiana pizza and it was so good! It was basically eggplant parm on pizza. I followed up the delicious meal with two scoops of Nutella gelato and it was SO good! I was almost done with it when they all started singing Happy Birthday to me. The manager/waiter placed another two scoops of gelato with a candle stuck into it right in front of me and I was so surprised! I didn't know if they did that over here but I guess they do.

Some of us headed to the pub next door and I got a pint of cider. We snagged a booth/table in the corner or the tiny pub and some more of the group headed out. It ended up being me, Anna, Amy, and Megan and we had a really good time talking and sipping on our drinks. The pub we were at is the same one I met Rupert Grint at so around 10:15, a lot of people from the show were trickling into the pub. The crowd grew and thinned out again quickly, but two of the cast members were sitting really close to us. One was Brendan Coyle from Downton Abbey, and the other was Daniel Mays. Anna really likes Downton Abbey so she introduced herself to Coyle and I took their picture. Rupert didn't come in that night but we did talk to a really nice British guy named Cru, who came over and introduced himself to us. He's from Carlisle, which is in the northern part of the UK if I'm correct. He was so excited that we were American. He was really friendly and gave us fliers for his band. He wants us to come see them perform next Thursday.
Me and Amy at the pub after dinner!

After about two hours in the pub, the bartender rang the bell for last call and we decided to head home. I really enjoyed the evening and even though I didn't go crazy for my 21st it was just my kind of night.

Other than my birthday, I've been going to class, grocery shopping, watching a ton of movies (Her, Catching Fire, The Book Thief, Frozen, The Spectacular Now, etc.), hanging out with friends, and trying to plan some more trips.

So far I know I'm going to Ireland, Scotland and the south of France. I think we're going to try to go from Nice, France to Italy, and then hopefully to Greece or maybe Croatia. I also need to plan a day trip to Paris and I'd love to get over to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Prague, and a few other places before I leave.

In early April, I'll be staying with a host family for the weekend. I just got the e-mail yesterday and I'll be staying with John and Christine in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire which is about halfway between Birmingham and Manchester. I'm so excited to meet them and to experience a different part of the UK. Turns out Christine loves Hanson so I'm sure we'll get along really well!

Ed Sheeran most recently toured with Taylor Swift. 

The most exciting news at the moment is probably the purchase Liz made this morning. We're going to see Ed Sheeran at the Royal Albert Hall in March and I'm SO excited! I can't believe we're finally seeing him live and in London of all places! It's a benefit show for the Teenage Cancer Trust and our tickets were quite pricey but I think it'll be completely worth it. I've been dying to see him for such a long time.

The weekend will undoubtedly be a lazy and hopefully productive one for me. It's hard to resist starting another movie but I'm getting a little dizzy from sitting in my bed for so long so I might go take a walk to Waitrose for some groceries. I really need to do some laundry and start on my statistical analysis for my American history class.

Anyway, this weekend might be uneventful, but next weekend Liz is visiting and I think we're going to go to the Harry Potter Studios. I'm looking forward to everything that lies ahead and I can't wait to update you guys with more exciting adventures.

I always love hearing from you so send me a message sometime. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

xo Sheila

Mmmm, Nutella gelato!
Parmigiana pizza at Nonna's Kitchen. So yummy!

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