bristol really has been delightful, to use a very british word and i'm having an excellent time. it really was travel from thursday evening in the states until late friday afternoon here in bristol, with a time change that really attempted to kick my bumm. i did enjoy the train ride from london's paddington station all the way across englad to bristol, at least the bits that i was awake for. the only other time i've been here was on a school trip when i was 15 and we really only saw very tourist-y parts of london. so, it was really cool to pass all the little villages and the huge open spaces inbetween. then i had loads of fun catching up with nicole over lots of tea.
by day two i was feeling way more human and felt like i could actually function on a non-zombie level. a nice relaxing morning scheduling some blog entries, munching on shreddies (they're like chex meets shredded mini wheats) & french pressing coffee. then we headed out & about in bristol and did some thrift store shopping before heading into the stokes croft section of town to meet some of nicole's "mates" for lunch at a really cute kitchen like cafe near her studio, which we also visited. it was really cool getting to check out this really artsy part of the town and seeing a bunch of original banksy stuff out on the streets (bristol is his hometown). then nicole had a yoga class to teach, so i half watched the rugby tournament milo was watching while i worked on my valentine's mix until nicole came home with a tiffin full of amazing indian food in hand. we all watched the first episode of glee on my laptop (they hadn't started watching it yet) and then i got to talk to the boy for a while on skype before heading to bed to finish my sleep catch up.
it's true, i have been horrible about taking pictures in bristol, as in none so far, but i do want to go back to stokes croft and photograph loads. But, we were much better in london. and so, that brings us to nicole and my london overnight:we took the bus into london on sunday (talking, giggling & reminiscing the whole way) and then headed to our hostel to check in to what was supposed to be a six girl dorm, but we ended up just having it to ourselves the whole time. it had cute little pod-like bunk beds, but that was about as far as the charm went, haha. we did some shopping without much buying around the hostel, including a visit to my first top shop. we then rested our shopped out feet at the king george pub with some really yummy burgers & chips and my first proper british pint. then we decided that a silly fluff movie was totally in order for two girls apart from their boys for valentine's day (even though we aren't big valentine's day girls) and went to go see "valentine's day" the movie in a theater full of couples and one row of girls, haha. it was definitely silly & mindless, but it made me cry at the end (which isn't hard to do) and we giggled a couple of times, so it was worth it. then it was back to the hostel for a bunch more girl talk before heading to sleep...
... which was impossible because there was either no insulation or sound proofing at all in the hostel, or everyone was wearing clogs. there was also a talkative nightingale and pigeons "getting intimate" on our windowsill. needless to say we were pretty much already awake by check out time, with very little sleep leading up to it. we maintained our happy level by resting with some morning coffee & tea before heading back out for more london adventures. we also treated ourselves to day passes for the underground and didn't allow ourselves to feel guilty for sometimes taking the tube for just two stops, haha. we did a little more shopping and looking around, including the actual orla kieley shop (it was wonderful, but even harder to spend the money on in british pounds, so i left with just pictures) and then headed to camden town for lunch along camden lock and then spent the rest of our day at the stalls in camden town market. such a fun, lively, packed place to be. totally inspiring and full of things to see everywhere you look. i scored a couple of really fun, cheap buys whilst out and about. then we headed back to victoria station to meet one of nicole's friends for some coffee and chatting at victoria station before we headed to the coach station to take the bus back to bristol where i went to my first sainsbury's grocery and found a candy i had been looking for and an adorable bag i had seen a girl carrying that turned out to be a cheapie reusable grocery bag, haha. obvs snapped it up right away, especially since it was just 1 pound. a bunch more skyping with the boy, lots of usa hockey talk, and then i totally passed out to rehab from our london adventure.
tuesday we laid low, finished recovering from our london adventure and had a super lazy day. we headed out once to sainsbury's for some staples (i am obsessed with ryvita pumpkin seed and oat crispbreads with hummus on them! best crackers ever) and we also got everything we needed for dinner because it's pancake day! that's what they do for mardi gras/fat tuesday here. you have savory and sweet pancakes (which are really what we would call crepes in the states) for dinner as a last yummy hurrah before lent. it's not really my last hurrah, but i'd never turn down a good crepe dinner. i edited some more london photos, did some reading, planning & packing for dublin until rhian got to nicole's for our little pre-dublin sleepover and then we sewed all my fallen buttons back on to my new coat and talked ourselves to sleep to at least get a little rest before our 6:30 a.m. flight to dublin this morning.
having so so so much fun so far, missing my mum, the kitties, the boy & the store, but also looking forward to loads more fun in dublin with rhian and back in england with nicole before i head home on the 22nd!