April So Far | Spring Hath Arrived!

Friday, April 10, 2015

It's been a minute since I've typed away on here hasn't it?

During the entire month of April thus far (aka the past 10 days) I've been playing host to a very special visitor - my mom! She booked a trip across the pond back in February and I have been feverishly planning meals, places to go and things to see for weeks. She's never been to England let alone outside of the United States so I had full control of the itinerary and I wanted her trip to be amazing. There's nothing I hate more than sitting around during a vacation going back and forth saying "What do you want to do today?" "Ohhh I don't mind, just whatever" "Well how do we get to _____?" "Where should we eat?" *shudders* No, no, no - I need a plan! As I've also mentioned recently, I'm not one to lounge about whilst on a trip. My days must be jam packed with activities - why spend all that time, effort, and money just to sit in a hotel room and watch TV?

The day finally arrived, I hopped on a train to London and anxiously awaited her arrival with a coffee in hand at Paddington station, scanning the crowds exiting the Heathrow Express platform until I saw a familiar face and leaped into each other's arms. I couldn't believe she was actually here! She's not quite up to the idea of her face being splashed in HD all over the internet so forgive me if photos with our cheery faces together in them are sparse. We had an amazing 10 day whirlwind in London and the West Country with a surprise visitor that made me ugly cry in public - but more on that later ;)

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with hundreds of new photos sitting in my folders on top of that post-vacation feeling, the one that sets in after going nonstop for 10 days and suddenly here I am sat in my in my onesie with an unfortunate illness that snuck in overnight. I'm going to take to my notebook and scribble some plans for posts, but in the meantime, here are some miscellaneous cheerful things that made me smile recently.

Happy April Things

1. This post by my lovely friend Sara on why she didn't "Travel More" during her time in the UK. I get asked on a regular basis when I'm going to "travel Europe" or "spend a weekend in Paris", "GO somewhere", etc. While I am absolutely planning on taking advantage of living a puddle jump away from mainland Europe and had a blast traveling from country to country in the past...my answer to these questions is that I have gone lots of places. I've adventured to tiny country villages, strolled through ancient ruins, and hopped on ferries at sunrise to tiny islands - all in my own backyard. There is SO MUCH MORE to Europe than the big cities. Do I hope to make it to Prague, Marrakech, Innsbruck, and much more in the future? Yes! Yes, please! Do I want to look back on my time living in England and say "I boarded a plane every weekend and never really learned about the place I called home"? I hope not. I love the culture of England and I promise you that 90% of my adoration for this country has been outside of Zone 1 in London.

2. My favourite local tea haunt, the Tea Birds have brought back their homemade ice cream in time for Spring & Summer! Anna, one of the adorable and friendly owners informed me that they have unleashed a "cream tea" sundae consisting of vanilla clotted cream ice cream with bits of raspberries or strawberries and a wafer and some other dreamy things that I can't remember because my brain exploded with glee as soon as I heard "vanilla clotted cream ice cream". I'll report back on this soon for um...blog...research....purposes....yeah that's it.

3. Getting a much needed snip + colour alongside some eyebrow threading at Melanie Giles Salon in Bath. Ugh, I love that place. I feel like a brand new human each time I leave.

4. My birthday is around the corner and while I'm not that great at celebrating my birthday (I get really into celebrating other people's and shy away when it comes to planning anything for my own) so while my mom and I were in London I was treated to an early birthday gift from Selfridgeà la Charlotte Tilbury. Drool. 

5. This weather lately. THIS WEATHER LATELY. The past few days I have hung my coat up in the wardrobe and even shoved up the sleeves of my jumper. I've been wearing tights underneath shorts, mostly to keep from blinding anyone, but England is officially in bloom and I'm diggin' it. Sadly I think my days of lounging in my fluffy onesie are coming to an end (the whole no A/C thing makes me rely on the outside weather), but the tulips and sunshine surely make up for it.

6. So, back to that surprise visitor I mentioned above.... A few days into my mom's trip, we were up not-so-bright-because-it-was-cloudy but early for a tour of Westminster Abbey. We were casually standing in the queue as you do for any London tourist attraction, especially during a double bank holiday weekend, chatting away and twirling around looking at the other London landmarks in the area. At one point mid-conversation I turned around and saw none other than MY DAD strolling towards me with a big goofy smile on his face. My immediate reaction was confusion, crying, and then a near-anxiety attack, probably making everyone in the queue around us extremely uncomfortable. After I was done hyperventilating I demanded answers of how they managed to pull the wool over my eyes. We had just had a chat about how expensive plane tickets were for June and I was getting fussy about the idea of not seeing my dad until Autumn at the earliest. Apparently, a week before my mom left for the UK my dad had a serious case of FOMO and a gap in his workload that he decided to book a plane ticket and hitch a ride on the vacation train. I can't think of very many times in my life where I have been surprised other than a birthday party my family organised for me when I was younger when I walked in the backyard to see a group of my friends smiling from the swimming pool, but WOW this was a surprise and a half. Kudos to my parents for pulling this one off! My dad had also never been to the UK so it was a real treat getting to play tour guide and I think they really enjoyed their first visit to jolly ol' England.

What's made you happy in April so far?

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