So, guess what?
I'm going to London in February!
I know, I know, I've already blogged about it. Twice. Three times, if you count mentioning it in my Week in Instagram post. Everyone knows. I'm going to London. I'm super-excited.
Try being me. It's been ten years since I've seen dear England, and my friends there. London put up a bunch of new skyscrapers without asking my permission--hello, The Shard?! It took me long enough to get over my first sighting of The Gherkin (which is actually named 30 St. Mary Axe, but is forever and ever to be called The Gherkin because it looks like a large blue pickle on London's skyline). I finally became somewhat fond of The Gherkin, and then they go and add more modern buildings--there are at least six buildings I've never seen before in this picture of London's skyline.
I've already spent some time creating a London Wish List--these are things I must do and see while I'm there on my whirlwind trip. It's easy enough to walk a lot of London--I can walk from the Westminster Tube Station (after taking pictures of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben), to the London Eye, about half a mile away, and then all the way along the South Bank to Tower Bridge and only have walked maybe three miles. I don't care how miserable the weather is, I'm walking it. If it rains, there'll be even more Cali Swimmy pics.
I was telling my friend Matt yesterday that--cheesy as this sounds--London once saved my life. The first time I went there, I was twenty, and had just gone through a massive drama that decimated a large part of my social life in college. Going to London made me aware of the world beyond my own petty dramas, and I've often said that Meg Before London Semester and Meg After London Semester are entirely different people.
When I went back in August 2004, I remember being almost giddy as the plane landed. For all of my tears at leaving my parents and Millie, there was also this huge feeling of gratitude to be back in London. My year in England was definitely not without it's stresses and dramas, and I did a lot of growing up there. I've never regretted the course my life has taken since then--returning to the United States, growing my career, learning to fall in love with California--but I won't lie: leaving England broke my heart a little bit. A piece of my heart is still there, and always will be.
London isn't just a city; it is a living, breathing organism that has grown and changed since I left it, just as I have grown and changed. Yet, it's still very much that city I love, and I know when that plane is touching down, all of that will rush to the surface.
I've just found an Afternoon Tea Cruise on the Thames. Game. Over.
This trip is going to be awesome.