I was home in Grenoble for about a week before I took off again, this time to the opposite side of Europe, and back in England.
I flew into London Gatwick and grabbed the train to Brighton, where James picked me up. We hadn't seen each other in nearly a month, and he still wanted to be my friend, so that was cool.
First stop for us was all you can eat sushi. Now this may sound minor, but when you're living in a country where all you can eat doesn't exist, its a big deal (yeah you heard right, France has not yet adopted the idea of all you can eat sushi). Falling into a sushi coma is a sure way to end the night early.
So the next morning we were up and headed to the sea front. Brighton was pretty bumpin for an early Saturday afternoon, and it gave me the impression of being a pretty active community (lots of dogs out too, so naturally I was content).
Saturday was also the day I would see my first soccer (sorry, football) match. Hard to believe soccer was the first sport I ever played as a kid, and still do play, but I had never seen a professional game. According to James, the atmosphere wasn't anywhere close to what it would usually be seeing as it was a cup game, but in my opinion it was enough hype for my first football experience (British men get very defensive of their players during these games).
After the game, was a lovely home-cooked me (I was definitely spoiled with meals over the holidays) and then off to the skating rink.
With some practice in Vienna behind me, I was ready to roll, or slide rather.
I regret not getting a picture of the rink by itself with the Brighton Pavilion lit up behind, so you'll just have to deal with this bad selfie as I forced James to smile for selfie after selfie. :)
Sunday morning we were up bright and early and headed to London for the day (what a casual day trip). It had been 3 years since I was first in London, so I was definitely excited to be back. We started the morning at Buckingham Palace, but unfortunately just missed the changing of the guards.
Then we headed to Trafalgar Square, where we came upon the Canadian Embassy, covered in over 10 Canadian flags, celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada (yay), and of course I needed a pic.
We were then stopped outside of the National Art Gallery while watching the street performers, by a man who grabbed both our fingers and began making us matching bracelets (and of course asked for money after) but he was very sweet, so we didn't mind too much. What a good money-making tactic!
Headed to walk through the Covent Gardens, where we caught some street performers along the way.
Then we made our way to Southbank to check out Big Ben and the London Eye, where my hopes of checking out the view from atop the wheel was crushed when the lady told us it was 25 pounds a person!
Monday morning had me sleeping in after we walked over (what felt like) half of London the day prior. We stuck around Brighton Monday, where James' mum gave us a tour of the Brighton Pavilion, the same place we were Saturday at the ice rink.
My last day in Brighton took us into the countryside, of rolling hills, muddy paths, and farm animals, followed by a much deserved lunch at the Devil's Dyke pub.
And I think this baked Camembert is engraved in both of our brains...