Reaching Puddle Jumping Status

You guys! I’m finally doing it! I’m hopping on an airplane and headed to a far away land in less than a week! Me! Just a small town girl, 🎶 living in a lonely wooorrrld, took the midnight train…. ahem. Sorry. Got a little carried away. But seriously… I’m heading to England and France; places that I’ve only ever dreamt of visiting, and I’m so stinkin’ excited!

I’ve never considered myself a traveler. I grew up on the east coast and have ventured across the state lines but a few times. Growing up, my family vacations consisted of beach trips in-state, or the next state down, and those were never an annual occurrence. Six years ago was my first vacation by plane down to Texas. Five years ago was the first time I left the country when my family loaded up the camper and headed to the Canadian boarder. We stayed at a campground just down the road from Niagara Falls, and spent a total of 2 days visiting the Canadian side. It was a fun experience and I have some great memories from that trip, but I don’t consider it my first official international vacation.

But my questionable world traveler status is preparing to be upgraded to novice. My passport is ready, plane tickets are booked, hotels are reserved, train tickets have been purchased, a car is rented. What’s left is packing, which if I’m being honest, seems quite daunting. The longest I’ve been away from home was in the middle of summer for 1.5 weeks and with shorts, tanks, bikinis, and toiletries, my suitcase was bursting. I can’t image how I’m going to fit a week’s worth of winter attire into the same size luggage: sweaters, pants, scarves, socks, a jacket; nope, I’ll just buy everything new when I get there. It’s decided.

As you may have gathered by now, my Fella is from England and since moving state side 5 years ago, he hasn’t been back. Cue Spring Break 2017! He gets a week off from trying to teach the incompetent spawn of rich parents basic engineering principals, while I just put in for a week’s vacation from my cushy state job where they hoard pay raises, but supplement your vacation time to make up for the fact that they are under paying their employees… Make sense?

Any who…

Not only will this be my first international excursion via flight, I will be meeting my Fella’s family for the first time; more specifically, his momma.  Seeing as I had a rather rocky relationship with my Ex’s mom (you can read about it here and here), I’m craving that acceptance I’ve always wanted. I haven’t even met this woman, and I’m putting so much pressure on her (little to her knowledge).  I’m nervous. I’m anxious. I want her to like me. I want her to accept me. I know I’m slightly over reacting, but it’s an unavoidable gut feeling that I can’t seem to shake. I know, I know. It will be fine… I blame my desire of having a good relationship with my potential mother in law on my wonderful relationship I have with my own momma. Is that too much to ask?

So the trip… We’re going EVERYWHERE. We land in Heathrow; spend the night in London; take the train to Paris; stay the night in Paris; take the train back up to London; rent a car; drive to York; stay in York for 3 nights while taking day trips to Newcastle, Manchester, and possibly Cambridge (if we have time); drive to Luton; stay in Luton; then head back to Heathrow. All in 7 days. It’s going to be a whirlwind to say the least, but I’m so ready. And the best part of it all is that I have my very own personal tour guide. I’ve already shown him my turf; now it’s his turn. 🙂

As for things we have planned…? Since we are spending the first full day in London, we’re going to do as many touristy things as we can: see changing of the guard, Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Eye, maybe eat at my first authentic fish and chips shop, drink some afternoon tea, eat my first English breakfast… Then in Paris, obviously seeing the Eiffel Tower (especially at night), Arc de Triomphe, Pont des Arts bridge to add our own love lock, and I’ve booked Fella and myself a dinner cruise to see Paris from a different perspective. I’m rather excited about it, actually. In Manchester, I booked us tickets to see a musical based on the Bat Out of Hell album by Meatloaf (Fella’s favorite [best girlfriend award goes to…]. 🙂 ) I’m thinking about attempting an escape room either in Newcastle or Cambridge, but no big deal if we don’t make it to one.

So here is where I want some input. Any tips on what to pack, what to bring for the plane, what foods to try, what to avoid… I’m also trying to compile a list of souvenirs to get as mementos like tea towels, maps of cities, an umbrella, a post card, a reusable shopping bag and all the tea; any other suggestions?

27 thoughts on “Reaching Puddle Jumping Status

  1. You’ll have an awesome time, i travel quite a bit ( i am off to Toronto and Niagara Falls soon myself ) i love about 30 minutes from London it is an awesome city! I have never been to Paris but i have got the eurostar and that in itself is great! Definitely splash out on a fancy afternoon tea and no one makes breakfast like we do! Keep hydrated on the flight and changed to UK time as soon as you take off to try and combat the jet lag! Have a super time – look forward to reading all about it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really not looking forward to jetlag. I’m thinking it’s gonna either make or break the trip for me. I’ve had the same sleep routine my entire life and have only ventured to a different time zone once and that was only a 2 hour difference.

      Stay hydrated on the plane. ✔ That’s a great tip. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s so exciting! Definitely go to Soho in London and visit Liberty (the store), just because it’s kind of cool and old af. Also Choccywoccydodah is an AMAZING chocolate shop and the flower market, the V&A (LOVE IT), Kensington gardens, the Tate… Ugh London is so lovely. It really is. It has a side for whatever you’re into.

    And Paris! Eat all the mussels and french onion soup! Now I have a craving to go to Paris again and eat crepes. Definitely buy wine and cheese and a baguette and sit on one of the benches around the Eiffel Tower and have a mini picnic. I did that in the rain when I was there with friends and it was magic, even with the terrible weather. If it’s sunny, try to get to Saint-Chappelle because the sunlight through those windows is actually something else.

    I am very very excited for you and I have no doubt his mom will love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s quite a name for a chocolate shop! I’m not a fan of cheese or wine for that matter, but I will gladly eat bread all day long, especially in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower. 😊

      And I really do need to stop overthinking meeting his mom since I truly am quite awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WHY IS NO-ONE MENTIONING CAMDEN! It is one of the best places to go to in London – from the random food stalls to the cute bars AND the weird shops – it’s amazing!
    Don’t worry about his mum, I’m sure it’ll go amazingly…
    I’m so excited for you and I’m pretty jealous too!
    Manchester and Newcastle are meant to be amazing for nights on the town and shopping! Good luck with the accents though! 😀 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh have so much fun! I can’t wait to read your posts about the potential MIL and all your adventures (because you WILL write about them, feel my peer pressureeee).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like an awesome trip and a great lover’s get away so don’t spoil it with to-do lists. Please let it be spontaneous and filled with love. Let yourself enjoy it without adding things that might be reasons for arguments or disappointment if there’s no opportunity of having them done 😊 I’m happy for you, sounds great and a woman’s dream.
    For his mom, don’t think about it, spare yourself that stress. If you love yourself, she’ll definitely like you, believe me 😉 Fly safe and well. Take care 💐

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are going to love England! ❤ when in London, there are so many things to do. Try and walk as much as possible as you get to see so much more. Try and get to Borough Market near London Bridge, maybe around lunchtime. They have amazing food stalls and the smells are just out of this world! I second trying to get to Liberty on Regent street as it’s just something else.

    I would suggest packing some warm clothes like thin’ish jumpers and jeans with some good walking shoes as it sounds like you’re gonna be doing a lot of that! There are a lot of good shops for clothes shopping, especially if you do get to Cambridge (that’s so close to my home town so I’m super jealous of this!)

    Pack a good book and some headphones for the flight and drink lots of water. Try and get yourself onto English time as soon as you can so you can make the most of the time there and not be feeling rubbish and sleepy.

    I hope you have an amazing time! And don’t worry about meeting his Mum. Smile and enjoy your time there. His family will be happy to meet you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Have a great time! Pack an eye mask so you can sleep on the flight. I found I can never normally do more than doze on a flight but the mask helps as I’m too nosy sometimes and watch people but the mask stops me doing that. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I wish I had done my blog post about York haha.. I loved pretty much all of Yorkshire that I saw, including York. Such an easy city to walk, little hidden lanes and gorgeous architecture. Hope you have a brilliant time & cannot wait to hear all.about it! Safe travels xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure what I hit, but I was far from done. Allow me to start again.

      OH MY HECK!
      I absolutely adore your writing.
      You had me intriguded from the ‘about me’. And now following your trip…captivated!
      So thankful for crossed paths here in blog land.

      Now I done and getting back to my reading.

      Be blessed Bex

      Liked by 1 person

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