Another reason that Europe is so incredible- you can jump on a plane and fly for the same amount of time as a flight between Sydney and Brisbane and be in a completely different country. I was privileged enough to witness such a beautiful couple profess their unconditional love in front of their nearest and dearest! I have been to a handful of weddings, but a wedding on a boat on the River Thames, with the London Eye in the background was certainly one to remember.
The commute to London airport was great, super smooth sailing. The queue for immigration was not so much. The UK citizens and those with EU passports sail right through, no hassle, no queues. The rest of us are stuck in the holding pen for what feels like hours with the only concession being free wifi. Luckily I had my sister messaging me the menu for the cafe at which we were to meet, so plotting my first SUPER DELICIOUS coffee in a while and something scrumptious for brunch had my brain occupied. But really, Heathrow needs another line at immigration for those of us who can claim ‘Hey, OUR QUEEN IS YOUR QUEEN. Let us in.’ The guy at immigration was lovely, but inquisitive, wanting to know why an Australian had a Spanish visa but was coming to London for only three days. Can’t a gal want to see the world?
Reunion with my big sister and a good cuppa joe, and I was absolutely ECSTATIC. Even more thrilled that, upon return to her apartment, she bestowed upon me a whole TUBE OF VEGEMITE. God, I was in heaven. We met up with her fiance and his parents and went for a stroll along the Thames- how very British. The weather was, however, very un-British. A warm 32ºC but rather humid and the British were DYING. I was warm, but stupidly in jeans. So, how else to cool down but to treat yourself to an ice-cream cone on your stroll. My sister happened to lick her ice-cream ball clean off the cone, but luckily, with cat-like reflexes, caught the ball in her hand, swiftly popped it back on the cone, and continued on her merry way. Hilarious.
Nicola and I decided to get some tickets to see ‘The Play that Goes Wrong’, so headed to Leicester Square and scored the last two tickets for the evening. So lucky. We then had a job to do. **Warning, if anyone is super conservative- stop reading the rest of this paragraph. One of the students back in Toledo was getting married upon her return back to the states. As such, we decided to throw her a ‘Hens Party’ (an apparently hilarious name for a Bachelorette Party that Americans are unaware of). A simple joke that I was going to track down penis straws, turned into a mission, and Nicola and I were on the case. We found them, a short way away from the theatre, and also thought some penis shaped jellies would be a fabulous way to make the bride-to-be blush… I was thrilled with the successful mission, and we went for dinner, got a few things for the wedding prep, and walked to the theatre. Upon showing our tickets, we were also informed that there would be bag checks. To which I immediately blushed and good old Nicola made a run for it inside. Never before has a bag been checked so thoroughly or so slowly. It only had three items in it- a packet of penis straws, a box of penis jellies and a wedding card for the following day. The lovely security man scrutinised the contents of my bag, smiled a cheesy smile and told me to ‘have a lovely evening, enjoy the show. Thanks so much for that.’ I almost lost it right there.
Ok. Back on the straight and narrow now, no more penis-themed-items related jokes, I promise. The show itself was hilarious, Nicola and I spent the two hours of the show in stitches. Highly recommend the show for all!
As David was staying with his brother, performing best man duties, I jumped at the offer to forgo my bunk bed in a very hot hostel room for a sleepover with Nicola, and spent the evening painting nails, wearing face masks and having a good nights sleep. Wedding ready.
An afternoon wedding meant time for brunch in the morning with Mr Lodge, which was lovely! Again, delicious coffee and EGGS! Yay- actual protein for breakfast! Wedding preparation was thankfully conducted in Nicola’s apartment, I would hate to think how I would have looked if I had to get ready in the tiny bathroom on the third floor of a hostel without air conditioning. The other entertaining event of the day was the fact that it was the England vs. Sweden match in the World Cup, starting at the SAME time as the wedding ceremony. There were people queued up outside of pubs and event spaces from the early hours of the morning, and just as many people drinking in the street in the not so early hours of the morning. We happened to be next to a boat on the Thames that had a LOT of English Supporters, and there were a few roars and cheers during the ceremony, but it by no means diminished any of the beauty of the special day!!! Luckily England won.
The day was spectacular, the bride was beautiful (the groom handsome of course), the speeches entertaining, the food delicious (the wine as well) and the company simply spot-on. I felt so incredibly blessed to be considered family by these two amazing people and to be included in their special day! It was sad saying goodbye to Nicola and Dave returning to Australia, especially given that I have no idea if the next time I see them will be when I return to Australia for their wedding. I dearly hope not.
After a slightly hungover brunch with Nicola and family-friend Marcus, I started the LONG train-train-plane-train-train-train-taxi journey back to the residence in Toledo. And straight back into classes the following morning.