Memorable Trips - Oxford&London, Smile Kid.

Now let's get in our time machine and go back to February 2011 to another extremely memorable trip. It was the one and only time I've been to the UK. I'm realising now as I'm remeniscing and going through old blog posts about this trip to see what I actually did there that... I didn't do anything you should do in Oxford or London. Yet this was one of my most memorable trips so far, but for other reasons.

It feels like we spent most of our time going back and forth on trains..
I went to Oxford and London with my friends Johanna and Anette to see our favourite band at the time, We The Kings. The band was playing in Oxford so we arrived in London on a Thursday and took the train to Oxford straight away. When we finally arrived in Oxford we dragged our luggage through the city centre to try to find some food. We finally found a Burger King and after quickly walking through Primark we were so tired we took a taxi to our hotel that was situated slightly outside the city centre.
The next day was the day of the concert and we started off our day by finding out too late that the band had stayed at the same hotel as us. Obviously at this time we didn't care one bit about actually sightseeing or doing anything other than obsess over the band so after spending hours getting ready we went down to the O2 academy to collect our tickets and then spent the rest of the day outside the arena.
It was a CRAZY and wonderful day. One of the best concert experiences I've had ever I think. If I start getting in to the story of that this post would be miles long. (Seriously, the blog post I wrote about this trip originally I divided in to four posts so it wouldn't get too long.... You can find it here) We ran in to the band on multiple occasions and got a chance to talk to them and we had an incredible time. It was a dream come true for the three crazy fangirls we were at the time.
The concert was fabulous and the next day we took the train to London around lunch time. We were really tired from the night before and spent the afternoon at our hotel. When we got hungry we took the tube in to Picadilly Circus as we stayed a good half an hour out of the city centre. We had dinner in Pizza Hut and then we walked around the city for a while during the evening and night.
Now THIS was the most amazing moment of the whole trip. Even though I don't have any proper pictures of anything other than the concert day I remember this moment so clearly in my mind. Walking around the city I fell in love with the lights, the hustle and bustle of the big city, the amazing architecture, the feeling that anything is possible... and this was the moment when I decided to take the leap and go as an au pair to the U S and A. It had always been my dream to go to America and as I was walking down the streets of London at night I realised that it was up to me how I wanted to live my life. I could go on forever dreaming about travelling, living somewhere else, dreaming about this amazing feeling of exploring the world... Or I could simply do it. It was up to me. 
The next day was our last day and for being a big city I remember London was super quiet that Sunday. However Anette and I made the decision to get our Smile Kid tattoos. Smile Kid was the name of We The Kings' 2nd album and we got the smiley face of their album cover tattooed on our wrists. This was a big moment for me because I got this tattoo to represent all the years of concerts and fangirling I'd had. I got it to remember to always put a smile on my face and also to remember how happy music and concerts made me. And of course I got it to remember what an amazing trip I'd had in London and to always follow my dreams
So because of that, the UK was definitely one of my most memorable trips. Even though I barely saw any of the city and I definitely didn't see any of the sights you're supposed to see. Now looking back I realise there are so many other ways we could have spent those days to make the most of them... But we did make the most of them. We had a perfect trip and a great time. And I'm so excited to go back in the future, to remember the amazing time I had last time... But also to finally explore London and the UK for real!

Memorable Trips - New York City Baby

I think my most memorable trip ever would have to be the Big Apple. It has always, for as long as I can remember, been my biggest dream to visit NYC. For some reason I've always been fascinated with New York and I'd say my Gossip Girl obsession probably didn't help.In 2011 50.9 million people visited New York City. (source)

When I was going to USA as an au pair it's safe to say one of the things I was the most excited about was the fact that the training school in fact was situated in New York. I knew for certain that I would spend my first few days in the state of New York. This knowledge alone made me so excited I could barely contain my joy but the best part was that I knew we were going in to the city for a day of sightseeing. 

So I arrived at JFK airport the 6th of June 2011, incredibly tired and could barely stand on my legs. But so, so, SO happy because I knew I had finally crossed the Atlantic. I got collected at the airport and taken out to Long Island where the training school was. So we weren't in the actual city for more than that one day they brought is in for sightseeing.
The days went by. Training school was so much fun I nearly wish I could do it again, and on our last day in training it was finally time for the big event, our trip in to NYC. We all got on a big coach bus and we were more or less bouncing in our seats like little kids, all of us, all the way from Long Island in to the city. 
We were driving through the city with our personal guide Her name was Sheila and she was hilarious! She showed us the places she thought was more important to show so it's safe to say we got a better tour than a lot of other sightseeing buses would give typically. And she played Empire State of Mind with Alicia Keys and Jay Z all the way which was hilarious!
I remember this day so clearly because I was in awe the whole day. I had to pinch myself I didn't know if I was dreaming or not. I mean not only was I in New York, I was in the United States of America and it was my first time in any city in the US. I was amazed at how everything looked exactly the way it does in films. We drove past Central Park, we drove down Times Square, past Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Broadway, Brooklyn Bridge, the place where the twin towers used to be, along the Hudson river... I mean all these places you've heard a million times being mentioned on tv or in a movie. Places you've seen in movies. I remember we passed the Kardashian's DASH store and I literally couldn't believe what I saw.
A few times we got to get off the bus as well. We took the ferry over to Staten Island as this is one of the best ways to get a great view of the Statue of Liberty. During the ferry ride you see the statue in all it's glory from a great distance. And on your way back you get an amazing view of the Manhattan Skyline. I remember being amazed at all this but annoyed at the same time, since we of course had terrible weather and everything was so grey and foggy all our pictures came out crappy. But that's a minor issue since I have it all in my memory.
As a last stop we were going to Rockefeller Center, we had tickets to get up to "Top of the Rock" where you have an incredible view of the city. This is better than going up Empire State Building as you get to actually see the Empire as well from the Rock. I remember this day was so humid, it was probably 40 degrees celsius, foggy and disgusting (which is typically my bad luck) but still we just couldn't believe our eyes. We were looking out over central park, the empire state building and times square and I think that was the moment when most of us realised we were actually there. We were finally there.

After "top of the rock" we had some free time. It wasn't much, not even two hours and of course with my luck, it started lashing. I'm not talking about little rain now. It was the kind that splashes everywhere and typically you would try to stay inside. So of course we had to RUN down Fifth avenue, RUN down Times Square and we didn't even bother exploring Central Park further as we just tried to stay some what dry. This was of course typical but it was still amazing. I mean we stopped for McDonald's in Times Square. Nowadays when I see that McDonald's in films I'm like... I've eaten there. How cool is that?!
 
Even though the rest of my time in America didn't turn out the way I'd hoped and I had to leave sooner than planned... This day in NYC is one of the things I take with me. I never got the chance to go back even though I lived so close. This is my only regret now looking back. I know there is no point in regretting something that was three years ago. But if I could have done anything different from my time in America... It would have been to do whatever it takes to go back to NYC.
This is why this is one (maybe THE) most memorable trip I've taken so far. New York City was and still is my big dream. I wanted to discover and uncover this city, and I still want to. Even though I am so happy to even have been there, just for a day, this is one of the places I can't wait to visit. It's not one of those places I "want" to visit. It's the concrete djungle I WILL see again.
Let's hear it for New Yoooork!
 
Tell me, what are some of your memorable trips? Or do you have a dream trip you'd like to do? Comment below!