Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Returning to London: Part I - The All Nighter

View Source
The smell of the plane as I entered the walkway to board made me feel nostalgic. It had been more than 3 months since I had last boarded a plane - the longest time in at least 5 years that I had been away from this mode of transportation. I do not particularly enjoy flying and suffer from anxiety before flights (I have a strong fear of dying on a plane), therefore I was surprised by the nostalgia I felt for something that I had formerly decided I hated. 

I was very pleasantly surprised by the fact that the plane was less than half full and I had 2 empty seats to myself. Even more pleasantly surprised was I by the fact that when I asked for red wine (oh yes, after the 10 day detox I was right back to drinking), the flight attendant says, "You know that American charges right?" 
"Yes," I said.
"Well, I don't."
Seriously. Isn't that the BEST line from a Flight Attendant ever? So, I stretched out in my two seats and enjoyed two free red wine bottles courtesy of the awesome flight attendant on American Air! What a nice start to the trip!

I arrived in London at 7 am Friday morning and met my colleagues who had flown on another flight (a crowded BA one) and since our rooms at the fabulous Sloane Square hotel weren't ready, we had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel and then went and took long naps and then went for a long session at the gym (yes, we chose the gym over shopping in London - sad I know but bikini season is just around the corner and stuff).

I had been planning my return to London carefully. I wanted to see as many people as possible during the course of the trip. Why not kick it off with an after work gathering at a local pub and invite everyone I knew? Well, why not? That's just what I did. The Facebook invite to the event had been sent a couple weeks before and many colleagues and old friends planned to attend. I also invited blogger friend Life Begins at 30ty who had moved to London just as I moved back to the US. I was excited to meet her and she did not dissapoint. First of all she is beautiful - I can see why Matt79 is smitten. Hell, I was smitten! Second of all, she was fun (see her version of the night here and here - and you should check it out because she sheds light on some different details that I'm not going to go into for various reasons). And third of all, she's just a  really cool down-to-earth girl with lots of great life experience and good stories. I regret that I'm no longer living in London. I would love to hang out with her more! 

Also present were M and T and Sexy Single Friend A who you might remember from the London stories. It was great to catch up with them. It was great to catch up with everyone. I loved seeing my old colleagues and friends. It felt as if I had never left. And I felt very nostalgic for London. For old friends. For old times.* 

We filled ourselves on beer and gorged ourselves with bar food (fish and chips for me). And too soon the lights came on and the music was turned off and the bartenders were asking us to leave.  

But we weren't ready to call it a night yet. Oh no! The night was young. Bars close at 11 in London. So, we decided to go back to the scene of many drunken crazy nights good times during my time in London - good old Valmont Club. We were a smaller group than the pub crowd. But I was excited that Life Begins was going to join as well as M and T, Sexy Single Friend A and my colleagues traveling with me from Boston and various other people. 

Upon entering Valmont, we realized that we hadn't really been there on a Friday night before... 

But no worries. It didn't matter that the club was empty and that the awesome dj was not playing awesome music (the music was a bit of a bummer). We grabbed one of the weird padded VIP rooms in the back and ordered countless glasses of champagne and we made our own fun! 

On my way to the bar, I managed to bump into a young (i.e. 25) Spanish guy who when I asked him to guess my age and nationality decided that I must be a 23 year old Swedish woman. I was obviously flattered and proceeded to make drunk small talk with him until he tried to kiss me and then I realized that I needed to abort and run back to my friends. He continued to circle around me all night and for some silly reason I gave him my name and told him we can be Facebook friends. Oops. See, the thing is that I've been a little attention-starved lately due to the fact that men in Boston don't seem to be into me... So, I have to say, I did enjoy the flattery. However, I think it might be time to DE-FRIEND. 

Back in the VIP room the single gals of the group turned the conversation to dating and how men are just idiots. And then Sexy Single Gal E topped it all with a crazy story of a first date that somehow managed to end in Face Licking before she got up and went to the bathroom and left him there! We had a good laugh and drank some more and before we knew it the lights came on and we were once again the lights came on and we were being hustled out the door by the bartenders. 

But we STILL were not ready to go to bed. The night was young and we were drunk on champagne and jet lag. My Boston colleagues and I safely escorted Life Begins to her night bus and we headed back to the hotel to have an after party. Because that is obviously what you do at 5 am in London when you have arrived off a flight from Boston that very day and have already shut down a bar and a club. 

So, we cranked up the music (oh the other hotel guests must have loved us) and soon-to-be-married B entertained my other colleague and I with her crazy dancing and we polished off two more bottles of wine (they were weird medium sized one but still, so not necessary) and suddenly we looked at the clock and realized it was 7 am!!!!! How did it get that late? I mean that early? Where did the time go? How am I still standing having hardly slept at all? Obviously it was time to bed. So, we all decided to finally call an end to a fabulous night and go catch up on our much needed beauty sleep. Cuz after all, this was only day one of the trip!

This concludes part I of the London portion of the trip. Stay tuned for part II where I meet a guy in women's rest room and go on an awesome date and then get on a flight bound for Stockholm. 

*Much more on this topic later. I'm going to give you the fun details and fill you in on the more crazy activities of the trip and then give you my more serious reflections. This trip definitely brought a lot of emotions and thoughts to the surface and made me strongly reflect on my life. But more on that in a later post. 


Anonymous said...

oh my goodness. How do you do do you get to be so cool and exciting and I just long to get done work and get in my pj's. hahaha. You are a Goddess. I loved this...I miss staying up till the sun rises and having so much fun you don't even realize it until you are pulling on sunglasses. :-)

Can't wait for part 2. And thank you for your comment on my Reasons I Need a Boyfriend blog post...I have a whole post dedicated to your comment coming up!

Katie @ said...

Sounds like you had so much fun! This makes me feel old. :(

Sarah B said...

So excited to read your update!!!

I love that y'all stayed up until 7, those are the nights er, mornings of memories!!!

On My Soapbox said...

I am in awe that you could party for that long, especially with jet lag! Sounds like a blast (well, except for that one guy).

Sara Louise said...

Your eased right back into your London life perfectly! Nice!

Average Girl said...

I am surprised you did not drop your suitcase and set up permanent house back in London! So far it sounds awesome.

BTW so sorry to her about your grandfather...


jules said...

7 am?! You are hard core! I draw the line at 4:30 a.m. these days! I would have done the same thing with spanish guy. Off to read what happens next!