My parents came on the 23rd of March. It was extremely exciting and I could hardly contain my excitement. I bought them oyster cards the day before they came so this way I could take them back to Twickenham from the airport. I went to the airport and waited in the lobby for them. They came out so fast and I was in shock. I couldn’t stop hugging them or smiling. They were beyond excited to see me. I could see how much they really missed me in their eyes. We got on the bus and got off at Twickenham. I should have had them take the bus to Twickenham but instead we walked. They were dying and so exhausted. I felt really bad that they didn’t take the bus. I forget that they are not as young and active as me. Finally after an epic journey they made it to the flat and were so in love with the place. It was so adorable and perfect for them. There was a fully equipped kitchen with everything from food to cooking supplies. There was a huge shower, a backyard patio, and tvs. It was so great for the them. The bed felt like a cloud and I was jealous because of my rock solid mattress in the dorms. They needed a nap since they didn’t take one on the plane so I went back to school and went to class. I went back to their flat and they were still sleeping! They just wanted to relax for a while. Finally they got up and we went to Kingston for dinner. We ate at an Italian restaurant. It was so good and such a treat not to be eating the ref food. We walked around kingston and I showed them Primark! My mom went to the flat and my dad and I stopped at Waitrose to get supplies for Sunday when my friends would come over. We got off at Twickenham and I was just thinking that the barriers would be open but they werent so we got stuck and played the old we are Americans and have no idea what we are doing with the oyster cards. We had to pay which was annoying but oh well. We went in and got a bunch of supplies. My dad and I tried to take a short cut but we got a little lost on the back roads. We realized when we got home that we went in a complete circle when lost practically passed the house.
Saturday we went to Dover. We took the 1 pm train to Dover. We had an hour to spare waiting for the train so I took them around Trafalgar Squre. They saw the Olympic Countdown and the fountains and National Gallery. That was really cool for them to see. I did a bad job planning and didnt realize how far Dover was. By the time we got to Dover it was 3:30. I expected us to walk out of the station and there would be the castle but that was not the case. The castle was up on this huge cliff/mountain and there was no possible way we could climb it. We searched for a bus and finally found one to take us. It was an epic journey. We decided that we didn’t want to pay to get into the castle since it would be closing in 90 minutes and that wasn’t enough time. We decided to go see the cliffs. The weather was beautiful. The bus dropped us off near the castle. Then we had to hike a mile to get to the cliffs. My mom was not wearing the proper shoes so her feet were dying. We finally made it to the cliffs and was parents were in awe. They were so white and beautiful and we were able to sit along the English channel. It was something that they never imagined they would see. We walked around the cliffs and they were so beautiful and high up. My dad was scared near the edges and he was nervous about me sitting near the edge. We were tying to hitchhike a ride up to the cliffs but that didnt work so my dad was determined to get us a ride down. He had his thumb up for 2 minutes and then this couple picked us up. They were pretty young and spoke German or RUssian or something. They took us all the way to the town square and we were so thankful. We walked around Dover some more and then went back on the train. It was great for them to be able to see the countryside on the train.
The next day was the first day Marcos met my parents. He was a nervous wreck. He hardly ate anything at breakfast because he was so nervous. He spent the whole day with us. We went to mass at Westminister Cathedral and then I took them to the Victoria and Albert Museum. There is so much Catholic history there so that was really special for them to see. They absolutely loved it there. We then went to Harods and walked around there. We had to go back after that because it was getting late and my friends were coming over so we had to prepare for them. At the Richmond station, we met Julia and Sean which was great because they knew where the bus stop was. I luckily got a cake from Marks and Spencer for my birthday celebration. When we were at the bus stop, Sevi and Marcel showed up and it was like a St. Mary’s reunion!!! My parents went back to make the food and I went back to get my friends. Marcos, Kaitlyn, Anna, Sean, Alex, Julia and Anna’s friend from home came over. They were so helpful with making the dinner and getting everything ready. We had so much fun relaxing and eating. It was one of the best nights I had being here. It was so special to share my friends with my parents and Marcos was finally able to relax more and act like himself. We had crackers and cheese, fresh fruit, ice (everyone was SO excited for this), spaghetti and meatballs and fresh bread. It was so yummmm and we were all laughing and being silly the whole night. My parents loved my friends and they loved being able to meet them and get to know them. My mom bought out the cake and they sang happy birthday to me. It waa so special and we took a lot of really great pictures.
My parents were tired from running around so much so they wanted to sleep in. We left around 12 for Hampton Court Palace. My dad wanted to see this so badly. It was another beautiful day in London with high 70 degree weather. We walked around the palace and it was so beautiful and very big. It was the home of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn lived there as well. The gardens were unbelieavable and were unlike anything I had ever seen. There were so many tulips everyone and everything had just bloomed. We spent a lot of time outside walking around and just enjoying the nature. There was even a maze and we were having a very difficult time finding our way out! There were fountains and a pond. It nice to have a relaxing day. On our way to the palace we got on the wrong bus but the bus driver was so nice and took us to Twickenham where we could catch a bus to go to the fountains. We ate at this really great organic sandwhich shop for lunch and it was so good! We had fresh fruit smoothies and sandwhiches. It was so great! I love how England is so into being Organic.
On Tuesday we had a very busy day. We got up and got into London around 11:30. Marcos was going to meet us in London. I showed them the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminister Abbey and all things like that. Then I took to the Tate Britain, then we went to the Tower of London. This was awesome bcause they were able to see Tower Bridge and also see the Tower. We could see the jewels and here the stories of those that lived there. It was really big and some people even live there which is crazy. The diamonds and gold they have on display is madness. I can’t believe they are real. When you see the jail cells in the tower, you can see the different carvings on the wall and some are Bible verses because England was turing Protestant and wanted to get rid of Catholic Priests. Marcos met us and after that we went to the National Gallery. I wanted to show them the Da Vinci, Monet and Van Gough. They enjoyed seeing the paintings and looking at other artwork. We went to dinner at my new favorite restaurant called Mezzo. It is so good! After dinner were walked to Soho to go see Matilda!!! The show was so great. I loved it so much and I was so happy to spend it with Marcos. There was a man in between my parents and Marcos and I so that was creepy but the show was so good and everyone loved it. I didn’t think it was going to be as good as it was and there was this little boy that looked exactly like Zach Fong!! The props were so great. We had the best time.
Wednesday I took my parents to Camden Town to the Markets. I had never been there so that was very new for me as well. The Camden Markets had all of the same stuff and people were like hawks watching you. I didn’t really like it but then we went to the Stables Market and this was great. I found 2 outfits, one dress and another dress type outfit. It was so cute! We had international food for lunching including Spanish Paella and Sangria! I had a special day with them and then we went and found the Banksy artwork that is near the market and got ice cream! We got back and I showed them my campus and my room! Marcos was going to come over and help me make cookies while my parents went out to dinner. Then we all watched the movie Courageous together which had a really great message but it was no where near fireproof.
The next day my parents left and it was the saddest day. I didn’t want that day to come. I cried so much at the airport and my parents both cried. Marcos is so great and he came to the airport with me. I am so thankful that I didn’t have to do that alone and my parents were so touched that he came. Overall, my parents coming to London was a dream come true and I had the best week of my life with them. It was an experience I will never forget and we will talk about forever. I am truly blessed to be able to share my London experience with them.