2016: W2 4ee

15726536_10103947730124034_6102863706995657556_nAs I sit down to reflect on the past twelve months, I’m feeling a little selfish. The world is giving 2016 a big middle finger. But the truth is that for me 2016 was epic. Calling London home for a year is something that can never be overshadowed by a year of political instability. A check off the no regrets bucket list. It was a year of adventure and proving that you CAN have it all…until you have to move home and work East Coast hours. 🙂 Turns out that five hours ahead is just enough to make staying in touch with friends and family inconvenient. When we realized we felt separated from everyone back home, we started to work on plans to move back. But while we were here, we lived it up.

After a year, I can confidently say my London assimilation is complete. See image below for photo evidence, although living in Notting Hill was one of the most American decisions we made after moving over here, and it’s one I’m v okay with. As we explored London there was no neighborhood we didn’t love. The white row houses, quiet streets and access to Hyde & Holland Park made living “west” worth it. There was nothing better than Saturday morning foggy walks through Hyde Park with all the neighborhood dogs romping around you (not on leads) scaring the geese away.

So, what’s it like living in London? (#LondonbyLondoners):

  • There are long summer days – with sunlight until 11pm on the best days. And v. short winter days. Say goodbye sun @ 3:30pm.
  • There are beautiful parks everywhere because the British know how to garden like no other
  • Fashion here is stuck in the 80s and 90s and it’s awesome. When it doubt throw on a jean jacket & trainers
  • You have easy access to Europe. Brexit and all – just hop a short flight.
  • The flats are small. No getting around it.
  • The weather is consistent year round. I wore jeans ALL SUMMER. Eek! But winters aren’t brutal. Carry a brolly at all times.
  • You have to ask for filtered coffee. Or just get a flat white.
  • There are abnormally large spiders in the UK
  • Avocado toast is a way of life. And it will set you back ÂŁ8+.
  • You will drink. Beer. Cider. G&Ts. In pubs, in gardens, on rooftops and most likely, at members only clubs.
  • There is an obsession here with Jack the Ripper. Play along.
  • Grocery store produce here is so cheap but that doesn’t stop the city from turning up at markets across the city every weekend for cheese, olives, mulled wine & hot salt beef.
  • They love squeaky cheese aka halloumi. Is this in the states? Anyone?
  • Happy Christmas!! From “Halloween” to NYE… Happy Christmas!
  • Football is religion, and you must sit with your people.
  • Indian food is the national food and deservedly so. Deliveroo, do your thing.
  • Oy!
  • Ehrm!
  • Proper!

While we spent a lot of time exploring all of London’s neighborhoods, we also checked off a few places in Europe. I’m not playing favorites but you must visit Copenhagen, and Paris. And Israel. And Dubai. And Edinburgh is my spirit animal. Countries I visited:

  • Croatia: “Hey lady, would you like this whole fish?!” 
  • Denmark: best danish ever
  • France: sacre bleu!!! Took us a long time to get here.
  • Israel: sun, salt & may God be with you
  • The Netherlands: low lying, high flying… so we hear 🙂
  • Spain: ay ay tapas and Rioja, chicos!
  • Scotland: We tried the whiskey. Did not try the haggis.
  • Sweden: Fika all day, SmörgĂ„sbords all night
  • The UAE: Tall buildings. Progressive?
  • Wales: Conquered 7 castles

My favorite 2016 memories:

  • Threw a ballin’ party for Madison’s 30th & to say goodbye to our dear friends
  • Kicked off the year herding unicorns at the Today Show
  • Witnessed one too many handshake exchanges on Pembridge Gardens from our balcony & in our Uber
  • Got really good at making reservations & yes… missed cooking
  • Got a bitmoji and felt like she really represented me
  • Had a balcony for 3 months
  • Someone in the flat made it to level 23 in Pokemon Go
  • Spiders found me and a new fear was born inside me
  • A toaster from Dubai became the best gift and made for magical mornings with soft boiled eggs & avocado toast
  • I drove on the left side of the road like a BOSS
  • Learned more curses than I ever thought I’d know from  a football match
  • Was in a constant state of jet lag
  • Experienced British Summertime and verified that no London festival is complete without rain
  • Spent most nights working until between 12 and 2am
  • I ate ants and loved them. Will always remember the tangy experience at Noma
  • Made a friend in the Cotswolds who introduced me to friends in Champagne
  • Tried VR @ Vidcon and remembered why I don’t skateboard
  • Decided that from now on I drink G&Ts from a goblet
  • Started drinking my coffee black
  • Tried my hand at show marketing and ended the year as friends with Mariah Carey’s social media manager
  • Ate way too many meringues
  • Bought way too many sneakers (trainers). Just kidding, you can never have enough Nikes.
  • On Sundays we biked park to park to park to Big Ben
  • Re-branded  Anchor Media (check out the site!)
  • Paid off my student loans. All. of. them.
  • Binge- watched Westworld and The Crown. John Oliver every week. AND YTO.
  • Learned that my fingerprints are fading… I’ll let you infer my next step and why we’re moving back stateside… cough…. CIA.

Looking into the new year, I am excited to try a new city. NYC makes sense. My resolutions this new year’s eve are to will remain positive and open minded. As I write this, our president elect tweeted a nice happy new years message and I’m reminded that the presidency should never be our focal point for inspiring positive change in this world. I’m looking to all of you to kick off 2017 with the love and support we all deserve to receive and give each other.

xoxo,

V

PS: the title of this post is my London post code which I never memorized – every time I flew back to London I had to ask Madison our zip code for my landing card. I think it was my subconscious knowing this amazing city was temporary.

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