When the study abroad program offered a free trip to Bath, England, I jumped at the chance. Located in Somerset (in the south west of England), I boarded the comfy bus and
enjoyed an eventful Saturday outside of the city. I paired up with pals Megan, Kailee, Tory, and Kiersten for a day of exploration and shopping. The charming town of Bath is
complete with gorgeous architecture, a deep history from centuries past, and a bustling village to top it off.
The Roman Baths were our first stop, following a “tour” with embarrassingly aged telephones we dutifully pressed up to our ears trying to interpret the muffled facts. I gave up and braved the Baths sans-tour, making up my own history as I went. The Baths were built as a public spa complete with cold, hot, and bubbling pools for the Romans in 60-70AD. The dilapidated buildings were reconstructed in the 12th century, but the blue-green water from the bubbling hot pool remains. Tourists can walk the entire building and explore the history – though no one is allowed to swim. Too bad… the moldy bacteria-filled water was really calling my name.
Feeling a bit silly and immature, our foursome prematurely left the Baths themselves to explore what the city had to offer. We
discovered none other than: food. Handmade fudge, taffy apples, and scoops of gelato filled our eager bellies until we felt sick. We walked the cobblestone streets aligned with unique shops, and came across the gorgeous waterfront to
gaze at the Royal Crescent, a half-moon of houses at the edge of the lake which was built in 1767. Our day in Bath was one we made our own, turning away from the tourist track and enjoying the small pleasures of the memorable town.
The next day I joined friends Xanthy, Blake, Pierson, Will, and Brock in braving the phenomenon that is European football, (a.k.a. soccer). The rain and cold did not stop a single crazy fan – so nor it would not stop us. We joined right in at the Putney Stadium, playing the part by screaming obnoxiously at the rival teams below us, fighting for victory. The killer truth is beers are no longer allowed back to the bleachers, (which came as no shock after observing the fans’ fanatical behavior sober), so Xanthy and I chugged a few at half-time. The football match was certainly something to experience; the sport is something that defines European culture – and the fans’ passion for their teams proved just that. I could no longer tell you who won the game or what the scoreboard read, but seeing the professional battle first-hand was
something I won’t soon forget.
That Thursday night was notable as group of about twenty of us ventured to a new club called Ruby Blue in the city to celebrate my roomie Natalie’s birthday. We rented out some tables and danced the night away…turning the sleek British club into an American funhouse.
Another memorable night in London was a visit to the
hot club, ChinaWhite. Though these pricey venues are not a place I frequent, it is something to see – especially when an A-list (at the time) American celeb is a patron that night. A group of us dressed our best, (a friend got us on the snooty list), and made our way to the exclusive club. I sipped vodka rocks to stay in-budget, asking the bartender to fill the glass as much as he could…
Later came the main event: Lindsay Lohan. I know, who cares. But at the time she was much more reputable, and being a fan of the flick Mean Girls, I was pretty pumped. The most fun part was getting caught outside when she happened to be arriving. Oh, the paparazzi!! Literally 50 or more husky men toting massive cameras and running up and down the street with news of the celeb’s arrival was a play in itself. Naturally I joined them when Lindsays’ sleek black SUV dropped her off in front. So there we were: fifty paparazzi and me in heels. Obviously I was trampled a bit – and I mentally vetoed paparazzi as
a potential occupation. The rest of the night was spent in the VIP section (can’t remember how I snuck in) stalking Lohan and ultimately getting a spot-on photo, and scoring free bottle service. Good times…
The next weekend it was off to the Czech Republic and Germany!