Monday, 25 June 2012

Holly's House, Changing of the Guard and our visit to the M&M Factory

Hello Everyone,
So it was post Contiki and I was now staying at the beautiful Holly Whiteley's with her super fun and cool Aussie house mates in Ladbroke Grove. Anna is from Melbourne, Georgie is from Bowral and Sarah is from Forbes.
Crazy Anna from Melbourne

Sarah and Holly :)

Sarah and Georgie who bunk in the double bed together so cute!

Cute Anna

Trendy and Funky Georgie from Bowral

Anna in Wonderland
Holly Whiteley:
I had known Holly ever since we were babies as our mums used to be best friends back in the day. Holly's mum Vicki is my godmother and Holly and I along with our siblings Ashleigh, Sally, James and Barton all used to hang around and play while our mothers visited each other when we were younger. Holly and I did the hop on hop off bus tour together in the first few weeks I was in London and also had dinner and drinks a few times which was nice. I felt so lucky to have someone that reminded me of home and someone who was so beautiful and generous who offered to have me stay at her house for a few weeks while I was travelling. Holly and I used to play on the same netball team and do 'Pointscores' together which was what we called swim club in Wellington. Holly had moved away in year 11 & 12 to go to a very exclusive boarding school in Sydney and then went on to CSU in Bathurst to complete her Advertising/Marketing degree so we didn't see all that much of each during these years which was a shame.

We caught up whilst she was in Wellington for her brothers 21st birthday and a quick holiday before heading back to London and it was so good to ask her loads of questions about what I needed before I starting travelling around Europe and the UK. Holly has been in London now for 2 years and has recently got an additional 3 year extension on her Visa (work contract) to spend in the UK She works for a highly respected Advertising agency here in London and is a very hard working account manager who is currently working on the Tourism Ireland account. While I have been staying at Holly's house I have loved getting to know her again and reminiscing and laughing about old memories of when we were little kids. I would have been lost without her and am so grateful for her letting my first crash in her bed but now couch after Rachel has found her own house. Holly and her hilarious Australian housemates (Sarah, Georgie and Anna) have been so welcoming and have made me feel at home here in their house on Barlby Rd.
Changing of the Guard/Buckingham Palace:
My new friend Rachel (from Cronulla) and I decided we would go and watch 'Changing of the Guard' at Buckingham Palace with Tara and Tamara who had also never been. Rachel was quite used to travelling around on the buses in London which was great as I had only got two buses out of  my whole time in London. She also used google maps and got me onto using that finally after all these years, best thing I've ever used and it's saved my life so many times here in London! We caught the bus into Westminster and met up with Tara and Tamara which was great but also sad as this was going to be the last day we would be able to catch up with them before they headed off on their Greek Island Contiki tour. Rachael (Contiki) was busy getting all dressed up for her job interviews and organising her apartment in London that day so she was unable to come. She ended up finding one right near Shepard's Bush which is in an amazing location right near lots of shops, pubs, post office, convenience stores and restaurants. We waited amongst hundreds of people to see the much anticipated 'Changing of the Guard' ceremony which is held every second day at 11.30am at the palace. It was great to see the horses and watch the guards march around in the band but everyone was so squishy and I could hardly see anything inside the palace gates which was a little disappointing. I told Tamara to get up onto my shoulders so she could see and we were more amused watching people step on my huge piece of hubba bubba I had left on the ground and try and get it off their shoe ha There were lots of seating areas and the fountain was all barrocaded off for the Queen's Jubilee Concert which was cool to see as well.
The Queens guards with the Queen's Jubilee Concert stage in the background

Changing of the Guard

The Queens Band

World's Largest M&M Factory:
After Changing of the Guard the girls and I had some lunch at Pret and then went in the Piccadilly Circus and visited the worlds largest M&M factory. It was so cool and there was M&M memorabilia everywhere and cool statues of each different coloured M&M character. We got lots of photos inside the factory and choose our own mixed bags of M&M's. I chose M&M's that were purple and pink, I also placed the British coloured ones into my bag along with a range of peanut, milk chocolate and crispy  M&M's. Tara almost bought the whole shop as she was giving M&M's as a gift to her family and friends back home. We all got our own bags on M&M's and even got to stand on a machine that told you what colour you would be if you  were an M&M. I loved the M&M's and I think they tasted so much better than the ones you get at the shop because they were made in the factory.
Stocking up on M&M's

Most British guy I've ever seen lol

Tara, Tamara and I at Britannica

The girls and their goodies

Tamara at M&M world

Loving the M&M factory

My M&M colour!

Me, Tamara, Tara and Rachel at the M&M factory
Hyde Park sun bakers on a sunny day :)

Ladure macaroons in London
Shopping at Oxford Circus:
We headed to Oxford Circus after the M&M factory as the girls wanted to buy some clothes before heading to the Greek Islands and I wanted to get a couple of dresses as I had nothing dressy in my backpack!I was over looking like crap and borrowing everyone's clothes so I bought two really nice dresses from Topshop :) Topshop is soooo amazing it's kind of like London's version of Sportsgirl but way trendier!They have everything and if I was on a regular holiday I could have bought the whole shop lol We shopped at Zara which is huge in Europe and the UK and also at the usual H&M and New Look stores. We ended up losing Tara and Tamara in one of the shops which was sad as that was the last time I saw them before they left. They were supposed to be coming out with myself and the two Rach's that night but decided against it as their flight to Athens was leaving earlier than they expected this next morning.

Tara and Tamara:
Tamara you were one of my sisters on Contiki and always knew how to have a good time. You and Jess were the biggest party girls out of our group of 6 and you could never say no to drinking and having fun. You made me laugh countless times on the trip and I loved how lovable you became when you were drunk. You are a stunning girl who has a tom boy side (as your mum says) but also looks hot when you head out. I opened up to you so much on the trip and loved hearing all about your life, family and previous relationships back in Tumbi Umbi on the Central Coast. Without you on the trip my experience would have been alot less fun as you always knew how to make me smile and laugh. We had some crazy drunk nights and I will always remember your drunkest moment in Barcelona where I saw you at your worst and had to help you up to our room lol. You are such a hottie and have the most awesome personality and I never want you to settle for anything less then perfect when it comes to guys babe!I love how you love teaching kids just like me at your preschool workplace and I'm sure the little kiddies adore you like I do. I can't wait to catch up and party with you again soon and I know I'll definitely be making more trips to the Central Coast when I get back to Aus. I love you my sister and I hope you are living it up back home xx

Tamara and Tara came together but were so keen to meet other people on the trip it was like getting two for the price of one!Tara was a nurse from the Central Coast as well and had such a beautiful relaxed personality. I loved hanging out with you Tara and being lazy when we were rooming together. I loved how you liked to relax and not go out on the quite nights just like I did and we got to know each other even more during these nights we avoided partying lol You had a boyfriend back home but you always made the most of every experience on Contiki and you still knew how to party like a crazy bitch when you went out. You are a strong and independent women and are so genuine I know we will be friends forever. I was so lucky to have met both you and Tamara on the trip and we shared so many amazing experiences together on the trip. I can't wait to see you again and I hope you are loving being back with your man back in Australia, love you babe x    

Clubbing in Piccadilly Circus:
Rachael (Contiki), Rachel (Cronulla) and I all decided we would go out that night in Picadilly Circus as we were still in party mode after travelling around Europe. We ended up having pre-drinks in Rachael's new room which was so exciting for all of us but especially her. She was rooming with 4 Australian guys and she found the place so quickly through the Gumtree website which was lucky. It really felt like we were living in London now after catching a cab to her new address. We were drinking vodka, ended up pretty drunk and heading into Piccadilly Circus at about 12pm lol When we arrived every club promotor was trying to sell us tickets to come into their clubs at a discounted price and we ended up club hopping to some really fun R&B clubs that night. We had so much fun just the three of us love R&B so we were getting low that night lol At one of the bars we snuck into a VIP birthday party section where it was empty and were dancing on the tables and chairs lol We had such a fun first night out in London with just the three of us and I can't wait to do it again soon!
Me in the VIP section under someone elses name looking a little worse for wear ha

Rachel with one huge water cracker!

Me heading out in Piccadilly Circus

Rachael looking hot in her new room :)

R&B club hopping

Me and Rachel :)

Me and the Rach's at Picadilly Circus <3
Love The M&M Eating Backpacker

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