Settling in!

Trip Start Jun 05, 2012
Trip End Aug 03, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 8, 2012

So I've been here two and a half days now, both of which have gone by relatively fast. It is so crazy thinking that I am finally here, actually on the other side of the world and so far away from home. I am so proud of myself for taking this massive step, even though it scared the heck out of me! But as they say "If your dreams don't scare you then they're not big enough" and that is more than true.

My flights were pretty good all round. Mother nature kindly decided to wait until I was on the plane until she took the sun away and replaced it with a downpour. The food on-board for the most part was excellent (Asian/Indian vegetarian, I guess it was lucky that I got any nice food!) the tv shows on offer were pretty good and the lady I sat next to from Sydney right through to London was absolutely lovely and made the trip over so much easier to handle. 

This woman, Sandra, talked to me for hours and hours on the flights and kept me company while we waited to re-board the 747 in Singapore for the 13 hour flight to London. I can't say how much I appreciate that. 

On the same topic, the flights were relatively un-eventful with the exception of a few patches of crazy turbulence. At one stage my orange juice jumped out of the cup and somehow all of it landed right back in there! Other people near me weren't so lucky!

I landed at Heathrow at 5:30 in the morning on Wednesday and was out of the airport within 55 minutes of landing. I never expected going through Border Control and Customs would be so easy! And this is on a non-EU passport!

After walking through Border Control, Sandra and I walked to baggage claim and I was halfway through a sentence of describing to her what my suitcase looked like (so we could look out for each other's) when I see that mine is half way through its turn on the carousel so I stop mid-sentence and race towards it and managed to pull it off like it weighed nothing instead of the 18 kilos it actually does weigh. What luck!  I was then met 5 minutes later by my Uncle, one of my Aunts and my two cousins who immediately took my bag and suitcase off me and walked off!

Yesterday we all went out to Southampton and visited this massive shopping mall (well, massive by my standards) and I could not get over the amount of people pressed in to this place! There were long queues to try clothes on, long queues to purchase something and long queues to actually get in to one shop . . . notice a pattern? Crazy! Still, I found a pair of skinny jeans that I've been wanting for months and they only cost 9 Quid. 9 Quid! That's about $18 NZD Brand new and they fit perfectly, amazing!

After such a nice day yesterday, today was even better with my going out to Reading by train (I must say, they are soooooo fast + comfortable and 100% better than anything Maxx is capable of giving the public!) from Crowthorne and meeting up with my school friend from here in England who I haven't seen since we were five! I spent about 5 hours with her and we chatted, shopped a bit and had lunch at this beautiful place called Giraffe of all things. Overall a wonderful day and I am so pleased to have seen her! =)

The food we had at Giraffe was amazing. We started off with a hot plate of nachos which came with a  home-made salsa, some guacamole, chilli beans and a delicious sour cream. That was polished off fairly fast. Then for my main dish I had a  rump steak sandwich which again was amazing. The portions were pretty good, I couldn't finish every thing on my plate! I also tried this strawberry and lime Swedish cider while there and that has to be the nicest cider I have ever tried, so I'm very glad I know I can get it from a bar in Auckland! I definitely have to go back to this place over the next two months.

Tonight we went out to a Chinese restaurant (I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the place off the top of my head) and I met my Grandmother for the first time since I left England in 1998 and got to see my Aunty who I haven't seen since 2006. So lovely seeing them again =). 

We had a huge amount of food tonight, and stayed at the restaurant until nearly 11 (so over 3 hours) having a good time, talking and laughing as families should. I loved every minute of it.

Looking forward to everything that this holiday is going to throw my way! Love xxx 
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