Being abroad is, frankly, exhausting. I know you might want to hit me for saying that, but hear me out - it's the good, satisfying kind of exhausting. It's the buying groceries to fill up the fridge, figuring out local phone plans, exploring the town, pinpointing a schedule, trying to get a grasp on the currency, meeting new people and understanding a new culture, kind of exhausting.
Back in junior year of high school, my English Literature teacher was obsessed with Henry David Thoreau and his quote, "I want to suck out all the marrow of life." And right now, there's no better phrase to describe how I'm feeling and what I'm doing. 2014, you are starting out with a good record. I don't dislike you, not one bit.
My family started our grand Euro-venture in good old Londontown. Although it was the worst weather we battled through on the entire trip and although my feet pretty much died on me after I forced them through an epically long walk, London made quite the impression on me. Charming and colorful (especially against all that overcast gray!) and so very old-school and classic, it was the city that felt most "for me." I was enamored with Rome & enchanted by Paris, but London - London felt the most Caroline. So it's a good thing I'm in this area for awhile.
Our first day was packed with activity. We headed out bright and early, when no one was out in the streets and the night was only gradually disappearing to the day. Fittingly, I felt like I had London all to myself, and that was quite close to perfection. We made our way through the wind and the rain towards Big Ben and Parliament, caught a peek of The London Eye, strolled (hobbled) along the River Thames, said hello to Westminster Abbey, and then headed towards Buckingham Palace. As luck would(n't) have it, the changing of the guard was canceled due to the weather, and so we returned to our hotel and enjoyed a long, blissful nap before taking a spin on the splendorous London Eye, and then capping off the day with a dinner at bustling Chinatown. All in a day's work, folks.