Jeff and our trip to Brighton

London Travel Blog

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Me and Jeff the first time we met!

Oh where to begin with Jeff! Haha!  Florida State University’s London Campus randomly assigns each student to their roommates.  It just so happened that I was paired with two girls and three boys.  Our dorm had a living room, a kitchen, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms.  I had flown into Gatwick Airport at around 8 in the morning and there was a group pick up for all the students that was scheduled for 10am.  I decided that I really didn’t want to wait around for 2 hours so I took my directions out of my bag and decided to find the study center on my own.  Given my poor sense of direction, this was probably a bad idea but somehow I got myself onto the Gatwick Express towards Victoria Station.

Jeff is going over his strategy on how to get me the bear!
  I then miraculously found my way out of the station and into a taxi that took me straight to 99 Great Russell Street!  I was handed my key to Room 22 and then after climbing up the world’s steepest stairs to the second highest floor of the building with my two huge suitcases in tow (there was no elevator), I had finally arrived.  I found the bed with my name on it and immediately collapsed onto it!  I was the first to arrive so I started unpacking and when that tedious chore was done I laid down while eagerly awaiting the arrival of the people that I would be living with for the next few months.

Jeff was the first to arrive.  I was so nervous for some reason.  I was scared that we would have nothing in common and that our conversation would be nothing but awkward silences.

The Discobolos at the British Museum
  After a little small talk, we decided to walk down to the British Museum to kill time (it was a five minute walk from the study center).  I had worried over nothing.  We got along great and now I can’t think of London without thinking of Jeff.  Jeff attended school at FAU in South Florida and he was your typical south Floridian which was evident in the way he dressed as well as the way he talked. 

He aspired to be a writer.  He was very conversant about literature and movies.  Man he made me feel so uncultured when he talked about movies.  He has probably literally seen every movie known to man.

Parthenon Sculptures!
  This is one thing that he had in common with a girl named Autumn (she lived in another room but she hung out with us a lot).  They would get in these crazy (sometimes heated) discussions about movies I had never even heard of! 

Jeff and I grew to be very close over the coming months.  He became like a big brother to me.  He was a tough guy who spoke whatever was on his mind.  He always felt the need to protect me and I can’t help but smile while I write this!  I am one of those people who couldn’t be mean to a fly.  I hate confrontation and I am genuinely nice to everybody I meet.  Like I said earlier, I like people.  I get my feelings hurt pretty easily and I often end up apologizing for things that aren’t even my fault.

Me and Kim at Brighton Pier!
  I just want to make everyone happy and this is probably the reason that Jeff was so protective.  He is such a sweet guy and boy could he make me laugh!

One of the great things about studying abroad through Florida State is the trips that they arranged for us.   During this particular summer, they took us to Brighton.  At the time, the only thing I knew about Brighton was that it was mentioned in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  When I mentioned this to my roommates, they informed me that Brighton was home to the seaside retreat of George IV.  They also told me about Brighton Pier.  Jeff told me that the pier had carnival-like rides, candy stores, and arcade games.

At the arcades in Brighton!
  He knew that I was a kid at heart and that I enjoyed the simple things in life.  He told me that I was going to absolutely love it and he must have seen my face light up as he’s explaining what it’s like because he looked at me and said, “I bet it would just make your day if you were able to win a teddy bear from one of the games.  You know what, I promise to win you one.”

When the time came to go to Brighton, we all piled onto the bus and prepared ourselves for the two hour ride.  I was curled up in my seat with my Harry Potter book and I spent the time trying to zone out the tour guide they hired for the bus.  As soon as we arrived, we headed toward the Royal Pavilion for our group tour.  I had never heard of it before but man was I impressed!  The outside architecture of the building was just amazing to behold.

Yanin, Autumn, and Me acting like kids while enjoying our delicious sweets
  The inside was even better.  I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the banqueting area was.  The entire room was intricately decorated.  The ceiling held a painting of this spectacular dragon and the centerpiece was this striking chandelier.  Out of everything I’ve seen throughout my travels, this room is one of my favorites.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photographs of the Royal Pavilion L

After touring the palace, we went to lunch and then shopped around a little before heading to the Pier.  It was quite windy outside so all the rides were closed and it was kinda cold but I was too energized to let that bother me.  We went to a candy store in order to purchase a Brighton Rock (very touristy, I know!) which is a piece of candy with the word “Brighton.
Me and Jeff after he won me my bear!
”  No matter how far you eat the candy, the words never disappear until the entire candy is eaten!  I also bought my dad some seagull poop (raisinets) and I bought myself a large lollipop (See, I wasn’t lying when I said I’m still a kid).  Once I had my sugary sweets, it was time to head to the arcade.  Jeff had promised me a teddy bear.  He went to the claw machine (which is pretty hard if you’ve ever tried to get a stuffed animal out of one) and within minutes he had actually won me a teddy bear.  I couldn’t believe it. I decided to name it Jeffreybear even though it was actually a yellow monkey.  Jeff was right, it made my whole day!  I still have Jeffreybear.  He hold a permanent spot on my bed. I still don’t know how Jeff actually did it. After these extraordinary events, we loaded back onto the bus and headed back to London!
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Me and Jeff the first time we met!
Me and Jeff the first time we met!
Jeff is going over his strategy on…
Jeff is going over his strategy o…
The Discobolos at the British Muse…
The Discobolos at the British Mus…
Parthenon Sculptures!
Parthenon Sculptures!
Me and Kim at Brighton Pier!
Me and Kim at Brighton Pier!
At the arcades in Brighton!
At the arcades in Brighton!
Yanin, Autumn, and Me acting like …
Yanin, Autumn, and Me acting like…
Me and Jeff after he won me my bea…
Me and Jeff after he won me my be…
Me and Autumn!
Me and Autumn!
London
photo by: ulysses