Amy: Alas, today was our last day at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Plaza (oh wait, I mean the Wellington, our home away from home). While the benefits of dorm living have begun to wear thin (no toilet paper in the bathrooms, damp towels, stickers on the furniture from former students advocating vegetarianism), we've made the best of it and figure we'll just appreciate our rooms at the bed and breakfast in Bournemouth even more. Jason and Carolyn headed down for the last breakfast of the never-ending stacks of toast, while Amy slept in a bit (gasp!).
We then proceeded to repack our belongings, fairly amazed that we were able to fit everything back into our bags. I took a quick trip to the post office to mail some postcards, and then we checked out of the Wellington. Jason had found us a bus line to take us straight to Waterloo station (he's the one with the sense of direction!), so we rolled our luggage down the road a bit and boarded the bus. We arrived without any problems at London Waterloo station, where we purchased tickets for the ride out to Bournemouth, where we would be attending Sarah and Max's wedding. We were excited because they had a group ticket deal, so we got three tickets for the price of two. The exchange rate in England is running about 2 dollars US to a pound sterling, so we are finding things a bit pricey. After another lunch of ciabatta sandwiches (that is the popular lunchtime sandwich here in England), we boarded our train to Bournemouth. The ride was about two hours, and after Jason lugged our suitcases on board, we had a pleasant ride to Bournemouth.
We arrived in Bournemouth, and took a taxi to our Bed and Breakfast, the Balincourt. It is beautiful, and we all enjoy having our own rooms and bathrooms. There are about 12 rooms here, and 7 of them are taken up by attendees of Sarah's wedding, so we have quite the party going on. After a well-deserved nap, we greeted Sharon and her husband, Phu, who have just arrived after a trip to Ireland. Sharon is another one of my "Wethersfield chickies."
We all gathered down in the front of the B and B to meet Sarah, who had arrived for her "Hen Night" (the English way of saying bachelorette party). Many of Sarah's family had also arrived by this point, which was nice. The ladies went out for a delicious Italian dinner, while the men met Max at a pub and then had tapas. I am very proud of Jason, because he drank a half pint of cider and some sangria! Woo hoo! The girls had a great time, complete with some fairly tame "hen-night" activities. Carolyn, Sharon, and I presented Sarah with the scrapbook we had spent so long making her. We were so excited to see her so happy to receive it! The girls and the boys met up at a pub down the street. We enjoyed some more drinks (I had a yummy cherry flavored vodka drink), and boogied on down on the dance floor until almost 1 am. It was a great night, and we are looking forward to exploring Bournemouth tomorrow!