Published on November 7th, 2010 | by thevyne


Adventures in Friendship Across the Pond

If you think back to when you were in kindergarten, middle school and high school, you can probably name who your besties were and why. Fast forward to undergrad/grad school and you probably layered on a few more good girlfriends that you were for sure going to add to your eventual wedding party.

It seems for every stage in our lives, we have a group of great girlfriends to witness the trials, tribulations and jubilations of life with. While the scenery may change, the situation may change and our perspectives on life may change, the positive power of friendship, both old ones and new ones, remains the same.

Just last week we decided to take our friendship across the pond and experience an adventure abroad with few of our girlfriends. What ensued was a cathartic, sidesplitting good time from start to finish. So here’s a recap of some of our more comical adventures abroad:

  • Mind the gap- If you’ve ever ridden the London underground train, then the words “mind the gap” mean something to you. They should also say, “mind the doors” because I was so busy minding the gap that I ran over about five pairs of toes trying to get my luggage and me off the tube before the doors closed.
  • Crossing the street– Allison and I spent the first day exploring the streets of London. Discovering the winding roads and boutique shops was adventure enough but the biggest pedestrian challenge we faced was crossing the street. It seemed every cross walk we approached we couldn’t figure out whether to stop, walk or run due to lack of signage. So we opted for holding hands and darting across every street with an accompanying “ahhhhhhhh!!” until we reached the other side…at which point we let out a proud “yaaaaay!” We repeated this cycle for pretty much the entire day.
  • Dancing in London – Somehow we worked our American magic and got in to a lounge/bar without having to pay two cover charges. Once inside we were surprised to discover that the soulful, melodic voice that was belting out Chaka Khan and Luther Vandross tunes was coming from a black woman. And in a show of karaoke solidarity we commenced to belting out the tunes right along with her and dancing as if no one was looking. We even cut a rug with a few friendly ol’ chaps. We ended the night by starting the electric slide…it didn’t quite catch on with the Brits but it was funny watching their faces as we twirled, shimmied and stepped like an R&B group.
  • Europe’s Got Talent – The train ride from London to Paris was seamless. When we arrived we had to hop aboard their underground train to travel further into the city. As we were sitting on the train, taking in the fashion forwardness surrounding us, we began to hear “and then a hero comes aloooonnnng…. with the strength to carry oooonnnn” coming through a speaker. Yes folks, we were treated to a train performer, complete with her 80’s boom box, high tops and mic, singing Mariah like her life depended on it. She followed it up with a rousing rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” and a passing of the proverbial hat to collect a few Euros for her performance.
  • Stuck in the Turnstile – We did our best to pack light but apparently our best wasn’t good enough as Kailei fell victim to the warp speed closing of the automatic turnstile. She made it through but her bag was good and stuck. So all three of us gave it the “ol’ heave ho” and ended up heaving the handle right off her suitcase. Finally a Frenchman took pity and loaned us a hand.
  • Botched Attempts at Speaking French – We were determined not to be snooty Americans who insisted on speaking English. So every chance we got we attempted to speak our best version of French that we could muster. We must have sounded horrible though because whenever we spoke French, they answered back in English. For example, in a restaurant I struggled to say, “what are these?” in French to our waiter while pointing at a package on our table. With a slight raised eyebrow, our waiter replied “they’re breadsticks boo…breadsticks” (okay, he didn’t really say “boo”, but the sentiment was there). Example number two, when Allison said, with her best French accent, “Ou est la toilette?” to which the waiter replied, “you mean the bathroom boo? It’s downstairs.” (again, the “boo” was implied…but you get the point)
  • Locked Out in London – We were all dolled up for a night out on the town and got so wrapped up in taking pics that somehow we forgot the keys to our flat. So instead of the night ending with dancing and champagne, it ended with a guy named Wayne (the locksmith) on a ladder, Allison working a crowbar through a mail slot and all of us plotting how we were going to scale a London wall to get in through the window. Lucky for us, Wayne was able to jimmy the lock after a couple of hours.
  • Fievel in Paris – Our last night in Paris was spent having a yummy dinner, watching the Eiffel tower sparkle at midnight and riding around in a cab with a driver determined to take us to a jazz spot. At least that’s what we thought; all we could understand of her enthusiastic statement was “blah blah, blah de de blah…de jazz”. So we said, “Wi…take us to de jazz!” We never ended up finding “de jazz” but we did come across a local watering hole to have our final champagne toast of the trip. We were there for maybe an hour before I spotted Fievel scurrying his way across the floor! You can image what ensued next, a chourus of “Eeeeekkkk! A mouse!” followed by all of us jumping up on the chairs. The manager of the lounge didn’t take too kindly to our behavior as he promptly flung some French our way along with a few gestures that loosely translated meant, “Get your feet out of my chairs boo…it’s just a little mouse”
  • Brit Patrol – Allison and I ended our British adventure with a typical French breakfast  (salmon and eggs) and mimosas in the Heathrow airport. At some point we realized it was time to head to our gate. As luck would have it, we got held up at security which forced us to make a mad dash to our gate as the boarding status was now showing “CLOSING” for our flight. But of course we had to be flying out of the gate that was a country mile away from security. So as we ran at break neck speed for our gate, battling the nausea from the salmon and eggs now churning in our stomach and gasping for air as we laughed uncontrollably. We finally made it to the gate only to be greeted by a cranky gate attendant screaming, “Why are you so late?! This is bloody ridiculous! You know I was about to pull your bag off the plane right? This is a transatlantic flight!! You checked in hours ago, what took you so long?!” After our old fashioned British tongue lashing, we promptly boarded the plane bound for the city of brotherly love.

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