“Um, how do I open the door?” - Me to Frau via text because I got locked out (so I thought), experiencing a similar fear that I’m sure my Airbnb guests often experience with my janky door in Brooklyn. Just push harder. This is always the answer.
Tl;dr: Got up early early, got myself to my friend’s place, Frau Jess, to drop my bag off and hang out in her room all day while she worked (because I’m a mooch like that). Frau and I went to get coffee and talked about life and dreams and business ideas. Then I chilled at her place until going to meet an Airbnb friend, her husband, and her teeny weeny cutie baby, Ada, for tea (Ada just had milk). Then drinks and dinner with a cool international crew. I also saw my ex-bf (juicy).
So this was my last full day in London. And it was pretty baller.
I’m not really sure that anyone uses the term ‘baller’ anymore, but I do. It’s new for me. I didn’t always use it, but I’ve decided to now. I think I will use it multiple times in this post, because I feel like it and I do what I want. I got up around 7am, not very rested. This wasn’t because I shared my bed, it was because I was anxious. I think I felt a little overwhelmed, because I had told like three (maybe four) people the day before that I would do something with them. I was also trying to plan out the rest of my trip, and I had told friends in Germany that I’d be coming, and I really was just ready for sunshine, so I was like, “OK, maybe I’ll go somewhere else.” But basically a few things were up in the air, I had overcommitted myself to friends in London, and this caused me enough anxiety to keep me awake that night. These are good problems to have, and sometimes I just need to cool it.
So I woke up that day, make it to Frau’s place, and tried to relax. I messaged a few friends being like, “Hey, I’m not going to make it to Hamburg,” and, “Hey, I’m not going to make it to dinner tonight.” Then I was just really fucking tired from not sleeping. Frau was like, “Hey, put your bags here. Make yourself at home and let’s go get coffee before I go to work.” She’s the best.
How do you know Fraulein Jess and who the heck is she?
Great question. I’ve been meaning to tell you about her. She’s a gem, a real gem —like a rare gem you’d find while trekking in the mountain and you’d be like, “Woah, I’ve been searching for a gem like this all my life!” I met her in Munich a few years prior when traveling with my friend Aims. Aims knew Fraulein from growing up in Michigan, and they were roomies in college. After collegeFrau got the European bug and plopped herself in Germany, later meeting a lovely German man (after a lot of partying) that stole her heart. She’s now relocated to London, after the bf moved to the UK for a fancy job. She has a fancy job too, at a software company (so we related here). She is a baller, super friendly, outgoing, and funny as fuck — that type of person who you only know for five minuted before you fall in friend love. That’s Frau Jess.
So I was quite excited to see her in London. Like Biscuit, I relate to Frau on her worldliness, intelligence, and overall positive spirit. She’s super open-minded and fun, inspiring me to travel alone more and to go after my business dreams. How baller is that? So we went to get coffee at a library near her flat in Southwark. Yes, a library. I don’t remember the last library I’ve been inside. I was like, “OMG, so many books.” We were there for coffee though, not books. After this, we parted ways.
I had gotten a message on Airbnb that morning from a previous guest that had visited my apartment from Hong Kong. She was like, “Hey Miz, it’s me, that girl from HK. I hit my leg on your bed while I was there and now I have a really bad bruise.” In my head I was like, “Ok, cool, what am I supposed to do to help?” Via text I was like, “OMG I’m so sorry. I wish you told me while you were there and I will check out the bed and make sure it’s safe so other people don’t trip over the corner.” She kept messaging me, telling me that I should see the bruise, “It’s huge.” Ok. This is odd. WTF am I supposed to do to help? You left my apartment a week ago. She also told me a few times that she’s clumsy — not helping her case. I told Frau about this and we were laughing.
When I got back to her flat I hit my leg on Frau’s table, so I promptly sent her a message and a photo, warning her that her table corners weren’t very safe for guests. She got the message. I’m not sure it’s even safe to stay anywhere with all these corners and hard things everywhere these days. Ugh. I got over it quickly, and was like, “I want to go to the beach. Ok I’ll book a flight to Spain for Monday (this was Thursday).” So that’s what I did. I decided to go to Marbella. I found a cheap flight from Berlin and an excellent-looking Airbnb to stay in for three nights. I was pretty excited for some sunshine and beach time.
After booking flights, writing a bit, and trying to nap, I got my butt up. It was time to go meet my friend, Ada’s Mum, who’s recently had a baby.
She and her hubby were bringing the baby, and we were meeting for afternoon tea. I was very excited about this. I love babies and I don’t get to be around them much. I walked 45 minutes to St. James Park, since I didn’t feel like taking the tube, and I had been lazy all day. I met them outside the tube station, and could barely even see baby Ada because she was so teeny inside her little carrier thing. I met Ada’s Mum back in September of 2015 when she stayed with me on Airbnb. She was one of my favorite guests, visiting town for a book tour with her boss (some famous baker in London). I found Ada’s Mum inspiring. She went to culinary school, wrote a baking blog, has published two baking books, and is a food stylist for photoshoots. She did all of this after leaving her steady job. I loved that she went after something she was passionate about. I look up to women like her.
Her hubby, Ada’s Dad, was a gem. He took lovely photos while we walked through the park. Did I mention that Ada was only two and a half weeks old? Yeah, really. I was so flattered that they agreed to meet me. I loved their attitude. They were like, “Yep, life as usual, just with a baby now.” I was glad to find out that I’m the first Texan that the baby has met, so there’s that. That’s pretty baller, if you ask me.
I picked Ada’s Mum’s brain for a while with all kinds of silly questions like, “What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever had to style?” and “Have you ever had a wedding cake accident?” and “What’s your favorite dessert?” She had some good answers, my favorite being the first question,“I had to style ice cream with nail varnish in the cone (that’s nail polish to you, Americans), but we usedcolored mashed potatoes for ice cream.” That’s an industry secret, using mashed potatoes for ice cream photo shoots. Do with that info what you’d like.
I ate little finger sandwiches, sipped on earl grey tea, and scarfed a bunch of mini cakes while admiring little baby Ada and chatting with her Mum and Dad. She was an angel. I finally got to hold her. She wore little overalls in honor of Texas. She’s a girl after my own heart. I can just tell. This was my dream - tea in a park with friends and a little two-week-old mini-person. We all walked to the tube together and said farewell. Then I took a bunch of selfies on my walk home.
Next I made the trek back to Frau’s, rested for ten minutes, then took the tube to meet Frau and a friend at the pub. Then I saw my ex-boyfriend. Sounds juicy.
It’s actually not juicy, sorry. We had a glass of wine or two with Frau’s American-in-London friend then my ex-boyfriend came by, since he now lives in London. We have been in touch as friends, not too often, but often enough to want to catch up. To be honest, I was a little nervous about this. We’ve never hung out as friends, but I just assumed it would be fine and not weird.
It was fine and not weird. We dated like three years ago in NYC, but then he had to leave due to visa reasons, and moved to Japan for a year. I saw him again over a year ago when we spent new years together in the UK. After that trip we decided not to pursue anything furtherrelationship-wise, and to go on with our lives, since we were just too far apart and both wanted to end up in different places. It was the right decision. He’s a lovely person and will make a great partner for some awesome lady. We caught up on his job, and chatted about all my schemes and dreams. I met one of his Italian co-workers (they are smart mother fuckers working as software developers for some cool fancy music tech startup) who joined us for more drinks.
We moved onto another bar with some of Frau’s other international friends: a Canadian, Czech, and Swedish girl. These are the kinds of groups I love — super international. The boys left after a drink and us girls headed on to dinner. We got pizza at this great little Italian place. We also had wine. I was quite buzzed and thoroughly enjoyed myself. What a fun group of girls. I’m not surprised, because I know Frau attracts badass people. We scarfed our pizza and chit-chatted till very late in the night. I was thinking, “Ugh, I have to wake up early for my flight to Berlin tomorrow, but ugh, I also DGAF since I’m having fun and I can sleep tomorrow.” I was so happy with how I was spending my last night in London. They all convinced me to move there. Maybe one day.
Frau and I got home, excited for our slumber party. I needed to be up way too early for my flight to Berlin. I prepared my bags and outfit for the next morning, so I could roll out of bed and into my Uber, and onto the train, and onto my plane, and into my Airbnb in Berlin. Then after some chit-chat we got to sleep. It was a great last day.
Now onto Berlin.
- Fly too early to Berlin and sleep on my tray table the whole flight
- Arrive and find my bag is not at the airport
- Find my Airbnb, and wait for my bag, which does not arrive
- Track down some friends that are visiting Berlin and tag onto their plans the rest of the day
- Get to bed, still no suitcase.