YOLO…it’s an acronym meaning “you only live once.” When my school announced a trip to Europe which would include 4 days in London, England, my friends and I knew this was the experience of a lifetime that we couldn’t miss…and it proved to be just that! One day stood out more than the rest though, the day we visited Westminster Abbey.
Before we visited the church we stopped at a pub to eat lunch and were told to meet back at Westminster at 1:30. The pub proved to be everything we imagined it to be and precisely matched the image painted by all the movies. While at the pub we all agreed to eat the staple food of England, fish and chips, which was AMAZING!! My friends and I were all caught up in the fish and chips, which we affectionately nicknamed “our manna from heaven,” when one of my friends glanced at her watch. Of course it was 1:20 and we had 10 minutes to finish our meal and make the 10 minute walk back to the church. We scrambled to grab our food, wrap it in napkins, and pay our waitress as we literally ran out the pub and down the street eating the remainder of our meal. As we hurried back to Westminster we did have time to stop and take a picture of the four of us holding our “to-go” meals with huge smiles plastered on our faces…from that moment on our group was appropriately dubbed “group positivity” because of our ability to take a stressful situation and manage to have a blast during it. After that adventure in itself we were able to tour Westminster Abbey, which was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Walking around the church, my friends and I admired all of the ornate coffins that encased all of the previous rulers of England. The pure beauty and magnitude of the church shocked me. While walking around, my friends and I found a slab on the floor dedicated in honor of Sir Charles Dickens, the author of many classic works of literature. As freshman, we had all been required to read Great Expectations, which we absolutely hated, so we all jumped at the chance to walk over his grave. In addition, we saw many famous British residents including Sir Isaac Newton, Geoffrey Chaucer, and William Shakespeare.
As we kept walking around the outer parts of the church we discovered this outdoor area that resembled the wizarding school of Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies. Later on in the day we discovered that part of the church had been used to film a few of the scenes from the movie. Seeing as my friends and I are huge Harry Potter fans, we all had heart attacks seeing as we had, for all intents and purposes, visited Hogwarts. When we went back to our hotel room that evening, we recalled our day full of fish and chips “to-go,” seeing famous Britians, and visiting Hogwarts. As the trip proceeded nothing was able to top that day in London. When I got home from the trip and it came time to plan my senior schedule I was sure to make that I wanted to take Advanced Placement European History. I wanted to learn about the people I had seen and paid respect to at Westminster Abbey. My friends and I all agree that our trip to London was the trip of a lifetime and that we really did embody the meaning of YOLO, rolling with all the punches and making lifelong memories.
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