When Your Flatmate Turns 21…

…It’s a pretty big deal.  And that’s why I just spent the weekend in England at Lauren’s house to celebrate 21 years of awesomeness with her family and friends.

It started early morning on Friday.  I took a 45 minute bus, a 40 minute metro, waited at the airport for 2 hours, a 2 hour and 15 minute flight to Manchester, a realization that my plane landed at 12:20 but I had bought my train ticket for 11:30 (rookie mistake), and a 2 hour train ride to Leeds where Lauren and her mom picked me up and we made the 20 minute drive to Wakefield.  Phew.

And what better way to start the weekend than to beautify ourselves by getting our eyebrows done?  So Lauren and I went to the woman she and her mom had been going to for awhile and I began sweating immediately.  Let’s just say my eyebrow pain tolerance is incredibly low, so when I found out she would be threading them? Cue freak out.  My only experience with threading was earlier in the week when Lauren and I went to get pedicures in VdlC and they threaded our toe hairs 😂.  And if my little toe hairs could barely handle the pain, I couldn’t imagine what my baby eyebrows would think.  Well, the baby eyebrows didn’t like it either.  After some threading, waxing, and plucking (geesh, was I growing a forest up there??), I looked in the mirror and…


My eyebrows were BLACK.  The woman had colored them in, and since my eyebrows are normally very light blonde, the sheer contrast was intense.  The color, paired with the shape, made me look angry AF.  I had a minor panic moment, but after a couple days they have lightened a bit, and I have to say, it’s nice having 2 eyebrows of the same color now.

After that, I got to experience my first English pub with Lauren, her parents, and her aunt.  But then, something even more iconic: I tried my first fish and chips!  The fam taught me about all the sauces and whatnot that you can put on the fish and chips: curry sauce, salt and vinegar, brown sauce, red sauce (ketchup), and pea sauce, which I learned the hard way isn’t called pea sauce but rather “mushy peas.”  Who knew?  But it was delicious!  Later that night, we went and picked up Lauren’s friend, Jack, from the airport.  Lauren and I even made a welcome sign for him based on one of our favorite Spanish songs here!


Then, Saturday was the big day!  We all slept in and then went on a walk with Lauren’s aunt’s neighbor’s dog.  In the evening we all got ready and then people started coming over for some drinks before dinner!  Several people came to surprise Lauren, which was really sweet.  Among some of the cool people I met were Lauren’s friends Patrick, Charlotte, Charlie, and Chris.  They were people I’d heard so much about but hadn’t met yet, so it was great to finally get a chance to spend time with some of the important people in Lauren’s life.  When drinks were finished, Lauren’s parents rented a bus to take everyone over to dinner which was at a place called 3 Acres.  It. Was. INCREDIBLE.  We had our own private room and had a 3 course dinner…what’s better than that?!  I got pea risotto, then chicken and mashed potatoes, and finally some amazing banana bread, which Chris couldn’t finish, so I graciously ate the rest of his too 😂.  Lauren’s dad made a really sweet speech, and overall it was just a really good time talking, laughing, and of course, eating.

Course 1

Course 2

Unfortunately, the food had to run out at some point, so the bus took Lauren, me, Jack, Patrick, Chris, and Charlie to Leeds to go out for the night.  We started at Viaduct, which was a really cool gay bar!  Then we made our way over to Rev’s, where they have a bunch of different flavors of vodka, including black cherry, bubble gum, watermelon, peanut butter and jelly, and birthday cake to name a few.  We also got kicked out because Charlie was so tired that she fell asleep on one of the couches upstairs and the bouncer thought she was drunk and made us take her outside 😂.  When the rain started, it was our cue to leave, so Lauren, Jack, and I got an Uber to McDonald’s (to which Lauren’s mom would eventually say, “We had that amazing 3 course meal and then you went and got McDonald’s?!”).  Turns out English McDonald’s have banana milkshakes and I of course couldn’t pass up that opportunity.  We finally made it home and were in bed by around 5:30 am and we slept until about noon because the next big event was happening that day!

As if a 3 course meal wasn’t enough for the weekend, Lauren’s parents hosted a cookout at their house on Sunday.  More people came over to celebrate Lauren, and we ate all kinds of things (shout out to Cate for the bomb.com food and to Patrick for the amazing burgers and sausages!).  We were even lucky enough to have good weather, so we were able to stay outside the whole time!

Before long, everyone had gone and the busy weekend came to an end.  I packed up and decided to get a couple hours of sleep before Patrick took me to the Leeds train station at 1:15 am to begin my journey home.  By the time I was back home it, was 12:30 pm Madrid time, and I’m wiped!  Lauren will be back in a few hours and it’s back to school tomorrow.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lauren, Cate, and Patrick for welcoming me into their home this weekend.  It was an honor to help celebrate Lauren’s birthday, and it was so nice to have a home away from home since I haven’t been home since the beginning of January (I even accidentally called Cate “mom” while I was there 😂).

In other news…
-Last weekend, Minorka, Sofía, Nicole, and her roomie Christy went to Casa del Campo, a giant park in Madrid, to go to the Parque de Atracciones.  It was a neat little theme park with a couple roller coasters and other rides.  It was really fun, but we realized we were way too old because we were all feeling dizzy and nauseous after the rides.

-Mother’s day was yesterday and I was really sad not being able to help celebrate with my mama and grandma and aunt and everyone, but HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers out there who have one of the most difficult jobs in the world – thank you for all you do!

-Also, ELAINE COMES TOMORROW!!!  I’m meeting up with her after school, and I can’t wait to spend the week with her in Madrid and Barcelona!  Stay tuned for that!

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