Good-Bye Y’All

I cannot believe how quickly the end of the seminar came. I was very happy the time flew by fast only because that means it was enjoyable. Which it certainly was. Although the second to last night brought upon some less than needed drama, it was overall a fantastic trip with some wonderful people.

Our final site visit was to Freud Communications. They are an international public relations agency who is handling the communications for the Olympics. It was by far the best site visit. I don’t think any of us expected to be blown away like we were. They have some very impressive clients throughout the world, but there is something very different about them. Many international agencies will have satellite locations in different areas of the globe; however, they wanted to keep everything under one roof. They wanted to be able to guarentee all clients received the same “Freud” experience. Therefore, all of their communication strategies come from their London office. Too bad too, they’d be an amazing company to work for.  As I have said before in previous posts it has been a great experience visiting with current public relations practitioners. It provides even more motivation for me to get back home and start my career.

After visiting Freud four of us headed towards Piccadilly for one final show. Phantom of the Opera is celebrating its 25th anniversary on the West End. Our visit to Her Majesty’s Theatre to see the production was a great way to end the seminar. We all enjoyed some champagne and an amazing performance.

We had one final night to enjoy ourselves and our new friendships. About 8-9 of us went to a jazz club on Dover Street and enjoyed some very expensive dinners and drinks! We also shared a few dances on with the “adult” crowd as well. Unfortunately I didn’t get a group shot. I am sure someone did, and I will have to wait to steal that from Facebook.

Cassie, Me & Alexis With Matching Rum Punch
Tacy, Talar & Gloria

The rest of the evening was spent packing. Some of the group decided to attempt to pull an all-nighter in hopes to have a better chance of sleeping on the flight home. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to check into my hotel until about 4pm the next day and pulling an all-nighter has never been an option for me. My body just doesn’t do that. Luckily, my roommate picked up on that early on and was compliant and tried to take care of her packing before it turned into the wee, wee hours of the night. I think we were both set for bed by 2:30am.

The coach bus taking most of the group to Gatwick was set to leave from Regent’s at 5:20am. Ouch. I got up with my roommate at 4:50am. I helped her bring down some of her bags and said good-byes to the other students. It was sad to see them go, but I knew I was ready for the next part of my adventure…Justin coming! 
I snuck in about another 2 hours of sleep or so and then got up in time for me to check out of my dorm room. I shared a cab with Irene, another student who extended her stay. Luckily, we were staying just a few blocks from each other in the Canary Wharf area. It turned out to be a really neat area. It seems a lot more like NYC or Chicago versus London. 
I was able to drop off my luggage and then go meet my friend Jenny to return an museum pass to her. At one point I was walking past Regent’s Park and heard a familiar voice counting. Sure enough it was Jenny outside with her class. I snuck, well not really my ID was still valid, back into Regent’s to enjoy a free Starbucks. My roommate visited so often her punch card was full, but she never got to enjoy the perk. I stayed long enough to catch lunch as well. I only had a pound and a half left on my meal plan and tried to pay for the remainder with cash. The gentleman working the register ended up giving me the rest of the meal no charge. Lovely. After lunch I met Jenny again during recess. 
There isn’t much to do while waiting to check in to a hotel when you are really tired. So, I went shopping on Oxford one last time. I also shopped around the Canary Wharf area once I headed back towards the hotel. We were situated near two malls. I ended up finding a great workout clothing  boutique, Sweaty Betty.

Sweaty Betty Purchase
We used points for our visit, which is a very good thing because hotels in London right now are ridiculously expensive. They upgraded us to a suite that overlooked the canal and we had access to the executive lounge which means free food and drinks!

Marriott West India Quay
Our View

The remainder of my evening was spent lounging, but I was able to sneak in a three mile run which felt really awesome! I also obsessively checked the status of Justin’s flight. His flight out of Charlotte has a similar fate to mine- delayed! It wasn’t quite as bad as mine, but he did leave about two hours later than scheduled. Either way though, I slept soundly knowing he was on his way to London!

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