Exploring Brighton Part 1!









Last Friday morning I set out early for Brighton, UK.  Brighton is a fishing town which has been a destination for weekend getaways from London for decades and I can certainly tell why!

When getting off the train I headed for my Airbnb to drop off my bags.  For those of you who don't know about Airbnb it is "a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world."  Basically, people list out either a bed, futon or flat and you can purchase it as if it was a hotel room for the night or longer (and normally for cheaper!).  I had a very good experience with mine and if you want to check it out for yourself the website is http://www.airbnb.com.  I then went down in the direction of The Lanes which is the area of the local shopping streets.  Many of the businesses in this area are not what you would call "high street" and many aren't even chain stores thus providing a very welcoming local feel.  I stopped in for lunch at The Flour Pot Bakery and let me just say that if I ever owned a bakery I would want it to look exactly like that.  It had dark blue/gray wood with marble counters and everyone was very friendly.  After eating my sandwich and brownie, I wandered through the area.  Some of my favorite stores I popped into were Sugar Hill (http://www.sugarhillboutique.com/), Edited (http://www.editedbrighton.com/), Lavender Room (http://lavender-room.co.uk/), Oliver Bonas (https://www.oliverbonas.com/#), and Sass & Bell (https://www.sassandbelle.co.uk/).  I didn't end up getting anything from these shops but it was delightful to look around.

After reaching the end of that area I stopped into Boots, a UK pharmacy chain, to pick up a few things that I had forgotten for the trip.  From there I kept heading away from the lanes and ended up at none other than the English Channel!  I have only seen large bodies of water twice in my life - once when I was little went to the Golf of Mexico and in 2013 when I was in Lima, Peru - thus I am fascinated by vast amounts of water.

Now, I had left my jacket back at the Airbnb because I had gotten hot on my walk from the train station.  Needless to say, this was not the smartest idea.  By this point in time the weather was starting to get "British."  The weather was 'mist' as my app likes to tell me which means that you can't really feel it but it can definitely give you the chills after  a few minutes walk.  Basically, I was slowly getting very wet.  Also I might as well mention at this point that I had only brought my black ankle booties with me on this trip... not the best idea I've ever had...

I decided to walk to the right because I wanted to see the colorful sheds that Brighton is known for.  Needless to say, I didn't realize it was a few miles away. But I walked by the channel and it was quite nice - even in the mist.  Along the way I passed West Pier.  This pier was built in 1866 (before Brighton Pier which was opened in 1899) and was closed in 1975 because the owner was overly ambitious.  Since then there has been numerous things to go wrong with the property.  Storms, sections falling into the sea, fires, ect.  There is a restoration effort in place to rebuild West Pier but there have been many many issues with it and it looks like it is really up to a coin toss if it ever gets rebuilt again.

As I kept walking I eventually ended up at the sheds!  There are quite a lot of them and they are located in Hove (there really isn't a definite distinction between Brighton and Hove that I could figure out).  Basically these beach huts have specific rules about what they can be made out of, how big, how to be decorated, ect (if you want to know more I found the leasing site http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/leisure-and-libraries/seafront/beach-huts which has all the guidelines).  Either way, it was worth the hike.  They are quite wonderful to see and they spread along a large portion of the beach front.

From there once I had decided it was cold enough that I needed to leave to get my coat, I took out my handy dandy google map app and it said I had a forty minute walk back to the Airbnb.  I started walking and by that time I had decided to go into every store that I knew to see about buying a sweater... I tried Primark, H&M, Topshop, Zara, Urban Outfitters, and ten others who I couldn't even tell you what they were.  This was over the entire distance that I was walking back and I didn't ever find one that I liked.  I also stopped into some of them just to get warm... again, I didn't dress the smartest for this particular day.

While wandering through the main mall which I had run across halfway through my search and I found Tiger.  Tiger is a store originating in Copenhagen which sells bits and bobs.  There really isn't another way to describe it.  But its nice and you can find many things that you don't think that you need in there such as a cactus in a flower pot which is actually a pen and its stand.

After Tiger I stopped nextdoor into Superdrug to see if they had Zoella Beauty (Zoella is a beauty and lifestyle Youtuber and Brighton resident who just launched her new beauty and bath line at Superdrug) and got myself her Let's Glow fragrance candle and the body lotion.  Seeing as that most of her products are for bath time and I don't have a bath tub in my dorm I couldn't get anything else.  Needless to say, I actually can't light the candle in my dorm room but it still smells lovely!

Leaving the mall, I had to resist the urge to stop into a Costa or Starbucks to get a hot chocolate.. that really means that every time I passed one I saw that there was a really long line and then convinced myself that I could make it.

I made it back around six and met my lovely host and her husband.  They were absolutely wonderful! I was chatting with her in the living room and she was sweet and offered me what the British would call 'tea' with milk and sugar while also showing me how it is made - I didn't drink my tea any other way for the next few days. While we were talking it had started to pour outside and instead of having me go out for dinner she let me make one of my favorite foods: grilled cheese!!!!  (story behind this: basically the kitchen in my dorm only has a microwave, toaster, kettle, fridge and freezer.  Thus I cannot make anything unless it can be made in one of these.)  At this point that was exactly what I needed to feel like I wasn't quite so alone in a foreign country.  And to top off the cake I even made it perfectly!  That plus the popcorn I had in my bag and I was set!  When her husband and her were about to eat their dinner and we all sat down and watched Wallace and Gromit  in The Curse of the Were Rabbit on Netflix.  They explained what part of England this was suppose to be set in and explained a few of the jokes along the way making it quite enjoyable.

After that we said our nights and I started to plan another adventure to come tomorrow!

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