31 Days - England... and then nothing went right.

October 1, 2017

It's October, and that can only mean one thing... 31 Days as begun.

I came up with a wonderful topic for this year, storytelling, but alas I couldn't think of very many stories. I'm living with a touch of the brain fry.

So instead I'll be writing all this month on the topics 31 Days organizer Crystal emailed out a few days ago. Today's topic is...  my most memorable moment.


I went to England when I was 14. That might seem young, but at the time it felt like I had spent more than 14 years praying to God every night that somehow, someway, I'd be able to go to England.

Blame it on the Anglophile issue, my Beatles obsession, and it was the late 90's and the Spice Girls were all the rage. I might have even jacked my knee up wearing platform shoes around this time, but that's another story.

August 2000 came and we hoped on a plane headed for London, roughly the week before the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. I bought a tea dish to commemorate the occasion. It's actually hanging on my kitchen wall as we speak.

I couldn't have been more jazzed up about this trip.

However, I should have known things would come crashing down when I ordered my actual size in our mandatory "wear on the way there" shirt. Me, currently being a size 14 slim and wearing shrits from the kids section, was somehow shorted and ended up with a size adult extra large t-shirt.

I remember my mother begging adults to change shirts with me, no one would. There weren't enough scrunchies in the Southern United States to keep this shirt above my knees. It wore like some sad hybrid of a cocoon dress and an off the shoulder get-up. It was wretched.

But that is neither hide nor hair to the story. Actually, it is. It plays a sad role later on.

Between that an a panicked desire that demanded my mother to get me Sea Bands, I should have seen this coming.

The flight went well. As well as a 14 year old who was given an adult extra large shirt, and then sat far from her group and next to a man drinking whisky out of tiny bottles could go.

It was awkward. Clearly adults on this trip had their priorities in order... abandon children on an international flight... she's never even been to Florida.

Did I mention I went on this without a chaperone I was related to. I was at the mercy of other peoples parents.

Eleven hours from hell finally ended in my extremely large shirt and we were off to quickly run across London at a speed no other tourist has ever seen the likes of. It was a "take a quick look kids, you've got 10 days of work to do" kind of run through.

I was in heaven, a quick paced heaven where I was taking photos of monuments in a blur because I couldn't even stand still long enough to get my disposable camera to focus.

Then it happened.

We made it into Trafalgar Square.

I don't know if you're aware, but there's a McDonald's there. Some people from our group wanted to eat, so we went in. I recall remembering that I had to ask for ice if I wanted it, and then suddenly being hit with the feeling no teenage girl ever wants to feel in a large group of people you aren't that close to.

I had to puke.

Air sickness had kicked in and I was about to die 1000 deaths before this trip ended.

Sadly the bathroom at this particular McDonald's isn't on the first floor. I had to run downstairs holding in every ounce of embarrassment my body was about to reject.

As I made my way down the never end set of stairs to hell I noticed that the line for the women's bathroom was so long that it wrapped around the room. The men's, as I later found out, had one person in it.

One person too many.

My loving friend Rachel who had followed me down pushed me ahead of the women's line into the bathroom only to tell the attendant I was about to lose it and get shoved into the men's room.

I don't know if you've ever thrown up in a public restroom, let alone a mens. It isn't something I would wish upon anyone, or ever want to recreate for that matter.

Now this is where that one man comes into play.

There was one stall. 3 urinals. Or Ur-rain-ials as the Brits seems to say. There was a man in the stall. I had no choice, and in a state of total freakout Rachel shoved me to the urinal.

I puked.

I puked some more.

As soon as I thought my insides were on the outside and I was going to die in England, I opened my eyes to get a clear shot of the urinal full of my most feared sickness to see... the nasty beast was covered in pubic hairs.

Suddenly the feeling of hair in my mouth (not that I had somehow gotten pubic hair into my mouth) sent me into another puking spell.

When it all finally ended, there I stood covered in back splashed urinal puke in my extra large yellow as could be shirt with no dignity left to my name.

As we exited the McDonald's, or shamefully crawled out of there, I don't recall seeing the group. Somehow we didn't catch up with anyone until we were by the statues. I could still point out the statue.

As we walked up with my disgusting urinal puking self I begged the leaders to let me take the shirt off.

You didn't think I was wearing this off the shoulder adult extra large on my 14 slim frame without alternate clothing underneath did you?

All I wanted was to toss the shirt into the trash or let it be carried away by the creepy amount of pigeons near that monument, but no. No one would let me take off the puke covered shirt. I spent the remaining bits of that 1000 hour day covered in a far too large puke shirt.

It wasn't how I envisioned things going, that's for sure.