I’m buzzing with happiness.
My morning was filled with a return trip to Platform 9 3/4 (because the queue was only like 4 people long at 8am), finding the large Google office in back of Kings Cross station, adventuring with Jack around Covent Garden (and realising that everything in central London was walkable on foot and not necessary to take the tube for).
We all reunited in the afternoon in Westfield Stratford center for a lovely lunch together – it felt so comfortable yet so different to be reunited without any time constraints once again. It probably felt normal because we had all lived, ate, breathed, etc. together for 4-6 months straight and were just accustomed to each other’s company. But it just felt so much more special to have travelled over 4,000 miles on my dream trip, conveniently at the start of the year when everyone else wanted to meet up as well.
It was crazy – catching up, congratulating Ashleigh on her engagement and briefly meeting her fiancée, screaming as loud as we could when the panto performers did a shoutout for the Pacific Jewel crew, all the same banter, “OHMYGAWWWDNOWAYYYY,” etc. I hadn’t been this happy in the past two months since I left the ship, so reuniting with everyone felt so right and so amazing.
The panto itself was incredible because Ash is a stellar performer. Her voice is like that of a goddess (as well as her acting and expressions), and the random little acts with the drag queen, dancing toys (more like a session of them tripping out on acid), modern dance numbers, and extremely bizarre scenes mixed in with the story itself – it was so cool. My first panto experience was officially enjoyable all thanks to Ash.
With 15 of us on the tube back to central London from Ilford, we clearly caused chaos (much like our NYE group). We only got a mere hour of dirty martinis with everyone, but it was a well-needed and lovely reunion nonetheless. I had never been a part of a reunion so large and worthwhile before – it was just like seeing my favourite people all over again.