My original plan for this trip was to post on the blog “live” the day of or the day after things were happening. I love following along with blogs that are amazing at this because you feel like you’re getting to experience their life unfolding in real time. That’s still my goal, long term, but once Porter proposed on our second night in London that kind of efficiency pretty much went out the window. We’ve been suspended in a sort of happy dreamlike isolation ever since.
Before this morning, we took things extra slow. We’ve been soaking up having just arrived in Greece, falling asleep on the beach, swimming in the Aegean all afternoon, and finally getting to talk out all the details of the big secret Porter was keeping from me these past few months. I know that sounds obnoxiously picturesque, but to be honest it really has been that kind of toes-in-the-water, fresh-squeezed orange juice, zipping around town on a Vespa, we just got engaged kind of blissful. Nothing cements a memory like a new place, and I know I’ll be counting these as some of our most sacred.
But more on that later, more on our engagement and how it happened and Greece and when we got here, now back to London, day 1, where my life quietly made its way toward a demarcation line I had no idea was coming.
We landed around six am and got to our hotel, The Rosewood, where not only was our room ready very early (love when this happens after red eyes!) but we got an upgrade to the biggest and most beautiful room either of us have even toured, let alone got to stay in (more on this later, too). Neither of us are great at sleeping on planes so we were pretty tired but we love London a whole lot so we decided to just hit the ground running. We walked along the Thames for a good few hours, hanging out, shooting, talking, and filming for what I would later discover to be not our first “vlog”, as I originally thought, but a video Porter was making about our engagement (it’ll be up here soon, I promise). Later, we headed to Big Ben, wandered around downtown some more, explored The Rosewood a little, and went to an early dinner at Cafe Monico.
Porter and I both have a strong inclination toward “prohibition” style restaurants with modern industrial accents, I know this sounds absurdly specific but there’s actually handfuls of restaurants like these in Boston and around the world and we take a kind of quiet pride in discovering them (or letting Port’s mum discover them for us).
Cafe Monico is just like that, dark wood with an atrium at the center, lots of natural light, brass accents, and just the kind of relaxed artistic vibe we both love for a creative energy refuel. It helps that it’s a member of Soho House so the people in there just generally seem interesting. It’s the kind of place you imagine a writer getting a corner table at and having no lack of inspiration.
Neither of us slept that first night, I really struggle at transitioning to the time zone when I first get to Europe (always have no matter how many times I went to and from school in Dublin) and didn’t fall asleep until around 3 am. Port couldn’t sleep either, for reasons that are pretty obvious now.
It’s so funny how sometimes life changes so gradually and silently, and a year goes by and you realize you’re a different person when you come across a photo from the year before. I’m used to that kind of change and have felt it again and again over the past five years. But other times, life changes with a louder bang and, even if it’s a good change, it leaves you a little shell-shocked and skimming over small details again and again. That’s what my heads been doing most of these past few days. It feels so different from that first, gradual kind, but lends that same peaceful feeling a progression you were so hopeful for always seems to.
And that’s how it’s been since London: a deep kind of peaceful. Even when frantically running to make connections and dealing with flight delays and grabbing Porter’s hand during unexpected turbulence, there’s a sudden steadiness in all the busyness that wasn’t there before. And it’s the best kind of feeling.
Anna Lisa + Porter