I’m really excited to share the memory keeping project I’ve been working on lately. This is a scrapbook of the once-in-a-lifetime college study trip to Europe I got to take in 2017. It’s been five years now, and I’m finally getting it put into an organized and artful format that I can look back on.
Now, you might be wondering, “So, if this is Part 8… where are parts 1 through 7?” Well, that’s a very good question, and the answer would be that… well, um… they don’t exist yet.
I’ll be real with you: this isn’t the first time I’ve tried documenting this trip. In fact, it’s not even the second. This is my third attempt at making a scrapbook for my month in Europe. So instead of tearing apart what I’d already made for the first half of the trip (again), I decided to start from the end and work backwards. Luckily, I’ve finally hit a format that I’m really happy with and plan to see it through to the end. (Or… to the beginning?)
As a base, I used a 6×8 album from Ali Edwards and pocket page protectors from The Paper Studio. I had so much fun stuffing the pockets with bits and pieces from the trip: ticket stubs, receipts, pamphlets, business cards… Something about it is so satisfying! If you’d like to know where I got some my tools, I’ve collected a list of the products I used and linked them at the end of the post!
Our first outing back in London was the home of Samuel Johnson and lunch at a restaurant he frequented, Cheshire Cheese. I knew absolutely nothing about him at the time, so I learned a lot! For one, I learned that he wrote A Dictionary of the English Language (hence the giant dictionary). I also learned that, at the time of his writing, a giraffe was known as a “camelleopard,” which is possibly the funniest thing ever.
If you know me, you know I’m a huge nerd. You can bet that visiting Platform 9 ¾ was at the top of my London bucket list. You can also bet I bought some Harry Potter paraphernalia, hence the included receipt. I also created a little “Field Notes” card that I could print out each of my adventures and wrote out a little more about them with my vintage typewriter.
During a free evening, a group of us went to the home of Sherlock Holmes at 221B Baker Street, where they have a little museum and shop. In classic broke college student fashion, we elected to participate in only the free activities: basically, taking pictures from the outside and window shopping at the gift shop.
A special detail I couldn’t leave out was our many trips on the Tube. I never want to forget how stepping onto the metro marked both the beginning and the end of each adventure. (Nor can I forget being reminded by the PA system to “mind the gap” countless times.) I also included photos/stickers of the stations that served as our hubs throughout our stay.
On this night, several of us went to see The Phantom of the Opera. The music and sets were just incredible. (If I remember right, just after I took a photo of the stage at intermission, they came over the PA system to ask for no photography. So… don’t tell anyone about this, okay?)
Next up is a day trip to Bath. These are some photos from our walking tour, which included Pulteney Bridge (of Les Miserables fame), The Circus historic townhouses, and Jolly’s department store.
Some more snapshots from our walking tour of Bath, including a receipt and business card from a little shopping spree.
Here we have our main reason for visiting Bath: the Jane Austen Centre. (Please forgive the slightly frightening wax figure of Miss Jane on the pamphlet.) I was so entranced learning about her life. I was also entranced by a delicious afternoon tea in their tearoom!
After a long day of travel, I was just winding down for the night when some friends came to my room, asking if I’d go bowling with them. My bed was starting to look really cozy, and I came very close to saying no. But they eventually convinced me, and I am so glad I went. With the pop music blaring and friends around me laughing, I caught my second wind. You know that point when you cross over from “exhausted” to “I’m willing and ready to dance in public”? Yeah, that was me.
Here we have out trip to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. By this point we were all exhausted and starting to feel ready to be home… but there were so many more cool things to see!
And here we are inside the Tower. (Totally worth pushing through the weariness.) I was able to tuck the map and a souvenir receipt into the pocket pages, which I love so much. I can always pull them out and look back over the things I gathered while we were there!
This spread finishes out the Tower of London and moves on to something really exciting: lunch! Lunch was ramen at Wagamama. I love that I was able to include a clipping about the restaurant that I found in a travel pamphlet. This might be one of my very favorite pages in the whole album.
This was our last outing of the trip: the Keats House. I added a little half page to hold the pamphlet, so I can always pop it out and read about the museum again.
And here we are at the end of the trip. I could have included a bunch of reflective journaling, but honestly, I think this page covers the feeling of our departure: a wrinkled boarding pass and a photo taken sitting in the terminal, weary and ready to head home to share about our adventures.
This is shaping up to be my very favorite scrapbook I’ve made, so I’m really excited to share it with you. Stay tuned… Parts 7 through 1 will be coming soon!
If you’re interested in getting into memory keeping yourself, here are a few of the products I used for these pages!