The Brief UK Lowdown -- London and Steyning.

Our brief jaunt into London (a day layover on our way to the photo shoot in West Sussex) resulted in hanging out in train stations, experiencing one of the worst hotel rooms on the planet, and finding the joys of Covent Garden. I'm in love with Marks & Spencer-- a very cool grocery store that carried pre-made gluten-free sandwiches. I just about died and almost bought out the store. (Note-- I'm obsessed with visiting grocery stores in other countries. Seeing the differences/similarities... everything. It's like a theme park to me, and it's AWESOME. Except the hot dogs in a jar. I don't think that's so awesome. Sorry, Wales. lol)

[It was dedication to stand in that phone booth. You do not want to smell what's inside of there!]

So I'm going to tell you about Steyning and the gorgeous countryside outside of London instead.

[The light is different here, so as a photographer, it was an interesting observation!]

Melissa Love and I met through the Showiteers Facebook group. I said I was coming to Europe, and she said we should shoot together. The rest spiraled into history. Jane Austen was mentioned. I freaked out. And we co-orchestrated a massive photo shoot with 40 photographers, wonderful vendors, and beautiful models. But the shoot alone deserves its own blog post so I won't chat about it now.

Melissa picked Meghan and I up from the train station, and it was as if we already knew each other. Well, we kinda did! The blessed wonders of the internet. ;)

[I did a much better frolic at the Jane Austen shoot. lol But look!! Hogwarts to the right! Okay... not really. But it is a school. And it looked like it could be. haha]

She made a detour to a meadow, I frolicked, and then we were taken to our hotel before the evening at the Loves' with other photogs and the sort.

First thing first. A BBQ in the UK means eating outside. So you can imagine my surprise when I showed up about to ask if they needed help with the grill... and was greeted with delicious Italian herbs and dishes. No grill in sight. It wasn't until midway through the meal I realized that BBQ meant something different here than in the States.

[The beautiful tablescape Melissa created!]

So when everyone arrived, people got to chatting and sharing, it became a realization that I was surrounded by so many great stories and experiences. Whoever thinks photography business and knowledge can only be contained in one country is ridiculously sheltered and close-minded. Equipment, training, and everything. I looove hearing how others do things. If you haven't heard of Aspire, you should read about them! There is nothing like them in the States, and I was in awe at this concept and dedication to revolutionizing the photography industry in the UK. AMAZING.

The Jane Austen shoot happened the next day, but again, that gets its own special post... ;)

On our last day, we took a walking tour around Steyning and the Tudor Era and thatched buildings made me smile. It was like stepping into another time and place.

It's our last full day in the UK, and we head home soon. I carry a can of baked beans (YES I love them! I promise they're different than the ones back home... I can actually eat these, and they're amazing on jacket/baked potatoes!), other random food items, photos, and wonderful memories. Maybe I'll be blessed and get to come back very soon. It's strange to me to feel so connected to a place when I've lived any and every where.

Next up will be Wales and then Jane Austen!

- Chelsea :)


  1. Lovely post - and I think you were VERY brave to not only enter the big red box, but to shut the door! Sorry you had a dreadful hotel room experience but so happy you have enjoyed the beautiful Sussex countryside - & M&S! x
    Looking forward to seeing your Jane Austen post :))

  2. OMG...Ryan and I spend half of our vacations in other grocery stores--love it! And those beans are different...sometimes you can find them around here. :)

  3. Thankfully my father-in-law has found the Heinz Beanz in the grocery stores here! Life is restored. :)