Today is Sunday time to look back in the rearview mirror and talk about my week . I am linking up to the Sunday Post hosted for years by Kimberly@caffeinatedreviewer .
As today is the first Sunday of July, I’ll also talk about my favorite June books.
In my private life
I am back from YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) London and from France too!
I have plenty to tell you but will try to get to the core of it and I have a first bunch of pictures too!
First thing first: YALC!
Our travel was uneventful and we were quickly in our hotel. But an unwelcome surprise awaited us: the hotel had changed owners ( we knew that) and no longer offered breakfast… among other things. What hotel does not give breakfast???
Anyway, we had plenty of time ahead of us that day and we went for a 21 km walk along the Regent’s Canal starting from Little Venice to Camden Market and going through St James Park and Primrose Hill.
If you ever go to London and want a charming walk, I recommend that one!
It was the first time we did it and it was so peaceful! Even at the heart of a big city.
There are boats mooring on the docks where people live all year round and they looked like boho houses in bright colors with little gardens on the gate!
On the second day, Thursday, we went to visit the Warner Bros Studio: Harry Potter world!
To make it easy, as it’s outside of London, I had booked our places on special buses (with HP movie on the trip).
It’s not cheap going to Harry but worth every penny!
I plan to go back because it was magical!
Seeing the decors, the costumes, etc. I never realized that the kids lived there all year long and had teachers educating them at the studio! They went to class four hours a day and were on set filming for another four hours! And that for ten years!!!
Imagine the bonding now between all these actors!
The making of masks of the Goblins was also a fascinating process! I never truly realised that there were not only actors, cameramen and directors… on a set but there are engineers, builders, graphic designers, sculptors, artists of all trade!
On Friday, we skipped YALC to show Oxford and its colleges to my daughter!
We were on a train again and it was tricky to understand that, as we bought our ticket at the station, we had no designated seat while people booking online had , in fact, a designated seat! If you want my opinion, it was a mess! We understood pretty quickly that we had to aim for seats with a small green light above but it’s not “instinctive” to understand that. No wonder tourists were seated in booked seats and locals were not happy. That gave a shuffle and people traveling standing…
Oxford was wonderful and we even paid for a guided tour of the Bodleian library!
I just had to being a bookworm and a fan of “A Discovery of Wicthes!”
We learned a lot of interesting facts, like books being chained to the walls because no book was allowed to be taken outside of the library, no kindling allowed (so very short reading time in the past centuries before the invention of electricity) and many other interesting informations!
We had a grand time!
On Saturday and Sunday, we attended YALC!
I was amazed at being recognized by so many! Many were fellow bookstagrammers who said hi. I even got a DM on Instagram when I was queuing, telling me “I think I am seated close to you.”. And when I raised my eyes, my neighbor was waving at me 😉
I was even given the biggest hug from @bookishburns who was selling her amazing candles and who had recognized me from three years ago when I had bought her candles!!! I was amazed!
I met Cassandra Clare (photo op with some questions we could ask her). She was very sweet! And her editor who had to manage the insane queue (more than 300 people) hushered us along but tolde me that “I love your glasses!”. :-).
I also had a totally crazy hair day the day I met Cassandra! London’s water and weather had me wearing poofy hair!!!
I bought way too many books, won three books too and had an amazing time! Chatting with people I have met online was a big perk of the experience! That had never happened to me before this year!
Probably recording all the reels and lives on Instagram hepled people recognize me and come say hi. It was heaven!
I came to see Brigid Kemmerer, Cassandra Clare, Alice Oseman and Katherine Webber (who signed after having slept only three hours and wearing… a crown of course!).
The any down was that YALC was not in its usual place, a big room separate from the ComicCon and the noise coming from the comic con made it impossible for me to understand properly the speakers at the discussion panels.
On Sunday, we left YALC early and went for a walk on Picaddilly street as my daughter and I wanted to go to Waterstones.
And there, I had the best surprise!
They had the setting of Charlie’s room from Heartstopper and of Kia’s cabin from Where the Crawdads Sing!
All in all, within 5 days, we walked 68 km!
Then, after being back for one day in Belgium, I headed for one week to the South of France with my husband! You’ll get the pictures next Sunday!
I really unplugged from social media and I’ll be back liking and commenting your posts from now on!
In the meantime, I am leaving you with my last reel where I show you how a T Shirt can change me in my favorite Cochran queen!
On the blog (click on the graphic to read the post)
Not many things happened on the blog while away but I had planned two reviews of two very very good books!
Thanks for reading! I’ll catch up with you all today and next week!
Wow, Sophie, this sounds like such an amazing trip! I’ve always wanted to see the Harry Potter World and visit Oxford, so I’m glad to hear you enjoyed both so much. YALC sounds great too and I love that you were a bit famous there, lol.
I hope you’ll get to visit HP world one day Suzanne!
What an awesome trip, Sophie! So glad that you made the most of it all and got so many books too!! Next time in London, I’ll make the detour for the WB studios too now. 😀 Thanks for sharing!
You are most welcome Lashaan!
Wow, looks like you had an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing the pictures, it all looks like so much fun! I’ve been to London before, but never YALC or Oxford or the Harry Potter studios, so I’ll need to change that as now I really want to see it all too 🙂
I hope you will Lindsey!
Sounds and looks like ya’ll had a great trip!
An amazing one!
Regent’s Canal looks like something out of a movie, wow! So beautiful! And that’s so amazing you got to go there and see HP! My oldest is currently reading book 3, once he’s done with the series then we’ll watch the movies. 🙂 Awwww I’m so happy you got to go to that book event and that so many people recognized you! My heart is so happy for you Sophie ♥!
Thank you Jen!!
Wow I am loving all of the pictures that you shared here and I would love to do the Harry Potter tour, looks so fascinating and fun! Crazy your hotel didn’t offer breakfast, I have never seen that either.
Sounds – and looks – like you had a blast, Sophie! That would be a perfect vacation for me with the tours and books. Looking forward to hearing about your trip to France.
I think you’d have had a grand time as well Teri!
Ahhh! So envious! I have always wanted to attend YALC and it has been so long since I have visited London that I am now itching to go after reading your post. I hope that you had a wonderful second half of your trip and I look forward to reading all about it.
And I hope you get to go to London soon!
It’s clear that you had a great deal of fun with this trip, and looking at your pictures I’m just a tiny bit envious… In a good way, of course! 😉
I did have an amazing time Maddalena!
Wow. What a fabulous trip! My friend and I are planning a trip to Paris and then Ireland. I can’t wait to go!
Oooh we’ll need pictures Laura!
I’d love to get back to London! We were only there 2 nights so we had to cram in as much as possible. I did go to Waterstones and that was amazing, but they didn’t have staged scenes like you show. I’d also love to see Christ Church College and the Bodleian Library! It sounds like you had such a wonderful visit. Now you need a vacation from your vacation to get some rest after running around!
I am like a never ending well of energy so I am not (too) tired Rachel 😉
What a great trip!!
It really was Jen!
No breakfast? Yikes! Glad you had a good time though. I love the sound of that hike by the canal, and those boats… remind me of a book I wanted to read about people living on narrowboats living on English rivers.
France sounds good too. 🙂
If you ever get the chance to visit London, I’d totally recommend that walk Greg!
Oh man those trips / adventures sound AWESOME!!!!! Strolling along the canals, the HP stuff, all of it!!!!
It was! 🙂
What an amazing trip you had! I’d love to visit London and the Harry Potter but we are still staying at home mostly. I’ve been to France and there’s much I’d love to see again there.
Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post
It was the first real trip in a city since COVID Anne!
I’m so glad you had a wonderful time in London. I’d love to visit Harry Potter World there. I’ve visited Hogsmeade in Los Angeles and it was so fun. I was completely in awe and bliss being there. I’m glad you had such a great time at YALC too. I’d love to attend a book convention someday. Maybe, I’ll save up for YALC. Cassandra Clare’s so nice, isn’t she? I had a chance to meet her a few years ago and she was so down-to-earth. I hope you have a great week.
She is extra nice!!
I would love to go to Harry Potter World, London! I’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL and loved it.
I bet it was great too!
I’m so glad you had such a nice time at YALC! And I am jealous you got to go to HP world in London. We wanted to go while we were there, but we only had 2 days in London!
Two days would indeed have been too short!
That looks like a great time! I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation!
Wow, it sounds like you had an amazing time doing all those things I love that Cassandra Clare photo op, that’s so clever. And Charlie’s room!! How sweet
I indeed had an amazing time Tammy!
Sophie you had a great time!!! Love the pics and can’t wait to see your France ones next week
Thank you Caro!
What an amazing trip! Thank you for sharing the pictures, as I am sure I will never get to visit London again. Cassandra Clare really is nice. We went to the midnight release of CoHF, and I was impressed with how much time she spent with (the then) WLABB kids with such a long line to deal with.
She really does take her time with the fans!
It’s fun to read what is common/expected at hotels in other countries, that are not so common here. Like breakfast. I rarely see breakfast included with a hotel stay. It might be *available* but that would be for a cost (and usually a higher cost than if you went out for it). The train seating sounds like a nightmare. How do you know to look for the green lights? I love the set-up of Charlie’s room in Waterstones! I would have squealed seeing that. LOL
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
Usually we have to pay for breakfast as well Tanya. And I did! That’s why it was even more raging. Also in the US, we never took our breakfast at the hotel but there were plenty of places offering breakfast. That was not the case here.