Well hello there! I hope you are all very well and really getting into gear for autumn. I'm still sorting my coat (I'm stalking ASOS for a discount code!!) but am feeling excited for warm drinks and Christmas time. I rounded off the summer with my trip to Milan and it was a whirlwind of a weekend! We literally didn't stop to take a breath and it went so quickly, but I did manage to record a vlog below! The first night consisted just of a night out as we sped through East Midlands airport, applied our makeup on the £19.99 RyanAir flight, and drank beer on the coach to join our London friends at the apartments for around 10pm.
Our friends had been there since the early hours so we met them at a bar and rushed to get ready to hit the first super club called Alcatraz, which literally had suspended cages with topless dancers and about 3,000 students. Sadly I am so far from being a student that the sweaty, packed out bars and swaying teenagers meant it was not a place to meet an Italian stallion or have a fashionable cocktail. Milan itself is rather similar to Birmingham in being very industrial and grey, brightened by scrawled graffiti. We danced the whole night away and while we definitely weren't drunk enough to be in a student club, it played some fun stuff and there was a hip hop dance off and a huge stage!
I brought a variety of slightly new-ish outfits and wasn't too sure where we would go for the following nights, so I went for two separates instead of a dress, which to me seems less formal. This outfit is totally dressy but in my eyes, a dress would be even more so!
This navy Topshop bralet has really seem me through 2014 and goes with every skirt or bottoms possible. I bought this white skirt in the summer from Missguided on an impulse really as it's not the most wearable thing but it does brighten a look. I don't think black suits me as much anymore so white is a fresh alternative. These Choies shoes are not the most comfortable but they aren't too bad and I love love love how they add an extra spice to any outfit.
I also have blue in my hair! I bought some of that fancy dress hairspray colour in blue and it made my hair super crunchy but lasted all holiday and kept my curls in place! Very Kylie Jenner inspired. I wonder if I could get away with it for work...
And onto the next morning, and out first day! I woke up with a heavy head and was quite surprised the 10 euro Long Island Ice Teas were that brutal, but we soon realised we all felt very groggy because in Italy you can smoke in the clubs, and none of us are smokers! When I first started clubbing it was legal in the UK too, so the memories of coming home with your clothes and hair stinking of stale smoke were not very welcome again, and despite definitely not smoking myself, I could almost taste cigarettes for the whole holiday.
We gathered the troops and went in search for our first pizza, which was harder than you would think as we were surrounded by the curse of the tourist restaurants. You know the ones with the photos of the food and laminated menus? Even in the back streets of our apartment block, we searched for a while to come across a stone baked pizzeria and took the first bite of fresh Italian pizza, mmmm!
I'm usually the organiser for the trip but this time I sat back and followed the flow of the group. I'm not sure where our apartments were but my bed sat high up a spiral staircase on a ledge, so we were almost all in the same room, but not quite! Very cool! The other gals had visited the main Milan sights the day before so we navigated our way onto the train to Lake Como, around an hour away. The steep mountains and beautiful clear water lake actually extends for miles and miles, and we marvelled at the high hills and gorgeous views.
We jumped into a few pedalos to appreciate the water but these clunky old boats really didn't go very far, and we were pedalling like crazy and not going anywhere! It may have been our imagination but we bobbed around for ages and even watched some little kids whizz past us, and some Italian boys who rode past staring with one randomly wearing a creepy surgical mask, before shouting 'We love English!!!' at us! I've never laughed so much and you can catch a glimpse in my vlog below.
We managed to make our way to shore after narrowly avoiding a huge, speedy cruise ship, and took a vertical tram high up into the hills. The view was obscured by fog but we travelled back and had a sweet meal at an outdoor restaurant, where the waiter nearly set himself on fire when torching my creme brulee.
We soon realised time was ticking on fast as we finished our meal in the dark and headed off to find the train station. We ran Rocky-style up huge marble stairs but we had missed the train anyway, so grabbed some drinks for the next one from a supermarket. It was only an hour later when we reached the Milan central station that we realised the train conductor had been sitting in our carriage all along and possibly heard all of our X-rated gossiping!
We didn't actually get back to our apartment until midnight! This is even despite the mental Italian taxi drivers. We booked a taxi for 45 minutes later and literally threw on some makeup and clothes. I was going to wear this Missguided nude skirt again with a mis-matching crop top but the matchy-matchy thing just does it for me, and I love the shape of this crop top. I did feel a little naked in this outfit, but the tan colour and suede-esque fabric is so sophisticated, and I wanted to toughen up the look with some chunky leather sandals. I also added a deep red lip as I didn't get chance to wear false lashes, and it makes a statement when time is tight!
We had researched online and read that Hollywood was the top Milan club for 'supermodels, politicians and footballers'. Well we definitely picked the wrong night as it was again a sweaty student party, and after the 25 euro entrance fee, we thought we would find more than one packed out basement room! We navigated to a space to breathe in front of the VIP section (which cost 280 euros to enter!) and took many selfie stick photos, before attempting to buy a drink at the rammed bar and realising the mirror in the girls bathroom was actually clear right through to the boys bathroom! I didn't twig until I looked a little closer at my supposed reflection and also realised a girl next to me was arguing with her boyfriend through the mirror. Wild! We left the club and were about to visit another but they all had 15+ euro entry, so we got pizza and took our tired feet home!
The Sunday was the final day for the London girls, but myself and another friend were staying one more day. We took the metro to the centre and ate more pizza, visited Sephora, and roamed a castle. The day again went so quickly as it took a long while to navigate the tube, and at one point I got lost/kidnapped!! A tassle on my kimono got caught on a man's butt button hole and I was the last to step off the metro, so my one friend spotted me and frantically tried to keep the metro doors open, while I tried to yank off the tassle and an Italian woman intervened and tried to untangle the button. Soon enough, the metro doors had to close shut, the tram departed, and I was carried away from my friends into a dark tunnel with a tube of people laughing at me! After a few moments the man was set free and I stood alone on the travelling tube, looking around on my lonesome! I did just step off at the next stop and caught an oncoming tube back in the opposite direction, but it will still always be known as the time I got lost in Milan!
More ice cream later (thank you to blogger babe Sandra for the top Milan tips!!) and we had to say goodbye to the London girls, who were super inspirational and generally totally awesome. My friends are very career-driven and it really inspired me to lean in and push forward to achieve what I want to. It was then time for just my home girl and myself to get our Sunday night wear together at our new hotel, which for me was a Zara silk plunge top and new ripped Topshop Jamie jeans, which I had been wearing all holiday. These with my Choies lace up heels felt dressy but still casual, and we took the metro to the Navigli canal area for dinner and drinks. I'm secretly one of those people that strange things just happen to, and I never expect to go anywhere without coming home with a story. I don't think my mojo is going anywhere because we met some business men visting Milan for a vending machine conference, took them to a bar known for dancing on the tables, and tried a lot of red wine, before bumping into an American basketball team who could be world famous for all I know, until one of them asked us to name a price for him to spend the night with us, and we left pretty sharpish rather horrified! Girls - no night with the rich and/or famous is worth your dignity or nude pictures posted all over the internet. Run away!
And so we awoke to the check out time of our hotel being five minutes ago, and with a few more sights to see such as the Duomo above. As we were in the central station with our suitcases, some men did try to 'help' us buy our metro tickets and generally confuse us, until we said NO very firmly and I grabbed my euro from his hand. Be VERY careful when travelling of those who will distract your attention and act bizarrely so your guard is down. They can easily rob you, or their nearby friend can, before you know what's going on.
One airport McDonalds later and we were home from our Italian adventure! I think Milan is certainly a two day city and was SO EXPENSIVE, but we let our hair down and had so much fun discovering Milano. It's also worth noting I could see over the heads of almost everyone in the club but I still have a soft spot for those pint-sized Italians and their crazy driving. I also vlogged the experience, which was my first time vlogging and my first video in a looooong time. As my photography skills are non existant, I wanted to show you all my trip in real-time and take you along with me! Enjoy!