Back in February, one of my closest friends in the world came and visited me in Chiang Mai. Alex has been living in Reigate, Surrey for a couple years herself, and since I was already crossing a couple oceans to return to America, I decided to stop and chill with her for a few days. Let me tell you: one of the best travel decisions I've made. From the moment she met me at the airport, this gem showered me with hospitality, welcoming my frantic and jet-leggy self, listening to me rant on and on about Thailand and willing to do touristy things again and again because I'd only be in town for a hot second.

Spending time at her place was heavenly. The light in her and Jana's apartment ALONE was enough to make me never want to leave. Jana has plans to be in England for a little longer, so she had invested in making the place look homey and downright beautiful. The two of them grow herbs in their front yard, fill the flower beds with lavender and their flat looks like something out of a Hugh Grant movie.

Speaking of lavender, the second day that I was in town we headed to Mayfield Lavender Farm, an incredible farm filled with purple. We walked and took photos and I enjoyed the (to me) freezing breeze. There were bees everywhere, so I conquered some fears walking in and out of the rows of lavender blooms. We ate fairy cupcakes and drank lavender lemonade at the café before leaving. Never have I visited a farm so visually stunning. 

On the first full day, Alex, Jana, Fairlight and I visited Hever Castle. I'd never before explored a castle, and Anne Boleyn's childhood home didn't disappoint. The grounds were lovely, gardens and floral displays out the wazoo. The exhibits themselves were fascinating, centering on Henrys and Annes and Catherines and Katherines. The history of this place really was astounding. 

After a delicious Indian lunch of chicken Korma (sorry, not sorry), we finished up castle-wandering with a bout through a hedge maze, another new phenomenon. The center of the maze was a simple obelisk, but finding it was really the prize, this was no easy maze. Some of the dead ends weren't quite dead ends, and you totally could have squeezed through a few of the rows if you tried hard enough.