Our 1st Anniversary!

Taylor and I recently celebrated our Honorary Anniversary! Honorary because due to us being long-distance, we won't actually get to be together on the real date, 30th September. We instead celebrated on September 1st - which was kind of funny as we hadn't actually met on September 1st last year! (We met on September 21st for anyone whose interested!)

Tay is currently staying with me in London and we planned to celebrate just over a week before she went back to America. I'm going to guess anyone in a long-distance relationship knows that the last few days can be tainted by sadness due to one of your impending departure, and we didn't want the day to be affected by this. We decided to do a whole day of activities and because I'm incredibly, magnificently lucky, Taylor planned me some lovely surprises along the way!!

Taylor goes running most mornings and she set off to do this on the morning of our anniversary. She's normally about half an hour but I was surprised when she got back early... and I opened the door to discover her standing there with a beautiful bouquet of flowers! I was completely shocked and delighted and hadn't seen it coming at all! She had got all my favourites too - gladioli, multi-coloured roses - after cleverly asking me which my favourites were when I pointed out to her the flower stall where I bought her flowers when she arrived in England a few days earlier. She also bought me an adorable card (which was actually very cheeky of her, as we'd agreed we wouldn't do cards until the actual day so we had something to open on the 30th!).

We then got onto a part we'd both been excited about and preparing for a while - presents!! Taylor recently taught me how to cut t-shirts into slouchy tank tops and she's been wanting to steal my t-shirts to do this to for a while (which I've been resisting!) so my first present to her was a t-shirt I had cut for her with a design commemorating the Southbank in London. I couldn't resist buying the shirt for her after I saw it as the Southbank was where Taylor and I went on our first date and shared our first kiss. It is also one of our favourite places in London and we have many fond memories there, so I thought it would be nice for her to have back in America. My other present to her was a commitment ring. I have a beautiful silver commitment ring, inscribed with our names, anniversary and a love message. I bought Taylor a ring with a diamond conjoined heart emblem (a symbol which has been special to us for a while) and with our names and anniversary. This was a special present because we originally bought commitment rings in January. We bought them from a jewellery shop in England, so they both got delivered to me. I sent Taylor's on to her in the same package as her Valentine's Day present which tragically got lost in the post (we are both therefore very suspicious of sending packages to one another!). After months of trying to track it down, we eventually gave it up as lost. Neither of us were in a place where we could afford to replace it. I bought Taylor a temporary replacement ring in The Grove when I was in LA with her, but it was always our ultimate goal to get Tay a personalised one to match mine. I was really pleased to see how happy she was with it - I know she's been wanting one for a really long time. It also means so much to me to know she'll be wearing a ring with my name on it.

Taylor gave me two absolutely fabulous gifts! Her first one was a beautiful wall decal, which reads "Every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale." It was a beautiful present for so many reasons! I just moved into a new flat so was in the perfect position to receive it. Fairy tales and the fact that we have our very own have always been important to Taylor and me too, so it reminded me of this. We've always been fond of the "Happily Ever After" sentiment, so the words were perfect. It was also reminiscent of a beautiful wall decal we found when we went to Disneyland, California (and had our picture taken in front of!) which read "And they lived happily ever after". My new decal is now up on my wall and it is lovely to have a reminder of my princess whenever I look at it. My other present was the most overwhelmingly lovely present I have ever received! Taylor made me a book with a personalised picture and a letter written to me for every single day that we will be apart until we see each other in December! I couldn't help crying when I saw it as it just meant so much to me. I also knew how long it had taken her because she'd had many private hours working on my secret present. That she made it for me makes me feel so incredibly loved and cherished and I am just awed by the commitment and love she put into it.

We then got dressed and set out for brunch - which I won't go into in too much detail as we had a rather unfortunate food experience! However, despite this, it was lovely to spend the time with Taylor in the restaurant and at the end she presented me with a gift bag with a clue to my first surprise of the day! I unwrapped two blue padlocks. Tay had written our names on them and a love note on each: on one, "Forever & Always" and on the other, "Love knows no distance." I was completely at a loss still as to what the surprise was going to be, and continued to be as Taylor walked me down to Shoreditch High Street overground station, where my surprise was revealed! She had taken me to a fence where couples lock padlocks with their names written on them, locking their love permanently. I was completely overjoyed at this amazing romantic gesture and it was so lovely hanging our padlocks onto the fence. It's really romantic to think people will walk past a commemoration of our love for one another daily. It is near where I live too, so it will be lovely to know I can go see our padlocks whenever I wish. Taylor will take one set of keys home with her and I will keep the other one: I love that Taylor will keep keys to our locks with her.

We then got on the overground and set off for the Victoria & Albert Museum, both of our favourite museum in London. We went to see their exhibition on 80s fashion, From Club To Catwalk. Taylor and I both love clothes and fashion and it was really cool to go and see all the outfits with her. We had both wanted to go to the exhibition for a while, so it was a lovely thing to do together on the day. Once we were finished in the exhibition, we were both pretty tired so we headed back to my flat before heading out for our evening activities.

Because Taylor spoils me completely rotten, our evening began with another surprise for me!! (I know, I'm the luckiest person ever...!) Once again, I didn't have a clue what we could be going to do. I was confused when we arrived at an office building until it was revealed that Taylor was taking me for drinks in the bar at Sushi Samba, an amazing swanky fusion restaurant on the 38th floor above the office block, with a fabulous view out across London! After a slightly awkward experience with a douchey bouncer who asked me how old I was (I'm twenty-one which means I've been overage for THREE YEARS in England!), we were swept up in the amazing fast lift, past the incredible huge neon Sushi Samba sign, to the 38th floor. The bar was stunning, with an amazing tree covered in fairy lights right in the centre of the bar! It also had outside fireplaces, which reminded us of a hotel we spent a weekend at in Coronado, so that was a really nice memory. The weather at this point was absolutely perfect. The heat of the day had died down into a beautiful sunny, balmy evening and it was just lovely to be outside at such a great height in such beautiful weather. I was so excited to be at the bar! It's quite a famous smart restaurant in London and I had not expected that my surprise was going to be so swanky! Taylor knows that there's nothing I love more than a glamorous restaurant, so it was very tailored to the things I love! We arrived at the perfect time in the bar and managed to get an amazing table with a beautiful view out across London. I bought Taylor cocktails to thank her for my amazing surprises. The cocktail menu was confusing even for my cocktail familiarity, but we ended up with a very yummy pink fruity cocktail and another which bore a lot of similarities to a Mojito and both were delicious. They were also both pretty strong and I have to admit that there just may have been some tipsy selfies taken!

After swooping down again in the lift, we set off for Regent's Park where we were going to the Open Air Theatre to see The Sound of Music! We arrived early so we strolled through the park on our way to the centre, where the theatre is. We both absolutely love Regent's Park, so it was really nice to go there on our anniversary. We've picnicked there before and are just obsessed with it. It's the nicest park in London, with breath-taking flower displays, gorgeous rose gardens, elegant fountains and a wonderful sense of calm. It's astonishing to us that such a beautiful thing is just free for everyone! As we walked through the park, we passed a man who was sweeping leaves and he had swept a huge number of fallen leaves into a giant heart! It was so beautiful and a lovely thing to see on our anniversary.

We arrived at the theatre incredibly excited! I love the Open Air Theatre and have been going there for years. It's somewhere I've wanted to take Taylor since I met her, but it's only open in the summer and the last time she was in London was winter. It's very affordable and their productions are magnificent - I would really recommend a visit to anyone. We walked through the leafy-bowered entrance into the bar area, which is covered in beautiful fairy lights. We were both so excited to see the show! Taylor was obsessed with The Sound of Music as a little girl and musicals are one of my great loves in life. The Open Air Theatre does a musical every summer and their productions are always flawless. The Sound of Music was no exception to this rule and we both hugely enjoyed snuggling together with a coffee, watching the show, as the sun set all around us.

Following the show, we strolled back to the tube in the dark and spent the tube journey home cuddled up reminiscing about our perfect day. It really was the stuff that dreams are made of, and I am still overwhelmed at the beautiful surprises Taylor planned for me.
It was the ideal way to end our first fantastic year and hail in the next of the years and years to come.
Our perfect anniversary was like Christmas and a birthday rolled into one, but better because I got to share it all with my other half! It's so special to have a day which is just to celebrate us and I can't wait for many many more.

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