The Summer of All Summers

As I sit with my pink false nails tapping away on the keys and my cheeks aching from the awkward smiles I give to the strange faces that pass by, my only comfort is that I know we are all wondering the same thing – how have we landed ourselves in this bizarre and terrifying place called Sixth Form College? My mind can’t help but wander back to the days of Piña Coladas in Punta Cana and the crashing waves of the Californian coast, but for the next two years, this is my new reality.

I could dwell on the fact I haven’t written my blog for OVER A YEAR, but personally, I prefer to focus on the now and the tomorrow. Having said this, it’s only fair that I give you a little recap of my summer, right?

And what a summer it’s been! I wouldn’t exactly describe beginning it with a dreaded vertigo attack as a high point, but once that was out the way, I was ready and raring to go.

If you are (were) an avid reader of my blog – which I’m sure all of you are – you may remember our previous trip to the white sands and turquoise waters of the Dominican Republic. This place is just it. Anything you could wish for on a Caribbean holiday, it has. There’s a part of me that feels I should just leave this out of my blog, as I honestly don’t believe the words exist to describe our experience and do it justice, so as a complete cop out, here is a photographic summary of our time in paradise….

It’s the people that truly put the paradise into Punta Cana….

As the tears of longing and holiday blues continued to fall, the only feasible solution to this problem that I could come up with was to go and dry them out with a bit of Californian sunshine – sound like a plan?

I’m pretty sure I may have mentioned once or twice about the fact that I’m planning to study in the US as of 2018? Well, this dream is now yet another step closer to becoming a reality.

Our LA adventure began at Heathrow Airport, where we went through the usual escapade to get both me and my electric chair on board that plane. Having flown to and from the Dominican Republic just one month previously, we were a little more confident in what we were doing, but with my Dad (master of all things chair-related) staying home this time, my Mum, my PA Sally and I had to put on our brave faces and muddle through alone.  Thankfully, all went smoothly, and I was greeted in the LAX baggage hall by a familiar flash of silver tiger stripe (or zebra stripe – still not quite decided).

If this thing gets damaged, the entire holiday 
is OVER….. no pressure

We spent our first day on LA soil doing everything a typical tourist could ever dream of. We booked wheelchair accessible tours of Hollywood and Beverly Hills; we had a house-by-house guide around the celeb homes; then we donned our posh frocks and stopped for a bite to eat at The Beverly Hills Hotel no less! This was a great way to experience the buzz of the city and get a real feel of the LA that is known and loved.

My very own rollercoaster…. 
The legend Michael Jackson
Arriving in style!

Now, I wasn’t going to say no to a photo with these guys, was I?

The following day, we simply couldn’t resist – Disney was calling out to us. I am lucky enough to have travelled to both Paris and Florida in search of Mickey and Minnie,  but for Sally, this was her first encounter with the magic. I personally fell out with rollercoasters a long time ago, partly due to my vertigo and spinal rods, but also simply because I can’t think of a worse way to spend my time than aboard one of those monstrous machines. I just love the atmosphere and electricity that is guaranteed at all Disney Parks – I could quite happily sit  and soak up the rays and vibes as Sally hopped from ride to ride.

Living my princess dream

And then the hard work started. From Monday to Friday, we visited a handful of different universities, stretching from Malibu to Downtown LA to Orange County. Over the course of the week, it became more and more apparent that LA itself was really where I wanted to be. From an access point of view, being at the centre of the action means great transport links and everything you need literally at your fingertips, but it was more than that. In order to get internships in my field of interest, for me this being the music industry, I really need to be where it’s all happening.

Go Bruins!

From speaking to both students and the disability officer at these campuses, it was clear that this is the place for me. The facilities for accessibility are next to none, and the positive, easy-going attitude shown by all towards me is not something you come by every day.

The LA lifestyle was made for me. The climate would mean that my hand wouldn’t freeze and stop me driving every time we leave the house; the significant lack of cobbles would mean that I could walk (or for those of you with a picky bone, drive) for miles at a time without having my head wobbled off; and the laid-back, yet vibrant Californian people can’t help but put a smile on your face.

Excuse the following photo shoot – just couldn’t resist….

Malibu moment!
Pacific Coast Highway 
Marking the rare occasion of me being ON THE BEACH
Rodeo Drive babaaayyyy
If anyone fancies sending me anything, my new postcode
is 90210…. for real
Casually bumped into Team GB whilst waiting for my 
chair in baggage reclaim!

After such an unbelievable 10 days, what better way to bump back down to Earth than to swoop straight into GCSE results day! While we were away, we received a call from my absolute genius of a sister, informing us that she had received 3 A*s in her A-Levels and was heading to Cambridge! So you can imagine, no pressure eh?! Luckily, my 9 A*s and 2 As didn’t disappoint my parents too much, and so they’ve agreed to keep me on for a little while longer. On a serious note, these results are so important to me as they unlock the door to the next step in turning my LA university dream into a reality.

So what to do with the last weekend of summer? How about a festival to go out with a bang? Fusion Festival is alway an incredible weekend, and this year was no exception. This is another one of those situations where photos probably say it better than words for now, so here you go…..

Photo shoot continued….

Still very much a fangirl at heart
Just in case the photo doesn’t make it clear, we were loving the 
VIP life

There goes that inner fangirl again….
REAL talent
Ollie never fails to make me smile

Starting college alone this week was probably one of the scariest experiences of my life, but I’m certain it was the right decision. Sat here now, despite the awkwardness and complete unknown, I can feel a vibrancy and excitement in the air, and the opportunities on offer here are sure to provide a springboard to my next chapter.

It feels great to be back writing, and hopefully, I’ll now be able to more regularly update you as I navigate my way through my slightly alternative teenage years and continue to fly beyond my dreams – all the while wearing killer heels.

Write soon,

Tilly xoxox

P.S. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions at all, either on here or using my other social media accounts –

Twitter/Insta: @ItsMeTillyG

One thought on “The Summer of All Summers

  1. This place is perfect for any kind of night you're looking for. In the downstairs area at Chicago venues, you can enjoy a lounge setting while talking over drinks with a small party. Or, if you're looking to mingle or have a bite to eat, you can head upstairs.


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