I Went to All 4 London Airports So That You Don't Have To

I Went to All 4 London Airports So That You Don't Have To

You're welcome.


Joke's on you all if you thought I would ever stop ranking things with incredible bias and often unnecessary harshness!! Welcome to the abroad edition of Emily Ranks. Today, I will be ranking all four airports in (or around, that somehow still constitute as "London" "airports") the city of London. I have had the opportunity to experience all four airports over the course of my two and a half months abroad thus far, and I say opportunity lightly, as there is no better word for the experience but it is truly far too positive of a word for what I have gone through. Let's put it this way: not all airports are created equal.


The Motherland, the beacon of light in the darkness of traveling alone.

I flew into Heathrow when I first arrived and, while I unfortunately did not feel like I was going to walk out into the loving and nurturing arms of Emma Thompson re: "Love Actually", I did feel like I was in intelligent hands and was not going to get lost or yelled at. As much as I bitch and moan about Hartsfield-Jackson, it truly is a high functioning city-state/ airport. Heathrow is like Hartsfield-Jackson, but instead of being overwhelmed by deep Southern accents, I was overwhelmed by Northern British accents which, to me, is better.


I was warned about Luton by a friend before flying out but I can now attest that there is literally nothing wrong with it. Is it a tad out of the way? Sure, but so are all four of the airports. Did I have to dead sprint through St. Pancras to make my train because they make you buy a ticket for a specific train at a specific time? Yeah… we're not a fan of that.

But Luton was clean, nice, easy to access, the passport check people didn't yell at me, boarding was efficient and painless, and their Starbucks had gluten-free options (targeted @ Stansted). All in all, Luton gets a thumbs up from me. Way to go Luton!


Let's make something clear: Gatwick Airport and I are not friends. Gatwick is not fun or easy to navigate. Gatwick is not a friendly place. But it is the cheapest and easiest to get to, so it still ranks higher than Stansted.

Maybe I should elaborate: my first time flying into Gatwick, I landed at 9 am, after having woken up six hours earlier (4:00 am in Barcelona = 3:00 am in London, 9 - 3 = 6 hours. That's how angry I am: I'm resorting to doing simple math). After standing in the security line for 45 minutes after landing at 9 am after having been up for six hours already, I got to the desk and proceeded to be belitted for saying I'm from American instead of the States, for starting to write my birthday in the American style of Month/Day/Year before catching myself, for being delirious and not realizing my last port of exit is the airport I just left from rather than the one I will ultimately leave the UK from, and for America's involvement in Panama. I almost started to cry.

I have traveled in and out of Gatwick since but, like all first impressions, I will never forget my experience at 9:45 am at the security gate after being up for nearly seven hours by that point.


There's truly nothing taking a train ride through the Middle of Nowhere, England for an hour and a half with literally a negative clue as to where you are. It's these exhilarating experiences that really prompted me to go abroad in the first place. Now that you genuinely have no idea where in the world you are, it's going to be very confusing getting around the airport because surely they're not sending you over half a mile away on foot just to get to your gate? Now you're out of breath and can't stop sweating from that haul of a walk and there's one bathroom and it smells like feet but it's better than going to the bathroom on your Ryanair flight.

Now you're flying back in and there's a plane train and the plane train is going to stop a couple of times but do NOT GET OFF WHATEVER YOU DO. Then you can waste some of your life in the security line before wasting the rest of it on the train back home.

And that's Stansted.

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If You Give A Girl A Little Brother

You've given her the world.

I remember back to my childhood, standing at the top of the steps yelling down to my parents "Why did you decide to have another child?" I remember riding in the backseat yelling "Mom, was I not good enough for you?" as my brother threw snow at me .

I remember crying when my mom made us share our first cell phone. I remember playing in a pool at a waterpark, and my dad couldn't play with me because my brother couldn't swim and needed my dad to be with him. I played by myself, thinking "They must have not wanted a girl when they only pay attention to him."

But now, at almost 22, I realized that the best gift God has ever given me was my little brother.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a pain in her ass.

Oh, he'll be annoying. He'll get in the shower just because you said you were going to. He'll start talking every time you do. He'll pull stupid pranks, he'll make you listen to bogus music, he'll make you watch stupid tv shows, he'll smell up the bathroom (and probably smell himself.) and boy, I promise there will be day's you will resent him. But he's just training for living with your husband one day.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a role.

As a big sister, I had somebody copying all my moves. If I did something, so did he. If I didn't eat something, neither did he. If I didn't like somebody neither did he. He was like a little shadow that did everything I did, so I was always motivated to make good choices and make him proud of me.

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her a rough side.

I wouldn't have done half the things I did if it wasn't for him. Play basketball in the drive way, spend hours on our bikes, spend the summer days in the pool, or down at the park. I wouldn't have learned that it's okay to get in the dirt and have some fun. I wouldn't have played half the made up, imaginary games we played every day. I wouldn't have played with Hot Wheels, or Lincoln Logs, or Leggo's. I would have played with Barbies by myself all day long, and what's the fun in that?

Give a girl a little brother, and you give her the best friend she'll ever have.

In the end, when our parent's both pass away, I won't be alone, because I will have my little brother. When the world gets tough, and everyone turns away from me, he will always be there. No matter where he end's up in life, I know he will drop everything and come running when I'm in need.

For Christmas this year, I bought my brother his first tattoo. We got matching tattoo's on our sides. Our lives our different now, because we're grown up and live on opposite sides of the state. But no matter where we go in life, if we look up, we will be looking at the same sun and moon. We are made up of the same matter, 'made' by the same people, and love each other more than I think we'd like to admit.

Alex is my true other-half.

Give a girl a little brother, and you made her whole.

Cover Image Credit: Abby Engel

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​10 New York City Brunch Restaurants I Love A Waffle Lot

Trust me, breakfast is overrated, even if it is at Tiffany's!


You guys knew it was coming! If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram you would know that the thing that I love most in the world is brunch. My life motto is "Mimosa es su mosa" or maybe "On Sundays, we drink mimosas." Just kidding! However, there is nothing I love more than having waffles, poached eggs, and a latte on a Sunday with my girlfriends. Brunch is a long-held tradition for us, it's a great way to relax and it honestly just brings everyone together. So I thought I'd share a few of our go-to spots!

1. Dudley's

This is my favorite place of all time to get brunch. Dudley's is right on Orchard Street, it has a quaint little interior great for dinner, as well! However, I suggest going during the summer to enjoy their outdoor seating. The food is just so delicious! The first time I went was actually at the end of August with my best friend Alexia. She had just gotten back from traveling and we wanted to brunch, go to The Met, walk the Brooklyn Bridge and go thrifting all before we went back to school the next day. We got brunch and were full pretty much the whole day, it was insane. It was also really fresh. Alexia even says when she comes home from Greece no meal ever compares to the food she eats back home, but this really hit the spot. The cuisine is American with an Australian twist. I normally get the chia muesli, a burger with a salad on the side instead of fries. Also if it's later in the afternoon, I'll just do cauliflower tempura with green aioli! For drinks, I suggest a latte or their cold brew.

2. Buvette

I literally just went last weekend with my friend Emily, so if that doesn't tell you how much I love it here, I don't know what does! Buvette has extremely friendly staff and great food, the portions are a tiny bit small but they are super filling, definitely try the specials! I suggest the Belgian Waffle with berries and a latte. My friend Emily got a lemonade and avocado toast!

3. Victor's Cafe

Best croquettes and burger to date. I also got yuca fries on the side. Best brunch ever, oh my gosh! Of course, I got a latte with that, too! The paella de vegetales and platanos are to die for, as well. Victor's Cafe has my heart!

4. Your Mother's House

I actually just went to Your Mother's House on Sunday. It's not the best brunch ever, but they have such a great menu with tons of variety. I even had this Groupon for bottomless brunch if you are of legal drinking age. The Groupon definitely makes it worth it!

5. Sarabeth's

This has been a long-standing tradition between my friend Sara and I. The first time we went was actually when I was like 13, I want to say. It was December and at the time Sara was like 17 and she bought me tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes. However, the only reason I took the train at that point was for work so I wasn't going to be allowed to go. So we devised a plan to convince my mother that her mother was going and it all turned out quite splendidly.

We went to Sarabeth's, I got the lemon ricotta pancakes, and Sara got the crab cake benedict. I would recommend both. Then we saw the Rockettes. However, the reason this is a funny story is that a month later on Christmas Eve, she and her parents came over and our mothers are extremely close because Sara and I have been friends since I was five years old. Sara and I went to my room to hang out and left our mothers to talk. After a few glasses of Chardonnay, Sara's mom told my mom that we went alone. I was grounded for three weeks. Well worth it though, not only did I see the Rockettes, but I found a regular brunch spot!

6. Chat Noir Tea

I know I'm a coffee girl, but I needed some tea to spill it at this brunch! Chat Noir Tea has an amazing Croque Monsieur and a great English breakfast tea. I suggest getting the tea service for two!

7. Juliette

I've told you guys once and I'll tell you again, all great things reside in Williamsburg! I'll be back here with my girlfriends in two weeks. I recommend the french toast at Juliette if you have a sweet tooth like me!

8. The Cheesecake Factory

This is probably one of my favorite places to eat, for dinner here I usually get the crusted chicken romano but for brunch, at The Cheesecake Factory they have plenty of sweet things, so I'll normally order a few things and split it with whoever I'm with!

9. Milk & Honey Cafe

I know this one is a throwback to the "10 Instagram Worthy Cafes" article I wrote but the Milk & Honey Cafe does have some great brunch options and come on, you can try one of the best cafes and brunch places in New York all at once! (Fun fact: My Odyssey profile picture was taken here!)

10. Cafe Mogador

So I wanted to include Cafe Mogador in this because it was actually recommended to me and will be my next brunch stop, so I figured why not leave this here as a little surprise for us both!

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