Miracle of miracles guys, I feel like blogging! Since we've spoken last I've done so much and have been in a remarkably good mood for the past week or so, God is so good! On 3/6 (last Thursday) I was just having one of those off days. Ya know, when you wake up late, forget to take your hair out of the "I just washed my face" bun and scramble frantically down the 4 London city blocks to the classroom only to find that class had been moved to 10am and not 9. Our prof told us this and Emily and I had just forgotten... What college students in their right mind would forget that they got to sleep in, you ask? Us. So after a haul back to our flat we ended up with time for tea and oatmeal at our kitchen table while overlooking the gardens behind our flat, the day was getting better. Once we got to class there were schedule changes (I'm learning to be a go-with-the-flow girl but its a work in progess), the room was hot and I just felt that the weight of all the assignments for the semester were piling up no matter how on top of things I tried to be. The day carried on and I refused to enjoy the beautiful day, it was one of those sulking sort of ways. But then one of my friends, who shall not be named *cough Janelle*, surprised Emily and I with a package of brownies and a sweet note, thanks girlie! And the sun came out. There was an overwhelming sense of peace that I felt upon being reminded that I was loved and that everything would work out. "God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day." Amen to that. That night we got all gussied up (well most people did, I missed that memo and my faithful jeans made an appearance) and went to Royal Albert Hall to the opera and saw La Boheme. It was a beautiful show, in Italian I might add, the music was so moving!
The next day was FrIdAyYyY!!! Its my favorite day of the week and consequently the day that I chose to go exploring around Hyde Park and simultaneously take pictures of war memorials for my Britain at War class.
Hyde Park, well all of London really, is in full bloom! Spring is almost here and the flowers are the first to tell us!
At Hyde Park I not only got a lot done for class but I walked to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, a beautiful little stream that is shaped like a circle and has water running in it that bubbles, swirls, and cascades gracefully at different points, it is supposed to be a representation of her life and they even encourage people to put their feet in and relax. I thought it was a sweet testimony of her life. There were also lots of ducks, swans and friendly squirrels which I've got to go back with bread for! One little squirrel came up and looked at me expectantly waiting for me to feed him. They are such curious little things. I got back to the flat after dark and enjoyed a quiet evening in with a book and tea, perfect.
Saturday was very full and very wonderful. Emily and I began our morning by leaving the flat early to photograph more war memorials, yippie, and get coffee. We then met our group and took a ferry to Greenwich, so fun! After a lecture, the painted hall, a place where many movies (including Thor) were filmed and lunch we went to the royal observatory and stood over the Prime Meridian! Whatttt!
I'm in 2 hemispheres at once!
Real excited about this craziness!
I rushed back home (only about 30 or so minutes) because my best friend was coming to London!!! Rebecca, her sister Rachel and their Mom, who is now my mother too ;) had landed at Heathrow when I was at Greenwich. Me being gone gave them a little time to ride the tube to their hotel, get settled and then figure out where we were meeting. We met at Russell Square station and when I finally got to hug my Rebecca I cried. I have missed her so much and lets be honest, some people go their whole lives looking for a friendship like I have with this girl. My mother affectionately called us "lifeies" ya know, friends for life, like her college roomie and bestie, hey Aunt Kelly! Anyways after a teary reunion (only on my part that is, she just puts up with my crying) :) we headed to The Ship Tavern for dinner. While the 3 of them tried not to fall asleep on the table, I rambled on about London and all the places that they had to see! That evening Rebecca stayed late at my flat and we just talked for wayyy later than we should have, but there's something special about seeing her face not on a computer screen, and we even had a little pre-birthday party for me, sponsored by my parents. Thanks Mama and Dad!
My dad thinks that confetti makes everything more fun... he's right!
Sunday marked the start of their London adventure and my new discovery of a calling to be a tour guide, juuust kidding! We started off at St. Paul's for Sung Eucharist in the morning and I pretended to be an old pro at Anglican services (which we all know I'm not) but it was a great worship experience. Sunday afternoon was exploring the Covent Garden area and Jubilee Market, one of my favorite places in the city and getting crepes! We found whimsical little souvenirs that aren't all that touristy but still have a hint of London in them. So fun!
In front of St. Paul's (:
The evening was spent at a few places: Skoob, a used bookstore that I and now Rebecca love, Primark, you've heard about this glorious shopping experience, and my flat for a delicious dinner of sandwiches.
Monday started off with me having to go to class (boo) and them getting to go to the Tower of London (yay)! From what I hear they had a great time and even took a boat up the Thames River, jealous. We met up and decided to tackle climbing 311 stairs up to the top of monument. You may remember this from earlier posts but the Monument is for the Great Fire of London in 1666 that started in a bakery on Pudding Lane. Anyways, we decided that it sounded like a good idea to climb it! It really wasn't as bad as I was expecting, I think London has been secretly conditioning me with stairs for 2 months now. We all made it and the view was spectacular.
We got certificates that said that we climbed the whole thing! Yayyy!
The rest of Monday was eventful and very chilly! We went to the Old Operating Theater and Shakespeare's Globe (see previous posts for details about these) and had to walk across London Bridge! The evening was pretty uneventful except for Rebecca making fajita pitas, a twist on fajitas when you don't have tortillas, it was delish though.
Tuesday, ah finally today! We went to Oxford and spend the morning wandering, we came across the lamp post that CS Lewis used as inspiration for Narnia, so cool! I've been to Oxford before but it was rainy, cold and pretty miserable when I went so today was a chance to change my impression of Oxford and the town did a pretty good job. Lunch was at the Eagle and Child, a pub where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were known to hang out. It was great food with great company.
Had to make sure we got a picture in Oxford!
Tonight those lucky ducks went to see Wicked!! I went to see a different show for class but enjoyed it quite a lot, I'm sure they loved where they went! Tomorrow we have another full schedule. That's all to report for now!
Missing you all,