The day for me to leave for London has finally come. Believe it or not I was able to sort through the massive piles of clothes I wanted to pack and narrow it down to what I actually could pack. It was a tight squeeze, but with my great upper body strength I was able to close my bags. The only problem was that I had Dylan weigh my bags just to discover that one of them was 15 lbs. over. So I ditched a few sweaters, added a few books to my carry-on, and was ready to go. William and my Mom took me to the airport where I met the Schneider the clan. We snapped a picture, hugged, and were on our way. Kacey and I were laughing at ourselves the whole way through security while our parents wiped away tears. We flew to Minneapolis where we ate and changed planes, then boarded for London. The last thing I remember was getting out my pillow, popping an Ambien, and starting to watch Taken. The next thing I knew we were preparing to land in London and it was the next day. Fastest and easiest flight I have taken. After getting through Passport Control we caught our Dot-2-Dot Shuttle that took us to our flat. We hauled our luggage up some stairs and sat down to enjoy a cold DC and some lunch. After lunch we decided to take a long walk to avoid going to sleep. We walked all the way through Hyde Park to the London Center aka our home for the next 4 months. It took a while, but after about an hour of walking/people watching, we made it to the Center. On the way back we stopped in Kensington Gardens to see the beautiful flowers. Next up is packing for Italy and storing/re-packing the remainder of our luggage.
Kacey and I decided to throw ourselves a going away party. "Same" Hale, Pat White, Sadi, Kate, and Nick Nielson were nice enough to host the party. John made his fresh salsa, pizza was served, and mini cupcakes for dessert. The party started at 8, but we were a little worried when no guests had showed by 8:30. Finally at about 8:45, doorbell rang and Paul May showed up with swimsuit in hand. Goes to show who our true friends are. And little did we know what he would add to the party...The night consisted of many friends, laughs, food, a vocal performance by Paul, the Gruesome Twosome, a dance performance by Paul, and I even got a signed Jonas Brothers Poster that I was stoked about. All in all it was a fun really fun night. I loved seeing everyone and will miss them.
Today Karen hosted a London Luncheon for Kacey and me. This was the perfect occasion for us to get advice from others that have experienced the same London Study Abroad program and been residents of 27 Palace Court. The guest list included Karen and Hannah Hale, Ruth and Jen Todd, Nata and Kacey, and Lisa, Abigail, and me. As usual, Karen set a beautiful table and accompanied with an English menu. We started with my Mom's Fresh Pea Soup, then bite-size Cucumber Sandwiches, Salad, and darling Cupcakes with British flags. Favors included British chocolate and a mini Big Ben for each guest. The hour was filled with many laughs as each person told of a favorite London memory. We also played "Cockney Slang" which is a rhyming game with different cards that have British Lingo on them. Cockney Slang was developed so that non-locals couldn't understand what was being said by the locals in the East End of London. Typically, the second word of a two-word phrase rhymes with the actual word. One might say "We're in Barney Rubble" meaning "trouble". Hopefully I fit in better now that I have learned a little slang. This lunch was really fun and I am so excited to join the many that have been residents of 27 Palace Court. Time to go pick up a London Guide Book and start the packing!