Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell London

Ok, so it's been a while. But here's the last installment of my epic adventures! I hope that you've had some fun. I actually started this last blog entry on a little plane on the way to Aarhus, Denmark, and now after a good amount of procrastinating I'm actually going to finish it. So this is a quick overview of my last two weeks abroad. Enjoy!

Finals, Studying and Papers: While you might think that we would spend the last couple of weeks in London just partying, this is not true. In fact, this was probably the time that we had the most homework due. It was kind of stressful. We had papers due for every class (two for humanities) and then only one day off to study for all of our finals. But don't worry, we survived. The last couple of days of class were pretty fun though, despite the homework. Dr. Paul even made us crumpets in our mystery class, and we crashed Professor Wimmer's flat to enjoy our last session of British Studies on his couch with fresh cookies. Actually studying for finals was just crazy though. I wouldn't recommend taking finals for fun. Just putting that out there.
Shopping: We did manage to make time to enjoy ourselves. There was no way you could keep us inside the center all day with London calling. I think it was on Tuesday that I finally went over to Harrods. There are just some things that we never ended up doing until the very end. I have to admit that I was surprised by how massive that place was. And did I mention that it's expensive? Because it is. I felt very out of place walking past the Valentino dresses in my worn out jeans. I decided that it was probably a good decision to not touch anything. Other days when I could squeeze it in I took breaks to go back to some of our old haunts for more last minute shopping and enjoyment, like Bond Street, Regent Street, and Regent Street. Me and Annie even managed to go back to Covent Garden several times. I think I hit up the candy store there like three times.

War Horse: On approximately Wednesday I went to see a production of War Horse at the National Theater. We got the standing tickets so we once again got to enjoy an amazing performance for an incredibly low price. It was really cool because they used a lot of puppets that I can't even describe. We also had a fun night because on the way we spontaneously went to the Australia premier in Leicester Square, where we got to see Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and (insert drum roll please) Elton John. When the car pulled up and someone said that it was Elton John who had stepped out I didn't believe them, because why in the world would he be there? But then again I guess there's no reason for him to not be there. Whatever floats his boat. So all that was a fun detour.

The British Museum: Our last Sunday me and Lindsay went back to the British Museum for one last time, where we took tons and tons of fun pictures with mummies and such. Good times.

Wanderings: In case you haven't already picked up on this, I like to wander a lot. So I did. Good things come from wandering, and in London you never know quite what you're going to see, like one day during the week when we wandered past a massive gathering on drunken Santa's in Trafalgar Square. They even had a Santa flag. On our last day (Monday) a few of us just went wherever our whims led us, revisiting Covent Garden (of course), the Southbank, Big Ben, The Strand, Trafalgar Square, and pretty much everywhere else that tickled out fancy. We really didn't want to leave. For our last night I went and saw Zorro the musical again since it's just a giant fiesta and we wanted to have a fun last night. Plus, I'm still kind of obsessed with Zorro. But it's okay because Sabrina is too. We bought t-shirts and soundtracks together and we're going to have parties next semester to liven up our days in Provo.

Packing: This was just ridiculous. It looked like an explosion had gone off in our room, with bags and clothes scattered everywhere. Just try to imagine 12 girls in one cramped room trying to pack everything they you've used and bought in the past four months. Trust me, you wouldn't want to be there. Luckily I had Annie and she pretty much did it all for me. She has skills.

Endings: To wrap things up we had a final brunch on Monday, which was really sad. Pretty much anything that had to do with leaving was sad, like saying goodbye to everyone at church. We got to go to the single adults Christmas party on the Friday of finals which was a lot of fun. They had the place decorated all fancy and there was a full Christmas dinner. So that was a lot of fun. Then on Monday we had the brunch at the center where we got to enjoy a "best of breakfast at the center" including waffles, Amish oatmeal, omelets, and much more. After stuffing ourselves we all got to go upstairs to the classroom for the last time for closing remarks and a slide show of pictures from the semester. It was very bittersweet.

Sweden! I was sad that the program ended, but I was excited because that meant I got to see Sara and Louise. My first stop was to see Sara in Stockholm. We had a ton of fun. it was really nice because we got to use her house as her home base, and I got to meet her boyfriend and see her mom again. They're great. I had delicious food and just got to relax after the craziness of the semester. Sara also gave me a great tour of Stockholm, taking me to the old town and shopping and stuff. I really liked it there, and it was really fun because it was so close to Christmas so there were all sorts of lights and stuff up and we got to go to a Christmas fair. We also went ice skating outside in the city, which was amazing. We just had a lot of fun. Since I'd never driven stick before I even got a lesson from Sara and her boyfriend Bjorn. I can now say that I am perfectly comfortable driving a stick in gears one through three in a parking lot.

Denmark! My next stop was Denmark to see Louise. I went to Aarhus first since that's where she going to school and it was great because I got to fly into a tiny little airport where you just walk off the plane. I like that. We did all sorts of wonderful things, like go to an old village that was all Christmas decorated, eat Danish food, shop, and make Christmas stars. After a day in Aarhus we rode the train to her house in Odense where I got to spend the next couple of days having fun with her family. They were great, and it was especially fun because they let me in on some of their Christmas traditions. For example, I learned that Santa comes every Sunday. We got to go on nice walks through the town too. Basically I loved my life.
This entry really doesn't do the last couple of weeks justice, but it is New Year's Eve and I have plans tonight, but I'm sure that I needed to finish this before it's not 2008 anymore. Seriously, spending time with Sara and Louise was one of the best parts of the entire trip. Ask me about it and I'll be able to do a lot better job of telling you about what happened. This is just the super short version. I flew home from Copenhagen and eventually made it home. As I'm sure most of you know, the weather in Portland was crazy so things at the airport were all messed up. It's actually the most snow on record for Portland. They're calling it "Artic Blast '08". So we were kind of worried about whether or not I would even make it home because they were cancelling flights like crazy and I would have been stuck in DC by myself. When I got to DC I was rushing through customs because my plane was scheduled to leave pretty soon after I got in, but then I found out it was delayed until 8:30. And then 9:47, and then 11:47, and then it was cancelled, and then it was un-cancelled... It was really stressful. They were basically telling people to go home, but since I didn't have the option I stuck around. Apparently if our plane had been cancelled the soonest we would have been able to fly out would have been Christmas day, which I was not ok with. Luckily we ended up commandeering a plane from Aruba and we made it into Portland with only a four hour delay. I know people who had four day delays. It was pretty much the longest day of travel ever though, and by the time I made it home I had been awake for a good 28 hours. But I made it, and my beautiful trip was officially over. But I'll be back again!

The Last Installment of PicturesBye Bye studying in cramped cornersBye Bye London CentreBye Bye Tasty BreakfastsBye Bye ProfessorsBye Bye TubeBye Bye Delicious Covent Garden Candy StoreBye Bye Drunken SantasBye Bye Beautiful London CityscapeBye Bye Taking Tons of Pictures of the Same Thing at Slightly Different AnglesBye Bye Pictures with Cool BackgroundsBye Bye Random Nights Out on the TownIce Skating in Stockholm!Being in Stockholm!Shopping in Stockholm!Old Town in Denmark!Shopping in Denmark!

Christmas Tree with Actual Candles in Denmark!

Thanks so much for reading my blog and I hope that you have a Happy New Year!

Cheers, Nat

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