Day 6: Tea Time

Today we had a guest speaker come talk to our class.  I think I’ve mentioned her before but if I haven’t, her name is Linda Lewis and she is a professor here at Regents and specializes in PR.  She’s been talking about the phone hacking scandal and today she really went into detail about everything.  I was in London when most of the drama was happening last year but there has been many more incidents that make the story even crazier.

To sum it up: the London newspaper, News of the World, has been hacking into phones to get stories.  They have tapped celebrities, the royal family, politicians and some people in the military.  They just recently charged Rebecca Brooks, who was the editor of the News of the World.  It has been fascinating to hear all about the scandal and what not. I think the whole country is overreacting a bit and I think that the only reason this story is big is because the rival papers are continuing to cover the story to put the News of the World out of business.  However, that is my opinion on this whole topic but I still like hearing about it.

We had class and then some of us decided to go to the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington.  The main reason for us going was to see the ball gown exhibit and of course, it was not open.  So we wandered around for a bit and then decided to go to the Orangery for some high tea.  Walking around Kensington Park might be my favorite thing to do in London.  I absolutely love that area and so enjoyed just sitting and having my tea.  I always feel so British when I drink tea!

After we finished our tea we came back to the dorm and decided to go out exploring around London to see what the night life was like.  We ended up just wandering around the city which is still just as much fun for me!

Day 5: Today I Wore A Cloak..

Today was my first day of class. I fell asleep. Sorry Dr. Fullerton! In reality I only dozed off for a few minutes but it was definitely a nap that provided power! So far the class is really cool! I love Dr. Fullerton and I’m super pumped to get to learn from her for another three weeks.

After class Caroline and I start our journey to the set of Harry Potter.  When I say journey, it was literally a journey.  Several underground and overground trains later, a bus and a quick sprint to the ticket booth, we set foot inside the building that would soon take our attention for the next three hours.

This face pretty much sums up how Caroline felt walking into the dining hall that was used for the filming of Harry Potter. This photo was taken the moment she stepped foot through the door.

This was actually a super cool event. I am not much of a Harry Potter fan but this made me super excited about the movie and completely blew my mind! The entire exhibit is on the actual lot that Warner Bros shot everything.  We got to see the Horcruxes, the Griffindor Boys Dorm, costumes, wigs, Dumbledore’s office, the wands, the monsters and Dobby.  

So since Caroline is a bit of a Harry Potter fanatic, she took her time throughout everything and ended up being behind me.  I would run through everything once and then show her where the really important things were.  When I came across the Horcruxes, I took lots of pictures and moved on.  When I showed them to Caroline, this is what she did.

Today, I wore a cloak.  But to begin with this story, I must take you back to before my trip even left.  I told my mother that I needed a rain jacket because it rains quite a bit in London.  She said that she had a rain coat that would definitely keep me dry but that it was her favorite so I should take care of it.  I tried it on and at the time it seemed fine (and free). Fast forward to today.  It is the first day it has rained in London so I needed my rain jacket/coat.  I grabbed it and went out the door.  Once arriving to the Harry Potter world, I realized that my coat looked more like a cloak. After getting off the bus to enter the exhibit a girl turns and says to me “Wow, you wore a cloak and everything”. I continued to wear my “cloak” because it was cold and because I was getting some weird looks.  Today, I wore a cloak on accident to a Harry Potter convention.

So that was petty much my day. It was crazy cool and so funny! It was a great day with the cloak (thanks mom). After that we headed back to Green Park and had, yet again, Prezzo! Then back to Piccadilly to get a crepe and back to the hotel so that I could blog about this epic day!

Day Three: Hillsong Changed My Life

Today we woke up and went to Hillsong London for church.  We got a little sidetracked with some of the underground stations being closed but we made it there with plenty of time to stand around and get noticed by some of the greeters.  Two women came up and started asking us where we were from, if it was our first time and so on and so on.  They then invited us to sit with them in their “regular spot”.  We agreed since we didn’t really know anyone else.  We followed them straight to the middle aisle, second row.  BEST SPOT IN THE HOUSE.  The theater the church meets at holds about 2,000 people and we were basically front row.  But it wasn’t the incredible seats that made this the best church service I’ve ever been too; it was the worship team and the captivating guest speaker from Miami.  The music was incredible.  I can’t even put into words how amazing they all sounded and the words they sung were so moving! I loved it!

The speaker was RIch Wilkerson from Miami and he was hilarious.  He preached on the prodigal son but mainly on the other brother.  He talked about how Jesus never called it the prodigal son story but said that it was a story about two brothers because both were vital parts that the crowd needed to hear.  He spoke with such passion and enthusiasm for Christ it was sad to hear it end.

I am pretty sure Hillsong London is now the primary reason I want to move to London. I want to be apart of that church every Sunday and I want that environment to pour into my life and be the surroundings that influence my future.

After that life changing experience, we walked to the Covet Gardens and got a pizza and a crepe.  Those two food items will become a part of my daily diet for the next month.

Then I had to get back to the hotel to pack and move into my dorm at the Regents College.  I did have a minor panic attack because I couldn’t figure out where and how I was going to get there and get checked in.  But the Lord is gracious and helps those in distress. Boy, did He help me when I tried getting to this location! So I dropped my bags and immediately we out exploring my new home!

Caroline and I walked through Regents Park which surrounds the college.  This is the most unreal place I’ve ever seen! It is so beautiful! There is a small pond that wraps around the college that separates the college from the park. It is stunning!! I’m in love already!

We then caught the train and wandered over to Westminster.  We walked into the service but decided we were both too tired to stay awake during a two-hour long service.  We walked some more and then decided to grab food at Garfunkels again.

That pretty much sums up my day! It was yet another amazing day in London.  I feel beyond blessed every time I walk through the streets. I feel like I am already a pro at the underground and have most of the lines already memorized!

I love and miss you all dearly!!

Day 2: Stair Confusion

One question that keeps coming up is which side of the stairs are you supposed to be on? I actually had an older man yell at everyone to get on the other side.  It is a serious problem  in my everyday routine and have yet to have a solid answer of which side of the stairs to stay on.

Today, Caroline and I intended on waking up at 8:00 to catch a tube by 9:00 and head towards Windsor palace by 9:30. That definitely did not happen.  We kept sleeping till about 9:45 when we eventually rolled out of bed and started the day.  We had to literally run to catch the train going to Windsor but go there eventually with plenty of time to wander around.

Windsor was beautiful! Even from the train you can tell that it is an amazing palace.  As we approached the castle we saw a flag flying at the very top which meant, the Queen was there.  I’ve seen Buckingham Palace when the Queen was there but this felt different. We go to walk throughout her weekend home.  It was crazy cool! Everything is set up in Windsor palace to look like a home, not a museum.  Only a few things were behind glass and it was cool to see see where she actually has people over.  Another attraction in Windsor Palace is the Dollhouse.   I can’t recall which queen had a love for mini things but she was given this house as gift.  Each piece was created like the original so it is genuine silver, precious jewels and silk.  It was so cool! They had a mini crown jewel vault that had baby replicas of the actual jewels.  I loved it.

Another thing I was not able to do last July was the London Eye.  So of course that was a priority this time.  It was freaking cool! You get up so high and can see basically all of London.  We got up at the very top right as the sun was setting and the view was breath taking! For those of you planning on visiting London, the eye is something that is definitely worth the money.

We got off the eye and immediately headed to search for food.  On the way we stopped to watch a street performer.  He did a 60 second Houdini lock and key trick but we stayed watching him for a good 30 minutes.  At the beginning of his act, he was making some suggestive jokes at some other woman in the crowd and we couldn’t help but laugh.  As he progressed he made a joke about Americans and then a quick line about Texans.  I shook my head but kept laughing. Well, then I became the center of his jokes.  They were funny and mostly aimed at Texans being arrogant and stupid but he was very funny and very talented.  So after that small detour we need food and fast.

We stopped at Garfunkels and grabbed fish and chips then booked it home to grab our computers and head straight to McDonalds for the free wifi.  It still won’t let me upload pictures but tomorrow when I get to the Regents college I will definitely upload some!

Also!! Something I forgot that happened yesterday (Mom you will appreciate this).  Right as we got home from our long day, there was suddenly a heard of limos pulling up to our hotel.  So naturally we pulled up a chair and proceeded to watch them for a good 30 minutes.  I guess it was a prom or a party but it was so fascinating! I will admit that the girls dresses were not that cute. They definitely need to catch up to American fashion because it was a big struggle!

I can’t really think of anything else that has happened today but I will end on this: the people that show up to McDonalds at 12:30 at night are very interesting! I’ve seen a lady with a tiny guitar, a group of boys literally start a food fight and a group of girls wearing suggestive tiny outfits.  Needless to say, the people watching has been PRIME.

I would stay and write more because I know you guys are so interested in the very specifics of my day but I am so tired and must go to bed! Tomorrow we are going to Hillsong and then who knows what!!

Day One: So Many Questions

My first hour in London consisted of me asking only questions. “Where do I pick up my luggage?”, “Can I buy an Oyster Card here?”, “What trains will get me to Regents Park?” and so on and so on.  However, my biggest fear of getting to the hotel was soon put to rest when I arrived safely at the Marriott.  Everything went smoothly! I did have to pull two giant roller suitcases up several flights of stairs but there were very nice gentlemen that said they would help me!

I arrived in London at like 10 in the morning and that’s when my day had to start.  Even though all I wanted to do was climb into the hotel bed and sleep, I had to keep going!  I showered and quickly went right back to the tube to catch a bus to go see Olympic Park.  Caroline and I were hoping to get a tour but the gates were closed.  We got to take a look at the outside and it is going to be magnificent! I cannot wait for it to be finished and watch everything from back home!

We then went shopping for a bit and then headed back towards Green Park and Piccadilly Circus to wander and window shop.  As we started walking through the streets we found some super cool places.  The city of London is so busy on the main street but if you wander back a few streets, that is where the really neat shops and restaurants are!

One place that we spent a good 45 minutes was the M&M world.  You should know, one thing me and Caroline bond over is our love for crispy M&Ms.  Unfortunately they stopped selling them in the states so we have to wait to come to another country to get them.  I may or may not have bought 16 dollars worth of crispy M&Ms (sorry mom and dad–that’s where your tuition dollars are going).  Needless to say, it was awesome.

We wandered back towards Buckingham palace and through Green Park. Caroline and I decided to go back to our favorite restaurant, Prezzo, and split a pizza margarita.  It was amazing! After that it was WAY PAST my bed time.  I went back to the hotel and passed out! I apologize to everyone that was waiting on this blog, I was in a coma after the long day!

My first day was overall really awesome! I have loved being here and so far (thanks to Caroline) have quite an interesting team (my family will understand the game “YOUR TEAM”).

I can’t upload any photos right now because the McDonald’s wi-fi I am currently using will not allow it. I am so sorry!

Off To Cross The Pond

Tomorrow I will be catching a plane that will take me across the Atlantic Ocean to the great city of London. Everyone keeps asking me if I am ready slash excited.  My response is “of course” or “I can’t wait” but on the inside I am freaking out!!

Don’t get me wrong, I really am excited and I’ve always wanted to travel alone and be independent.  But I am also not afraid to admit that this is scary.  I’ve never been on a flight  alone unless you count going from Dallas to Houston, which one can hardly consider a flight.  I don’t know the first thing about getting through customs, finding the right train and then figuring out the bus system all while rolling two suitcases.  Luckily, I’ll be in a city where English is the main language but the idea of struggling through a foreign city alone makes me a little tense.  I think I am just psyching myself out and there will be no reason to fret because I’ve been there before. I know I will be fine but that is not really calming the nerves hence a blog post at 1 a.m.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, I will be studying abroad for the remainder of May.  I am going with 15 others from OSU and we will be studying PR and Advertising at the Regents College in London.  I am beyond blessed to have this opportunity and despite my temporary freak out, I will take every moment to my advantage.  I hope one day to work abroad so this could be the Lord opening a window.  We will just have to see.  I am writing this blog for my mother who I know will be reading this religiously, if she can figure out how to get to this website.  I know everyone will be super curious to hear about the random and amazing things that will be taking place while I am across the pond.