Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

settling in

Right now its about 7:30 in the morning and I'm sitting in the Centre's library on the ground floor. I think the sun came up at around 5:30. Some of the students are out running in Hyde Park. I don't consider myself a runner but I think sometime I'll have to succumb to the romance of running in the middle of London, and join them. I fell completely rejuvenated after last night's rest and ready for the new day. I woke up about 6:00 this morning and decided I would get in the shower and read my scriptures in the main room of the house before everyone else got up. My room is on the fifth floor which means that I pass all the girl's dorms as I head down. Everything is the house squeaks and creeks at the slightest touch, and especially the stairs. I decided to use the shower that is upstairs next to our room. So far, I am not a fan of London plumbing. The toilet needs multiple flushings and the shower stall is not made for anyone of normal adult size. To wash my hair I had to bend my legs as if I were doing squats. Today I plan on heading to the center of the city to King's Cross station to buy a day ticket to Paris sometime in June. Then myself and other members of the group will go on a walk through the city. As an entire group we will go this afternoon to see the musical Wicked, and then after that, whatever we feel like.

Hotlanta and the Arrival

I took off yesterday from El Paso and arrived in Atlanta at around 3:30 local time. I was debating whether or not to go into the city because I didn't want to risk missing my all too important flight to London. But curiosity got the best of me, and I decided that I probably wouldn't have an opportunity to wander around Atlanta by myself again. I took the MARTA subway system into the center and saw the headquarters of CNN as well as the World of Coca-Cola. It was a beautiful day with light humidity and a cool breeze. I'm happy that I went. Atlanta is a cool place. Now to the good stuff. The flight to London was incredibly unbearable, even when I had an aisle seat with limited carry-ons. I guess I've started to become my father and realize that airplanes were not made for people my size. I didn't get a wink of sleep. So I've been awake for about 31 hours now. As soon as I'm done with this entry I'm heading off for some much needed sleep. We got into London about noon local time. There was a group of about 9 of us on the plane out of Atlanta, so we banded together and decided how we were going to get to the London Centre. We decided to go with the Paddington Express train that left Heathrow and arrived at the center of the city in 15 minutes. We then walked about a quarter of a mile to the center. The BYU London Centre is located on 27 Palace Court which is just north of Kensington Gardens. There is a library, a large classrooms and a few dorm rooms. When we arrived we were given a set of bedsheets with a room assignment. I'm with the other guys at the top of the building on the fifth floor. When I got settled I started on my first London Walk. A London Walk is a set of planned walks that we must complete by Saturday. They are pretty much self-guided tours through various neighborhoods in the city. To start off, we choose to go on the walk closest to us in our immediate neighborhood. It has been raining all day. I just got back from taking a walk around Kensington Gardens with some other students. It was a short, drizzly walk but, incredible. I'm sure I'll be able to appreciate more of it when I'm not so tired. So far I'm still taken back by the reality that I'm actually here. What an incredible place.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Well, this is it. There have been a lot of preparations up until this point, and the time has come to skip across the pond to London and the Motherland. Right now I'm looking over at my packed bags wondering if I will have any problems squeezing them with me on the tube once I get there. Our program directors told us to not bring hefty square rolling bags or risk looking like an obnoxious American. I'm always one for blending into the crowd, but I think I'll stand out dragging my rolling-duffel bag through the streets. I know it will be surreal getting there and setting up life for the next two months, but man, I'm excited for it. By noon tomorrow I'll see if those preparations were worth it.