Sunday, April 18, 2010

No place like it

HOME

It was a crazy and memorable trip to get home and I shouldn't have made it in one piece, but thanks to lots of angels, HERE I AM! Cuddled up in my bed at home. There are so many good people in the world and I was helped at least 20 times along the way from London to Paris to Madrid to Philadelphia to DC in the past 3 days. I miss London already but I'm just so happy to be on American soil with my FAMILY! Now that I'm home, it's hard to believe everything that's happened in the past 4 months. It was the time of my life! I hope the rest of the students stuck in London can make it home soon.

This blog was the perfect journal for my semester abroad, but now... Back to REAL life! Thanks for reading about London. I love London. SO MUCH.
But I love this even more.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I WON THE LOTTERY! Last day in London.

How Rach and I originally felt about not being able to get to the US as planned:
I am supposed to be at home right now... but sometimes volcanos erupt. Good thing London is the best place to be "stranded" in. Even though it's a stressful and slightly scary change in plans, I know I'll be home soon and today made me forget about the cruddy situation. Life is good.

No one here knows when they're getting home so suitcases are unpacked and repacked every day. Mice (living in our walls) find cozy spots in those suitcases and piles of clothes. Today started at 2 am when we heard and saw several mice in our room, so we hunted them for hours. There was lots of screaming, we woke up Jake to help capture the stupid little terrors and then finally settled into a restless sleep, afraid we'd get our faces chewed off. What if a mouse crawled up the wall into my bed? I don't want to know. This is a crazy house.
I unpacked again when I woke up because my flight was canceled today. Jenny, Christina Jane, Macy and I wanted to have fun so we went to London's very own Holland Festival in Trafalgar Square! It was great. We forgot to wear orange, but had fun anyway.
Next we went to that National Portrait Gallery. I am so glad we went because I hadn't until today. My favorite was this portrait of Princess Diana and her sons. She was beautiful.
We got lunch at Subway and ate a picnic in St. James Park. 60 degrees and sunny. We laid on the grass talking and laughing for hours. It was the perfect afternoon.
In Covent Gardens we got treats and won the lottery!! Front row tickets to Legally Blonde! I went in with low expectations and we left dancing and singing. It was insanely fun.
Jenny Wenny, the Habeebs and me in front of the theater

It was just the best day. I can't think of a better way to end my experience here. I'm going to miss everything about this place, but especially the people.
This is how I feel now:
Alone, but lucky and excited. Even though I'm still a little nervous about the whole thing, the best trip of my life will end with an unexpected but well-planned mini-trip starting tomorrow.
I'm excited because will have lots of books to read and time to write. I'll be absolutely by myself for 3 days for the first time in my life. YIKES! Talk about a sheltered life. Thank you so much to those who have shown care and concern and have prayed for my safety on this exciting adventure. And especially thank you Dad. I'll keep you posted!

Love always,
Laura

Friday, April 16, 2010

I love my dad.

There's nothing my dad wouldn't do for his kids. I don't know what I would do without him. I love him so much! I know it's not father's day, but for me it is.

Thanks for EVERYTHING Dad! I'll see you soon.

Love, Laura

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I just fell off my bed.

And I'm a top-bunker.

^ Warning: contains some bad language. may cause laughter.

My crashing to the floor at 3:30 AM has nothing to do with the video, but this blog is my journal... so I've gotta remember the important things.

VOLCANO

2 hours of sleep last night.

3 finals within 6 hours today.

In short - I'm pooped.

The center had a pizza party and Ben's Cookies to celebrate finals ending. We ate TONS of food and it felt so good to be finished until the fall.
I ran to all of my favorite places in my neighborhood tonight (espesh the Hyde Park Chapel) and cried the whole time, which really hurt my throat. But I had so many happy memories from the past 4 months blazing through my mind and I just couldn't believe it's ending. I'm in denial. This city has become my new home. You can take the girl out of the honky tonk, but you can't take the honky tonk out of the girl! And by honky tonk I mean London. I sat on a bench looking at the sun set on the lake in Kensington Gardens and kind of just fell apart. I sprinted home and skyped my roommates in Provo- I loved to hear their voices. That will be one great thing about having a cell phone again- I can talk to people on a regular basis!

Tonight Jenny, Macy, CJ, Rachel and I saw Dear John at the Whitefields Mall Theater. Some of us loved it, some hated it. I cried. "I'm in a glass case of emotion" today.

I saw a lady from Lea Valley Ward on the tube when we accidentally got on the wrong train. She had a long day at work and was on her way home. It may seem insignificant, but throughout the semester we have never gotten on the wrong train and I think there was a reason that we did tonight. What are the odds that I would run into someone on the train that lives in a completely different part of London? I think it was fate, but I'm not exactly sure why.

On the way out of the theater tonight, I heard Michael Buble singing "I wanna go home" and I agree with him. But THIS may keep me from coming home on Saturday.
Stupid Icelandic volcanic ash. As long as I make it to my brother's wedding I'll be happy as a clam!

How has this semester gone passed so fast? Here are some of my favorite pictures from this month.
The people and places here are incredible. Tomorrow's the last full day unless the volcano really does keep us here. Either way, it's going to be an incredible one. Hope yours is too!

All my love, Lorb

It's summer.

I just finished my finals. I don't know what to do with my time. I've been so obsessed with studying these past few days that I feel like I'm supposed to be studying still...


BUT IT'S SUMMER!!!!!!! How sweet it is.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

AH, here's why I have a bad knee!

I took picture of literally everything in my flat tonight so I won't forget my favorite home away from home. Including these bad boys that I hike 12 times a day to get to my room. And this sign is on the bathroom door, just in case we don't remember:

We have a mouse in our room, there was a huge spider above Jenny's bed tonight... and sometimes I wake up to THIS!

Even with the steps, the belittling signs, the rodents and the Macy situation... I wouldn't change one thing about this semester.

This man was in Starbucks with me today:
Hugh Dancy. What a girly last name!

Finished half of my finals today and the other 3 are tomorrow. TIME TO STUDY!

Night night. Love you,
Laura

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Do you know you have to be 18 to be in here?"

-the man at the pub down the street

I look 17. REALLY?

Band of Horses


The Great Salt Lake, where I'll be in a week! The Band of Horses show was incredible. The venue was an old opera house with a huge disco ball and nothing could wipe my smile off my face! Not even the finals that start tomorrow.



I just ate Wagamamas for lunch with the girls and Susan Howe, then booked my car to the airport with Macy.
3 days left. How is this HAPPENING!? Hope everyone is having a happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Last Sunday in London.

Tonight we had a testimony meeting. IT WAS AMAZING and I have not felt so happy since my first Nsync concert when I was 11. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I love the gospel and I am not ashamed of it. I am so blessed to be in such a loving family and I am grateful that I can be with them forever and ever. They are my best friends!

My heart is about to explode, I am so happy. I'm also wearing some floral leggings that I got with CJ and we have been singing, dancing and parading around the flat in them since the testimony meeting ended. Life is too good to be true.

Lots of matching these past few months:
Whether it's jackets
the way we stand like dorkums
The way we love London and tube map boxers
Wellies all up in here
Backpacks
and of course the spandex.
This morning at stake conference Leanda (on the left) gave a talk. She is one of the Young Women in the Lea Valley Ward. Such an amazing girl. It was sad saying bye to these ladies.


After conference, I wrote letters on a bench in Hyde Park and watched families, bikers, joggers, weirdos, and cute lovers pass by. People-watching is a great pastime in preparation for finals week.

Try it out! I love you all.

Laura

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Royal Ballet: Cinderella

I laughed, I cried, I LOVED IT.
The ballerinas were so talented and graceful. It was their opening show, but it looked like they had done it a million times- so much training and practice must have gone into that performance. It made me really excited for my ballet class in the fall, even though I know there's no way I could ever be that good. Speaking of which, I signed up for my classes for next semester at BYU. It turns out you can't just take exercise classes to graduate. Ridiculous, I KNOW! So I'm going to be a Public Relations major! Let's see if I can make it through graduation without changing my mind 5 times.


During the ballet Jenny, Reesa and I sat together and we were captivated by the whole experience. The Opera House was stunning. I guess it's got to be if the queen herself commissioned it! Afterward with Jenny and Macy, I wandered the weekend market in Covent Gardens eating random little things. Markets here rock. It was so crowded which made me realize how lucky I was to be here winter semester and not during tourist season.

Lately:

London Temple for baptisms

We looked like mom and dad at dinner. Our adoring kids in the mirror. For some reason dad didn't pay...

Walking through Hyde Park on Easter
Boating the Thames River

Tourist pictures at Big Benji.

Standing on the Prime Meridian

Joshua Radin concert

This afternoon was incredible, I'm loving life, and now it's business, it's business time. Wish me luck studying my brains out!

Tons of hugs and kisses,
Lorb

Friday, April 9, 2010

Jazzed about life

Tom is always keeping me in the loop about things I'm missing out on in America. He is just the best and I miss him.

Because I'm coming home soon, he warned me to be aware of the following:
  • JoBros
  • Lady Gaga
  • Twitter
I'll research these things tonight. Tom had time to tell me this, EVEN THOUGH he's planning Jeff's bachelor party for tomorrow night. What a guy! I can't believe Jeff's getting married. I will always think of him as a 16 year old nerd with a passion for sleepwalking and playing frisbee. He's suddenly a grown-up with a real life job, getting ready to attend a real life law school, and getting married in 2 weeks from today. How does time fly so fast?

I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT GOES!

I am feeling so zesty today.

We went on a boat tour of London.
Then visited Greenwich where the prime meridian
The beginning of time and two hemispheres- underneath my feet! I can cross off "be in two places at once" from my bucket list! As we were walking around the beautiful grounds there, Jenny, CJ, Macy, Jake and I played a game where we had to say the first word that came to our heads when we think of the other people in the group. We showered each other with compliments and just... expressed endearing words.
So nerdy, but we loved it. On the way home we ate at Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I got the Pesterella- Pesto and mozzarella on a burger and it was as delicious as it sounds. We played "highlight and lowlight" of London while eating. We stopped at Borough Market to taste test yummy things there. I ate chocolate that was filled with something that tasted of... alcohol? It was weird. Weirdly tingly and disgusting.

Besides all the fun things we did, I've been studying today (also fun,) and I finished my mythology book! I bought tickets with a few girls to see Band of Horses in Camden, a seedy section of London. But seediness is no issue: it is one of my favorite bands and the venue is going to be really nice- very much like the one we had at the Radin concert.

It's called the KoKo and we're going on Monday. It will be a very much needed study break!

Life is good.

So much love,
Laura

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Saw these two tonight

Not the guy on the left (EW who is he and who told him it is okay to walk out of the house like that?)

Joshua Radin was lovely tonight, but he didn't sing "Lovely Tonight!" It's okay though because he sang lots of other good stuff and his BFF from scrubs was there for his birthday! Rachel, Sarah M, Mary, Jenny, CJ and I were standing at the front. Rachel yelled out that she loved him and he said "I love you too." Jealous.

studying ALL night long.

The Staves opened the concert and they were really good. I don't really know how myspace junk works... but I think you can hear some of their music here.

Hugs, Laura

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

T-MINUS 10 DAYS


We didn't even have class today. Instead we went to the Houses of Parliament! The queen and prime minister's stomping ground. The Queen's seat was covered in and surrounded by gold. It made me want to move to England permanently and usurp her power, just for her chair.

We also went to the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum.

(my latest crush)

Winston Churchill was an amazing man and I want to study his life. From the moment of birth to his last breaths. HE WAS INCREDIBLE!! I devoured the museum, don't worry- only metaphorically. I actually ate sushi with CJ at Pret A Manger! Besides being the most influential prime minister of England,

He was captured as a Prisoner of War and escaped.
He wrote sweet notes to his wife.
He was a phenomenal painter.
He was witty and tenacious.
He wore his pajamas almost 24/7.
And a million other awesome things

I bought books about him. I can't get enough. I've been thinking about him all day. You could say that I'm stalking Winston Churchill. You know those essay prompts that ask, "if you could eat dinner with one person from history, who would it be?" I always answered Elvis on those things for some reason... I don't even listen to Elvis. If only I had known more about him in high school when I was answering those dumb prompts, I would whole-heartedly answer WINSTON CHURCHILL! Read about him. He did great things.

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."


Just skyped with Anna. Without even saying anything to each other we laugh uncontrollably. That's how it's been for the past 6 years! She is the best friend I could ever ask for.

Must keep studying. Darn finals cramping my (already lacking) style these days....

Love, Laura