Greetings from 27 Palace Court, room number 3B. I'm sitting on my bed here completely wasted after days of sleep deprivationand a serious amount of traveling. But... totally worth it to finally be here.
I left my house in Sandy Monday morning at 5:30 am. I had a 4 hour layover in Houston from 11:45 to 3:45 and then a straight 9 hr 10 min. flight to Heathrow London airport. Surprisingly, the best part ofthat trip was the long part. The guy I sat next to was 27 and an accountant. He and his friends were in Vegas for a bachelor party. He taught me how to play Backgammon and was super friendly and nice... plus he was British. (No freaking out though, I'm not a totally idiot about strangers.) The seats were crammed and my legs and neck ached! Oh, and Continental serves really crappy meals.
The good news was that the transfer in Houston and the trip to my new house in London were both SO easy to handle. I went through customs and picked up my baggage where both the exit and Heathrow express were. I took the express to Paddington station for 15 pounds and then a taxi to the center for 5. It was awesome. When I got to Paddington I felt like I was going to run into my friend Harry Potter at any minute. Trying not to look like a total tourist with all my luggage and my camera I snagged a sly picture by the railing(that's why it's not so good, but I really thought Anth would like it!). I can only imagine what will happen when we go to Kings Cross and see Platfrom 9 3/4!
The rest of the morning (Tuesday) I spent meeting girls as they came and getting my room together. A group of us went to and Indian place for lunch and roamed the Notting Hill area. Then I took a nap, ate dinner with everyone finally here, and then a few of us took the tube to Big Ben and walked up to the National Gallery. There is A LOT of history on one street! It was so amazing to see monumental buildings and statues, especially as the sun was going down.
London is nothing I expected and everything I expected all at once. I know that probably makes no sense... but that is the best way I know how to describe how I feel having been here for only one day. At a glance it is a lot like America... New York or San Francisco without the hills. But then you take a good look and everything is older and classier and turns out to be a piece of art. Everything has a story and the buildings are incredible.
So far everyone seems to be really nice and friendly... we'll see. If I know girls, the cliques will form soon enough. I'd rather not play that game and I'm used to boys, but apparently these girls are going to be my best friends until December so I'm playing nice and trying to make friends.
The center has some issues with the internet... so it is going to be hard for me to post a ton of pictures which is a bummer. But for now I'll just leave you with one more!