Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembrance Day vs. Veteran's Day

I'm not trying to be un-Patriotic... I'm grateful for our American war veterans... but I am a big fan of celebrating Remembrance Day European style.  Here's a little piece of my journal entry from last year on my study abroad in London:

"Today was a great day to be in London.  Ben, Andrew and I went to the memorial service at the cenotaph on Whitehall that the royal family attends.  There was a parade of veterans and the queen laid a wreath of poppies.  I didn't see her (too short) but I did see Prince Harry :) I loved the 2 minutes moment of silence.  It was so crazy to be in such a busy part of one of the most bustling parts of the world and to have it go so quiet that you can't even hear cars-- just birds chirping.  I also loved saying the Lord's Prayer in unison w/thousands of people and also hearing the Brit's sing "God Save the Queen" with her in attendance."

This entry is nothing eloquent or wordy... it's pretty simple actually.  I know that unless you were there or have been there to experience something like a 2 min moment of silence this probably doesn't mean much to you.  I have never experienced anything quite like the way the British honor their traditions and especially their war heroes.  After visiting a number of memorials, graves, and taking a class on the Great War I barely got to scratch the surface of how deep national pride runs in that beautiful country.  I miss it every day and while I celebrate our veterans in America this year I will also be wearing my poppy and reading Wilfred Owens poems. 

God Save the Queen. 
Cenotaph on Whitehall

Friday, August 19, 2011

Washington DC and the status of my move to England

In our tour of the Capitol. Hannah taught us that initially they wanted Washington to be buried under this central point of the building and have a flame eternally burning above it. The humble Washington declined and is buried at his home Mt. Vernon.

One of the two statues our state has in the Capitol. Had to get my pic with my man B. Young!!

Capitol Bikeshare, Sara and I rode bikes from Georgetown to the WWII and Lincoln Monuments

It was so hot and humid ALL the time. Here's me at the Lincoln M.
I have put off writing about the status of my move to England for two reasons. Numero uno is the fact that I've been visiting our nations fine capitol for the last week and haven't had the time or energy to sit down and explain it all.  Segundo... I just don't want to have to explain it over and over and have people bugging me about it once they hear.  Well, here you go:

Today I was supposed to be traveling into the London/Heathrow airport from DC. That did not happen. Instead I'm back in Utah sitting in my kitchen. Yes, I am still going. No, I don't know when. Yes, it is frustrating.  I found out the SAME morning I was leaving (talk about major packing changes).  To make a very long story short, I don't have a Visa yet. It is being handled by two very nice immigration lawyers as we speak. We're hoping that it doesn't take more than a few weeks.  It wasn't my fault, it wasn't my boss Andy's fault... it just is what it is. I am positive that I will be happier in the long run having my Visa fully backing me up over there.  I don't want to say anything else about the matter and I am not going to explain it again.  But I would like to say that I appreciate everyone's concern and help through all of this.  And now that I'm exhausted from my week in DC I am actually kind of happy I get to come home and regroup a bit.  Speaking of DC.............................


Ok, seriously a blast.  I mainly went to see Hannah and Sara who are out there for work and school, but ended up hanging out with a whole group of friends that also live there (ie, Steve and Jessie and Scott). 
This blog post will be a novel if I go into a ton of details so I'm just going to highlight via pictures.
At Eastern Market on Saturday morning

In front of the National Archives. Got to see the Constitution, Dec. of Ind. and Bill of Rights

Me and Hannah in front of Washington monument

It took us a while to find this tunnel... but when we did it led to the Pentagon and the Pentagon 911 memorial lit up

Nationals game. I'm a fan. Scott let me borrow his hat for the pic since Sara decided she didn't want to buy them.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Post and Pre London life

Hello family and friends.
I am writing because @ben_wagner (as I refer to all of my friends by their Twitter account name these days) is a motivational speaker and suggested that in my fit of anxious, post college graduation life, I should be writing something... anything... to help me get through the next few months of summer in Provo.
It is a shame that I stopped writing in this blog at the end of October.  So many wonderful experiences happened in the second half of my study abroad.  One experience in particular was Thanksgiving with Ben, Andrew, and Sarah in Edinburgh.  We stayed at a hostel, hiked Arthur's Seat, went to the National Gallery, and saw fireworks at the winter festival going on in the town square.  I've never felt more thankful on a Thanksgiving in my life. 

Hiking Arthur's Seat
Clique at the Castle
Thanksgiving dinner at the cafe JK Rowling wrote in
View from Edinburgh Castle (that is Arthur's seat in the distance)     

Some other noteworthy events were the week of finals and my mom visiting.  Finals week nobody slept or left the flat.  I got sick because I literally got 3 hours of sleep in 3 days.  However, it was one of the best weeks of the program.  Everyone went a little nuts and we all spent more time together (as if that were even possible). 
We stole some icecream from the kitchen and took caffeine pills
We were ballin' gangsta style in our Jazz attire that night.

Coke challenge. Best/worst idea ever?
My mom came for a week and I tried my hardest to get her to all the really great tourist spots as well as the places I loved the most.  It was tiring... but so fun.  I had no idea how I was going to show her everything I loved and experienced in 3 months in 6 short days.  We took a tour to Bath and Stonehenge one day, and the other days we usually went to a cathedral, museum, and a play at night.  I can say with overwhelming assurance that my mother is officially in love with London now too.  She bought too many books and went crazy over the Royal Wedding.
First day we went to Abbey Road

At Windsor Castle

Stonehenge... it was lovely weather this day!

Lots of bridges, I can't remember which one this is.  Man, I miss that LA gear coat. haha

Post London was really rough.  It is hard to go back to Provo, work, classes on  campus, and not being around all of your friends.  The first month was torture and on more than one occasion I cried myself to sleep every night.  I felt like I'd gone through a terrible breakup and my heart was broken.  I still get a little depressed when I think of how sad I was when I got home.  Then school work and graduation plans came up and soon I was really busy.  I graduated in April and it was a major accomplishment for me.   I'm so grateful for the experiences and fine education that BYU afforded me for the last 5 years.  I never realized my school spirit until it was too late.  Lucky for me I got to experience Jimmermania in my last semester of college.
Commencement with good friends! Ryan, Henna, Dean, Me

St. Tate (one of my professors in London) and me! Nothing beat seeing St. Tate taking pics of me from the podium as I accepted my diploma.

False advertising (there's nothing in that diploma cover)

Me and Mike <3

For those of you who don't know, I will be going back to England in August to nanny for the amazing Crockett family and hopefully get some writing done.  My dear old roommate Martha called me a couple of months ago and asked if I had any interest in going back.  My reply was to not even let her finish her sentence and that I was already emailing her brother.  I will be living about an hour out of London in a little village called Odiham (google earth it... it's tiny).  I am very excited to spend a year back in the place I love (and I don't even need to create a new blog!).  More details about that adventure when it actually comes about.  Until then I'm doing my best to not get anxious or sucked into feeling depressed by Provo.  Good thing I have good friends, family, fantasybachelorette, and Twitter. 
Peace to all of you.