Monday, July 5, 2010

I Woke Up Today in London

work, complete with a classic LAO party, and then checked out of my apartment and headed home to finish moving all of my stuff back in. I said goodbye to both of my sweet grandmas and then hit up Carrabbas with my family for dinner and Cold Stone for dessert. Delicious.

After seeing Eclipse the night before, getting no sleep the previous weekend, and being super stressed the entire week leading up to my departure, you’d think I’d get my act together and get in bed at a reasonable hour. Didn’t. Stayed up till about 3:30 packing and talking with friends,woke up at 5:30 to get ready, double check everything, and be to the airport by 8:20. Luckily for me, everything went off without a hitch. I was through security and at my gate with an hour to spare, and eyelids to constantly lift.

We left at 10:30 am from Salt Lake City, arriving at the New York JFK airport at 4:45 pm EST, an hour ahead of schedule, and waited on the tarmac for approximately that long until a terminal was available. I met up with Jessica and Morgan, and we got off the plane, STARVING. Jess and I bought a quick New Yorker (legit) and walked straight to board our final plane to London, Heathrow. After sending a final round of texts and changing my voicemail, my phone was retired until August.

During the flight we watched “The Young Victoria” and “When in Rome.” Victoria was incredible. I loved it. Such a fantastic movie with great actors. Huge crush on Prince Albert now. Rome was predictable, but entertaining. I should have been sleeping. I have honestly gotten about 6 hours of sleep in the past 72 hours. My head is throbbing, my balance is impaired, my mental dexterity lacking, and holding my eyes open to type this is a struggle.

But watching the sun come up over the ocean a few minutes before we reached London was fantastic. Our world is so beautiful and we’re just so lucky to be in it.

We landed, caught a train to our bus station, grabbed an earlier bus than anticipated and arrived in Cardiff around noon. We checked in with our group and headed to Tesco for food and supplies.

Our houses are in the college-town section of Cardiff, just a few minutes from downtown Cardiff.

The houses are narrow, vertical and old, but the character is amusing. My carpet is purple with embossed (?) flowers. The strangest thing is that I had to come all the way to Wales on a study abroad to have a queen-sized bed of my own. No, seriously. I’ve only ever slept in twins.

I have a cute little desk area and a lovely breeze and view from my window, including a cathedral.

Our neighborhood is really cool. We live on a street called Penalyn, pronounced Pen –ah-line, but we call it “Penny Lane.” J We are surrounded by little shops, charity stores, restaurants and a great park. For dinner, we walked over onto Albany Street for some authentic Mediterranean cuisine at Puccini’s. I came home excited to finally be able to shower and sleep, only to find that our downstairs shower doesn’t work. The upstairs one is also quite dinky and changes temperature faster than Lady Gaga changes costumes. Normally, I’d be super grossed out by this old house, imperfect utilities, and generally “icky” circumstances here. I’d be thinking, “can I really do 6 weeks of this?”

I’m not.

I recognize that I’m not very adventurous. I recognize that I cling to what’s safe and clean, metaphorically and literally. I don’t like tolerating things. I don’t like “dealing” or “coping.” So why do I avoid those things? Why don’t I take them and turn them into “living” and “loving?”

Exactly. I have this weird calm, accepting, trusting feeling, and I’m excited to see what this new adventure does for me and those I come in contact with. Wish me luck! :)


  1. Danica!!! I love it! Write morrreeeeeee and post more pictures and/or start a flickr gallery online so we can see ALL of your pictures! Those little ones are just not cutting it! Anyway, hope you are doing well! I miss you SO SO SO SO SO much!!!!!

  2. You're there!! Everything sounds great, and I love all the pictures. Keep us updated!

    Love you.