Day 1: May 21-22, The Never Ending DayToday, or yesterday, or whatever day it is now I left for London. Obviously my days are mixed up because my tutor (Jure Vidmar) just emailed me to tell me I missed our first meeting. Thats not the most important part, rather our long long journey is what you want to hear.
Melissa and mine's flight left Memphis to ATL a little behind schedule, but we made it on time for our next flight. While Melissa ate a meal bar, I stuffed my face with Pei Wei, yummy. And I decided to chase down a boy in the terminal that I was sure was Elijah Choy... its been that kind of day. Our flight took forever to take off and finally we left for our 7:54 hour flight to London Heathrow. I caught up on the classics on the plane, watched Casablanca and then Interview with the Vampire (and ate everything in sight). We finally start getting close and then were in a holding pattern above London. First thoughts are that "OMG were late were supposed to meet Dr. Snyder at 11!" It's already 12 when we land. So being the seasoned traveller that I am, with the help of the unhelpful and very nervous Melissa, we decided that instead of getting our baggage first, we would go straight to another terminal where we were to meet our group...
This is where it all goes downhill.... finally we make it through customs in a terminal that is not our own (idiot move, I should know better). Get out to arrivals and find all our friends, and they're like where's your luggage? Of course I said "Oh we were just so excited to come see yall we just left it there for awhile." Now we had to make the long journey back through the hell of Heathrow to terminal 4 which doesnt seem like a big deal, but it is. This time we take the trains... We finally get back. We find another girl in our group who was lost almost in Amsterdam. At this point we had to get accepted and rechecked through security. But not just any security... the sketchy worker's little behind the disney scenes security. So this typecast movie character working in this little room makes us sit on a bench and wait. Of course Melissa has to get a pat down cause she leaves her phone in her pocket, that's the first crying incident. We finally get through again, and all these people that seem to try to be helpful have no idea what theyre saying. Finally after walking all over the place we find our bags, and proceed to wait on our new friend Hannah's luggage to come in on a different flight. By this point we know our group is long gone, but the mission is simple. Get back to Terminal 5 and get on the bus to Oxford. No big deal, except the trains are weird, and you have to take connecting ones to get to terminals 4 or 5. Anyways theres the express that goes straight from terminal 5 to Paddington Station. And thats right, we got on the wrong end and went right on to Paddington station in downtown London. I see this as a great adventure and we meet plenty of fun people. On the other hand Melissa has lost it and is crying again. I think its just a fun little adventure so I'm like "Whatevverrrr." Of course if you go further than the terminal you have to pay for the train. So when our good buddy Theo, the ticket taker, comes by I put on my best "I'm a helpless dumb blonde American" face. He is the perfect young British boy, strawberry blonde and cute accent. This helpless act seems to come in handy and everyone should learn this skill. Just be nice to people and make them help you, while having enough attitude to get what you need. So good ole Theo writes us a note on a piece of paper that says we get to go for free, while our friend who rode the back of the train had to pay 40 pounds.
Finally. Finally FINALLY, we make it on to the right terminal and out on to the bus to go to Oxford where I pass out. It is perfectly pastoral, with the real rolling hillsides with sheep on them. I love it.
We arrive late to the welcome party, and in my ratty t-shirt I have to meet a room full of people I was definitely not expecting. So embarrassing.
This is over quickly, and everyone leaves the three of us late travellers to go to the pub. Melissa and Hannah are helpless... so I somehow find us a cab. We finally make it to our tiny flat which is so cute. Theres a window in our room that opens to the back where theres a path to the Thames. The front is an ugly train station but whatever! Our flat mates are super nice from Michigan and Ohio and they are taking us to tea thursday.
Anyways, we later made it to dinner at the pub the Red Lion, which is not at all what youre thinking. Im thinking Lord of the Rings like pints of beer. This is the classiest and swankiest little place that every girl would love. So much for a "pub." Im proud to say I led the way there with my Elliott sense of direction while everyone else is like, "Wait, whaaat?" Needless to say it will be a long trip.
Thats all for today I've been up for 30 some hours and counting. More posts soon, and maybe even pictures if I can figure that out. xoxoxo