Posts Tagged ‘victory’

The End of Days

30 July 2009

(Don’t panic! Just for me in England…not like…the end of the world or anything.) 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Here, allow me to illustrate with this chart I just happened to have on hand:

Venn diagram

Hannah and I got back from EA!P2 on Wednesday, June 3. We made the trek from Gatwick to RoHo in the early afternoon and met up with Miranda and Phoebe in Staines for the Last Ever (for us at least) Orange Wednesday (two-for-one movie tickets through our mobiles…that’s “cell phone” for the yankees). Saw Angels and Demons. I’m sorry, I just cannot buy Tom Hanks as an “action hero.” But I love Ewan McGregor in anything and everything. And it was super cool because I had been to almost every place in Rome that they filmed. Overall, I’d say it was better than previous movie. “I have to get to a library! There’s a snake in my boot!”

Thursday was crazy packing day of crazy.

June 4 5 6 003

It always gets worse before it gets better.

Hannah went off on her own to London to shop for some souvies, Grace came back from her Euroventure, and then it was Farewell to London Time. Grace and I found Hannah by Southwark Cathedral (the first place I went with Grace and Tyler and Colin and Annie the first time I took the train into London waaaay the heck back in January) and had fish and chips and Bulmers (HOW I MISS THEE) at a pub by the Thames.

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Then Grace went off for her farewell ritual, and Hannah and I kept walking along the Thames River Path (I think I saw it called that on a sign, but it is also entirely possible that I’m making the name up) to Shakepeare’s Globe for Romeo and Juliet!

They try to be very authentic in their props and costumes and set design and lack of microphones. And lack of comfort in seating. Three hours on a wood bench with no back. I guess it was better than the poor groundlings who had to stand the whole time. Oy. And because it’s open air, it was cool to see the sky change and the sun set (dare I say…Waterloo sunset?

) and all that.

Back in Egham, I said goodbye to Miranda and Phoebe (who are suuuuper cool, btw, and I’m really sad that I didn’t start hanging out and getting to know them earlier) and Hannah, Grace and I hunkered down for some more packing and Surrey Sleepover 3.0.

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See? Progress was made.

On the morning of D-Day, I was feeling surprisingly ready. It was the most ready and calm and on-time departure morning I’d had in a long time. For example, before leaving New York in December, I was running around like a headless chicken, trudging through the snow, trying to mail home last minute packages, desperately pawning my belongings onto other etc etc.

Everything was ready ahead of our goal time for going downstairs to wait for the taxi. Of course it started to rain just then, but there was enough time to take a photo at one of RoHo’s most beloved landmarks:

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The taxi was right on time and the driver was super nice, even in the face of our huge huge pile of luggage. We had a nice chat on the drive to Gatwick and got there super early.

Of course, both of my suitcases were over weight, but somehow I only got charged for one, which was a magical surprise.

We spent a lot of time in the departure lounge, browsing the duty-free shops and buying up snacks to strategically get rid of as much of our left over British money as possible. And then there was the ceremonial Taking of the Last Picture in England.

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It took a bit of diligence to get seats together on the plane because we all had separate reservations, but hard work pays off.

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Airplane cheers for us. I was lucky enough to have the window seat…

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Great view, right? We gazed out over the Atlantic the whole time.

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Eight hours in a plane isn’t so bad, especially when you’ve got your besties. You’ll note we were not immune to the crazy, however, which can be seen in our faces. Or mine at least.

On our landing cards, we all put that we’d been to a farm (because we had) which caused us to get special marks in immigration (the line was super long, and then the conveyor belt for the luggage wasn’t working so it took forever), and then we got pulled aside in customs for a special xray of our luggage (which we had diligently loaded on to carts and had to immediately take off again) and the Official Decontamination of the Farm Contaminated Shoes. They were also placed in a plastic bag for Extra Protection.

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And once we got through customs, they are like “SURPRISE! Give back your carts for now there is only an escalator to the shuttle to the main building. Or you can put your luggage on this slow mystery conveyor that will take it to normal baggage claim so you can wait for it all over again.”

Of course, being the strong, independent women that we are, we were like “heeeeeelll no” so we comically transported the bags up the escalator one at a time.

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The task was overwhelming, to say the least, because then there were more bags to pull than hands to pull them with.

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Our parents were waiting on the other side of security. It was a joyous reunion, filled with much laughter as our precarious luggage arrangements and SaniShoes continued to malfunction and relocate…so by the time we got into the terminal, we were just dragging them higgaldy piggaldy and giggling with jetlag. Nevertheless, we made it home!

Whew! Finally!

So there you have it folks. There and back again!

Life in Londonland
Leonore’s Adventures Abroad
January 7-June 5, 2009

Stayed tuned for one last reflective/conclusionary entry coming (fingers crossed) soon!

In which politics are discussed (BEWARE)

21 January 2009

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special important breaking news:

BARACK OBAMA IS NOW THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I had six straight hours of class today, otherwise I would’ve gone to London to party it up. If you watch this video, at 0:53, you’ll see 2 tables full of my peeps celebrating at the Hard Rock. Pretend I’m one of the people with their backs turned.

Instead, I wore my Obama buttonday-132

and managed to catch the Inauguration on the telly at Medicine, one of the campus pubs, with a friend of mine from New Zealand. It was rather fun to provide commentary during the opening bits about who was who, and what was going on, and why I was laughing at the ornery looking man in a wheelchair. There were a handful of other students there (no other Americans as far as I could tell) but everyone got really quiet when Obama started speaking, and there was polite applause at the end, by which I mean, everyone went back about their business while I cheered like a maniac.

It was a bit upsetting that after all of the great orating that has come out of Barack Obama, he stumbled over the oath of office!! However, I maintain that it was all John Roberts’ fault.inaug-3

Every time I think about the speech, I get goosebumps all over again. Here’s one of my favorite parts:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor — who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

APTOPIX Obama Inauguration

I agree. Thumbs up.

Other exciting events in my OBAMA DAY celebration include watching a billion hours of MSNBC.com coverage of the post swearing in events. Rachel Maddow is my new favorite person, and I don’t really understand by Chris Matthews says “Americans” the way that he does, but anyway, gotta love that non-stop coverage.

Tomorrow morning, I fully expect to wake up to angels singing from the heavens and baby bunnies prancing in the meadow and people spontaneously hugging each other on the sidewalk and cookies wafting their fresh-baked goodness through the air.

YES WE CAN!

In conclusion,Obama Inauguration

BYE GEORGE!!!!!!!

Dear Royal Holloway,

23 November 2008

It’s done! I just emailed my acceptance!!

It’s true!!

24 October 2008

I now know, for sure, that nobody doesn’t not get in!

Still, I was a little bit doubtful and nervous that my app would get lost in the mail or some other tragedous tragedy, but alas, today I opened my gmail, and what do I have but a LETTER OF ACCEPTENCE FROM ROYAL HOLLOWAY!!!!

I was definitely giddy. And excited at my internship (where I was when I got the email). I had a huuuuge smile on my face.

So I made Hannah buy me Pinnacle after rehearsal. To celebrate.