Monday, August 20, 2007

Day 37 7/9/07

Depart Heathrow 4:00 pm

Today we leave for home and it is definitely a bittersweet day. I can’t wait to see my family and go home for Russell and Maryann’s wedding! Yet, this trip has been so unbelievable and I know I will never experience anything quite like it ever again. So many memories, I can’t wait to share with everyone back at home and between the VC class of ’08. It is all going to be over before I know it, but at least I know I have at least 15 close friends in this major who I can keep in tough with in the years to come. It is so great to have these connections and networks with in this major. I am anxious to see where we all end up in the years to come!

Day 36 7/8/07

A Day of Packing Up!

A few days ago we were all a little freaked out about the bombing attempts and 7/7/07, which made us all a little anxious to go home; however, I don’t think anyone is truly ready today. Our whole flat got so close this trip and we really lucked out getting to all live together. It is shocking how little drama or tension there was between us all seeing that we have spent 24/7 with each other for the past year, especially these past 5 weeks. I am really going to miss having these girls around all the time and having the guys there across the hall. It was funny though because there was definitely more tension and minor hostility between the guys then there was ever between us girls. It took me a whole day to pack but that’s cause I kept putting it off. Tomorrow we are leaving for the airport early because of all the heightened security.

Day 35 7/7/07

Today is the anniversary of the London tube bombings last year. Today is also the prologue of the tour de France London depart. I decided not to live in fear and take the tube this morning to Hyde Park to see the French market and a festival celebrating the tour. The French market was very cute and reminder of borough market. I ate burnt sugar then headed back to Trafalgar Square to watch the opening parade at 1:00 pm. At 3:00 pm I headed over to Portabello with Anthony to pick up some last minute gifts, then went back to Hyde Park to see the end of the individual time trials. It was pretty exciting, I really wish my dad was there with me to experience it because he would have really enjoyed it. So I bought him a shirt (that will have to do.)

Day 34 7/6/07

Friday-Court 1

We were woken up at 6:00 am by the Stewards to start cleaning up and moving in line to the stadium. At 11:00 am we finally had a mad rush into the stadium to buy our tickets. Since we were the first in line and the steward’s favorite "happy campers" we received the special treatment and were let in the gate first. Jill, Jilliam A, Jessie and I teamed up and got 4 tickets next to each other in row 4. The seats were amazing and I never thought I would ever sit so close to the players at any sporting event. I felt like I was almost sitting on the grass court. We watched the Bagdadis and Bodjovitch match, which was a great one to see because the two players were such a good match. It lasted 5 hours and went into overtime.

Day 33 7/5/07

Queuing up for Wimbledon

I never was really into tennis or really watched it for that matter but I decided to take a risk and experience the “Queuing up Adventure,” a long-lived VC tradition. Ten of us left at 12:00 noon today to start the 24-hour wait for 1st court tickets (center court was already sold out.) I figured it would be an experience, plus I really had nothing better to do…
So it turns out we arrived wayyy to early, were the first people in line and the only people in line till about 6 pm that night. OOPS! We didn’t realize it wasn’t the first day of Queuing up so doing so, so early, wasn’t nearly as vital. O’ well it was funny (for the first few hours at least). We were referred to by the stewards as the (now eight, two dropped out) happy campers.
So it was cold and rainy up until about 7 pm when we decided it would be a smart time to build a tent for the night. We use our one small tarp and our newly purchased trash bags to construct a rather pathetic (but at the same time impressive) make-shift-tent (the only people in line by the way with a hand-made tent.) But hey it stopped raining and a Norwegian camera crew, fascinated by our story and tent interviewed us for a short documentary on Wimbledon. That night it unfortunately got really cold and again we were forced to rely purely on body heat and our pathetic British Airway blankets. The extent to how unprepared we were to sleep overnight on the street was absurd, but a little wine and Strongborough helped us laugh off the night. I didn’t sleep that night but I wasn’t the only one. Anthony and I found some cardboard boxes on the street that gave us some cushioning to lie on, but it really just made us feel that much more like a homeless person. All and all, I would never do this again so unprepared, but the whole experience was worth it because we had an amazing time the next day.

Day 32 7/4/07

Goodbye Luncheon

Today we spent our last group visit together dining at an amazingly delicious Greek restaurant. I have never had such a meal consisting of three large courses and three hours of relaxing and eating. I was basically heaven, and a perfect way for us all to be together again for the last time until we return home. We toasted to a successful trip and thanked Bill and Ashley for all their hard work putting together the trip. Wine was on Ashley’s lovely wife Jen. After lunch, Bill took us on a walk up to strawberry hill where we could see the whole city of London. It was cold and windy but beautiful and a great chance for us to reflect on our whole trip. One last group photo and we were off!

Day 31 7/3/07

Free Day

Today I am laying low after two days of intense traveling. There has been two bombing attempts one at Glasgow Airport and another outside of a night club in Picadilly Circus. Because of all this I don’t really feel like traveling today, but I am sure I will calm down tomorrow. I also need to go to the Delaware center to retrieve a new tube pass.