Today was perfect. Woke up at 9:00, grabbed some fruit, guzzled some water, and went for a run through the parks in London. Without a cloud in the sky and 50 degrees of sunshine greeting me at my front door, I headed down Hogarth Road with a friend into Kensington gardens and around Hyde Park. After making a complete circle around the parks and ending back at the Royal Albert Hall, we decided to head back to Hogarth, or Hogwarts as we like to call it, to make breakfast. I walked in my door to find Rip Van Winkle, aka my roommate Adam who had been asleep since 4 in the afternoon the previous day, was finally awake and ready to munch. So we threw on some Beatles and made some delicious omelets with green and red peppers, onions, and cheese. Stuffed after my second breakfast I decided to take a nap until 2, giving me enough time to hop on the tube with some buddies to catch the Tottenham v Portsmouth game at The Slug in Fullham for some pints, which is a great place to watch football games. So now it’s 5:30, only six and a half hours until the big two-one. I’d say it’s a good start to my birthday. Cheers.
Well it’s 8:30 a.m on the fifth day and I am just about getting over the jet lag. The flight here could have been better. I was stuck in the middle seat, which didn’t fully recline and had a broken TV. After landing I went to retrieve my bags only to find that OHare decided I only needed one of one of them (the one without clothes), and that my other bag was better off staying in Chicago for a few days. Life’s ruff, isn’t it? Poor me, right? I hope you can tell this is me being sarcastic.
I have been here since Saturday morning and so far I couldn’t be more happy with my experience here in London. Despite being put in the middle seat, not being able to watch a movie, not having the ability to recline my chair, and only getting half of my luggage, benedryl knocked me out for half the flight and I got compensation from United Airlines to buy clothes here in London for 4 days.
I am living in Earl’s Court located in South Kensington, the richest bureau in the United Kingdom. You can’t walk two blocks without seeing either a Maserati, Ferrari, Bently, or Aston Martin. BMWs and Mercedez coupes are as common as a Ford Taurus in the United States. Because the area I live in is so convenient for students and people on business, it is extremely cosmopolitan and diverse. This makes it hard to truly get a sense of the traditional British culture. However, this can be fixed by a quick ride on the tube, which is only a block away from my flat.
The flat I am living in is perfect. The outside looks straight out of Peter Pan or Mary Poppins, but the inside looks like a college apartment. We have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a patio in the back.
So far I have been trying to knock out most of the tourist attractions before I start working. Yesterday I did a tour of Westminster Abbey, which was unbelievable. It was by far the most beautiful church I have ever seen in my life. So many people have been buried there including Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton. When I walked inside I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Everywhere you looked was something to truly appreciate. The ceilings of the abbey were extremely high and had no support systems on the inside. If you look at the outside of the church, you can see thick beams at 45 degree angles supporting the outside. These are called flying buttresses, much like the ones that can be seen on Notre Dame in Paris. They used these so that when worshipers walked inside the abbey and they looked up at how tall the ceilings were standing with no support systems, they considered it a holy act of God.
I could sit here for hours and talk about the few days I have been here, but it’s 9:15 and my computer is running out of battery. I will have a shutterfly account soon so you can see all of the pictures I have taken so far.