Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Muggles in London

Dear world, 

Hello from some thousand miles in the European sky! I am currently typing up this entry as I am flying home to Florence from London. 

I am gradually growing more and more aware of the little time I have left here. I am starting to think about preparing for my departure on the 20th of December. Without realizing it, I had already planned trips for all of my weekends up until then. In other words, I have no more Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in Florence- a thought that is both heart-wrenching and thrilling at the same time, because I will have no more lazy weekends to enjoy, but more traveling means more adventures! This past weekend I went to London, next week I will be going to Rome, then southern Italy for an Italian Christian conference, and I will be in Munich three days before I head back to the states. It's going to be a crazy month and I find myself hoping that I will somehow survive this crazy schedule in the midst of finals/packing. But I am also so, so excited! Maybe its the go hard or go home mentality that I picked up from USC :) 

London was an amazing city, and I'm so glad that I decided to travel here with my friend Ruth Le and Alex Lopez when I did. Out of all the cities I had been to, London was most similar to the United States culturally, so it was a good beginning transition to prepare myself for home. It was strange to see so many familiar stores and chains again, such as chipotle, KFC, and my personal favorite, Starbucks! Another shocker that I had was realizing that I could understand what everyone said and had no trouble at all communicating because you know, everybody speaks English in the UK. It's an obvious statement but having close to no language barriers was like taking a gulp of fresh air after speaking broken Italian/Spanish/sign language for three months! I kept going into museums or metro stations expecting to find street signs and information plaques written in a foreign language. 

Bringing holiday cheer from Londra! (Note the starbucks)

Call me maybe?

Big Ben and Parliament!

So, London was also another city I fell in love with. Being a huge Harry Potter nerd also heightened my excitement because I would walk around the city half convinced that everything was made of magic. I'll admit that I was definitely hoping to catch a glimpse of a wandering wizard or witch. Besides Harry Potter, I had forgotten how many of my favorite stories and films took place in london, like V for Vendetta, Peter Pan, Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, and Mary Poppins! I'm not sure if I enjoyed London or Paris more. Paris was certainly more beautiful but London was so festive with the Christmas decorations (there were TONS of advertisements for Dreamwork's new movie Rise of the Guardians,) and the locals I met were always so jolly and friendly! Maybe it was because the British have a much better impression of Americans than the French do. And to top off the weekend, my friends and I got matinee tickets to see the London musical for Les Miserables- one of my favorite books in the world. (I might have cried a little.) I would absolutely love to live here for a year or so if the cost of living did not do so much damage to my bank account. 

Stumbled into the world's oldest mystic and occult bookshop- I probably could have been shopping for Hogwarts
I couldn't leave London without visiting platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross!
Post-Les Miserables in the Queen's Theatre

"To love another person is to see the face of God." - Victor Hugo
High tea/Christmas tea

had to have my share of scones and clotted cream
because I am the princess of Buckingham palace
As much as I loved traveling around Europe and getting a taste of different cultures, the United Kingdom was a good break for me. I was so incredibly happy walking around Covent Garden with my tall holiday toffee latte from Starbucks, and purchases from the local sweet shops while looking at English teas and gawking at the huge Christmas tree in the plaza. It reminded me of a combination of Paris and New York city with a dash of British flair/humor. Perhaps it's the holiday spirit of London and the sound of English speakers everywhere that is gently tugging at my heartstrings and reminding me of christmas at home. I wont deny that it was extremely difficult to leave london because i had grown so attached to it in only 3 short days. But, the thought of my upcoming trips in the next few weeks makes it hard to be too sorry. I still have about three more weeks of more art, more learning, more seeing, and more adventures and traveling! 

goodbye, magical London!
And we're about to land so I think I'll end this here before the flight attendant lady yells at me. 

Con tanto amore, 

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