I'm here! I'm in my room at Harlaxton College, not completely unpacked, but I'm working on it. The past couple of days have been an incredible blur that I will try to recount for you.
Wednesday night dad, Sloan and I went to Nashville (after a delicious Cracker Barrel dinner) and took the shuttle to the airport at 7:30 the next morning. We got through security easily and dad and Sloan got passes to go to the gate with me, enabling my dad and I to recount some of my funnier childhood memories. I met up with my friend Chelsea at the airport, we said our goodbyes where I tried my best not to cry, and boarded our plane to Chicago. We took off around 11 and landed in Chicago a little before 1. The flight to London was FULL of Harlaxton students so we knew many of the people at the airport. Our plane was schedule to leave at 5:05 but it got delayed until 6:05, so we enjoyed a delicious meal at Macaroni Grill. After being told we would board by 6:45, we got on the plane at about 7:15 and didn't take off until after 8. Luckily, the plane provided little televisions in front of every seat that had a fairly decent selection of shows and movies to choose from. The flight was about 7 and a half hours and we landed in London Heathrow a little before 10. I got about 3 hours of sleep on the way over, thanks to watching The Office, Monk, 30 Rock, and the sheer impossibility of sleeping comfortably sitting upright.
After gathering our luggage, we took a coach that was supposed to be about 3 hours long--I don't know because I slept the entire way; I could not keep my eyes open!--to Harlaxton College. It's even better than the pictures. So much better, I can hardly begin to describe! The grounds are covered in snow and it's absolutely gorgeous. I'm living in the Carriage House which is about 100 yards from the actual manor. I wasn't disappointed though because I've heard the Carriage House is a lot of fun! I have three other roommates and our room is a decent size. We all have our own dressers and desks.
Dinner was at 5 and I had my first ever meal of fish and chips--how English! It was actually quite good. My friend Clay and I explored all over the castle and all the detail was honestly astonishing. There are hundreds of staircases so no matter where you're trying to go, you always get distracted by a turn here or a door or passageway there. We checked out the library and found our classrooms as well as several lounges, recreational areas, and computer labs. The Bistro, which is in the basement, appears to be pretty neat so I will have to check that out as soon as I don't feel like passing out on my bed. There are thousands of sculptures, lights, paintings and ornate decorations everywhere. It's like a dream! It was so neat to touch the structure of the building and know someone had built it hundreds of years ago.
After dinner we had our first meeting with our British Studies instructor. My professor's name is Dr. Bujak and we have been deemed his "lions." There are about 15 other people in my class. He was hilarious--it might have had something to do with the fact that I'm sleep deprived, he's got a British accent, or he actually really is funny. I enjoyed the time we spent in there and I think it will be a fun, but challenging course. Now I'm going to shower--something I have been looking forward to ALL night--and try to stay awake so I don't wake up too early.
Hope all is well back in the States! Miss you all.