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Harlaxton

I studied abroad in Grantham, England for a semester in the spring of 2010. Start from the first blog post to follow my adventures throughout Europe!

One week?!

I can't believe I'm leaving this beautiful place in only a week. It seriously seems like I only got here yesterday...

Although I stayed at the manor for most of this past weekend, it was still a blast. Friday night, however, Clay and I took a train to Nottingham for the evening. We ate dinner at this Italian place that seemed almost American, and although it took over an hour to get our food, it was worth it. The ciabatta bread was wonderful and the alfredo that I got was unlike any I've ever had, but it was delicious. After taking so long to eat, we were in a hurry to find our movie theatre. We couldn't figure out our map and we kept getting wrong directions from people until we ran into this English couple who were about our age. They were super nice and offered to show us where the theatre was and I'm so glad they did because I don't think we would have found it otherwise! Clay and I watched Alice in Wonderland in 3D (which is somewhat unnecessary in my opinion) but I LOVED the movie. It's the first full movie I've watched since I've been here, in theatres or just on television. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday came quickly and with it came the Costume Ball, which I had heard was fairly epic in past semesters. Turns out it was just as epic for us! There were so many awesome and funny costumes. Clay dressed up as Henry VIII and I dressed up as Anne Boleyn (my freaking dream--you better believe I'm shoving that 'B' necklace in my suitcase!) so of course I loved that. Chelsea was an Asian tourist (we see those everywhere), there were crayons, bats, Lance Armstrong came, as well as Hannah Montana and the Mean Girls. We all enjoyed some wine punch before being served an amazingly delicious dinner in the Long Gallery. It was a lot of fun to hang out and talk with everyone over dinner. Finally the dance began and Chelsea, Clay and I found our own form of entertainment with a piece of Clay's costume which was absolutely hysterical. Chelsea and I also took up the hobby of "photobombing" which involves running into other people's pictures right before they take them and ruining them. That also made for a lot of laughs and the evening was very enjoyable all in all.

Sunday morning Clay and I decided to take the school shuttle to church. On Easter, Clay went to a church called New Life that was apparently full of running and screaming children, so we tried out the local Methodist Church. The lady who greeted us was very nice, and once we got inside it only took us a moment to realize we were the youngest people there by at least three generations. Seriously, everyone looked like they were going to die within minutes. It was kind of scary. The service was very traditional (no versus skipped in songs) and the preacher was quite interesting. She sounded completely normal when telling anecdotes, but when she began speaking about scripture and God, she adopted a very odd, robotic kind of voice. Strange. So about ten minutes before the service was finished, I looked over at Clay, who was staring straight ahead, mouth open, with a very dead look in his eyes. This caused me to start cracking up immediately, which Clay tried to prevent by putting his hand on my to calm me down. This only served to make him start laughing too, making our whole pew shake, and making the entire situation worse. Everyone knows it's very difficult to quit laughing when something important is taking place, such as a prayer. This laughing went on for a solid five minutes before we gained control of ourselves. Luckily for us, I think everyone in the church was deaf so we didn't get any looks or comments, but I'm sure it was a scene to behold.

Sunday afternoon Sarah, Rachel, Clay, Molly, Molly's friend Autumn who has been studying abroad in Italy all semester, and I teamed up to take on the Harlax10 Olympic games. All the other teams had intense outfits, while we were probably the least enthused team to begin with. But, you know, I say talent matters more than looks. We participated in a balloon toss (mine exploded all over my face), a relay race where you had to run with a tennis ball between your legs, a course set off by cones where one person led the rest of the team who was blindfolded, and a game where you filled up teacups with water and them downstairs to fill up your team's bucket. We did very well in all the events, earned a point for team spirit, and found ourselves in the wheelbarrow race to determine the final four teams. Molly and Clay teamed up and demolished everyone, placing us in the final competition: another wheelbarrow race. This was quite a challenge considering the course was probably the most ridiculously long wheelbarrow course I've ever seen and that gets tiring! Thankfully, Molly is a champ and Clay is Hercules, and the duo came out on top again! Thus we found ourselves in a tie with team That's What She Said. We had to compete in a one-time cheer off to determine the winner. Ours went a little something like this...
(Molly) Our thirst for victory has been quenched!
(Team) Inch by inch, inch by inch...
(Molly) We got skillz that killz, we outta control!
(Team) Row by row, row by row...
(Molly) We don't need the sun 'cause we already glow!
(Team) We just made this garden grow, WE JUST MADE THIS GARDEN GROW!
We then proceeded to break out into dance and everyone cheered, and Clay and I did the worm in opposite directions and everyone went nuts. It was basically perfect. We got first place in the cheer-off and became gold medalists in the Harlax10 Olympics. It was such a fun day with friends spent in the sun.

I can't believe that in one week I'll be saying goodbye to room 621 forever and going on one last trip...Italy! This semester has been everything I could have ever hoped or dreamed it to be; it's been more. The friends I've made, the places I've been, the things I've seen could never be replaced. I'm going to do my best to cherish what time I have left here, which shouldn't be difficult. I love this place...
Katie Knecht3 Comments