Good morning everyone,
At this moment it is 12:12 AM. (Make a wish!) It has officially been my first day in Oxford. I'll run you through the airport first:
My family and I drove to Chicago,IL on Friday the 18th. My flight to Heathrow left the next morning at 9:10. So, on Saturday morning, we woke up at 5:00 A.M. and drove to the airport. We made it safe and sound despite the light snow. Just so everyone knows, I flew standby. I don't think I realized how stressful that was going to be.
(I'm probably going to jump around a bit, so just bear with me.) Lets see, after we got to the airport, I checked in, dropped off my checked bags, and headed towards security, not knowing that that was going to be the last time I saw my family. I thought they could at least walk me to my gate, maybe wait with me for the plane to come, but no. After security check, I was on my own.
A very nice lady took this picture of us before I was about to go through security.
Security was easy. Took off my shoes, took out my laptop, the whole enchilada. Now, it was time to find my gate. I was leaving from gate K16. Yeah.. the gate on the VERY far end of the airport. That was just wonderful! (please catch the sarcasm).
So, I made it to my gate and waited. And of course there was no one at the counter, so I waited some more. I met a lovely girl from Ecuador who was on her way home. Finally, someone arrived at the counter! I went up there, told them my sitch, and the said, "okay, we'll call you if we have a seat." "That's it?", I thought. Bleh... So i went back and sat down by this lovely Ecuador-ian? (I never caught her name). Then, something miraculous happened! They called my name! So i went to the counter, and they gave me a ticket! WHOOP WHOOP (that seriously just happened). Then about two minutes after that, we boarded the plane. I finally found my seat (without the help of the flight attendant who was a bit snobbish).
Okay, so after getting on the plane, we sat there for another hour or so while these big trucks de-iced the plane. Then we FINALLY made if off the runway! It was a wonderful feeling! I watched a few movies, did a little reading, ate some really good pizza, and did almost no sleeping. Finally, around 11:15ish P.M we landed. That was a pretty surreal feeling.
The Heathrow airport was not as intimidating as I had imagined. We were the last flight to arrive, so basically the airport was empty. We walked a million miles to the baggage claim, but before we could get our bags, we had to go through customs? (is that what you call them?) Anyway, I was a bit nervous about that part, but I went to a nice looking lady and she was nice! She asked me a few easy peasy questions and sent me on my merry way and believe me, I was indeed.. merry!
After baggage claim, I found Georgina and Andrew Clark waiting for me! With a board that had my name and everything! They are a wonderful couple who are also fellow students who were so gracious to come and pick me up so late! We walked to the car and started our one hourish drive to Oxford from London. The little bit of London I saw was nice, but I definitely need to go back on a less groggy day. The drive to Botley was nice and humorous. Humorous in the fact that Europeans don't know how to drive in snow! And keep in mind, this wasn't inches of snow, this snow wasn't even really sticking to the ground, but people, well drivers, were freaking out!
Oh, a little side note, so, we all know they drive on the opposite side of the car. but when I got into the car, I was in the back on the right side, and I look at where Georgina was sitting, the front left, and thought to myself, "Well that's silly, how is she going to drive? There's no steering wheel." It only took me about half a second to remember where I was, and what I was thinking. Remember, I had just traveled for a long time!
OKay, so we finally make it to 30 Pinnocks Way, my beloved home! My housemates had a left a lovely note welcoming me home and a few chocolates and gingerbread men on the kitchen counter. I'm sure they were delicious, but after the bags were brought in, and I got ready for bed, I hit the sack, hard! Last time I remember looking at the clock it was 1:22 A.M.
This is my house. The lady in front is Loralie, married to Steven, and the baby is Dalia. She is a sweet heart!
I woke up that morning, well this morning, at 7:30ish. I woke up early because I really wanted to go to my church placement which is in Basingstoke, but the roads were "too" icy to drive on so we had to cancel for today. I was already up and about so I just stayed up. I spent my morning lazily unpacking and meeting my other housemates before they run off for holidays. So, Steven, Loralie, and their baby Dalia sleep downstairs. Upstairs is me, Lydia, and Lou. At the present moment, everyone in my house has a cold! Poor guys! The girls left shortly after, and I stayed around the house with S & L. This couple is AMAZING! I came downstairs at one point, and they were making a list for me of all the things I needed to do. Such as buy a converter, go to the bank, get my house key. All things I hadn't even got so far as to think about. In the afternoon we had a few visitors. I heard, from George (Georgina) that we have a 'quite sociable house'. Apparently people pop in often! And, we also have about five student/faculty houses around here, so there are quite a few people around here!
A few of the gentlemen down the road came by for a visit and of course, some tea. We enjoyed some tea and some getting acquainted, then decided we all needed to go into town!
So Steven, Loralie, Dalia, Jem, Pete, Chris, Henry, and I walked to the bust stop about five minutes away and waited for the bus. Apparently the buses come every fifteen or so minutes, but we waited for this bus for at least thirty minutes in the cold! Eh..I guess I better get used to it!
Finally, we jumped on the bus, got warmed up a bit, then were dropped off at city center, or centre, whichever you prefer. We walked around there until 6:30 that evening. We went to a Christmas market that was behind the castle. That was very cool! I'm sorry I didn't get a picture, but I'm sure i'll make it back there eventually, and will get a picture then!
We went in and out of shops, all very interesting!! Mom, I didn't buy anything! well i did, but it was necessities, like shampoo and such. Aren't you proud of me?? :P
We made our way around 6 to the KBC building where the OCC (the church that I guess runs the college? not sure about all the details there) was having a Christmas Presentation. That was, um, interesting.
While there, I met a ton of people. All students and faculty of the college. The program ended around 8 I think and we chitchatted for awhile, or as they would say here, we had a chin wag. At this point I was feeling super tired. We came home after the program and not long after, we had visitors! So again, we enjoyed some tea and some cookies and we debated on a few movies to watch. We decided on Galaxy Quest. Yeah.. ha.. needless to say, I fell asleep. I woke up at just the right time, the movie was ending. We walked our guests out, and we looked at the dishes, (we have no dishwasher :( ) and said, "we'll do those tomorrow morning". :D
Here are a few pictures of the upstairs: I'll take more of the house but ppl are sleeping downstairs at the moment.
This is the bed im looking at right now.. Yeah, I think I'm just going to sleep on top of all that stuff tonight.
This is my desk area, which you can see is a mess as well. But Im not settled in yet! OH! did you notice the awesomely beautiful curtains?
Yeah, so I have to magically fit all the stuff on my bed into this.. like i said, magically..
And this is the bathroom, that is directly opposite my bedroom. In this bathroom, the toilet is really high. I feel like i have to jump on it to get on it. And I have to pull a string to turn on the light, which seriously took me 15 minutes to figure out last night. And you have to pull on a string to turn the shower on. That took me probably another 15 minutes..
PS: not all my blogs will be this detailed, and Im not even sure how often I'll be able to keep up with this. I hear second term at KBC is supposed to be the worst! Anyway, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!
Lots of love!