Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Welcome Home to Vicki´s and America´s Motherland

Where: SAI
Listening to: "Can´t take my eyes off of you" by Lady Antebellum
Phrase of the day: "Dear John"

We had a fabulous dinner our first night back in Sevilla. It was huge! Could Vicki be turning around? Last night for dinner we had a plate full of noodles with nothing on them (she had ketchup on the table for us to put on it) and a sandwich of white bread with one slice of cheese and a single slice of ham that was so thin I could see Laura´s astonished face on the other side of it when I held it up. Meal valued at .56 American cents.

Welcome back to Casa de Vicki!!

Lack of nutrients aside, our most recent trip to London was a resounding success. We left Sevilla April 7th and flew to London Stansted via RyanAir. RyanAir is unlike any other flight I have been on. The flight attendents sell things up and down the aisles, particularly lotto cards. We also crashed into the ground upon our landing. However, it´s cheap so I guess you get what you pay for. It took us a while to get to our hostel...and by a while I mean arriving at 3 a.m., about 4 hours after we had landed. The tube was closed so we had to find our way in the dark night through the bus system which wasn´t easy for our sleep deprived minds.
We stayed at Astor Kensington, which is my favorite hostel by far. I loved it. We met so many friendly and crazy people that were all just doing the same thing as us. I liked that the environment was so open and welcoming. People were inviting us out, talking, just acting like we had been friends for years. I was sad to leave it come Sunday.

Thursday morning, April 8, we woke up and hit the town. Coincidentally enough, some of our friends from Mizzou were staying at our same hostel!! We knew they were going to be in London, just not so close! We went down for the free breakfast and ran into them! Unfortunately our friend Mark booked his hostel too late so he had to stay at a different one than us. Add in our lack of being able to communicate in foreign countries--our phones ran out of minutes, he couldn´t access the Internet--and as you can guess, we didn´t see much of Mark. We waited for him and messaged him on Facebook, but it was to no avail. So we headed on our merry British way and took the free tour of London sponsored by New Europe. We were able to see the whole city--Big Ben, Westminister Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. James, a few parks, gentlemen's clubs, Parliament and Wellington Arcade.

After the tour, we got fish and chips and ate at a park in front of Westminister Abbey. To go inside of Westminister Abbey, you have to pay like 15 pounds which is equivalent to a semester of the price of the food Vicki serves us. So like $27. We went inside for free by attending the 5 p.m. Evensong, a short worship session with Bible readings, prayers, and best of all, music, put on by the Abbey every day. I was a little disappointed that we wouldn´t be able to hear the renowned Abbey Choir, but the visiting choir was the ST. CECILIA SINGERS!!!! That is the exact name of my grade school choir! Very ironic. The service itself was beautiful. I loved hearing the music, some of which I have sung myself like The Magnificat, performed in such a legendary place. The fabulous acoustics reminded me of my choir directors flourishing and brandishing their arms higher into the air like whisps of smoke, rising and falling with each intake of hurried breath. I felt like I was performing there.

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