My Year of Weddings

I think I probably hold some kind of BYU record. I married off five roommates in one year. From December to December, Shauntelle, Sandee, Julie, Kory and Caitlin all tied the knot. They were all beautiful brides.


London: The Rest of the Story

After Paris, life got a little crazy. With only three and a half weeks left there was still so much to do on my list! The week after Paris we attended an opera, 'The Tzarina's Slippers,' which was weird/mildly inappropriate. Good call Dr. Soper.

Some of the opera was so weird.

We took a day trip to Greenwich (pronounced gren-itch.) For those who don’t know, Greenwich is the home of the Prime Meridian. We visited the Royal Observatory and took pictures of ourselves in two hemispheres.

In two hemispheres!

The Prime Meridian (see the stripe on the wall!)

We went on a day trip to Oxford and Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill. (Churchill was a politician, not a poet, just to clear up any misunderstandings...)

Blenheim Palace

On Thanksgiving, I attended a mass at St. Paul's Cathedral that was held in honor of all of the Americans in London. It was a very nice gesture. An American pastor gave the sermon, and he told a lot of jokes. Unfortunately I was surrounded by British people and none of them were laughing. The old lady sitting next to me kept looking at me with disapproval when I didn't contain my laughter. But they were funny jokes!

Outside St. Paul's at Thanksgiving

In honor of the biology classes we took at the London Centre, we attended a play called 'Inherit the Wind.' It was about the Scopes Monkey Trial held in the American South. The play itself was very humorous, but one of the funniest parts was listening to the British people doing their very best Southern accents. There was more than one time that we all laughed and no one around us knew why... After the play, a few of us hung out by the stage door to meet Kevin Spacey (the American actor) and have him sign our ticket stubs.

With Kevin Spacey

As a group we toured Parliament. It was really cool to learn more about their government systems and traditions, and to hear the history of how those traditions came to be. Our tour guide was the sweetest little old man. He even gave Caitlin his coat because she was cold. Apparently Reese Witherspoon was also touring Parliament that day, but my group didn't see her.

At Parliament

Between group activities and school, I also did LOTS of Christmas shopping, took walks around London, visited more museums, studied at the British Library, went to the play 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' did more shopping, visited Platform 9 3/4 (yes it really exists), indulged on as much European chocolate as I could, and stayed up late talking with friends.

Zebra at Abbey Road

On my last day in London I went to the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, walked across the Zebra on Abbey Road and signed the wall outside the Beatles recording studio, packed, and took a long walk that night along the Thames one last time. As I stood outside Westminster station looking up at Big Ben and the moon, I had the thought 'I live here.' I am so grateful for the amazing experience that living in London was for me. I made a list of the top ten things I learned while I was in London [although, they're in no particular order and the list is nowhere near comprehensive.]

The Top Ten Things I Learned in London:

10) Sometimes it’s good to just sit on the counter in the bathroom by yourself for a while to collect your thoughts. This can be invaluable.

9) Just because someone else said something is special or wonderful doesn’t make it so. You have to look for things that are meaningful to you, even if no one else thinks so.

8) It’s important to approach everything you do in life with an open mind. You never really know what experiences are going to take you by surprise, and to close yourself off to those things before you get a chance to experience them is to do yourself a horrible disservice.

7) While elevators and escalators are nice, they are not mandatory. Sometimes in life it’s good to take the stairs.

6) Laughing should be one of the most important things on your to-do list every day. Especially when you live with 40 other girls. Taking yourself too seriously in a situation like that is a very bad idea. Laughing at other people should be kept to a minimum however, unless they are laughing too.

5) I am not very patient. This is something I need to work on.

4) I would rather be one of the people who do more than their share of the work than one of the people who do less.

3) I can be happy for my friends when they’re happy, because everyone gets a turn.

2) I am braver than I thought I was.

1) The thing about London is, going once in my life is NOT going to be enough!

In the (slightly modified) words of Gertrude Stein, 'America is my country, and London is my hometown.'