Thursday, April 28, 2011

london love.

"You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

-Samuel Johnson


I've been asked why I'm so "obsessed" with the Royal Wedding. Told it's not that big of a deal. Looked at like a weirdo when I explain my desire to want to be in London right now. So, allow me to explain.

I lived in London for six weeks in college through the Baylor in Great Britain program. It was honestly the best six weeks of my life (and best summer) of my life. I met one of my best friends (shout out, Laura!), dated another (hi, Matt), and was able to travel the world at the ripe ol' age of 20.

We toured everything. Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, the Tower of London. (And yes, that is my picture above of where Wills and Kate will be getting married in less than 24 hours!) We shopped: H&M, Jigsaw, Harrod's...hello Kensington High Street! We saw things that many people will never see in their lifetimes: the Crown Jewels, Simon Cowell having lunch on High Street, the British Open. And more than anything, we learned so much about history by immersing ourselves in it. I am ever grateful to my parents for footing the bill for this wonderful trip, and I am so thankful that I was blessed to have this experience.

Our group lived in Imperial College, a literal stone's throw from Hyde Park, Kensington Palace and the best restaurant: Wagamama! We would wake up in the morning, have breakfast and class, and then tour something in the afternoon. We were given major freedom, and for a bunch of 19-21 year-old's, it was heaven. Margarita at the Texas Embassy because the legal drinking age in the U.K. is 18? Don't mind if I do! :) Head on over to see the Royal Observatory in Greenwich via boat on the Thames? Sure! Have crepes for lunch while getting lost trying to find Oxford Street? Yup.

We lived like locals: took the tube, figured out their monetary system, shopped, saw Broadway shows (Wicked!), ate gelato like it was our job, and got to see everything we wanted. I remember toward the end of our trip, I asked my roommate (and now friend) Laura, "Want to see anything else?" And I remember her reply, "I think we've seen it all." How blessed we were that we could say that! (And, by the way, I cried when we left. True story.)

And so, when I get excited because Meredith is broadcasting from Trafalgar Sqaure (where we magically got lost and ended up walking along Hyde Park and found Clarence House)...or when Natalie is in front of the Queen Victoria statue by Buckingham Palace...or when they are discussing Faberge eggs inside Buckingham Palace and they're walking down the beautiful staircase...it's not because I want to show off or tell you where I've been. It's because I'm so excited that I've been there and can picture it all in my mind.

Someone said it best the other day, "Everything there is old." Yes, it is. But that, to me, is what makes it so interesting. I absolutely love history and facts (which I get from my Dad) and that place is living, breathing history.

So, happy wedding, William & Kate! I will be watching at 4 a.m.! Can't wait!

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