Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hello Governour!

Cheers from across the pond! I've been in London for three days now, and I honestly cannot express how much I am so happy to be back! From taking the bus to the tube within the first few hours to eating at Pret and EAT to having a glass of Ribena, it was memories all over from 2010.

At the moment, I'm currently sitting in my now sparkling flat and have finished unpacking! It's been three days of scrubbing, unpacking, and organizing. But, more on the flat later...

As for my journey, it was quite smooth despite some minor disturbances. Mom and Dad took me to Syracuse where I thankfully was able to check my bags all the way through to London. Only two of them were essentially overweight, so I considered that a job well done. Yet, as soon as we all said goodbye (with some tears), and I made my way through security, there was a delay right away. Supposedly, the plane arriving from JFK was late, but eventually it "arrived," and we were on our way!   At JFK, I quickly managed to jump over to the international terminal and upgraded my economy seat to economy with extra leg room. It's the difference of almost another half seat, and I must say it is needed on the longer flights. Once I got through security once more, I exchanged some money, and before you knew it, we were boarding.

I flew Virgin Atlantic as I did the last time I flew to London, and I'm happy once again that I did. The extra leg room was a plus as well as not fighting for a blanket or a pillow. A quick dinner, dessert, and hot chocolate, and I settled in to watch "The Hunger Games." I finally fell asleep for a few hours to the "Lucky One" (guess that could say something about the movie?). I woke up just as breakfast was being served, and before you knew it, we landed. However, once we taxied to the gate, we had a bit of a delay.  Sleepy-eyed, I was wide awake as soon as five police officers came on board and escorted a man off.  At what was 3am Eastern time, that was quite the entertainment. The stewardess near us said that usually that only happens when someone is trying to enter the country when they are no longer allowed.

Groggy-eyed, I made my way to the immigration line to only find a two-hour wait. A nightmare, it was. When I finally got to the an agent, even with a visa, I had to produce all my financial documents and acceptance letter. But, I got into the country! After grabbing my suitcases and navigating a very heavy luggage through a sea of people, I found the usual, pleasant taxi cab waiting for me. Talking with the cab driver as we navigated through Central London, just got me more and more excited to be back.

After arriving in Notting Hill, I was able to check in to my accommodation, but couldn't get to my room yet.  So, I stored my bags, and took off to get something to eat.  I stopped quickly to buy an oyster card at a convenience store, topped it up with five pounds, and hopped on a bus to Notting Hill Gate tube stop. From there, I took the Central line to Holborn- an area I know very well due to the Syracuse building being there. I stopped at Pret for a bit to eat, and then set up a basic phone plan at O2. Unfortunately, I can't have a "real" phone plan until my bank account is all set up, so I have to wait a bit. I managed to get a 20 pound deal that includes texting, phone calls, and web (more on the web situation in a future post). After that, I headed down to Starbucks, stopped to buy some housewares at Argos (think Target), and unpacked for the rest of the evening.

 It was not such an eventful day as I was trying to get settled in as well as deal with jet lag. I went to bed at 9pm (UK time) that evening-that's how tired I was!

Tomorrow is orientation, but I'll have a scheduled post to get you all up-to-date till tonight! Look out for a post about my flat this weekend! CHEERS!