January 7 - 8

SLC -> Minneapolis:

Total flight time = 3 hours

Excitement level = 8

Reality level = 2

Exhaustion level = 4

Total amount of sleep on plane: 47 minutes

MSP -> London, Heathrow

Total flight time = 8

Excitement level = 10! -> like 50! When we landed

Reality level = 6

Exhaustion level = 8

Total amount of sleep on plane: 14 minutes

Plane movie queue:

Crazy Rich Asians (not a quiet place, I was too scared once they turned the lights off in the cabin) 😂

Chopped (3 episodes)

Ratatouille (1/2 because I wanted a relatively mellow movie to hopefully just fall asleep to... that did not go well haha, I was WAY too antsy)

We got fancy eye masks, dinner, breakfast, hot toilettes, pillows, blankets, earbuds, and snacks - we were SET.


Ecstaticly taken pictures \240from the plane window aren’t the best quality, but they hopefully will still serve the purpose : THIS ONE IS THE ONE AND ONLY VERY THAMES RIVER as we flew over it. That was cool.

AND THIS IS Big Ben, the London Eye (in red), parliament (which you cant really see) and the real actual Thames once again.

WE MADE IT through customs. I didn’t get detained, which if always a plus. Our taxi was a freakishly expensive welcome to the UK, but our driver was the most stereotypical little old London guy and he was 100% worth the money. He told us where to get the best food, where to find cute boys, and that we all looked old enough and would have no problem getting into the clubs 😂 upon hearing that I was from SLC, he also told us about the “story of the Mormons” musical that is winning all the awards - my response: “oh yep, I know about that one... I don’t think it’s a very accurate story of the Mormons, but people say they love the music!” 😂😂😂


A few tears \240were shed as a toast to realizing your life dreams, and then we were welcomed into the Centre, given our tube passes, and moved into our bedroom. As we were the first ones to arrive, we frantically opened every door of every closet and bedroom in order to explore the rest of the Centre before it was being lived in, including the boys dorm which we will not see again 😂😂 \240More pics and videos of the Centre itself will surely be coming soon.

So, we moved in and got all set... and I was about to fall asleep. We were trying to stay up as long as possible, and so we headed out on a neighborhood walk to familiarize ourselves, activate our tube passes, and mostly just keep ourselves awake. Our tour was led by the lovely Courtney, who is here with us but doesn’t live in the Centre: she and her husband live in an apartment a few blocks from us. They’ve been there for a few months already so they know the area well.

Our little group walking next to some charming buildings.

More charming buildings. Whether it’s a pub or a business or a house, everything is lovely- just so picturesque and clean. There was LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of just the cutest lil shops and I’m so excited to just go look through them all!!

By the end of the walking tour I started to really feel the effects of... well... everything. I was starving, exhausted, dizzy, delirious, incoherent. When the sidewalk started to move while I was standing still, I decided I needed to go home and that regardless of everyone’s resolution to stay awake, I was desperately needing a nap. I crashed hard, and was only shaken awake for dinner because it was a requirement.

We ate soup and bread and lava cake prepared by the lovely Brazilian woman who, with her husband, maintains the Centre and takes care of us. We did up our dishes, I talked to my mum, got ready for bed, and was out cold by 10. I woke up at about 3am thinking it was time to get up, so here I am writing this journal in the middle of the night, but based on the amount of tossing and turning and sporadic phone checking that is going down, I think I’d have to say that I’m not the only one that is pretty awake.

Well. Thus concludes my adventures for today, because I’m going to try to sleep more before I have kitchen duty at 7:45am.......... 😑

Love you all so very much,


January 9th (written from January 10th)

Yep. Yesterday, we saw pretty much EVERYTHING there is to see - we didn’t go into any buildings or anything, but we walked to pretty much EVERYTHING in the WHOLE entire city!

Firstly, we rode the tube from the most picturesque and London-y station EVER -Notting Hill Station.

We rode to the Westminster stop, and got out and looked up, and THERE WAS BIG BEN. LIKE. RIGHT THERE. Unfortunately he’s completely covered in scaffolding, so it wasn’t as awestriking as I think it probably would have been, but the idea was still magical and it will give me a reason to come back here when it’s finished!

Right across the river, we also saw the London eye and Houses of Parliament! Wowza wowza wowza. This is the place we flew over when we were flying in - and there is the THAMES the actual THAMES so WOW.

Then we walked and walked - beautiful buildings!

The “Queen’s Life Guard” at this place called the Horse museum or something, I can’t remember 😂

Oh man. This was the most beautiful street. So skinny and winding and wowooow. Here’s me wandering down the streets. It is still not real, it is amazingggg.

Okay this is me on the millennial bridge (it’s the bridge that blows up at the beginning of Harry Potter 6! And you can see the London Bridge (!!) in the background. Just off to the right of this picture is (the recreation of) Shakespeare’s original globe theater! We popped our heads in there to warm up (it got progressively colder throughout the day and was SO cold by the end - we were not prepared), and we’ll see Romeo and Juliet there soon!

Here’s me in front of St. Paul’s cathedral and the millennium bridge. So. Wow.

We then headed to the Burroughs market, and I do not know why I didn’t take any pictures because it was incredible incredibly incredible. The smells wafting around there were divine - everything you could imagine was there and it was incredible. I will definitely be there. Everyday. All day. We bought fish and chips (!) to check off a must-do in Britain, and it was DELICIOUS, but I’m excited to go back and try the Indian, the seafood, the giant gourmet cheese booth (apparently the Mac and cheese is to die for, I’ll make sure to bring some lactaid haha), and pretty much everything else.

It’s under a bridge, and it’s all fresh, and it reminds me a lot of a market that the independent and aggressive female chef would visit to get her ingredients to make her incredible dish to prove herself as a chef in some cooking drama, hahaha. We did smell truffles (the mushroom kind) \240(1£ / 1g so.... WHAT?! That is freakishly espensive, as truffles have the reputation to be. They smelled really strange, but I could envision how it would work with some really rich food.

Here’s the London bridge tube stop! Wow that I was actually there - and I’ll be here for the next 4 months! Wow!!

January 10th

Today we start classes so we’ll just be home for the morning. This afternoon we have free time, and so some of us are going to go shopping and walking around to see what’s happening.

Oh, and here’s our whole group :) I already know most everyone’s names, and they are all very great. Love them all already.

Jan 10 pt 2

Well, in our free time we ended up walking to an incredible thing called Sky Garden. It’s very very tall and gives and amazing view of the whole city, and best of all - it was free! We walked around a ton in the streets around sky garden, popped into one of the many many cathedral/churches that are on the corners, walked down to the Thames, finally made it to sky garden, took tons of pictures, and then went home!

Just straight up beaming at a wall next to Sky Garden

The London bridge and us

I am obsessed with the streets here - every building, corner and alleyway \240is charming beyond belief.

Here’s one view from the garden - St. Paul’s cathedral is in the top right, the bridge across from it is millennium bridge (ft. In Harry Potter and also one of my earlier posts). The London eye is just barely visible behind the big curvy building on the left.

The view from the indoor of Sky Garden

The Shard and the Thames... iconic

This super tall, jagged building in the background is called the shard - it’s a super super tall building that also obervations fr the top, but for lots and lots of money - so we opted for the free views from Sky Garden and were not disappointed. People who have been to both say that the videos from Sky Garden are as good or better than those from the Shard, plus it was fun to see the Shard as part of the skyline!

Here’s a panorama of the entire east observation deck! The London bridge

London bridge, and the Tower of London right to it’s left!

Laura, Izzy and I in awe


I was absolutely floored by the abbey. It was incredible incredible incredible and that’s the only word I can use to describe it! I will return and write a more detailed report when I have time, but for now here’s some (a ton of) pics.

Hyde park, Buckingham Palace, lunch @ Victoria station, V&A museum and photo shoot, naps, dinner @ The Champion (aka the champ, our local pub), and the view from our window.

More deets coming soon, just don’t want to forget!

CHURCH is a joy - ❤️❤️ no pics but details coming on my adventures including getting lost, very British people, very not British people, some ‘mericans, and teaching primary, where there’s only 6 kids.

British museum, naps, groceries