I had a really great flight from the states, it was rather long though. I woke up about an hour and a half before we landed and watched on the map as we crossed over Ireland to get to England, even though when I looked out the window there wasn’t anything but clouds.
We had a hired van for a few of us to get to the centre and our driver had such a thick accent, it took me a couple seconds to translate what he was saying in my head, but he got us there safely. Despite this I quickly realized that London traffic is terrifying—with the tiny roads and everyone on the wrong side, thank goodness I don’t have to drive at all while I’m here.
The centre is fantastic. It’s a lot larger than I expected it to be. For some reason I got the impression from the pictures that it was 3 stories. But instead it’s five. And that’s five floors above the ground floor. In fact, I’m living on the fifth floor. It’s the small attic room that six of us girls stuff into. It’s a lovely room, but I’m always short of breath when I get to the top of our 83 stairs.
My mother wanted to know my first impressions of London and well, all I’ve really seen is the drive from Heathrow to the centre and then Kensington Gardens which I explored with some people when I got in because they’re literally a three minuet walk from where we live. So far, I think this is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I’ve honestly been walking around mesmerized. The houses are all regal and everything is soooo unbelievably green. I can’t wait to see more of it. Tomorrow I’m getting an oyster card that’ll let me ride on the subway, so that’ll be a lot easier.
I must say, I was expecting it to rain a lot and be cooler than I was used to, but it’s rainy all the time. I don’t think I’ve seen the sun once. And today when I got out of church it was freezing. For some reason I didn’t think to bring my new coat and I was really cold, although my teeth weren’t chattering, so it mustn’t have been that bad.
Church was really interesting this morning. I mean it was exactly like church in the states, only one of the boys blessing the sacrament had a very distinct accent (I think there were some African influences) so it was like a whole new sacrament experience. At the same time though, there are a lot of Americans and other non-Brits, so while it’s very much the same as what I’m used to, I think the mix of cultures probably gives an interesting twist to the ward make-up.
Random side note: but Becky and I have decided that British children are the cutest ever because they go around in tiny little rain boots, and then they start talking with adorable British accents. I can’t walk through the park without getting the “aww” face a least a dozen times.
Okay so the sun must have been listening to my earlier statement because it just came out. Well, it’s still cloudy, but a good amount of sun is filtering through, so it’s seems sunny. Well I’ll write again when I have more to report on, but until then I’ll leave you with my virtual tour of the centre.
This is the BYU centre. And that tiny white box on the top of the house is where I live. Isn’t it amazing.
And this is the view down the street as you walk out the door.
This is jsut a house down on the corner of Palace court and Bayswater road. 50 steps from my front door.
This is the double table dining room. And you can’t see it in this picture, but there is the most unbelievable molding on the ceiling around the chandalier.
This is the lounge, although I probably won’t be lounging about in it.
And the lovely 80 themed, or hasn’t been redecorated since the 80’s, mess room.
And the library, equiped with window seat, just to make me feel right at home. This is the classroom. It’s on the first floor (which is actually the second american floor) look at the molding it’s crazy. And the window shot is along the left wall. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to concentrate with that in our view, but apparently they expect us to.
This is our tower room. We are officially the Charlotte Bronte room, but it’s also been nicknamed, The Celestial Kingdom, Bronte tower, Bertha’s lair, and the great butt room (cause we’re all gonna have great butts going up and down the stairs all the time).
This is the fire escape, but it has the cutest ladder leading up to it that we use as a reading corner.
Well, that’s it for now. I have to go out and take pictures for you all. Hope you’re all doing great.