I've been remiss in blogging for the past week or so as it's been a wonderfully busy time for me. My family visited me!
With the help of lots of family (including and outside of the 5 of us), the whole family managed to find good deals and change in the couch to gather in Ireland the weekend before St. Patrick's day. Needless to say there were tourists about, but we still managed to visit some beautiful areas of Ireland and meet some lovely Irish storytellers. This was my first trip outside of London with anyone and it was with my family! This was also the first time we've taken a family vacation since my senior year of high school when we went to visit my wonderful Aunt and Uncle in California. This trip was quite a bit different as none of us kids are home and we are all quite a bit busier than we were 3 and a half years ago (whether we realized it was possible then or not). As a result my mom circled things in the guidebook, reserved the hotel and the rest of just tied up loose ends in (Houston, Chicago or London), booked our flights and showed up. It was a bit chaotic with planning, but just spending time with my family is always a major blessing. The funny thing about going places with my family is that it feels even more natural than when I go visit places by myself. Since we are all together it is as if these things were just planted here for us.
And let's be honest, the best part is probably eating. The difference between eating with my family and eating with my friends is that when we order food, we share... a lot. Instead of eating your dish and maybe a tiny bite of one friend's, whose dish looks particularly delicious, you get to try decent helpings of a total of five dishes. Plus we're all old enough now that we're good sharers... this may not have always been true...
I will be honest, it was not completely easy-peasy having my family here. I had a few assignments due the upcoming week and was particularly stressed about one assignment which seemed too overwhelming to even approach. I have to thank my family for being so understanding. While I was never able to get it completely off my mind, they made sure to give me my space and encourage me to do what I needed to so that I wasn't a mess in regards to school work. And, of course, I wasn't. The presentation was fine. I stayed up most of the night before it was due, but isn't that the way college is supposed to be?
Thank you also to my sister's professor(s) and internship supervisor(s) who were understanding and moved things around so she was able to leave early and visit me for two days in London before going to Ireland. Just as I have a habit of traveling by myself (it's often easier), I usually walk around by myself. It was so nice to have my sister around and have someone to talk to as we walked. Sure, I might've gotten a bit misdirected one night- I'm not used to talking and walking, but it was just nice to have her see the world that I live in. Anna Jo's h.s. best friend studied abroad in London as well so it was nice to think about her as we wondered. I only wish Anna Jo could have spent more time in London, as I spent most of the first day at my internship and not with her. There is so much to see in London, you can hardly scratch the surface in a day. In addition, I did not have a lot of time to plan for her visit so we just sort of went with the flow. We did get the chance to see Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre. It was an excellent showing and after the performance we walked around the West End for a bit. Seeing as my sister has been one of my best friend throughout my entire life, it was really important to me that she see the town that I was falling in love with.
On the Sunday of the Ireland weekend I flew back to work on some school work. Anna Jo and Justin flew back to the States Monday morning. My parents then took a ferry over to Whales. They stayed there until Tuesday and then came to London. I did not see them until late Wednesday night due to Tuesday classes & festivities* as well as my Wednesday internship and class. They were extremely understanding to the responsibilities and prior engagements I had. I was able to spend Thursday afternoon with them before sending them off to see 39 Steps on the West End (which they apparently enjoyed). Then Friday we toured the Globe and walked around a bit. I got a bit cranky due to some difficulties with dinner, but like the wonderful parents they are, they understood I was tired and stressed and we got to dinner eventually. Saturday we had originally planned to go to Stratford-Upon-Avon, but ended up going to see a fringe show in Hampstead and eating at a delicious Greek restaurant. They walked me to the bus stop last night and waited for the N11- which took its time showing up. We said our good-byes, but it oddly enough didn't feel as if they weren't going to be back. When I woke up this morning, I nearly called them to see if they wanted to go to lunch later. Of course, I realized then that they would be boarding their plane in an hour.
I am ridiculously blessed and wish you all have the chance to spend such wonderful time with your families.
*The Tuesday festivities are worth mentioning. Obviously, as I've mentioned before, Tuesday's are pretty much always great days, but this one was of particular greatness:
Grab a quick bite to eat
National Ballet rehearsals.
Amazing. There's always more to say, but when it all boils down, Amazing.
Walk by Hyde Park to bus to take it back to school.
Sing Happy Birthday to Bristol on the bus!
A bit more foodage
Present that presentation I'd be stressing about
Talk with Iwan Rheon, Moritz in Spring Awakening (UK) for about an hour.
He was lovely in case you were wondering.
More class presentations
Champagne for Bristol's Birthday
Out to a couple pubs for Bristol's Birthday/St. Patrick's day.
Yeah, it was a lovely day.