First Day in London

Just a few minutes after taking off over the San Francisco Bay. Oakland is towards the bottom of the photo.

At about 2:00 on Wednesday, September 5, I arrived at SFO and started running into other Santa Clara students also going to London right away. It was nice to find out my family wasn’t the only family that insisted on parking in an outrageously priced lot to walk me all the way to security to see me off (which was very nice). I had just enough time to grab a pizza for a late lunch, which would be my last real mean until dinner on Thursday.

I had a window seat on the airplane which was great for getting some sleep, but I ended up staying in my seat the entire flight. I would have gotten up, but the other guys in my row didn’t get up once, and I wasn’t antsy enough to want to wake them up. I got to watch American Reunion, though, which was hilarious.

Just before I landed, I got a last glimpse of the sunlight everybody has told me I will need to say goodbye to for three and a half months…but when we hit the ground, we hadn’t passed through any clouds. The sun was still out! It’s actually been sunny the entire time I’ve been here. Shorts weather even at night.

I walked off the jetway to begin the journey through Heathrow and I had a moment where I wasn’t really sure whether to walk on the right side of the walkway or the left side. Everybody was going the same direction so it didn’t really matter. Customs was quick and painless and before I knew it, the other SCU students from my flight and I were greeted by two of the Queen’s Guards that swiftly disappeared when the doors they were painted onto swung open and we found Fr. Soukup waiting in a bright red Santa Clara University sweatshirt, ready to point us in the direction of the other students that had already arrived. All of our luggage looked like a small island.

When everybody arrived (well almost everybody…not a few people were MIA), we got in the bus and made our way into The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

This is my new home in Kensington. See the window way up on top? Well that’s mine!

I found out I am in flat 19, which is on the fourth floor…and the building has no lift (elevator…I’m going to start using the British terminology). It was quite entertaining with everybody struggling to pull 100-200lbs of luggage up the very skinny stairwell. That flats are pretty nice. I live with 11 other people and have two roommates. There are just two flats on each floor and the one across the hall from mine is also a lot of fun, so I think it will be a great semester. I’ll write all about the second day tomorrow! Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. I’ll talk to you soon.

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