13 August 2010

Goodbye Europe, Hello Real Life...

(Post date this entry to August 9th, I'm too lazy to change it and I haven't had time to post it till now!)
Well, here we are, end of the journey.  I’m sitting in the very last row (#45 - barf) of a Delta 767 about to leave London Heathrow for Kennedy.  I’ve got really mixed feelings about heading home.  Leaving London was fine, leaving Edinburgh was sad, leaving Paris was utterly depressing - but now that I’m really leaving Europe all together?  I don’t know how I feel about it.  I know all good experiences come to an end, and all summers have their last day, but I’m not ready for mine to be over!

Woke up this morning to my 5:30 alarm, showered & packed up all THREE of my suitcases (what was I thinking?) and left Sam’s flat for the bus.  Lugged my embarrassing amount of luggage down her alley and around the corner to the bus, didn’t have enough for bus fare on my Oyster card so I had to pay in coins (thankfully I had them from Sam – we thought it out a bit the night before just in case)!  Dropped my luggage everywhere, of course, for the first time of many more to come this morning.  Learned that English people truly are more helpful than the French (or even Americans for that matter); literally every place I went (bus, Underground, on the streets, airport) there was somebody there to help me pick up my suitcases when they fell all over the place and I fumbled around with them like the complete mess that I am.  Just lovely, cheers to all of you friendly Brits.

After one bus route (and of course exiting the bus at the wrong place), one Underground transfer from the Northern to the Piccadilly line (aren’t their names cute?), and an hour and twenty minutes in total travel time, I arrived at LHR.  Airports are so much easier to navigate when the signs are in English and the people speak your language - hallelujah, no breakdowns at Heathrow.  Thankfully I checked in for my flight yesterday morning because the check-in line was outrageous, took me about 20 minutes in total to check both of my massive bags and get through security.  Would’ve been a lot shorter if I wasn’t stuck behind a horrid tour group of Italian students (probably high school aged) – learned that Italian children are god awful!  Probably the most ill behaved kids I’ve seen all trip.  No wonder the men all grow up to be guidos or sexual predators.  HAAAA just kidding!  But really.

Got my Starbucks first thing then waited at the terminal for about an hour.  Boarded early, because I’m literally riding in the butt of the plane (with the loudest stewardess on the planet – why do I always get so lucky?), and we’re about to take off now… obviously I’m not going to post this till I get to PDX so I’ll update about the going-on’s in NYC where I’m meeting two of my friends from the Paris trip – Abby and Tom!  Really excited to see them again and get to finally see New York!

 Bye Europe :(

Okay so this update is straight messed up, chronologically at least – writing this while waiting to board my Delta flight to Portland, Oregon!  AH – can’t believe I’m finally going home… bittersweet to be sure.  Landed at Kennedy a little early, around 12:45ish (which was 5:45pm inside ma head), got my good old Verizon phone back in action & found Abby at my terminal.  What a good mommy!  She printed out all of entire flight itinerary and honestly knew more about where I was going than I did (which isn’t really hard because I literally knew nothing – good planning Syd).  Was absolutely ECSTATIC to see her, like literally beyond words, I probably could have cried if I was more jet-lagged.  Abby had our entire afternoon planned out, even down to the public transportation, so that was really incredibly helpful considering I’d never been to the city and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to see/do.  We hopped on the SkyTram from the airport to the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) and rode it into the city.  I didn’t even know where we were til Abby said “Times Square” and I looked around and I was like, “Oh my gah, we really are in Times Square!”  Saw the Empire State Building on our walk there, it was great, really really tall.  We walked up Broadway to the Square looking for Tom and/or something to eat since we were both ravenous – but what’s new?  Guess what we ended up eating?  Falafel… duh.  And no, in case you were wondering, it didn’t even come CLOSE to comparing to Paris falaf.  Met up with KAMIL (real name: Tom, another friend from the Paris program) and his friend whose name I already forgot because he was pretty obnoxious, and ate our falafel on the stairs by the place where you buy Broadway tickets in Times Square.  What a view – so cool!

 Times Square! 

 Abby, me &Tom on the steps of Times Square  

Finished our ridiculous food purchase and decided to walk around and see some typical tourist sights.  Walked to St. Patrick's cathedral, walked around inside for a bit, Tom had to check out some thing about Polish people inside of course, and Tom’s friend basically gave me my new favorite quote.  And I quote, “So is this like a public place or do they hold ceremonies and stuff here too?”  Gah – no ruhtard, it’s not a church or anything.  Abby and I about lost it.

Inside St. Pat's... pretty, but nothin' on Paris.

Walked from the cathedral to the subway station thinking it would be easier to take the subway to Central Park rather than walking.  Turns out the park is literal blocks from the cathedral, so we took the longest way possible to get there.  Whatever, makin' college memories in the New York subway!  Got to see the inside of Grand Central Station - cool.  Got out by Central Park and bought some ice cream because it was sooo damn hot, and sat in the park and ate our ice cream for about an hour before I had to head back to the airport.

Central Park :)

 Tom & his Spiderman ice cream.  Big baby.

 Me & Abb - love her!

Flew into PDX around midnight local time, 8:00am in my head time, took me about half an hour to get my bags and get to the airport hotel and promptly passed out upon getting into my room.  Home now and slightly depressed about it.

Discobitch - C'est Beau La Bourgeoisie
& Yolando Be Cool – We No Speak Americano
DUH – what else would I be listening to?

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