The Grand Tour

I’ve perfected the art of an international flight. First, I dressed appropriately. Yes, leggings can be pants on a PLANE. I wore huge wool socks and my dad’s old sweater. It was glorious. Also, I got my hair curled so it didn’t look all greasy when we arrived to London. Brilliant!

I also had one drink provided by Lauren Noxsel on the plane and was so tired from the week before, I crashed. hard. Not to mention, our plane was basically empty so I sprawled out over 3 seats. And I finally invested in a plane pillow – so my life was grand. I didn’t eat yucky Delta plane food. I skipped all the tea times and breakfasts as well. I woke up when we were landing in Heathrow. It was glorious and the quickest 8 hours of my life.

Probably the most stressful job I’ll have all term was getting ten UGA students on our coach and off to Oxford. Yes, I do have the best job ever.

For some reason, the coach master in the orange vest decided to be on lunch break for 15 minutes. Beside this minor hiccup, all luggage arrived, all students found and all happily dropped off at the 104 residence happy and tired.

 

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This is the view from my window. I love my single room..

 

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I promptly hung the farewell notes from my room mates & my spring scarves to brighten up the room. If your going to live somewhere for 3 months, might as well make it homey.

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I love love my room & my little private space in this perfect English mansion.

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#BedSelfy

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I decided to keep my watch on American time, so I can always have one eye on Judge & the rest of the Athens crew.IMG_0597

 

That night, we had house orientation and then we took all 20 undergrads out to dinner in Jericho near Port Meadow at a place called The Anchor. There was only one poor staff member assigned to our table, so the service was PAINFULLY 3 hours slow, but my appetizer and main course were unreal. Like, the best chicken I’ve ever put into my mouth. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t eaten ALL day. Hunger is the best seasoning.

Here is the UGA menu that was prepared just for us…

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Unfortunately, some of the UGA students were so tired they crashed and fell asleep…. right on the table. This is Jamie’s grand trick to force them to stay up until all of England  goes to bed. Tricks of the trade to fight jet lag. Ban together and hold each other accountable.

 

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And here was my dessert I did have a couple of bites of… it was pure hard sugar covered in clotted cream. Very English… and mhmm, not my favorite to be honest.

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We were out of the house by 9:00 today for the Oxford library orientation and a walking tour of city center and Trinity college. It felt so good to be back. I really do know this city very well, “O you want a greek salad for lunch, go to the French cafe in the covered market.”

“O, well if you want to buy cheap hangers go see Nick in Oxfam before you support sweat shops at Primark.”

“O, please say hi to Kassim for me at Cafe Cream and order a pesto sandwich.”

I just love passing on all my good memories and experiences onto another generation of students.

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I knew I like this group when I led them to make their wish under Hertford Bridge and they asked, “Can we hold hands?”

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Since we have 7 students returning from programs before, the veterans were able to show the newbies around. Can I say again, I love my group. It’s much easier to get to know 20 of them than it was to get to know 150 of them this summer. I thrive better in small groups.

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I stuck to my usual routine in City Center. I enjoyed a late 2nd breakfast of popcorn and a latte at Nero in Blackwells. I sat in the same chair and all. I am a creature of habit after all.

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We then took the students to Keble and got them inducted into the Keble library. I loved watching their faces when we walked into the front quad for the first time

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I also located the Virginia Woolf books in the lower reading room. This is the mountain I will be conquering while studying here.

 

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I hustled back to city center and raided the Oxfam where I found wonderful decorations and organizers for my room for dirt cheap. Yes, I’m a habitual thrifter even when my suitcase was overweight coming to England. I do plan on donating a lot of things to Oxfam at the end of term! At least now my jewelry is organized.

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I then made my way for a late lunch at the French Cafe in the covered market where they still remember my salad order. Praise be.

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I then headed to the White Horse to meet the director of the program and the resident faculty of the law program for a pint. This is truly the greatest blessing of my job, all the influential, scholarly, dynamic and charismatic professors on this trip. I always feel honored to share a pint with the directors of the program.  I really enjoyed this pub and am surprised I’ve never stopped in before since it’s directly in between Trinity College and Blackwells. While using the toilet, I discovered the White Horse was founded in the 1500s when Shakespeare was only 27 years old.

 

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After a lovely meal in college and some serious grocery shopping at Marks & Spencers, the day was done.

London tomorrow!

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