Tuesday, July 16, 2013

there goes the neighborhood

Today is always a nailbiter; it's the day everybody allegedly shows up. I'm always worried that someone is going to disappear or get lost for days or never even get on a plane. None of these things have happened to any of my students in the past, so I'm not sure why I even worry about them. But I do. Because any minute someone could disappear, and then I'll have to go all Liam Neeson on them. Or, which is much more my style,  make some very stern phone calls! (forbid)

But everyone did make it. Not all of their luggage did. But they did. Josh and Nate rolled in first. They were chatty and hyper and Josh swore he wasn't tired but was asleep on his bed in minutes. Aubrey and Whitney came next, and both of them methodically stayed awake. Under normal circumstances they would have unpacked, but neither of them got their luggage. (As of midnight tonight it's still not here. I hope they love what they are wearing!)

I set out with these four to get some lunch. They were starving and they desperately needed to see how the 2 pound sandwich store works. I was happy to oblige. While there Aubrey was swiped in the face by a Eastern European scaffold worker's long frizzy hair. Things just weren't going her way! She was a good sport, and only rubbed the germs off her face for the next twenty minutes. We had a nice lunch under the trees in Hyde Park, and everyone talked and talked and I have no idea where their energy came from. Ritalin?

Tatijana showed up next with her cousin, who kindly and dutifully helped her unpack. Then Devin arrived, high-spirited and funny. Finally came David Beach, who was stranded by a cancelled flight in Manchester. Also, no luggage. His flip flops would be well worn today.

So everyone settled in, and then we headed out for a neighborhood tour. We walked again through the park where I was terrified by two squirrels under a tree and everyone took lots of pictures of big golden Albert. Then we headed down Exhibition Road and stopped at the LDS church, where we much enjoyed the crazy cold air conditioning and the awesome new high tech lobby! (Seriously. It's all giant LCD screens and computers that slide along the walls and talk to you. This is not my church back home on Timpview Drive, that's for sure. I still have to enter the tithing donations in DOS.)

We stopped for a bit at the Brompton Oratory, which I always think is so beautiful, and where I'm always scolded for taking pictures. One picture a year. That's all I can manage. Here's what I got this year:

We practiced taking the tube, even though everyone's Oyster Cards were taking turns acting wonky. But eventually we broke up the band so people could go shop at the grocery store and I could enjoy this delicious meal alone:

And tonight was another epic walk downtown. It was not really much different than the route we've taken in years past, except that the sky was a little pinker, the classical guitar music on the bridge was a little more romantic, and nobody appreciated my dirty joke in Trafalgar Square. I'm two for three.

One last thought. Does Josh Valdez have a full right leg? (see also: group photo above.)