Friday, July 16, 2010

And I gladly stand up next to you...


Well kids, I'm back. And there is a LOT to tell.

So much, in fact, that most of it will never reach the blogging world.

But I'll do my best to give you the highlights, which should be a lot easier to do when I'm not in a deliriously hot, non-air conditioned, smokey city.
The best news is that I no longer have to deal with websites being in German.
Oh what? Why yes. I HAVE been navigating myself through in a language other than my native tongue. Impressed? Grateful? You probably shouldn't be. Believe it or not, it wasn't too difficult to figure out which box I write my e-mail in and which one I write my password in.
Difficult or not, however, seeing English everywhere has been a big fat party.
And I'm sure glad I was invited.

Recap of the most incredible month of my life thus far, Part One: Study Tour

I'm gonna make this easy and just give you the numbers:

12 different cities
(Dresden, Leipzig, Weimar, Eisenach, Bamberg, Nuernberg, Creglingen, Rothenburg, Heidelberg, Wetzlar, Goslar, Wittenberg)

15 Cathedrals

10 different hostels.
One of which was in a castle.

37 hours on a bus.

3,487 dried-out rolls with warm cheese and/or nutella for breakfast.
Balanced out by eating 102 scoops of ice cream between 6 of us.

Overall the tour was long, hot, tiring, inspiring and incredible!
You couldn't pay me any amount of money to replace it but you probably couldn't pay me any amount of money to do it again. Once in a lifetime baby.

Part two: Secret Trip

So one day I was sitting in my English 291 class discussing the Canterbury Tales for the third day in a row, and I had just eaten the same meatball sandwich from Subway that I have had every time I've gone to Subway since I discovered the Wilkinson center freshman year, and I was nervously thinking about how I had contemplated wearing a solid-colored-Shade-shirt to school that morning (I hyphenate because in Provo those four words together create a term that overwhelmingly dominates the female population's closet space), and I was getting even more agitated by the fact that I actually OWNED a solid-colored-Shade-shirt. Then the real kicker came when it dawned on me that, not only had I almost agreed to hike the Y that weekend (something I have narrowly avoided doing since taking on the repute of "cougar"), but that I had almost done so by clicking "accept" on a Facebook event invite. It was then, as I realized that I was sinking deeper and deeper into the pits of Provo mediocrity, that I made an executive decision:

I needed to do something to re-instate my previously stalwart strike on all things commonplace.
Namely: move my plane ticket to a week after my German study abroad, not tell a soul what I was doing or where I was going, and disappear into the world to re-discover my self-proclaimed strike against the boring and redundant life I was migrating towards.

Four Months, a little bit of planning and 5,000 miles later I found myself on a flight to London, clueless, penniless, and absurdly happy with my decision.
It was only then, as I was actually in the air that I took a second and thought about the real consequences of my decision. I was going to a country I'd never been to, sleeping with people I'd never met, with money I didn't really have. "Well," I thought, "No turning back now. I'm going to London." And then I thought, "Unless we crash."
Sometimes life is funny like that, only giving you two options. Die, or go to London. It was a tough decision. Mostly because I didn't know what they'd be serving for breakfast at my hostel.

London: The city of signs. Everywhere I went there was some goofy slogan or warning. Here's one: (if you haven't noticed I'm really into colons these days: not the body part.)
The funniest part about this sign was that the weekend I was there, one of the two elevators they had available to prevent any catastrophic use of the formidable 123 stairs was broken. To handle this crisis they had ushers there politely encouraging any brave soul who felt they could physically handle it, to attempt the stairs. Boy. Life in the big city can really get crazy.

Probably the only downside to traveling by yourself (besides the fact that there was nobody there to hear me talk incessantly about how incredible it was to see the chair Charles Dickens sat in, and the books Charles Dickens read, and the handkerchief Charles Dickens blew his nose in) is that there's no way to hide the fact that you took pictures of yourself. I guess I could make up some story about how a hot British boy took this for me, but then everyone would be all like "oohh Katie, tell us the story..." and then I would have to actually make up some hot British boy and then I'd probably to have to have some sort of fake Skype conversation with him and accidentally start speaking in a British accent and then be all "Oh. Sorry. I just hear it so much from my real-life British boyfriend," and then one day I might want a real boyfriend and everyone would be like "Hey man, watch out. I think she has some boyfriend from another country."

Anyways, for the sake of preserving any sort of future in dating I may have we're just going to go with, "Yeah, I took a picture of myself." But it's mostly because I was writing on the grass outside Westminster Abbey. Who doesn't want proof of that?

So this post is getting excessively long and I'm getting farther and farther from the main point, which is: I went to London for a week by myself and had the time of my life. If you want to know more, you should ask me. My family would thank you, they're pretty sick of hearing me talk about it by now.

So before I came home to...

(taken at the Tate Modern Museum in London)

...I spent one last day in Berlin. Coming back to Berlin after a week in London felt a little bit like the "Yay, I'm a llama again!" scene in Emperor's New Groove. I was so excited to be home! And then I remembered that home isn't actually a place with no air conditioning or mexican food where nobody speaks my language.

So after a bittersweet goodbye, I spent 26 hours traveling to the place I love most: Santa Clara, UT...

...where I was welcomed home by a welcome home party (fitting) thrown by Erin, Jessica and friends who are not featured in this picture.

Why yes, I did wear that hat for two days straight so that it would not get smashed in my luggage.

I loved every second of my time in Europe. There were ups and downs but all of it made the trip the amazing experience that it was and made what I learned there all the more meaningful.
I've said it once and I'll say it again: I'm the luckiest girl in the world.
Thank you to everyone who helped me get there and who supported me while I was there.

All I know is that sleeping in my own bed has never been more appreciated.

More life-updates to come. This blog is far from over.
God Bless America.



  1. welcome home, girl katie.
    lets play?

  2. As a family member who heard all the stories, this is just 1/100th of what went on in London. Tell more!

  3. i loved this post.
    love our tour. and hated. both?!

    and...ENGLAND! you better not forget any DETAILS of what happened, because i believe miss denise (your mom?) up there...1/100 of what happened. i want the rest. so don't you forget it...see you soon!

  4. I need more London details. And, tell your mom you were never in any danger - Jake was just a phone call and tube ride away.