Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hey everyone, 
I’m really sorry I’m not better at blogging. There is just always so much going on, and taking time to write it down is hard. And I honestly don’t know how many people read this, but it is good for me at least so I can remember everything that happens to me over the year. 
Its getting colder here, and the air has changed to that type of cold that hints that snow is coming. I’m not sure snow will come though… apparently Paris doesn’t get snow like Idaho does. But there will be some. Fall is really pretty here, but most have the leaves have fallen now. And all of this is making me really excited for thanksgiving. Except there is a problem with that, because that doesn’t exist here! I didn’t fully realize this until I went to starbucks with a my friend Sabrina really excited to order a pumpkin spice lattee and they didn’t have them. This makes sense… No thanksgiving=no pumpkin flavor. But stilll, Starbucks is American. 
The McDonalds’ are different here too! They have pastries. I mean, leave it to France to have pastries at McDonald’s. And I’m not talking little apple pies. I mean like nice pastries. They also have different types of burgers and sauces and everything! I feel like they have more choices than America actually. 
Anyway, back to thanksgiving…even if there were thanksgiving here, I doubt the french would make a big deal out of it. They aren’t as in to celebration as Americans are, I don’t think. At least thats what my friends in England said. In England, everyone has been ready for Christmas for a month already. Every store was decked out with decorations around Halloween! 
This is one reason I love London. Seriously, it is one of my favorite places in the world! I went there for a week and it was amazing. I stayed with my mom’s foreign exchange friend from HIGH SCHOOL. Small world. Her and her husband live in Harpenden, which is the eighth most expensive place to live in England. And for good reason. It looks like a Christmas card, its right outside of london, and there are tons of huge houses everywhere dating from hundreds of years ago. England is a lot like America. They have most of the same stores, all of the same tv shows and movies, and they like the same things. They just have a way cooler accent. I seriously think someone could yell at me with that accent and I would just think it was cool. I tried to pick up a few words while I was over there, and the couple I stayed with taught me things like how a “cup cake” is a “fairy cake” and the trunk of the car is the “boot” and the hood is the “bonnet”. And if you say “awesome” there, people think you mean awesome as in scary. So I got a lot of confused looks when I was describing everything as awesome. The english say “lovely”. Which is another reason to love them! How could you not love people who think everything is just simply “lovely?”
I spent almost the whole time trying to figure out how I could move there one day :)
While there I shopped, went to museums, ate at a pub from the 1400s, stood in the train station that Harry Potter was filmed at!!!, and honestly had the best time. My favorite store IN THE WORLD is now Harrod’s. It is so amazing. Floor after floor of restaurants, designer clothing, jewelry, pet stores (even a bakery for dogs…). It was by far the biggest and classiest store I have ever been in.  
Also, at one point, when coming home from London with my friends, they had to evacuate a few thousand people from one of the most crowded stations in london. No one had any idea what was going on, but the guy next to me seemed to think someone must have found unattended baggage or something. And England is on high alert for terrorism. Try going through airport security there. Anyway, luckily no one panicked. Because we were crammed together like sardines trying to get outside from three stories underground, and one person freaking out could have been bad. 
Anyway, I will be going back to Harpenden for Christmas with my little sister, who is getting here in less than a month! I’m so excited to see her. I miss her and everyone so much. Maybe its the fact that I know I am an ocean away, or the fact that I won’t be going back for a long time still, but I have a little bit of homesickness. It comes and goes though. Mostly I am just constantly learning new words and making an idiot out of myself trying to speak french :) I hope people think its cute and not frustrating. I am getting better though! I can have full conversations, and I think in french a lot. (And it freaks me out) haha. 
I am going to try to update more from now on! 
But for now I miss and love you all! Thank you so much for your support and prayers :) 
P.S. My very first cross country coach, Ivan Benson, passed away this week. He was such an inspiring and kind man, and he was the person who talked me into doing cross country in the first place. If it weren’t for him, I’m sure my life would be so different.. I don’t know if I would have gotten involved in xc and it is now a huge part of my life. Its really crazy how much impact a person can have on another. And he had an impact on a lot of people! So please be praying for his wife. He is in heaven sooo happy right now :)

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