Na cestě do Prahy.

February 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

As I am sure you have heard from anyone who wanders, it feels as though I have lived an entire lifetime in the past three weeks and some change.  Let me just tell you, right out the gate, this post will, likely, be lengthy.  Just hang in there!  Go grab a hot tea, or chocolate, and come on back when you’re ready to be settled.

On January 15th, I left Raleigh and traveled north.  Was that really just 24 days ago?

A few days in DC with Andrea, where Courtney Mann also happened to be(!), with my friend Alyson and then?  We were NYC bound.  Well, almost to NYC anyways.  Alyson is a native of Lodi, NJ and I love visiting her for a few reasons.  First, she’s the only person I know that can successfully put a w in the middle of the word ‘coffee’ and her family always blesses my soul.  Pretty much every day, we came home to great food either cooked or purchased and I even had my own bedroom for my time there.  I made it into the city to spend a few hours with a guy named Jason that I don’t really know all that well and discovered the High Line.  If you have anything to do with NYC, ever, this place is amazing.  Jason, by the way, is pretty fantastical no matter what’s going on so even just sharing the living room of a Chelsea walk-up to write thank you cards and talk about whatever came across our minds still wound up being pretty magical.

View from the High Line

Tuesday the 24th, Alyson drove me all the way to JFK for what we thought would be an hour long schlep.  And, because this is my life, there was no traffic whatsoever and we arrived in 29 minutes.  En route, my beautiful parents called and, after arrival, a couple of your beautiful faces called just to chat.  I was so grateful for the last minute phone calls.  Voices are almost as great as embraces.  Sincerely, thank you.

Alyson was just as excited as I was. Love her.

And then?  I hopped aboard the biggest plane I’ve ever set foot on (and y’all, that’s saying a lot) and British Airways and their amazing selves whisked me to London.
Even the word is gorgeous.

Fancy building in Trinity Gardens, London.

Ben on Tower Bridge

An adorable cafe I found called "Look Mum, No Hands!"

One of my newest, but still quite dear, friends Dre used to live in England.  And when I told her I wanted to spend a few days in London on my way to Prague, she was all “Oh, you have a bed.  I’m 99% pos.i.tive.”  Through a quick phone call and some facebooking, I had a home in northish London with her (and now my) friend Ben.  Ben, y’all, Ben is GREAT.  His whole dang family is great.  I got step by step directions on how to reach him from Heathrow, my first pub experience, and dragged all over a lot of London in order to see as much as possible with the most consideration I think I might have ever received in my life.  Refreshing isn’t even the word for it.

The river (and a Ben) via my fancy schmancy panorama app.

En route to St….dang, I always have to Google this…PAUL’S!  St. Paul’s.  En route to St. Paul’s a girl came up to us with a memory card and asked if we could take her picture as her camera was dead.
So we did.
I had my first sushi off of one of those conveyor belts (I suck, by the way.  It’s only by Ben’s reflexes that there isn’t sushi and soy sauce all over that restaurant), walked the river both day and nighttime, and attended service at Westminster Abbey.
Yes, we walked through the Great North Door to attend evening service at Westminster Abbey.
All in all, we were in three churches that day as I ended it by attending worship team jam with Ben.  His church family has some really fantastic souls that embrace others easily and lovingly.  Singing in an old Baptist church in the middle of England absolutely made my day.

Westminster Abbey

Ben and his gracious self invited/dragged/met me all over that gorgeous city and I. am. smitten.  It’s a different smitten than I am with both NYC and Chicago, but it’s smitten nonetheless.  I’m hoping to go on my return and I’m already looking forward to it.

Ben also introduced me to Ascend the Hill.  If you’re a believer, this band has blessed my soul all over God’s green earth.  Ben stated he had it on repeat for like weeks when I saw him and I’ve had it on repeat since.
Quickly, a sample:

In my efforts to prove that I was really adjusted and not suffering from jet lag, I pushed through just about anything.  While I don’t think I had jet lag (I always adjust really quickly going east versus going west), it had been quite awhile since I was abroad and it is just these past couple of days that I feel like I’m finally getting my feet underneath me.

Praha has magical qualities of her own and bless those of you who have sent real mail.  I’ve already been called “Mom” by a few of the other students and gotten food poisoning.  The wifi is spotty, but the pace is so much slower I don’t even care.

Keep the facebooks and the messages and the emails coming.  I’ll get you an update by the end of the weekend of all things Prague.
You have GOT to come see this place.  I’ll wander with you, promise.
Thanks for sharing in the journey.

America, I love you.


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