First off, I´d like to apologize for being so late in my blogs. Namely, while in France we had no source of internet, therefore, no blogs. Also, since we arrived in Madrid, its been constant motion. I figured, in order for these blogs to remain some what ¨short,¨ but still interesting I´ll just have mini-posts here. OH, and we took A TON of pictures so I´ll try to post some of those as well…but not all.
August 13, 2011 (written on iPod)
Oh, where to begin?? Today was just about the longest day I´ve ever spent. Now I understand why man hasn´t created time travel; because nature creates time travel on its own when traveling. Haha, can you believe that I´m 6 hours ahead of y´all? Ok, so you can tell that the jet lag has already hit me, but that is ok. I know that I will eventually get used to the time change before the next time my ¨Time Machine¨ is scheduled to go back into the past!…sigh…that´ll be fun. 🙂
So I believe that the majority of my sanity has left me, however I do believe that I have about an oz. left in me. Otherwise, I probably wouldn´t be here now. No, correction, it is by the grace of God that I´m where I am now. Which by the way is in London, on a British Airways plane, riding atop the taxi run. I don´t know when I will be able to post this, but I´ve decided to write whatever I can on my iPod while it is all fresh in my mind.
The beginning of my adventure started at 7:00 am (after getting only 4 hours of sleep) not feeling completely refreshed, but very excited. After finishing some last-minute packing, and enjoying a nice warm shower, my mom, sister (Mary Kate, Travis, and I set out around 12:00 am for the 2 hour drive to Raleigh Durham. Upon our arrival, we exchanged dollars for euros, and got checked in. Leaving us A LOT of time to get to know our fellow pilgrims. Oh, and as we were talking Travis and I were approached by a man and his really big camera. Can you guess what he asked? ¨Can I get an interview from you two for the Raleigh website?¨ At fist I was really surprised (and willing) but after watching Travis’ interview I decided that maybe an interview would not be such a good idea. However, it was too late. Travis was finished and I was being pushed in the camera´s direction. I think It went fairly well, despite the fact that my hands were shaking as i held the microphone. Oh well I guess I´ll have to watch it, in order to know how well it REALLY went.
After we went through security everything moved along perfectly according to the plan. It was really nice getting to know all my fellow pilgrims, they are all so kind and friendly. One of the girls (Jordan) is a really sweet person, and I´m so glad that I made Travis switch with her, so that she could sit with me! We probably had too much fun during those (very quick) seven hours. There was a movie playing called ¨Win Win¨ but after ten minutes it got really boring. So Jordan and I just talked and watch what movies we had on our iPods. By the time we decided we should attempt to get some sleep, we turned off our electronics as well as our mouths, and tried for over 30 minutes to get some sleep. Sleep would not come. Instead, we just stayed up wishing for sleep and talking about anything that popped into our heads, until our dinner came (which wasn´t bad) but the cookies she brought were delish! Even Fr. Mears thought they were really good, of course we made him eat them since he was sitting right in front of us, and would never hear the end of it if he didn´t eat one.
When we finally landed in London we had to go through security all over again, and I almost lost my boarding pass not once, but twice (it was a very hectic time) but don´t worry I made it on the plane. So I obviously didn´t COMPLETELY loose it. To make a long 7 wait weight (in an airport) a short story, most of us just past the time by sleeping on the floors, window shopping, playing games, admiring all the british accents, laughing at all the strange fashion statements, eating, and pretty much chill until it was time to bord our last flight.
I really can´t tell you much about the flight on British Airways (except the flight attendants have really cute accents) because I fell asleep right after we took off, and didn´t wake up until after the 10 minute landing announcements were made. Oh and that if you sit in the very last bench in the back of the plane, you will really experience some really CrAzY turbulence, when landing.
After landing in France everything moved along smoother than a china doll´s silks. All we had to do was get our luggage, passports stamped, and sit ourselves on the bus. There was a lot of sleeping, singing, laughing, and games on that 2 hour road trip. We arrived in Lourdes around 8:00 pm that evening. The country there is absolutely breathtaking!! The air is not only cool, but sweet!! If I was given the chance to go there again, I TAKE IT in less than a heart beat!!! After we pulled up to our hotel, and lugged all our luggage off the bus and into the lobby, we were told to leave our suitcases in the lobby, in order for us to eat our dinner. This, however, didn´t quite sit well with everyone. This reaction from all of us pilgrims (I believe might have caused a great offense to the owner) forcing her to drop her dancing french tongue, in order to address us on the matter. She was dressed very stylishly, and had the thickest accent I have ever heard!! At first I thought she sounded angry, but as she continued to explain how safe the hotel environment was, she really began to sound cute in a very very funny way. Thus, off we went to enjoy our very first 3 course meal of tomato and mozzarella cheese with salt and pepper, a crispy chicken, fresh green beans, and a grilled tomato (and FRENCH FRIES) topped with this really good sauce, and a dessert course of fresh lemon pie! To top things off, we were able to share this meal with Bishop Burbidge! The meal was very relaxing. All we had to do was sit down, and wait to be handed our already planed, delicious meal! I felt like royalty. Then after dinner we received our keys from the lovely french owner, and found our very very soft pillows.
To Be Continued…
That will conclude this blog on ¨Time Travel,¨ but If you´d like to read my next blog, ¨Heaven in Lourdes¨ then I strongly recommend you stay in tune. I was planning on finishing all the blogs from the beginning to the present tonight, but alas, it is already 2:20 am and I need my pilgrim sleep. 😀 Don´t worry, I will do my best to log on as often as I can so y´all can get to the REAL stuff!!
Can you believe that there is only 1 more day until we leave for Europe?! I sure can’t. Every time I start thinking about it, I begin to feel the same butterflies (from the day I heard we were going) re-enter my stomach.
Well it’s Thursday and I haven’t even started packing (until this morning), unless you want to count getting all my laundry washed. However, I have “met” my two awesome roomies; Emma and Lauren. Well, met them on Facebook, at least. I think they both said that they too are posting blogs, so you should read what they have to write! I cant wait to meet them on Friday!
Ok, I went off track for a second there. So I do have reason for being late in my packing process. As some of you may not know, I’m a lifeguard at one of the pools in Hampstead. Well, due to one of the guard’s sudden departure, there are now only two of us to watch the pool. Therefore, a lot more shifts. Oh, and to top that off, I just got another job as a waitress at a newly opened restaurant. So, that too has been time consuming. You may be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t she just pack when she gets home from work?” Haha, it’s not all that easy. I’m a very organized person, thus in order to arrange and plan in an organizing fashion, I have to be in a clean and organized environment. My room, however, is not. Those of you who know me, are well aware that I would never allow anything to remain out of it’s place any longer than a day (at most). So what could be the cause of such a chaotic mess? Well, think about what usually happens around this time of the year, when supplies are bought, boxes are out, clothes are laid out, and old junk is “sorted.”. Have you guessed it yet? If I said that it has to do with a certain family member who comes home for holidays, and takes over your room all summer, would that help your guess a little more?? Ok if you haven’t guessed it, then I’ll just tell you. My complete opposite in almost every way, Mary Kate. Yes, just about everything imaginable that a college student should (and shouldn’t bring) is all over the floor, bed, dresser, and even the bookshelves. Haha, the ironic thing is, despite both of our differences, my sister and I are surprising very close, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She told me today that she will have the room “right as rain” by the time I get home from work (I sure hope so) :p
So far I’ve told three of my friends (who won’t be able to go) that, if they want to come, they would have to travel via my suitcase. BIG mistake! Why? Because, when I was at our WYD meeting, last Wednesday, all the pilgrims were informed that the weight limit (for the ONE checked bag) will be limited to 50lbs!! How on earth am I going to fit ten days worth of clothes, and other essentials, along with three friends in one bag, under 50lbs?!?! This may sound impossible, but that’s what I live for, to make the impossible possible!…well, all that is within my ability.
One of my friends, Molly, lives further south and told me that if I don’t get her to fit in my suitcase, then there is nooo way I’ll be able to fit in hers, when she visits her home in Kazakstan, Russia. “Oh you of little faith” I will make this packing process a prelude to the “Adventure,” and I will be happy!!! 😀
My break is well over, so I will leave you (for now).
Haha!! I just thought of something. How awesome would it be to end every blog with “To Be Continued”?!?! It may sound corny, but oh who cares!
To Be Continued…
Ok, this being my first blog EVER, I think it fair to warn y’all that I have a very bad habit of writing whatever tends to pop into my head, and how I would most likely say them. That being said, these blogs are most likely going to be very lengthy. However, that could be a good thing…I think.
To “kick off,” I figured it would appropriate to describe how and when Travis and I were giving the opportunity to attend such an amazing “Adventure” at World Youth Day, in Madrid Spain.
Well, it all started about two years ago when my family was stationed in Prattville, Alabama. It was during this time when the thought of going to WYD was more of a vague idea rather than a finalized plan (It was soon left in the forgotten past). However, about a year later we heard from some friends that the Raleigh Diocese of North Carolina was taking a large group to WYD. This, unfortunately, was during the time we lived in Virginia. At this time we had no inclination that we may or may not be moving back to our beloved home in NC. The idea of attending WYD was once again– forgotten. About two months after our happy move back to Hampstead, NC my mom approached us with the question of whether or not we would like to join the Raleigh group to WYD. Of course we would be put on the waiting list, due to our very very late entry. With that in mind: I decided “Why not?” feeling that if I didn’t think about it I wouldn’t be so disappointed when told that we would not be able to go.
On the Eleventh of July, some good friends of ours from Rocky Mt., NC, were visiting us (as well as having the intent to steal some UVB rays from the sun) at the sandy beaches of Topsail. These are also the very friends who not only were going to WYD, but were trying very hard to help us get on the trip. Shortly after their arrival, Mrs. Love received a phone call. All I know is that she was talking and running around the house with my mom for a long time. Then, all of a sudden, I got a tap on my shoulder, and as I turned around to face my mother handing me my passport, she said, “Your going to need this.” Honestly, I had nooooo idea what she was implying. So after about three minutes of my mom smiling at me, while I sat there stupefied, trying to figure out what was going on, it hit me; I WAS GOING TO WORLD YOUTH DAY IN MADRID, SPAIN!!!! At first it came out as several of the same question, “Really, we’re really going, and this isn’t some kind of sick joke???” After being reassured several times it sank in that I was indeed going!
It wasn’t until the excitement settled down a notch, when the realization of $6,500 hit us, and that we only had about four weeks to raise that much, where-as everyone else had three years. However, Travis and I have been truly blessed with wonderful selfless family and friends, and we can hardly find words to describe our gratitude toward every single one of them. It is because of them that we not only reached our goal, but everyday the mail brings more and more donations that will go towards food, trip insurance, phone rent, and so much more. As we have mentioned before, your special intentions will be in our prayers, as well as all of our seminarians, and whoever may be discerning the religious life.
I think that is about it. Oh, and do you believe me now, when I said that I tend to write/talk too much?? Haha! Well, there are four more days till take off, and I still have a lot of packing to do. So I will leave you for now, and I hope you all will be following me during this upcoming pilgrimage at Lourdes, Avala, and Madrid.