The surrealist visit to Stonehenge and Bath.

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I’ve shared a room with all 7 of these girls for the past two and a half weeks and I still love them, so probably they’re pretty stellar.

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Our jumping pics, on the other hand? Not quite as stellar…

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The most awkward jumping pose possible because I had to hold my shirt down because #modesty

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Alright, time to get sappy… I sat in this exact spot almost three years ago eating a bag of crisps after seeing Stonehenge for the first time. Seeing it again on Wednesday was the first of many surreal moments that day.

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Three years ago I was one of those high school kids getting ready to walk in to the baths.

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I saw a street performer in this exact spot. And I took the same picture of him, and the Abbey behind him.

img_8443Ok, let’s talk about how weird it was to go to Bath and Stonehenge on Wednesday. A good weird, but weird. So far we haven’t done the same things I did when I came to Oxford three years ago. I see the occasional familiar site, but for the most part, this experience has been completely new. So to show up at Stonehenge and Bath and stand in some of the same places and see the same things as I did then was surreal. The first time I came, I was fresh out of high school. I had never been away from home for longer than a week, I had never been the only LDS person I knew in the country, I had only left the country once that I could remember. I hadn’t started college or had roommates or had a grown up job or anything. I don’t think I considered myself brave back then, but looking back on it, coming to Oxford was a scary thing. A good thing, an amazing thing! But a scary thing.

So much has changed since I came to England to study the first time. I have 2 1/2 years of college under my belt. I’ve declared a major, switched it, and switched back. I’ve had 6 jobs, 9 roommates, and 31 classes. I’ve made new friends, started learning ASL, gone through the temple, and so many other things. I’ve changed so much, more than I ever thought possible as a little baby high school graduate out seeing the world for the first time. I think if I had known what was up ahead when I was first standing at the steps of the Roman baths, I would have been terrified of all the hard stuff. But I also think I would know it would be worth it to be the person coming back to England 2 and a half years later. In fact, I would do it all again to be here.

I saw Wicked this week, and one line has been playing through my head ever since. At one point, Galinda says, “happy is what happens when all your dreams come true.” I definitely can’t say that all of college has been happy. But I sure can say that I’m happy now. Being here is seriously a dream come true, better than I ever imagined. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it could work out this way. But thankfully, God is good, and He exceeds expectations and blesses us beyond understanding. I’m so incredibly grateful.

Aaaaaand now we can go back to the non-sappy stuff. Aka more pictures. I’m not sorry.img_8429img_8432

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You see where the stones get darker? That’s where the water line usually is. They drain the baths every three months or so, and we happened to pick the day it was draining. We were bummed for a sec, but then we got to see the rock all exposed and it was cool, so we were fine with it. Also, this picture gives me a heart attack because I’m secretly a mom and terrified Abby is going to fall in.

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So. Much. Steam. It was really cool to visit in January vs in July because you could see how hot the water really gets.

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This is the Royal Crescent. Basically, all the Jane Austen type movies are filmed here. Think Persuasion.

 

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The rebel yellow door in a sea of white doors.

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What really happens when I ask someone to take my picture- I fix my hair in car windows shamelessly before posing.

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My London besties being besties. All the warm fuzzies.

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I’ll never stop taking pictures of the sun setting on rows of British houses.

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This jewelry store in Bath had my name all over it (literally). So probably that means I can move in tomorrow and take over as rightful queen, right?

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This one is going in the top ten fav pictures so far, hands down.

 

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