March 15th, 2009.
I was 23, living at home, having dinner with my family. I don’t remember what day of the week it was. Mom and Dad kept talking about “the announcement in April.” I had no idea what sort of announcement they were making. It was almost the end of the season, we were probably going to win the national championship, and I was currently stuffing my entire life into boxes to prepare for a life-changing move to New York City to start my life as a working actor. That changed my life, for sure. But not in the ways I thought it would.
After about fifteen minutes of back-and-forth, with Mom and Dad discussing this mysterious announcement and my clamoring “What announcement?” I finally exploded. “Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?!” (Note: I have made a simple rule with my parents. Whatever curse words they have used around me, I am therefore allowed to use around them. I will let you figure out what curse words those are, but suffice to say there are VERY few that are off limits.)
Mom laughed. Dad made a joke about how he was retiring, which he quickly backpedaled after seeing my face go purple. After about five more minutes of my begging, Dad finally said, “Okay. It’s either that I’m retiring, or I got hired to coach at the Olympics.”
“…You’re going to be the head coach in London? In 2012? At the Olympics?”
“Yep,” Dad beamed.
When I finally did manage to speak, the words out of my mouth were something like “HOLY SHIT OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT AHHHHHHHHH!”
A few weeks later I was allowed to tell my best friend, while we drove to the mall to buy some last-minute NYC supplies. We were at a red light near the shops when I turned to her and said, gleefully, “So. Dad’s going to be coaching in the London Olympics.” This was my small way of inviting her to come to the games.
I have visited London in the past, in March of 2008 with said best friend, but it was only for three days and it was a very hectic three days of trying to cram as much stuff as we possibly could in our waking hours.
This time we’ll be there for ten days, and it all starts tomorrow, when we fly out of Boston to Heathrow Airport and start the trip of a lifetime.
Three years is a long time. In between that announcement and now a few things have happened.
In 2009 I was getting ready to move to New York for theater.
In 2009 my blog was a teeny little baby.
In 2009 I had just gotten dumped via phone, by a guy who is currently doing sports news on a local TV station in Missouri. My best friend from college was there when I took the call, and supported me through it.
In 2009 I hadn’t gotten Twitter.
Now? I’m teaching at a university while also doing graduate studies, my blog has recently exploded, that best friend is MIA (note to all girls out there; don’t be friends with crazy/pretentious people because they seem ‘fun’. They aren’t fun. Not at all.), and my boyfriend is coming to London too.
After a few weeks of wondering how I would handle the blog across the pond, I have decided that the best thing to do for both my writing and my sanity is to blog while I can.
That could mean eight posts. That could be two. I don’t know how busy I’m going to be over there but judging by the plans I’ve made with the best friend and the boyfriend, I’m going to be extremely busy. Plus I haven’t seen my Dad in a month. So, there’s that.
I have a few things to accomplish while we’re over there.
See the Tower of London. Tour Anfield Stadium. Explore Dublin. Prevent best friend from kidnapping Michael Phelps. Prevent cousin from kidnapping Ryan Lochte. TOPSHOP. Prevent sister from kidnapping Cullen Jones. Prevent myself from stalking the entire USA women’s gymnastics team and kidnapping Missy Franklin. Drink a snakebite and black at a proper English pub. Have Indian take-away. Go for a run in Hyde Park. Visit a yoga studio in Bloomsbury. Ride a Trafalgar Lion, or at least stand next to one. Make a “Call Me Maybe” video at famous British locations, although I really doubt anyone can beat the USA swim team one.
I should probably also really start thinking about designing my course unit for my upcoming English classes…maybe. But I’m not stressing about it.
Tomorrow starts the craziest, most exhausting, ridiculous, and amazing 10 days of my life.
Here we go, London town. Get ready.
The Auriemmas are coming.
If only I could finish packing…
PS. I’ll be posting photos on Instagram (@alysamarsiella) and obviously tweeting my brains out (@allyauriemma), in lieu of days when I can’t blog. So, go follow follow!