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London and Leonard Hayes

Stony Brook's Al Rapier rocks some slick London

Stony Brook's Al Rapier rocks some slick London fashion. (Aug. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: Stony Brook

LONDON -- This is my first time outside the country, so I want to thank Stony Brook for the opportunity. I have been having much more fun than imagined and have been amazed by the things we have seen.

In my eyes, London by far is the greatest city in the world. Sorry, New York.

From Buckingham palace to Big Ben, the sites are extraordinary and I’ve taken way more pictures than anticipated. Every time we turn a corner I feel like I’m always asking my teammates to take a picture or get in a picture with me. Also, Coach Pikiell has helped capture “some perfect” photos that he says you can’t get anywhere else. All of these sights are once in a lifetime and I’ve enjoyed every second.

I am kind of disappointed that London teenagers don’t use the phrase “what’s the craic?” like the Irish do. “What’s the craic” means “what’s up?” or “what’s happening?”

The team took its first train ride to Oxford Square, home to numerous shops. The way back was interesting because we broke into smaller groups to walk around and explore. AJay (Anthony Jackson) and I got a little lost but eventually found our way through the train station thanks to the kind London people.

Walking around the city of London is very fun and there are many clubs and cool shops to walk in. Many people stare at us and say, “Wow they are so tall” -- as if we can’t hear them. A few people have asked to take pictures with us. As we were walking to the London Eye, we got to see the Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at the Household Cavalry Museum, which was cool because it’s only done at 11 a.m. each day, so we had perfect timing.

So far, this trip has been an amazing bonding experience for the team and has brought us much closer as a part of the Stony Brook family. I have one funny story for you.

So while shopping around Oxford Square, Dallis, Ron, AJay, Dave and I thought it would be funny if Al (Rapier) tried on this jumpsuit that they were selling in H&M. So as Al steps out of the dressing room in this navy blue jumpsuit with white graffiti and the legs only going down to his shins, we decide to take pictures. Next thing we know, there are 20 British shoppers behind us laughing and taking videos and pictures of Al dancing and posing in his blue jumpsuit. Unfortunately, he didn’t buy it. I thought it was a good look for him.

Lastly, when walking around Europe, especially London, watch out for the pigeons. They are ruthless and stubborn ,and if you don’t move, they will fly inches from your head and have you running for cover like they did to Eric in the park.

Overall this trip so far has been a dream come true. And I appreciate all the support Stony Brook University has provided for the program. It’s truly amazing and I will never forget it. God Bless You.


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