Posted by: Emily Schmutz Garcia | January 27, 2010

What a Great Day!

Creative Commons photo by AndyRob

So many travels, which one to choose? Let’s go with the 3rd of July, 2007. My parents had come over to England to pick me up after having lived and served there as a missionary for my church for 18 months. We were traveling around and had arrived in London. Our hotel/hostel was slightly less than savory-despite requestes for a bottom floor room, we were given the penthouse hovel. At the top of seven flights of stairs, there was one final stairwell that was circular. We literally crawled up the final flight-there weren’t any elevators. My mom’s knees were screaming in protest. It was raining and the window in our room was stuck open. My mom called the front desk to get help and said, “good luck finding Harry Potter and call me if you get tickets to Wicked.”

My mission was to get my self and my dad to the half price ticket booth, get tickets to Wicked, call mom to let her know, and then sneak into Leicester Square and scream with hundreds of fellow Harry Potter fans as the cast and crew of the films walked down the red carpet for the London premiere of the 5th movie. No pressure. First stop, tickets. My dad and I grabbed a cab and made our way to the ticket booth. “Tickets for Wicked please.” Why not! We got three tickets that were about 6 rows back from the stage. They were a little on the side-but looked pretty amazing.

The ticket booth was actually in Leicester Square, so the big challenge was talking loudly enough in the phone for mom to understand me over the screaming fans. Once I let her know that we would be picking her up in a couple of hours, my dad and I headed for the square. It was already roped off, and so we pushed our way through the crowds and finally found a spot at the entrance to the square that appeared to be a good spot. Just me and 1,000 of my new best friends waiting oh so patiently for limos to arrive.

And then, it happened. A limo arrived, a little before 5pm. Out walked Rupert Grint. He was fabulous and went around to all of the fans-even the ones in the cheap seats like me who hadn’t been there early enough to get into the main square. Oh what joy! Emma Watson came shortly after that and greeted everyone. It was starting to rain, so their agents or friends held umbrellas over them while they shook the crowd’s hands and signed some autographs. Daniel Radcliffe, who had been a crush of mine, pulled up right to the entrance and barely waved before racing into the main square. He has been off my list of top 5 future husbands since that day.

The actress who played Ginny walked by, and Neville too. I hadn’t seen any trailers for the 5th movie, but when a girl with white blond hair down to her waist came out, I knew it was Luna Lovegood. I might not have mentioned before, but I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan. I had actually fasted and prayed in the past to go to a premiere in London, and Heavenly Father answered my ridiculous prayers-6 years after my original prayer, but hey, I got a yes answer, so I won’t be complaining. It was amazing!

After seeing Dolores Umbridge, my dad and I decided that it might be time to go pick up mom and head to Wicked. We grabbed a taxi, dried off a bit and once we got mom we were on our way. My mom insisted on getting me a fabulous Wicked London t-shirt-that really is absolutely divine. We got seated in our primo seats and I waited anxiously with baited breathe. Wow! If you haven’t seen Wicked, when next it comes to your area, or to an area you can get to, go see it. It was amazing! Beyond amazing. I had a moment where I almost felt guilty for this perfect day I was having, thinking why should I deserve such an amazing day, but then I realized that I had been serving a mission for the past 18 months, I totally deserved this, and I was good. Heavenly Father gave me that perfect evening for my hard work and I was happy. Ecstatic, actually. Wicked was brilliant. I really felt like I had been paid in full.

After Wicked, my parents and I hit up an amazing Italian cafe where we split three different dishes that were probably the best I’ve ever had. It really wasn’t necessary-at this point Heavenly Father was just showing off a bit-but it was wonderful. We returned to the hostel, where we crawled back up the seven flights of stairs-which were still horrific, but much less important. The window had been closed. I had just had an amazing day! I really couldn’t ask for anything more. What a great day!



  1. It was a Homeric experience. I will never forget it. You had served the Lord faithfulloy and were rewarded by this obvious demonstration of His love and that of your earthly father too.

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