Wednesday, February 24, 2010

middle temple & dickens.

ok... well this is the third time i have tried to post this... so now it is going to be brief because i am fed up. so we went to a fancy shmancy lunch at middle temple. this is one of the four inns of court where their members are called to the english bar as barristers. my favorite part was probably the sparkling water. it was so delicous. i drank a whole bottle by myself. i also got to touch a table that was made from wood that was on the first ship to circumnavigate the glob. cool huh?

after lunch we had some time to kill before our next appointment, so we decided to take a walk around the westminster area. we saw the houses of parliament. (again... but this time i actually payed close attention to them) they are sooooo cool. they are very intricate and massive... it was quite the sight to see. we stopped to snap a few photos on the westminster bridge too. it was a rainy day, so i was very thankful for my umbrella.

after our walk we went to the charles dickens museum. this was actually where dickens lived once. cool huh? although i have never read any of dickens books, he is a legend... so i probably should. at least i can say i have been to his house!

{haven't read it, but i've seen it!}

Friday, February 19, 2010


oxford, oxford, oxford. how fun huh? this town was another cute little town. it would be so fun to go to school here. oxford university is actually a ton of little colleges that are part of the university, all scattered throughout the city. we visited christ church. this is where parts of harry potter were filmed! that ugly picture of me on the stairs, is the very staircase that harry walked on. "the hogwarts stairs" we also had tea in the grand hall... where they eat in all the harry potter movies. i wish i was more into harry potter. it was still cool though. this was also where the first ben's cookies was. i didn't get one but just took a picture instead. the campus was beautiful... and very very green of course- not to mention all the beautiful british boys. :)
blenheim palace.

blenheim palace was very pretty. this was actually where winston churchill was born. he was a great man, i want to learn more about him. there is a current duke that lives there with his family... i wish i could live there too! it was a very beautiful place, and perfect for taking pictures!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

party time...

a few friends and i were in charge of planning the valentines day party... and even though we did it a day late, it was still fun! we made sugar cookies and then got to frost and decorate them... they were so yummy! sugar cookies are my favorite! one of the requirements was that everyone had to wear valentines colors {white, pink, black, red, purple, grey, etc...} and i remembered i packed my valentines socks, so i planned my outfit around the socks. i may have looked silly... but at least i was festive. that's what counts! we played the famous couples game, where everyone has a name of a person taped to their back and you have to find your match by asking yes or no questions. it actually turned out to be really fun! i was cressida, and my mate was troilus. {they are a couple from a book we read for one of our classes} after the game and cookies, we set up the movie emma for people to watch if they wanted. i didn't watch it, because i went to bed really early {like 8:30} because i am getting sick so i need all the rest i can get! over all... it was a success.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

twenty one.

saturday was tori's 21st birthday! happy birthday love! her mommy got us a hotel in london for her birthday night! even though we got there in the middle of the night because our flight was delayed... we still had fun! we had plans to hangout in our pj's and watch the olympics but that didn't happen... bummer. we did get to sleep in till almost noon... i loved it. i slept surprisingly well even though we were squished on that bed! it was worth it... i love snuggle slumber parties. later that night we went to one of our favorite restaurants... zizzi's. it is fresh authentic italian food... so so good. it kind of reminds me of trio at home- but "bedda" as we say here. (oh how we love our accents.) after we went to valentines day the movie- it was cute... a little cheesy in some parts, but that is ok. it was festive and the perfect flick for a girls night. it made me want a boy like ashton kutcher though... and of course we had birthday cake for tori. we didn't have candle's so we got creative and made a 2 and a 1 out of cardboard and decorated them, and she blew them off the cake instead of blowing them out. i love tori. i am very lucky to be her friend.

{we had the sweetheart suite... comple with an eggplant velvet comforter.}
{5 girls in one bed. squishy.}
{dinner at zizzi's- our favorite.}
{jen, tori, and i}
{how cute is her pin? i want one.}

tori, mary kate, jen, maddy, eliza, and i all took off to scotland for the weekend! we had an amazing time. my favorite part was probably going to opal but i loved everything else too. we went to the sound of music, the edinburgh castle, the scot monument and a few other fun places. the people there are so friendly, and everyone loved our accents. i think it is funny when they ask where we are from... it is only obvious we are from the states. i loved walking around the old town... all the buildings are old and there are cobblestone streets and bagpipers piping... just as i imagined. we unfortunately didn't get to see much of the country side, but it was very low key and nice to relax and get away for a few days. we ended up having an airport party on friday... we were there for 9 hours! it was miserable, but we finally made it back a few gross airport sandwiches, some candy bars, and a $250 cab ride later! here are some photos of our adventure.

{the holiday inn EXPRESS! three two a bed... it was quite the party!}
{bed buddies.}
{walking up "the royal mile"}
{edinburgh castle}
{the shooting of the gun at the castle... i almost peed my pants}
{the castle again}
{the sound of music! it was sooo good. }

{the scot monument}

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

1 month anniversary

here is a little list of things that i loved about my first month here:

hearing someone playing "take me home, country roads" in the tube... too bad it wasn't john denver.

imperial war museum

hummingbird cafe's red velvet cupcakes

the churches/cathedrals/abbeys

making new friends

good morning baltimore... hairspray

sleeping on the bus

the horse guards {i can't believe how long they stand still}

postcards and mail {send me some}

hearing from all my missionary friends

my new camera's creations

perfecting my english accent.

i have been here for just over a month. i can't believe it! it has seriously gone by so fast. i feel like i just got here two weeks ago. crazy. i can't wait to see what this month brings!
runnymead and windsor

today was our day trip and our first stop was at runnymead! this is where the magna carta was originally signed... pretty cool huh? there was also a monument to John F. Kennedy. For a second i thought i was in DC, but i just had to look at the green hills around me and realize where i was.
windsor was so so neat! we went to windsor castle and got to go inside. the queen still lives here on the weekends so only part of it was open, but it was still amazing. we had an audio guide tour... i usually hate those, and skip through a bunch- but today i listened to almost the whole thing. i am proud of myself.

{when the queen is there, the flag is flying}

i was so happy because we got to see some guards with the tall black hats! funny story: when i first took a picture next to him, i was scared to stand close to him... after my friend eliza took the photo she said, "wow could you have stood further away from him?" i felt silly... but i didn't know how close you could stand... i didn't want him to shoot me with his gun! right after she said that, we saw the guard smile. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! they aren't supposed to show any emotion at all... but we succeeded. i took a second picture- but the first one is just too funny.

{i look not so cute... i was bundled to to brim... it is freezing here.}

after the castle, we ate our wonderful sack lunches in mcdonald's, then set off to shop in the cute town of windsor. . . and guess what?? i bought something!! a cath kidston bag! yay. it took some persuasion from my friends to actually buy it, but i am very happy i did! i also bought some cute shoes from a store called joules. my favorite part about them is that they have ribbon for laces, and they came in a paper sack, instead of a box!
hard rock
the original.

i went to the original hard rock cafe! we had to wait for about an hour to eat, but it was worth it! while we were waiting we went into the "vault" to see some special memorabilia. here are some of my favorites

this is the harpsichord the beatle's used to record lucky in the sky with diamonds and all you need is love. {that is one of my favorites} cool huh?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

check, check, check!

i am realizing that i am running out of time. it has been nearly a month, and there is so much i still want to see and do! i decided that i can't waste any time while i am here, and make every minute count! i must say... i am very impressed with myself for what i was able to get done in one day!

  • Borough Market (again)
  • Evensong
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • China Town
we can't seem to stay away from borough market! the food there is so fresh and good that it is hard to not go on the weekends. they didn't have the sandwich i wanted for lunch, so i just got my weekly eclair and some amazing oranges. . . probably the best i have ever had.

{my oh so healthy lunch}
For our culture and community class we are required to take five self guided tours or "walks" around london to familiarize ourselves with different parts of the city. today i was able to do two- the seats of power and theater! i was able to see buckingham palace which was way cool! just like the pictures... but better! i was a little dissapointed though because the typical guards (the ones with the red coats and tall black furry hats) were no where to be found! bummer. but hey- at least i got to see the palace. we weren't able to go inside because that is where the queen lives, but a few months out of the summer it is open to the public because that is when she is on holiday. i guess i will have to come back... maybe the guards will be there then.

on the theater walk, i got to see a lot of theaters (go figure) and so many more shows i want to go see! i am going to have a hard time deciding what ones to see, but because we get a sweet student discount hopefully i can see a few of them. i also got to see picadilly circus for the first time... it is london's version of times square... and that is exactly what it reminded me of! china town was our next stop! it was so fun to walk around there... it is almost chinese new year so it was all decked out in fun decorations! we are planning on going back to eat there sometime.

we also were able to go to evensong at westminster abbey. it was so neat. they have little boys singing and it is angelic. that word describes it perfectly. their voices were amazing, and it filled the abbey so beautifully. it was a moving experience i highly suggest.
dance dance !

we were lucky enough to crash the young single adult's valentines dance. for the first hour or so, it was basically just our whole group and a few london natives- we were in the middle rocking out, and they were around the perimeter of the gym watching crazy americans dance! by the end though, the groups were more mixed up and we were able to mingle with some british babes! the music was so good, and it was fun to dance again... oh how i have missed it!

{jen, mk, mads, alyssa, anna,tori, and i}
{me and my date}