Sunday, March 28, 2010

crystal palace fc....
yesterday, i was fortunate enough to go to an english football match! it was so so fun. jen has a friend from salt lake who lives here, and he hooked us up with great tickets. we were sitting right behind all the action! i forget how much i miss soccer. it was quite the experience seeing all the crazy fans- we even watched one get carried off the field. i have been wanting to do this ever since i got here, and i am glad i finally did!
{i wish that really happened.}

after the game, we went to giraffe for dinner. it was my first time going there, and i loved it! i had an amazing bbq burger, and then a banana split waffle for dessert! i want to go back if i have time before i leave. it was the cutest place, and it was the best diet coke i have had the whole trip. if you ever come to london- go there!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

abbey road...

today i woke up at 5:45 a.m. just to snap a few photos, but it was totally worth it. i went to abbey road, and hungout with mr. lennon. the "zebra" as they call it in london, where the beatles took the picture from their let it be album, was in the middle of a pretty busy road, so we decided to wake up early to try and beat the traffic. we were successful! there was a white wall in front of abbey studios, where the beatles let it be, and it was signed by people from all over... all we had was a gel pen- but i made sure to make my mark! we had a lot of fun even though it was so early in the morning, and it was worth loosing a few hours of shut-eye.

{close enough}
{abbey road studios}
{all you need is love.}
{this was in the tube station- i was a bit sad it wasn't open}
{i was so sleepy, i walked the wrong way on the escalator... ;)}
{ok... so we are faking- but i really was pooped.}
hampton court, and a walk down the river...

the group took a little field trip out to hampton court. it was pretty cool. not at all what i expected but still nice. a lot of the gardens were closed still because it is early in the year- but we still managed to see some daffodils. it was great. they had these huge trees too- they looked like giant mushrooms. it was a sunny day, and was perfect for some pictures!

after this, i went to borough market again and got lunch. i had a yummy salted beef sandwich- i should have taken a picture... it was massive. after that, i took a walk along the thames, and caught a great view of st. pauls from the millennial bridge
(aka the harry potter bridge), and after a quick stop at primark, i saw a dog walker- they are everywhere here, and i love it! i felt a little awkward taking a picture- so it isn't that great, but you get the idea!

the weekly wednesday day trip was a success! first we went to the cambridge american cemetery and memorial for WWII. this cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 of american soldiers, and 5,127 names of those whose bodies were never recovered are recorded on the wall of the missing. right when we got there, i saw old glory flapping in the wind- it was very refreshing. the architecture of the place reminded me a lot of washington dc- i place i want to go back to. we heard a lot of amazing stories, and i especially loved the one about joseph kennedy. we were pressed for time, so we couldn't hear a ton of detail, but i would like to read more about the men and women on the wall of the missing. we ended in the chapel, and it was amazing. the cieling was my favorite part. it was all mosaic, and had this great message around the perimeter:


this really was a sobering experience. i am so grateful for my forefathers who fought and died to make it possible for me to live in a free country. if it weren't for their service, i would probably not be here in london learning and experiencing the things that i am. i am grateful for my grandpa- my favorite veteran ever. i can't wait to get home from this wonderful experience and read his accounts from the war, and talk to him more about it. he is my hero. the most important thing i realized, is that there are still men and women today, and the very second, minute, and hour fighting for freedom. they are all heroes- i have so much respect for them. to be honest, it inspired me to get more involved- i can't join the military right now... my mom would probably not love that idea, but if it really came down to it, i can honestly say that i would have no problem enlisting to fight for freedom. this was one of my favorite experiences, and a day and a feeling i will never forget.

after the cemetery, we went to cambridge university. i loved it so much... way more than oxford. it was so beautiful. it wasn't as commercialized as oxford, and the town just had a better feel to it. we went to king's college cathedral that is part of the university. it was beautiful inside... the ceiling was amazing. it has the largest van vault ceiling in all of europe. after, we went to a museum full of impressionist art (thanks to paris i know what that is) like monet and degas... it was great. after the museum, we went to lunch/dinner and a great italian place. it was a beautiful day so we ate outside... it was fabulous. then, we went "punting" on the river that runs throughout the campus between all the different colleges. it was so so so cool. we had a nice tour guide that told us all about the buildings and traditions at cambridge. i would love to go to school there... it was so awesome! this day trip was just a huge success... probably my favorite one- a perfect way to end the trip! (3 weeks left :( )

{kings college}

{checkout that roof!}
{anna, karalyn, jen, me, maddy, mary, tori, and arrin}
{king's college}


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

dreamboats and petticoats...

tonight i flew solo, and went to dreamboats and petticoats the musical. i loved it! it was very upbeat, and had a great love story. it was based on music from the 60's, and the actors played all the music on stage, and didn't fake it! they were all amazing! i was for sure the youngest one in the whole place by like thirty years... haha. during the last number, they invited the audience to stand up and sing and dance- so i was twisting and shouting with the geriatrics. they were all having so much fun... i hope i am like them when i am old. after buying a cd when the show was over, (which is very out of character for me, but i just loved it so much) i got stuck in the middle of some grannies and gramps headed to their senior citizen tour bus. they were everywhere- it was classic. i had no idea what the show was about before i went, but i thoroughly enjoyed it... and i even knew lots of the music! perhaps i will see it again before i leave! it was that good. {just imagine i am in this photo, i had no one to take one with me in it}
{they were literally lined down the block... senior citizen mobiles.}

Monday, March 22, 2010

london's best kept secret....

on saturday, rachel and i went to cath kidston- and i bought another bag! (coming soon)- then we went to broadway market. lets just say it is probably in my top five favorite things in london! it was a market with food and cool vintage and handmade goods. it reminded me a lot of the salt lake farmers market, but better! there were so many yummy goodies, and lots of good food. i wanted to buy one of everything. the good thing about markets though, is you get to taste everything for free! i had the best sun dried tomato pesto... it was soooo good! we walked up and down the market trying to decide what to eat for lunch, and we stumbled on perhaps the best burgers known to mankind:

-1 beef patty
-a hunk of grilled onions
-fresh blue veined cheddar

-1 whole wheat bun

-3 scoops of apple chutney

we both decided to get one, and it was the best! i could eat one of those everyday! seriously. needed something to wash that deliciousness down, so we got raspberry pear fruit juice. it was very refreshing! the next decision was very hard... desert! i decided on two cute little cupcakes from this darling cupcake stand called violet's cupcakes. i had vanilla blackberry, and coconut milk. not only were they mini and adorable, but delicious as well. i also tried the best chocolate coconut fudge! i wanted to buy some, but to to my lack of love for sweets, i figured it probably would have gone bad.
oh- i almost forgot, and there was this man playing "girls just wanna have fun" on the upright bass... it was perfect. i loved browsing through all the vintage shops and stands. it would be very dangerous if that very market was in utah every weekend... i would buy the whole thing! i did buy some great button rings though- i love them. i am so happy we discovered this market. i just wish it was a little earlier in our stay, but i think i can make it back at least one more time in my last month here.

{click to enlarge}

Friday, March 19, 2010

paris... day four.

today i spent the day with the beloved jennifer. we woke up late, because i overslept... it is usually the other way around. we started the day off at the orangerie museum and took a gander at monet's water lillies. they were beautiful. i really enjoyed this museum- it was relativly small, but filled with impressionist art. they had a lot of picasso too- and i loved André Derain's collection too. we saw a lady painting a copy of this inside the museum- and it was so exact. it was so amazing to watch her. i wish i was an artist.
after, we went to sacre coeur basilica. this was the best view yet of paris. the church itself was beautiful, and very unique... unlike the other churches in paris. it was quite the hike to get up there, but totally worth it. this is a famous lookout for painters, and we even saw one in action. two artists in one day... so cool. the inside was beautiful there too, and we were there for noon mass, and so we heard the choir singing, so i especially loved that. we sat on the steps and reminisced about high school, and all our guy friends. we both think the world of them... they are all great guys. i miss them. it was so cool to just sit and talk and look at the city. another gerald r. ford moment.
after the church, we did a little more shopping, and then went back for some more ice cream, and it was just as good the second time. we had a rough time getting to the train station, but thanks to the help of britin and katie, we made it! i listened to bon iver the whole ride home, and enjoyed a huge pink lady apple. i had the intention to read my scrips and write in my journal, but i was to exhausted! i was just go go go the whole time but it was totally worth it.

i loved paris so much. i really did, and i am so thankful for the opportunity i had to visit. i grew closer to friends, spent time with new people, and made new friendships stronger. it was an amazing experience that i will never forget it. je'taime paris.
paris... day three.

today we went to norte dame! we got to climb all the way to the top and even into the bell tower where quasimodo used to hangout. i was able to find my inner gargoyle. it was wonderful. oh and the veiw?? fabulous. i loved it.
{finding our inner gargoyle}
{christina, jen, laura, rachel, me, and jenny with mr. bell}
next, we went to sainte chapelle. another church famous for its stained glass windows. there is a reason it is famous... because the glass was spectacular! seriously took my breath away. it was great.

after that, we went to the cluny museum and saw the lady with the unicorn tapestries. they were huge and great, just like the churches. i almost forgot... on the way there, i had the best almond croissant i have ever had in my life. it was so doughy and good... if i could have bought all of them i would have. it changed my life.

we took a nice walk from there through luxembourg gardens, and after walking and walking and walking, we finally got to mouffetard street... one of the oldest streets in paris. they had fun shops up the whole street, and had a market feel to it. this is where ice cream changed my life. (yes my life was changed forever from croissants and ice cream.) we had the most amazing ice cream i have ever had... it was seriously sooooooo yummy- and it was even in the shape of a flower. best thing ever.

after this jake, jen, and i went to the musee d'orsay. this was my favorite museum. it was in an old train station, and the building alone just had a cool feeling. there is something about buildings with tall, huge ceilings that i love. they had a special exhibit with a lot of van gogh's stuff... like his self portrait, and degas' dancers. we then went to the rodin museum, and saw the thinker! it was neat, i didn't get to see the whole thing- i wish i would have.

we also went back to the eiffel tower to take some pictures during the day. jake was quite the photographer and got some nice action shots of me and jen. we sat on the grass for a while and relaxed. i like the color of the tower in the day too... at night it looks almost white, but it was nice to see its true color.

we had pizza again for dinner at a yummy italian place near the tuileries, and then went to the louvre! on tuesdays it is open late, so we were able to spend about two hours in there, but that was not even enough time to see even one section on one floor. that place is huge! so with what time we had, we saw the famous things... like the mona lisa. i didn't think we were going to be able to take pictures of it, but luckily we were able to. i loved seeing things i have always heard about in real life, and hope to spend time in the louvre next time i visit paris!

{i hate that this is blurry}