Sunday, October 26, 2014

white cliffs of dover & canterbury + more.

Last tuesday we took our day trip to Dover and Canterbury. I was really looking forward to this trip! We all know about my obsession with stained glass windows {thanks hannah} and Canterbury Cathedral has one of the biggest collection of still-existing medieval stained glass in England {thanks King Henry VIII}. Also... the WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER. c'mon. my family played guitar hero every year for 5 years. cliff of dover? it's a classic song. Dover castle was one of my favorite castles, too. It was decorated in the period style, which is a first! It's more fun walking around a decorated castle than walking around a cold, stone-walled castle.

White cliffs of Dover ^^

Dover Castle!

It was SO windy. we're talking 40 mph windy. it was insane.
awh. these girls though.

Awesome Norman church!
Other obsession: Mosaics.
Cool mosaic in the norman church!

After we spent the morning in Dover, we drove to Canterbury. We got to tour the Canterbury Cathedral. Now, before I came to England I don't think I really understood cathedrals. Now it's safe to say that I have toured at least 20, and I still love all of them. But some are better than others. And Canterbury definitely ranks next to Salisbury! I've loved learning about the importance of Canterbury in British History {Archbishop of Canterbury, anyone?} After the cathedral, we roamed the town, ate some awful crepes, and then hopped on the bus back home! 

And that was our day trip!

So, random- one problem/bonus of traveling in large groups of girls? When we take pictures, it's all on different cameras. So I don't have tons of pictures this week, but I'll insert some later!

Our london excursion for the week {yes. "london excursion" means going somewhere in london and not having class that day. win.} was going to Hampton Court, which was one of Henry VIII's houses. It was pretty cool... plus there were people dressed up walking around and you could ask them about history. or you could follow them and meet the king. which is what hannah and I did!

my goal in life is to have a personal chocolate maker.

if I'm every really, REALLY rich, I will join the hampton court tennis club.
actually I won't, because that would be the biggest waste of money, ever. but whatever.
We also tried out a new market yesterday! and along with the new market, we got the best donuts in the world. at least the best donuts I've ever had, and I'm not a huge donut fan.

And a birthday card for Prof B.

Lastly... MIDTERMS. what can I say? they're no worse than last year. except that doing homework while living in london is about 18937082756 times harder than in Provo.

I got to write a paper about Renoir's The Skiff. The best part? Writing a paper on a painting... then going to the National Gallery to see the original painting. it's the best.

And that's my week!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

schwarmas & little venice.

The strangest part about this blog post is that I really don't have much to say, except that two very exciting things happened: 1) I had my first schwarma 2) LITTLE VENICE.

S C H W A R M A :

essentially, it's a pita with meat {chicken or lamb} plus vegetable-type things and hot salsa and this sauce {great explanation, right?} It's hard to explain but IT IS SO DELICIOUS. note- if you just google "schwarma" it won't look like the stuff I've had. We go to this little hole-in-the wall called Taza's and the guy has a great accent and he's super nice to us and when we told him we're from Utah {it's better to not explain that we're actually all from different places in America and then list off all the states and explain the 'study abroad' thing and blah blah blah} the first thing he said was "Utah Jazz!" He's awesome and he also let's us take a to-go bowl full of salsa which is fantastic since you can't really find salsa here. Anyway, yes Taza's is a little sketchy {let's just say that it doesn't have a sticker on the window bragging about it's hygiene rating like some restaurants. also, there is a 100% chance that my mom would just about die if she saw it...} but it's cheap and so so so so delicious. I am converted. On a scale of life-changing edibles, it's right up there with pazookies, mozzarella, basil & tomato, peanut butter & apples, and diet coke.

L I T T L E  V E N I C E : 

This week I finally completed all of my London Walks! {I still have to write up the last two though...} The very last one was called "Little Venice" and it really was a hidden gem! Lauren, Aimee, and I really enjoyed walking along the canal and you can bet that I'll be going back! It was definitely one of the best parts of London so far.

P O R T A B E L L O  M A R K E T :

Second time around and portabello market was still great {and portabello crepes are still the best I've had}. I love Saturday mornings with a group of girls just walking around the markets {and getting followed by groups of 13 year old boys and what not. it's a party}

W E S T M I N S T E R  E V E N S O N G :

On Friday we went to Evensong at Westminster... I loved it! Westminster Abbey was incredible. Plus the Westminster choir is famous, and they definitely deserve it.

Also, can I just say that it was amazing being in the place that KATE AND WILLIAM got married in? Yes, my mom and I watched the entire wedding when it happened. plus a documentary or two. why not, right?

R A N D O M :

>>> there is a man in my ward that brings a full size husky to church. in sacrament meeting. and it barks when babies cry. and it's one of the many, many reasons I LOVE the ward I've been assigned to!

>>> on one of our runs this week, Ellen, Aimee, and I saw a man with no less than a dozen parrots plus a couple pigeons all across his arms and shoulders. I guess that's normal? we definitely had to do a double take.

>>> today I worked in nursery and it made me SO excited to meet my new nephew. no one is allowed to have babies on my mission because I don't get to immediately meet them.

>>> study abroad is great because you become friends with your professors. proof- our hilarious dinner conversations, such as tonight, that involved watching youtube/miss america videos and talking about past crushes with our professor and his wife. I LOVE STUDY ABROAD.

>>> you guys, I love london so much. I just wish that everyone I love could come visit me and I would show them my favorite places and it would be lovely. and brilliant. and yeah. cheers.

>>> I got a letter from Kayla!! We email every week, but getting a letter is the best surprise ever. {hint hint... I LOVE LETTERS. WRITE ME, PEOPLE. I PROMISE I'LL RESPOND.}

>>> did I mention that we can watch Downton Abbey as it airs {because, you know, we're in England}?? Downton fans, prepare yourselves. no spoilers BUT OH MY GOODNESS THE PLOT LINE THICKENS

Friday, October 17, 2014

stratford upon avon.

Every week we take a day trip {aka we wake up early and get on a bus and drive for a couple hours. but then we see really cool stuff and drive home!} Yesterday we went to Stratford upon Avon... Shakespeare's home! We got to visit Ann Hathaway's house, Shakespeare's birthplace, and the Royal Shakespeare Theater. Last night we say the royal shakespeare company {world renown theater cast!} preform Much Ado About Nothing.

Since I'm not the biggest Shakespeare fan {sorry everyone} my favorite part actually had nothing to do with him. We stopped by Coventry Cathedral. It was bombed during WWII and they left it as it was. It was amazing to see and to think about how much the war affected people here.

I guess saying "awesome" is very American? at least, that's what the news people who interviewed us said. we're famous in England! {sorta?}

we're just super excited because this was where shakespeare was born. whoo!

Ann Hathaway's home.

selfie in front of Ann's house? It's cool.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

wicked and london walks.

as you can tell, this week we have 5 more london walk assignments due {yep, I already posted them}. so far, I've spent the last couple days doing homework, london walks, and writing a paper. crazy fun, let me tell you. however, we decided to take a break and go see Wicked! It was the first Broadway musical I've ever scene, and I loved it even more here! British accents, people, British accents. oh, and also... WE GOT FRONT ROW SEATS. yay for student priced tickets.

alright: update on life...

>>> The only things I miss {besides my family and friends of course} are my mom's cooking {dad. I want an elk steak}, ranch dressing {seriously, does england not have ranch dressing??}, pumpkin {it's october and not a pumpkin flavored dessert within sight}, and stars {I thought I could live in cities...}. but other than that, I'm never coming home. sorry. oh. also mexican food. cafe rio. please.

>>> I may miss my mom's cooking, but fear not future BYU Londoners, the centre cook is AMAZING. {sophomore seven is coming from the 14351 rolls I eat every single day. at least I like runs through hyde park right? and we walk 50 billion miles a day?}

>>> Sometimes I remember that I'll be in Russia a year from now. and I freak out. less than three months!!! {confession: I listen to Let it Go in Russian at least once a day}

>>> London has taught me something: shoes are important. suits are important. so many nice shoes on people here. so many well-fitting suits. I can't go home {sorry BYU boys.} See Aimee's london walk. {and yes, I was laughing the entire walk while she snapped creeper pictures} Yeah, so it's weird, but true. 35 college girls and only 5 boys. what can you expect?

>>> Hi. yes. I love downtown london. dream goal is to do my internship here. will it happen? nope, because hashtag too poor. but oh well. I still love it.

>>> I've fallen into an awful habit of not fixing my hair. guys, it's making study abroad pictures rough. I used to look at other people's study abroad pictures and think "wow, these girls look like a mess!" but now I understand why. I think I'm always tired. but SO WORTH IT. what's sleep? {just kidding mom, I get 12 hours of sleep a night! so much sleep! ...kinda...} plus it's humid here. plus... mission call.   all in all... some of my pictures aren't the best. just roll with it (:

>>> England is amazing. London is fantastic. My life is incredible.

scotland & york!

The first day of our trip we visited Mr. Darcy.

Ok, Chatsworth house. {aka Pemberly from Pride and Prejudice} but it was still amazing. I can't believe that people lived in these houses.

just trying to copy all of the modern art. WHY IS THERE MODERN ART RUINING THIS PLACE

my two favorite Hannah's #hannahsquared
she's a rebel

the ACTUAL statue from the movie... and that sign says "please do not kiss". dang it.

perfectly candid. hilariously scary.

this is proof that modern art ruins life. what even is this? STOP
& we stopped by the Burghley House- said to be the greatest Elizabethan house in England! wow. it was beautiful.

fun fact of the day: driving in a coach on tiny roads leads to hiting poles, rocks, and other cars. and yes, all of the above happened. it's a party, I'll tell you.

do you see how close the gate was? it took us AT LEAST ten minutes to get in, get stuck, back out, go through the other side.
Tuesday- we spent the entire day in York! Next to Kendal (this post), York was my favorite English town we've been to. We spent the day wisely... complete with homemade chocolate bars and afternoon tea! It's vital to know that York is basically the birth place of chocolate as we know it. {and SIX MILLION kit kats are made per day. yeah. hence the reason England has way better kinds of Kit Kats}

this was quite the lunch... please appreciate how large my sandwich is. and please appreciate lisa's chicken salad sandwich that was literally chicken salad on a sandwich. bread + lettuce + chicken

York was one of the three most powerful viking cities! This was actually one of the best museums we've been to {which is saying a lot} It was an interactive, theme-park type ride! {we were told it was York's version of disney land... if so, that's pretty disappointing, but whatever.}

The Shambles!

Afternoon Tea- so classy.

Part of our "Story of Chocolate" tour was learning the proper way to taste chocolate!

making our own candy bar!

I was a little excited.

late to Evensong... running through the streets. and laughing the whole way
We then went to Evensong in York Abbey. Wow. I was amazed. I talked to the Priest afterwards for quite awhile. It's fascinating learning about other's beliefs and how they interact with their church doctrine. It made me so grateful for a church that is the same no matter where you are, but it also made me so fascinated about other beliefs. If it was possible, I honestly think I could study Theology. That priest was so interesting!

Evensong was such a cool experience. Looking around that cathedral, I realized why people were so devoted to their church a couple hundred years ago. These cathedrals are astounding. And when you think about the standard of living and the homes of most of the church members, how great would spending your sunday in such a grand church be? I was really sad to see that our study abroad group made up well over 3/4 of the audience. York has a population that's thousands of people more, but no more than 15 people can show up to a wonderful evensong. Sad, but I still really enjoyed it!

it's official... I love mosaics.
My favorite part of this church was the Chapter House! 

Thursday we headed to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne-

Seriously the BEST purchase I've ever made.

aimee and I took a detour down to the ocean. it was pretty great.
We also stopped by Fountains Abbey. Fountains Abbey was one of the greatest monostaries during it's time. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. the deal is, I don't think I've ever seen something as eerily beautiful as ruins of an abbey filled in with bright green grass.

We also stopped by Whitby Abbey {yes, the one from Dracula}. It was another beautiful ruin, and right on the coast!

{I think I may be getting my days confused? eh. oh well.}

We got to go to Hadrian's Wall! Handrian's wall was built in 122 a.d. {yeah, almost 2000 years ago} to keep out the people of the North {what is now Scotland, but were the Pict people} and contain the people in the South. The area we stopped at was the gate through, housing 300 Roman soldiers for protection. The wall doesn't look impressive, but it once stood 8 feet tall. WOW. so cool! it stretched the entire length of the island.

We also had the opportunity to go to Evensong at Durnham Cathedral! {I'm 99% positive I'm posting things out of order..}

This evensong was just as good, if not better! And I got to talk to another priest, so that was cool.

friday we literally wandered Edinburgh. We started with a group and by the end of the day, Hannah and I {there are two hannahs. very confusing, I know} were having the time of our lives, buying china in little antique shops and wondering into super fancy chinese restaurants. I love Edinburgh more than London. yes, you read that right. If you follow me on twitter, you would've seen this... but Friday was probably one of the best day's of my life. I mean, we didn't really take pictures, but just trust me. it was amazing.


look at this place.

Edinburgh from the top of Arthur's Seat!

We started this day by hiking {yes, hiking in rainboots. try it sometime} to the top of Arthur's Seat.

just some men in kilts waiting for the bus.

The Elephant house bathroom

this was the cafe that JK Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book, and we had lunch there.

the man who showed us around the Greyfriars Graveyard... the place that quite a few character names came from


Hannah's three pound umbrella was not the best...

see what I mean by fancy chinese food? 

and to top it off, it was called "Karen's Unicorn"
Saturday we stopped by one last house {which I can't remember the name of} and then drove 8 hours home!

And that was our second week trip!