Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Update

This week we went to Stratford-Upon-Avon (holla Shakespeare) and got to see basically the life and times of Shakespeare.  Here's Ana and I with our carrier owls we send back and forth messages to each other with.
We saw The Tempest on Wednesday night in Stratford and it was AMAZING.  We even got to meet the very attractive Ferdinand after the show when Dr Chrystler tracked him down for us. (Yes McKell, he's WAY hotter than Ariel)
We stayed the night in Stratford-Upon-Avon at a youth hostel and took off to Blenheim Palace the next day.  This is the place that Churchill was actually born and it was beautiful! 
 There was even a butterfly house and Triwizard Tournament-worthy maze.  Can you spot Ana?
Yesterday we explored Chelsea and played guitar in Hyde Park because it was a sunny and beautiful day!  That night McKenzie went with me to film a little bit of the city.  Talk about living the dream.


Food brings me joy.  Today was especially joyful!

Breakfast: Fried egg and bacon sandwich from Cafe Diana.  Cheap and delicious.

Lunch: FAJITAS at Camden Market.  Mexican food!  At CAMDEN MARKET!
Dinner: Indian food from just down the road.  London at its best.
Who knew London could taste soooo good?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fun With Mum

It was so much fun to hang out with MY MOM this weekend!  I loved every minute of it and I was so glad she could come over.  She even walked me into blisters so you know it was a good trip.  Here's a pic of the crew on the Millenium Bridge with St Paul's in the distance.  (Wasn't it nice of my mom to bring the good weather with her too?)
We all went to our favorite Borough Market where we sampled delicious food all afternoon.

Giraffe later that night.  Best Mexican food in London.
Big Ben at night.  This was right after we got yelled at by guards at St James for trespassing, no big deal.
On Monday my mom and I went on a day trip outside of London and the weirdest thing happened- they all liked us so much they named the town after us.
I had an absolute blast with you Mom and I'm so glad you came over!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mum In London

My mom is here!!!!!  Talk about surreal to come downstairs at the Centre this morning and see MY MOM at the bottom of the stairs!  I’m the luckiest girl!  Well my mom the trooper came laden with gifts for us all, filling up an entire bag other than her personal suitcase just for us.  Despite the fact that she had just flown half way across the world we hit the ground running.  Today was one of my most jam-packed days here, but what do you expect when Chari comes to town?!

We first went to Covent Gardens where I showed her the 7 Dials.  We even stopped at the Volcom store just for you Amanda.  We made sure to stop in every antique bookstore along Charing Cross Road too.

We then went to lunch at a pub in Soho as requested by Mom.  We got a meat pie and toad in the hole out of our systems so we don’t have to get them ever again.

Next stop: one of my favorites, Trafalgar Square.

From there we went to the Wallace Collection.  This is a house filled to the brim with the Wallace Family’s collection of old masters including Rembrant, Reubens, and Van Dyck.  Oh and The Swing, one of my favorite paintings!

Finally we walked from Piccadilly through both Green and Hyde Park, up to High Street Kensington until we pooped out and took the Tube home.

We got pad thai at an amazing restaurant called Tuk Tuk and picked up a Nutella waffle on our way home.  AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS.  But then again, what isn’t good covered in Nutella?

A great end to a great day.  Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Excuse Me, Where's the Hovercraft?"

On Monday we didn't have class so McKenzie, McKell, Alexa and I decided to go on a day trip of our own to the Isle of Wight, an island on the very southern tip of England.  It was so much fun!

We took a two hour train ride to Portsmouth and then took a HOVERCRAFT to the island.  So there we were, getting of the train asking people where the hovercraft port was.  Sci Fi convention anyone?  It was such a giggle and we loved every minute of it!
Once on the island we hoped on a bus and rode around the island.  It had a total beach-town vibe which was so refreshing coming from the city.  We took off our shoes and walked along the beach in our short sleeved shirts.
Afterwards we went to one of the most beautiful churches I've ever been to on the top of a hill in a town called Godshill.
It was one of the best days I've had here and it was so fun to go with McKell, Mckenzie, and Alexa.  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Operation V-Day

So Valentines was last week and it turned out that none of us had dates (it's against BYU policy after all) so we decided to throw a party.  A couple of weeks ago we were at the White Cliffs of Dover and were inspired by the whole WWII thing, picked up  a 1940s dance cd we found, and just kind of ran with that- "Operation V-Day" get it?  
Everyone got vintage dresses and got so into it!  We pushed aside all of the tables in the servery (aka the dining room), put up decorations, and threw a dance party!  We also put up some sheets for McKell to take pictures of everyone.  It was such a fun night- one of the best Valentines Days ever!

Amanda Moona

Check out the coolest sister ever who made it into the newspaper.  She's awesome at the bassoon and is the Sterling Scholar for Olympus in Music.  Way to go Amanda and good luck in State!  I know you'll kill it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Miss you woman.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Love from London

It has been a fun weekend- we had something to do!  Thursday we went to Jersey Boys and then to Ed's Diner.  A cheeseburger, fries, and shake hit the spot.  Friday we went to the Hyde Park Stake Young Single Adults dance.  FUN!  We made friends.  Saturday we went out to Nando's for Abby's awesome 18th, I mean 19th birthday and had a video scavenger hunt around town.
Today it took Connie, Abby and I 2 1/2 hours to get to Church.  I wish I was joking.  Here's a picture of my Young Womens.

Tonight after our weekly Fireside we celebrate Abby's birthday a little more and gave her our presents.
I'm falling in love with London more and more.  I'll be walking along Bayswater, totally taking it for granted, then I realize, wait... I'm in London, with my friends, and have the city at my feet!  THIS IS SO COOL!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

19 is, like, nothing

Today on our weekly day trip we went to the White Cliffs of Dover!  We went on a tour of the intricate secret wartime tunnel network used mostly during World War II and I loved it!  World War II is one of my favorite times in history and Dover was key in one of my favorite parts of the war, the Evacuation of Dunkirk (thanks to Mr. Felt, my high school history teacher).
Here's the story of the evacuation: Well, in May, 1940 the Allied forces were in a hasty retreat from the German Army and soon found themselves stranded on the French coastline, just 20 miles away from Dover.  Vice Admiral Bertrand Russell called for Operation Dynamo and ordered an evacuation to save the men stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk, France.  Not only navy ships, but civilians as well went back and forth across the channel and saved over 338,000 men.  Pretty cool, huh.
Afterwards we were left to explore Dover Castle.
Then onto Canterbury (like The Tales) where we went to Canterbury Cathedral which was one of my favorites cathedrals I've been to so far.

Here's one of the Cathedral's many claims of fame: In 1170 Thomas Becket was praying in the Canterbury Cathedral when four knights indirectly sent by King Henry II to kill him (it's complicated) started having an argument with him.  Apparently it got heated and Becket was 'accidentally' killed on the floor of the Cathedral.  Ana and I elaborately acted the scene out.  

The thing about being here in Britain is that things are really old.  And when I say really old I mean REALLY OLD.  I mean, this Cathedral started in 1070. 1070!!!!  I can't even wrap my head around that.  I've only been around 19 years. That is no time at all really when I'm walking around a building that has been around for over 900 years.  Blows my mind...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You Know What Happens When You Feed Birds...

You get fat birds!  Well we would have paid two pence a bag and fed the birds on the steps of St Paul today but it was so snowy there weren't a ton of pigeons out.  So we went inside.
We climbed the steps to the Whispering Gallery at the top of the dome and it was so cool that we spent a good half hour up there.  How it works is you whisper into the wall and people on the other side of the dome can hear you perfectly!  It was a fun game for sure.  I had to sneak this picture in before I was reprimanded- the guards could have just whispered into the wall and gotten mad at me without ever having to get up so I had to be quick.

Here's something I learned today: Sir Christopher Wren was not only an architect but an astronomer as well and designed St Paul's to be exactly 365 feet tall because that is how many days it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun.  There's your fun fact for the day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Forecast: 4-6"

Snow in LONDON!!!  And it's the most in 18 YEARS!  (I was writing in the picture above last night)  Buses aren't running, the Tube is backed up, London is shut down.  So you know what that means... FUN IN HYDE PARK!  Shout out to McKell and Alyssa for the photos.