Wednesday, 28 May 2008
I have eaten at Subway twice in the past 3 days. I love getting a subway melt as a wrap with bbq sauce. It's so good!! There is this deal going on for 5.99 pounds, for two sandwiches, two cookies and two drinks. So it's only 3 pounds a person! The greatest deal you will find in London. It also cures a little homesickness!
So we went to St. Paul's Cathedral. There is only one word to describe it. Wow. It was seriously amazing. It is comparable to the Vatican in size and decor. I was in love the moment I walked inside. It amazed me that a church has been on that land since 607 AD. Of course it has burnt down multiple times, but the last time we rebuilt it was in 1600. We took the 450 steps up to the top of the dome. The capitol building dome view was more impressive. After we were finished walking around, we stayed for the 5:00 evensong. There were very young boys in the choir and very old boys. The age range was weird. It was so amazing though. The organ was played very little so the whole thing was a cappella. I enjoyed it a lot! As I was reading Psalms, I just realized that I am very grateful to the Catholic church for keeping Christianity alive while the church was off the earth. What would we do without them? I grabbed a pass along card while I was in the institute building the other day and I wanted to leave it at the church, but it was in my other purse. Next time.
Yesterday the weather was gloomy. After we went to class we went and tried to find a "spotted dick." Now, don't be offended. This is the title of a delicate dessert served in London. So as we searched and asked around where we could find one of these, we got a lot of weird looks like we were freaks. This is a picture of a spotted dick. Don't ask me why it is called like that. Our teacher told us everybody would know what we were talking about, but obviously she was wrong. Awkward. We never found it. So we just went shopping to the biggest Top Shop ever!!! Top Shop is a really cute store, but it's not really in my price range right now. It would be comparable to Nordstrom's prices. If my mom was here then I would be going crazy. It is 3 levels of just girls clothes. They even have a candy shop, a style expert and so many other cool things!!! Every girl needs the chance to go there before she dies. So we didn't buy anything, but then we ventured over to H&M. We are getting mad at that store because they need to change out their clothes! I want new things to choose from. I didn't buy anything there either. When we came home we at at this cute little cafe place right by our house in South Kensington. I got a leafy green tuna salad thing. The dressing was just olive oil and vinegar and it was amazing!!!! I am on the no carb diet and I have been doing really well. Except yesterday I had to make an exception when I saw the nut man on the street with hot toasted cinnamon and sugar nuts!! How could you resist on such a gloomy day? Besides that (and a cookie I had after dinner), I have been doing really well! Pretty sure I am skinnier already. I have to be cute for the beach and Lauren's wedding! Today we are going to see St. Paul's cathedral. It is going to be amazing because it is basically the same thing as the Vadican in Italy. Anyway, I am so so so excited to go to the beach!!!!!
Monday, 26 May 2008
I have a lot to write. Wednesday we went and did the London Eye. It was a really cool view, but it's pretty expensive. It's really just a tourist money pit, but oh well. Wednesday night we went and saw Hairspray. It was pretty good, but we all liked the movie a lot more! Surprising, I know. I think we all just liked the actors in the movie more. Also, Tracy's voice was too old and manly sounding. It was still a fun time though! Thursday we went to class then straight to the tube to go catch our flight to Ireland. We took the tube to another tube station, then had to pay to take a bus an hour and a half to a different airport. We got to the airport with plenty of time so we went to a restaurant inside the airport. It was kind of expensive but very worth it! We ordered a lot of food, including the sampler platter. It was all American food, so the sampler platter was loaded with potato skins, wings, bread, and much more fattening food. It was great. Then we ordered burgers and milk shakes. Needless to say, after this trip I am on a very strict diet. So we finally got our plane and it was only an hour ride to Dublin. Our tickets were only 15 pounds, or around $30, roundtrip. It's pretty awesome! When we got to Dublin we took a bus to our hotel and got settled and watched t.v. for the first time since I have been here. We watched some European singing competition. I must say that Europe has way more nudity and lower than the U.S. surprisingly. The next day we got up and got ready and took the bus into Dublin. We bought tickets to do the site seeing double decker bus thing. It was pretty good, but we started realizing that there really is not much we wanted to see. We got off and saw a really cool jail that they would kill people in. I guess a few movies have been filmed there. Then we went to a dumb museum, then shopped for a bit and then ate at a place called "From Rome to Mexico." It was italian and mexican food obviously, but I thought that was a weird combo. My friend and I decided to split a burrito, but we were very disappointed when it came out because a burrito to them is about the size of an enchilada haha. So we ate a muffin later. It was good though! We were at the heart and party area of Dublin called Temple Bar. So it was cobble stone roads and cool buildings, and there was a live band with people all watching them and dancing. It was way fun!! We just hung out around there for a while then took the bus back home to the Travelodge. The next day we finished our tour and went to another museum. I hate museums now. I noticed on the front door that it said there was a drawing class for free with real artists help that day so when I saw it, me and my friend just had to do it!! There were all these professional artists drawing live artists, so we picked up a canvas ourselves and started drawing! It was way fun. That afternoon we took the train to a little town called Howth. It is a peninsula on Ireland and it was so beautiful and fun! We ate at a pub where I got amazing fish n' chips because it's right on the coast. Then we rented bikes and rode around the coast. We rode up a few hills and it was so fun! That night we just went back to Temple Bar for a while then back home to our European Idol. Sunday we bought tickets to do a Morren Cliffs tour. We had to take a taxi at 6:00 a.m. to Dublin. Then a bus from 7:00-10:00 a.m. to another town, where the tour actually started. We didn't realize we would be on a bus the entire day. So literally, we were. We got out to eat once, and out to look at a castle for 5 minutes but other than that we were on the bust for a million hours. We did get out for an hour to look at the cliffs. They were breathtaking! It was very worth it. We got back to the town we started in at 6. Then we took a bus from 6-10 back to the airport. Then another bus from the airport to our hotel. It was probably one of the longest days of my life. To make it even worse, we had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to take a taxi to go to the airport to make our 6:25 flight. It was insane!!!!! So we took our flight, took the 1.5 hour bus back, took the tube back, and walked up the 91 stairs to our flat. It was exhausting. Now I am sitting on my bed and we are not doing anything today because we are just so worn out! It was fun though. We might go see the Romeo and Juliet ballet. Oh and I am on the no carb diet. Also, I am not doing facebook anymore for a while for personal reasons. K bye!
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
I am halfway through my trip to London! It's kind of sad, but exciting at the same time. I just can't believe how fast it has gone. So far it has been so amazing! Sunday morning before church we went to Buckingham Palace and saw the changing of the guards. It was pretty cool. We got there an hour early, which was not necessary so by the time it was over we were freezing. I still have not gotten a picture with the famous red guards that stand in front of Buckingham Palace because they are only there every other day. Apparently they have to take turns because so many are gone to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. I was pretty surprised at that answer when I asked the worker at the museum. Anyway, we went to church and had a great time again. The building always feels like a hundred degrees, but it is honestly one of the best wards I have gone to. My favorite hour is Relief Society. The spirit is always so strong. Part of me feels like it is because all the girls come from so many places around the world and each one is trying her hardest to make something of herself in London. It's really a neat feeling. Sunday night we just did homework because we actually had a lot to do. Our teachers here aren't just a breeze, we have homework every night. Yesterday we went to the Windsor Castle. It was by far my favorite castle we have seen. Around 100 people live there. Even the queen lives there sometimes. It was really neat! We ate at Pizza Hut for 5.99 pounds ($12 american) and stuffed our faces with pizza. It was amazing. Today we handed in a paper for history and I was the only one who got 100%! I was really excited!! I guess all my communications classes at BYU really payed off. So today we went to class, then we went to the Camden market. I have been to that market like 4 times. I guess I really like it. I bought my sisters each a dress. I hope they like them. I am trying to be a cool sister that brings back the latest fashions from London, even though they are following our trends. After the market we went to the Museum of London. I am pretty sure this was the 15th museum of the trip. We are all museum'ed out. It was all about the London fire and stuff I really didn't care much about. Tonight we are going to a Wheel of Fortune karaoke bar! I am so excited because I have been wanting to go for two weeks now. It is going to be a lot of fun! On Thursday, me and 8 of my friends are flying to Ireland. We are going to be there till Monday morning. It is going to be an adventure to say the least. I am really excited though! Tomorrow is Shelley's birthday and she is going to be 16! Happy Birthday Shelley! Emily is also graduating tomorrow. Congratulations Emily!! I wish I could be there for both of those events. It's only times like these when I really get home sick. I can't even express how excited I am to go to California!!!!!!! It's going to be so fun!!!!!!!! P.S. Exactly one year ago yesterday, I crashed long boarding at BYU Hawaii. In memory, I am going to post a picture.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
During the day on Friday we went to a few markets and I really can't even remember what else we did. I guess I should update this more often. Friday night was honestly wild. A bunch of us went to a club and partied the night away!! It really was a ton of fun. Some of the girls didn't bring the right form of ID so they couldn't get it. I felt bad, but it was way fun!! The best part about it was everything was free! Saturday morning we were all really lazy. It was raining and freezing outside so that makes you not even want to leave the house. We left around 12:30 and it felt like 8 in the morning. We went to Buckingham Palace because we hadn't even been there yet! Sadly the famous guards who where the red with the furry hats were not out. I asked a man why not and he said they have to switch off days because a lot of them are in Iraq and Afghanistan. That was weird. I never realized. It just kind of hit me. After, we went to the Tate Modern Museum. There was the weirdest stuff I have ever seen in there. Some of it was cool and really famous, but other stuff was just outlandish. Interesting to say the least. Tonight we went to see the movie Made of Honour. We all thought it was so cute! I really liked it. After we had nothing to do so we just stayed and watched Iron Man. I know that's bad, but I am really poor. I loved Iron Man too!! It was a fun night. The movie got out at 12:50 am and the tube closes at 1 so we were running to catch it! We made it and only got to take it one stop so we took a cab the rest of the way. Oh London!! I am having a great time!! P.S. I have a sucker in my mouth in that picture.
Friday, 16 May 2008
Last Tuesday we went to Abbey Road and took some pictures! That is where the famous Beatles picture is. We also went to the British Library and I was not impressed. The Library of Congress is way prettier and cooler! Tuesday night I saw the Lion King! It was really amazing. The costumes were spectacular. I had two favorite parts. The first one was in the very beginning when everyone sings "The Circle of Life" and the second part was the "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" scene. It was very powerful! The only problem was that the air conditioning was blowing right on my back and I was wearing a square back so I was freezing!! It was quite miserable. Wednesday morning, our group left at 7 a.m. on a charter bus for an overnight excursion. We traveled 3 hours to get to Stratford Upon Avon (Shakespeare). We went to his wife's house and where his grave is. Then we went to a pub and got some dinner. After dinner we went to the play "A Midsummer's Night Dream." I saw that play in February at BYU and I thought it was really good, but this one was just weird. I could hardly even keep my eyes open. All my friends (9 of us) fell dead asleep in the second half of the play. It was a funny site. I wish I had a picture. That night we stayed in different bed and breakfast places. It was so cute! They are really formal and quant. Our beds were amazing. The beds in our flats are really bad. My back hurts so bad every morning. Our sheets have holes in them! And we don't even have a fitted sheet or a mattress pad. We just have to tuck a normal sheet under the mattress. Anyway, in the morning our hostess, Annie, made our english breakfast. It consisted of toast, a fried egg, mushrooms, a fried tomato, sausage and blood pudding. Needless to say, I ate about 4 pieces of toast and 2 bananas. I didn't even try the blood pudding because just the thought of it made me gag. It's a type of pudding that is made with the animals blood. My friend tried it and said it really did taste like blood. That day we went to Shakespeare's birth place and ate at a little crepe place. The whole time I was in that city, I just kept thinking "who cares?" I obviously do not really care about that stuff. Then we got back on the bus and traveled to Oxford. I liked that a lot! We got to see a few of the places where Harry Potter was filmed! It was really cool. That night we ate at McDonald's. I don't even eat that in America, but we thought it would be fun to try it here because we heard it was different. It wasn't! It was amazing!! I had a chicken snack wrap, fries and an apple pie thing and I was so happy! Then we came home and I took a very needed shower and got in bed. Last week the weather was sunny with 80 degrees, but now it is back to 50 degrees and raining. The rain really is depressing. I could never live where it is so dreary all the time. This weekend it's called the "short weekend" because we supposedly have a break. I don't understand why though. It's the same as any other weekend. I think we might go to a theme park and go on a tour bus of the city! Then go clubbing tonight. It's been a while. I'm excited!
Monday, 12 May 2008
Today was funny. This morning we slept in till about 9:00 and then we all slowly got ready for the day. It was nice not to have to rush off to anything. After we were ready, we all went to the National Portrait Gallery. We have an assignment to see Shakespeare's portrait and write something about it. So we basically walked into the museum, saw the portrait, and left. That's exactly how museums should be done. See what is important, and leave. After we left we found a little pizza shop that had pizza slices for 1.50 pounds. We all pounced because you never find anything that cheap in this city! We soon found out why it was so cheap. Mine didn't even have sauce on it. We justified it by saying it was carbs, which we need because we walk around so much. Then we went to another museum that we had to go to for class. It was dumb. We have been to so many museums, we all hate museums now. We never want to go to another museum until we go to Paris. After the museum, we came home and put our swimsuits on. That is when the adventure began. We took a tube to the train station and a train to a little city where there was a fresh water pond. It was quite a trek to find this little pond. The 15 minute walk there was amazing though!! Everything was so green and it looked like a movie. The houses on the ponds and the green trees with the vines. It was really cool! We finally found the pond and we had to laugh because there was probably 50 people laying out on the tiniest bit of grass. So we all felt the water and it was freezing. That didn't stop us though. Most of us got in, and we couldn't breathe because we were so cold. But it was fun! And we got cute pictures. Then we came home and just ate dinner and kinda did nothing. We decided to play card games so we went down to the basement where the common room is. There was nine girls and we decided to play bs. Not only did we play bs, but we played strip bs. I probably shouldn't even be writing this on my blog, but oh well. Needless to say, I was naked tonight in front of 8 girls. And I wasn't the only one. There was a table half way blocking our bodies, but not much. I have never laughed so hard in my life. It was honestly the funniest thing I have ever done. We had so much fun! I will never forget it. Good times.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
I got groceries last night. That was my crazy adventure for the weekend. A few of my friends went to a random rave techno birthday party but I really didn't feel like it. It was nice to stay home. We had church at 2:30 today. Everybody in my flat basically stayed in their pajamas till 1:30 and just hung out. It was kind of funny. It's nice to have a day where we don't have to worry about anything. When we got to church the bishop asked me to say the closing prayer!! FREAKY! The ward is big! Of course I said yes. So by the end of sacrament meeting my heart was pounding so hard and fast!! I thought I was going to die. During the prayer I mentioned mothers and our gratitude towards them. Then I realized it wasn't even Mother's Day in the UK, so the bishop had to tell the congregation why I randomly talked about mothers in my prayer. We stayed for all three hours. The last hour was the institute graduation. Afterwards they had snack refreshments. Random food. We piled it high because we never get free food. Not one person talked to us. The people here really aren't friendly. It makes me want to welcome visitors even more when I am home. I got to call home today! It was fun to talk to everybody!! Some more girls went to a cabaret, but I of course didn't feel like it. First of all it was Sunday and second of all I just wasn't in the mood. So while they were gone I found a new hobby. I started making a movie on imovie of my London pictures and videos with music in the background. It's so cute! Everybody wants me to burn them a copy. I told them there would be a charge. Well it's time for me to go to bed. I hope my mom and all my other favorite moms (and future moms) had a wonderful mother's day!! I love you!
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Wicked is the best show on the planet!!!!! I cried at the end because I loved it so much!! It would be so fun to be in a show like that. I wish I could sing! It really was amazing. One of my friends and I started crying at the end because it was just so amazing, and then I started laughing because I was embarrassed and of course it turned into the laugh cry. That is the worst! But the best at the same time. It's just not fun because I really can't control myself, laughing and crying. Anyway, yesterday we went to Brighton Beach. It is the place where all the celebrities live. We had to take a train across the countryside there and it was so beautiful! The beach was all rocks, but it didn't even hurt to lay on. It was kind of weird. It was really fun though! It really had a California feel. We went on the pier, and I only lasted a few minutes. I hate piers and whoever I marry will know I hate piers. They are just dirty with dirty people. I did buy a chocolate banana crepe though. It was great! That night I noticed that I was really sunburned. I didn't even care because I don't want to be a ghost when I go back to Utah!! Last night we went to see the movie "What Happens in Vegas" and we had a really good time!! It was fun. We felt like we were in the USA and we liked it. The movie was great!! I was laughing so hard that I was clapping. I know, it's embarrassing to go anywhere with me. I also cried at the end of this. Haha yeah I don't know why I have been so emotional lately. Today we went to the Portabella Market. They have antiques and clothes and treasures and a lot of junk. I bought a real gold claddagh ring from the 1950's. My mom bought me one from Ireland a long time ago, but I lost it. I also bought a new wallet and a few summer clothes because it's so hot and humid here!! We don't have any plans for tonight, but we are going grocery shopping. Exciting I know. Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I have the best mother on the planet. I have been a lot of places on the planet so I can say that. She is the only mother out of my friends on the study abroad who emails her daughter daily. And it's not just a few sentences, it's a novel. I love it!! It really means so much to me to know she cares. I love her so much and I hope one day I am just like her! All my guy friends already say we look exactly alike and that is the biggest complement to me! Thanks for everything mom. I love you! And Happy Mother's day to my Grandma Davis, Grandma B and all my aunts! You are all great examples! Love you!
Mom, you're a wonderful mother,
So gentle, yet so strong.
The many way you show you care
Always make me feel I belong.
You're patient when I'm foolish;
You give guidance when I ask;
It seems you can do most anything;
You're the master of every task.
You're a dependable source of comfort;
You're my cushion when I fall.
You help in times of trouble;
You support me whenever I call.
I love you more than I can express;
You have my total respect.
If I had my choice of mothers,
You'd be the one I'd select!
Thursday, 8 May 2008
It's been a while!! Monday we went to the London zoo. We heard it was one of the greatest zoos on the planet, but I would have to disagree. I think it is the only zoo in Europe so they just say that to get people there. But it was still really fun! It felt like we were in California, and it was kind of nice for a change. Tuesday we went to the National Gallery. It was so awesome!! We saw paintings such as "Sunflowers" by Van Gough, and "The Virgin of the Rocks" by Di Vinci! There were so many famous paintings. I was reminded of all the good times I had in elementary school when my mom was the art master piece teacher. Good times. Wednesday we went to the St. James park and played. The weather has been extremely hot!! None of us were prepared. So we have been wearing our undershirts as shirts and sporting pony tails with sunglasses. It's pretty fun! We look like locals. The last night we went to a really good and expensive dinner! I hadn't had meat since we left, so I ordered a chicken breast that was filled with motzerella cheese and had a really good sauce. When I got home I was really sick! I think I got food poisoning. It was not fun at all. Today we tried to go to the criminal courts to watch a case, but we couldn't get in because we all had electronics in our bags. So we tried to leave them at this little cafe that will hold things for a pound per bag. So we all put our cameras and ipods in one purse, and then the lady was like "how many items are in there?" and I said "I don't know 9 or 10?" and she said "well it's a pound an item." and we were mad because the man had just told us a pound a bag! Then she was like "1 camera is 1 pound, 2 cameras is 2 pounds, 3 cameras is four pounds," and she was holding her fingers up and just being so so rude!! So then I said "Oh so 4 cameras is 4 pounds and 5 cameras is 5 pounds and 6 cameras is 6 pounds? Wow!" I was really rude back. And she said "I'm leaving." And she left her cafe. We were all so annoyed at the dumb lady!!! I think that was our breaking point because everybody here is so rude! They have no manners and they just are not friendly. So we left the place and went to a little shopping area that has cheap market stuff and nice places to shop too. I bought a sweatshirt and a luffa for the shower. It was fun. Tonight we are going to see Wicked!!! I am so so excited!!
Sunday, 4 May 2008
We have a lot of free time. Almost too much for me. I am the type of person that likes to feel like I am always doing something worth my time, especially while living in London. I want to get a job here. Haha-not really, but I want to find a hobby or something. I've noticed Facebook has become my hobby, and I hate it. I have nothing to do! I did my homework, I went on a walk with my friend, I tried to watch the Jazz/Lakers game, and now I am just trying to think of some more things to do. I wish I had like a blanket I was knitting or something productive to do. We went to church today. It was from 2:30-5:30. I secretly hate that time of church. It was really good though. There was only one semi-cute boy, and I am hooking my friend Cailie up with him. I already gave her a line to say to him, and she used it. The line was "Hey, I liked your testimony today." It worked. I'm happy for her. Anyway, I cannot believe my best friend and cousin Lauren Davis is engaged!!!! I knew it was coming, but it's still weird. The thought really freaks me out. I love it though. Congratulations Ryan and Lauren! I love you both!
Saturday, 3 May 2008
This city never stops. We never stop. Yesterday we went to the tower of London and it was really cool! We got to see the two biggest diamonds in the world and all of the queen's jewelry. It was amazing. Later that day we went shopping and just explored around. As we were walking home, we saw a bunch of people standing around waiting for someone. We thought it was a celebrity. A person told us it was the queen so we waited for her to come out and we saw her!! She was only about 40 feet away. A lot of people who live in England have never even seen the queen. I have never even seen President Bush! It was a cool experience. Later that night we all went to a club. It was pretty intense. I actually got homesick from being in such an extreme environment, but it was still fun. We found out the tube closes at 1 a.m. so we had no way back. We took a random bus, then walked the rest of the way. Needless to say it was pretty scary and very far. We were lost half the time. We finally got home around 3:45. Yeah. Today we went to the Hamptons Court Palace. The gardens there were so beautiful!!! All I could think of was how much my mom would love the flowers. After we went to a market. I bought some fish n' chips. Then we took the tube to another market and that was insane!!! There were so many people (mostly gothic)! It was weird! Very fun though. I bought my sisters a present. As we were leaving, I saw a sign in the tube that said over 55,700 people go through this tube station every Saturday. WOW! Insane. Insane.
Thursday, 1 May 2008
WOW! There is so much to do in this city!! We are seriously doing something every single second. I love it! It's opposite of BYU Hawaii. Everything is fast paced and no smiling is allowed. If you say "excuse me" it doesn't matter because people don't move. I have started to give people rude looks who aren't polite. So basically to every person in London. I don't think they really notice though because their faces are always rude. Anyway we started having class. One of my teachers is really laid back and the other is very serious. The serious one teaches Shakespeare and it's actually going to be kind of a hard class. That's embarrassing that I am admitting this, but it's true. I don't want to have to do multiple assignments every night! I'm in London! Oh well. We have been to some amazing sights! Yesterday we went to the Westminster Abby. It is also known as the Church of England. It was so amazing!! It is almost 1,000 years old. I couldn't believe it. We couldn't take pictures inside, but the architecture was out of control. It just boggles my mind. Inside, there are a bunch of famous English people buried there. Some of the more interesting ones include Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, and Charles Darwin. It was pretty cool! I wanted to get Isaac up from the grave and tell me he has caused a lot of pain in my life the last few years because of all his math discoveries. We also saw Big Ben, the London Eye, Hyde Park and some other things. There have been multiple adventures on the tube and rain like no other. It's pretty much freezing here. I have to wear a sweater, a zip up sweatshirt and my big rain coat. I had three hoods on today! People can tell we are from America. But the boys don't seem to mind. Yesterday I met a huge group of boys from Belgium. I told them it was cool they were from there and they didn't know why that was cool. haha I said because I am from the United States and anywhere else is cool to me!! They called me "beautiful Brittany from America" and one of them actually asked me for my number! I laughed. Today we went to the British Museum. I thought of that Michael Buble song where it says "the British Museum has lost it's charm..." Yeah I am a nerd. It was the most amazing museum I have ever been too. And that's saying something. We saw the actual statues from the Panthenon, the Rosetta Stone, Sutton Hue and a lot more things. I liked it. Tonight we are going to the play "Romeo and Juliet." It should be fun.