A Travellerspoint blog

And so begins Part Two of our adventure...

aka The Arrival of Monica!

semi-overcast

Schools out! This last week was pretty crazy what with presentations, recitations, papers, and finals, but we're done! It was pretty sad saying goodbye to our teachers though. We all felt a lot closer with them than we normally with our professors during the school year. I'll probably never see Makey again, which is very sad, but I'm sure I will see Catherine and Josh in the next couple of years!

With the end of classes came another great event: Monica arrived! Emily and I went to Heathrow to pick her up after classes ended on Wednesday. Her flight went well and she even arrived a half hour early. Wednesday we still had one school play to finish, but that worked out well since Monica was then able to catch up on sleep at her hostel (which is literally across the street from us and very nice).

Monica's arrival!

Monica's arrival!

I am very proud of what we accomplished today! We were able to show Monica SO much of London! We got up at 9 and got coffee, then went over to Leicester Square to get tickets for a play tonight. We ended up with Phantom Of The Opera! We were looking forward to it all day, but before we did that we did SO much more. We walked around Piccadilly, then Trafalgar Square. In Trafalgar we took pictures with the giant lions. That was much more of an ordeal than we thought it would be. Those things are HUGE. It was hard enough to climb up onto the platforms they're on, but forget getting on them. I was the only one who attempted. This, I'm sure, is due to how stupid I looked trying to get on the lion. Lesson learned. No more climbing giant bronze jungle cats.

Ready, set, jump!

Ready, set, jump!

Almost there...

Almost there...

Agh. I give up.

Agh. I give up.


When I conquered the Lion.

When I conquered the Lion.

Next we headed over to Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, and Westminster Abbey. We took lots of pictures, but didn't go in anywhere so that didn't take up a ton of time. After that we got on the tube and headed over to Abbey Studios! We each took turns crossing the the road, and I left my mark on the wall.

Crossing Abbey Road

Crossing Abbey Road


Wall outside of Abbey Studios

Wall outside of Abbey Studios

After Abbey Road it was snack time so we walked to St. Johns High Street. There we found the most amazing bread shop I've ever seen in my life. So many different breads and pastries, and oh so cheap. Love.

The next stop on our Tour de London was Kings Cross Station to play Harry Potter. Unfortunately, my pictures all turned out blurry so I can't post one of me pushing my trolley through Platform 9 3/4, but I'll steal them from one of the other girls soon. Next we stopped at the British Museum. We had gone before (prior to Monica's arrival), but we only got to see a couple rooms so we wanted to go again. The museum is huge, and beautiful, but we were in there for about an hour before we decided we were worn out and needed a break (and food).

We headed back to Leicester Square and got lunch at a pub. Fish and chips and a pitcher of Pimms! Yes, we finally got Pimms! For those of you who don't know about Pimms, its THE drink to get (besides beer) at pubs here. Pimms is a citrusy, spicy gin. Its mixed with sparkling lemonade and fruit. Not bad at all!

Pitcher of Pimms!

Pitcher of Pimms!

After food we wandered around for a while then headed over to see Phantom! This is my second time seeing it (I saw it at the Pantages with mom), and it was great here too! The only issue was the audience. We could not believe how bad they were! Constantly talking, coming in late, moving around in their seats. One lady even showed up drunk and late. She sat in the aisle and was told by the usher to move twice before he finally just put her in a seat. Our theatre teacher may have turned us into theatre snobs. Maybe.

Now we finally home, and exhausted. Time for sleep!

Posted by laporlier 17:02 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (2)

The end is near....

Four more class days to go.

sunny

Because the quarter is wrapping up we are all bogged down with several last minute projects! Hooray! We are currently working on our humanities presentation (my topic is the Unknown Warrior), humanities paper (I'm writing mine on pirate radios in the 60s), two theatre projects (one on a play and one on some random place in London where we'd set a play we've seen here), and memorizing a poem for English. Fun, fun, fun!

Last weekend was spent finishing English journals, studying for tests, and doing laundry. On Monday seven of us went with Josh to the Tate Britain. I did like this museum more than the Tate Modern, but it still had some pieces we could not make any sense of.

Me and a sheep. Art?

Me and a sheep. Art?


Foyer Plane

Foyer Plane

That night we saw Through A Looking Glass Darkly, a play about a woman with a mental disorder where she starts hearing voices, presumably calling her to God... It was disturbing. But pretty good.

Yesterday we had a field trip first to the British Museum. It is comprised of ninety rooms and we only really went for three of them. I'd like to go back before I leave.

British Museum

British Museum

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone

After the museum we headed over to Hampstead to go see the house John Keats stayed at. This was the house where his relationship with Fanny Brawne began. I was very excited since I really love Keats and the story between he and Fanny.

Me at the Keats House!

Me at the Keats House!

That night we saw a play called Light Shining on Buckinghamshire. First of all, the theatre was so hot that our teacher was scared for us and told people to go home if they felt sick. Over half of our class went home. We stuck it out because we felt bad for the actors. The play itself didn't interest me too much. A lot of religious zealots and a lot of screaming. It was very hard to follow.

Tonight we're going to see Domini Republic. It's another outdoor play. I have no idea what to expect.

Tomorrow in class we get to watch Bright Star, a movie about Keats and Fanny Brawne. I love this movie so I am actually excited to get up early to get a good seat in class! The rest of our classes are just presentations and a test. Soon enough Emily, Monica, and I will be gallivanting off to the continent!

Posted by laporlier 10:42 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (2)

Mind the gap!

Bit of an updating delay...

rain

I didn't even realize it'd been this long since I updated! Last week was packed, though we did get a couple of days to sleep in so that was nice!

As for plays this week: On Monday we saw La Bete. It was very funny! Mark Rylance's Valere was incredible. He had a thirty minute monologue and we were laughing the entire time! And for those of you who are Frasier fans (Mom) Elomier was played by David Hyde Pierce (Niles Crane). On Wednesday we saw As You Like It directed by Sam Mendes. It was a little slow and forced for the first half. During the second half there was a power outage though and it seemed to loosen the actors up. The rest of the show was very nice. Three hours is a bit long though. Last night we saw a 45 minute production based on the Bosnia genocide. Needless to say, it was scary and depressing. It was an up close and personal play and most of the actors were on stilts, which completely freak me out, and cracking whips, and playing with fire that I was positive was going to set someone ablaze. It was nerve wracking.

We had a couple of field trips this week too. On Tuesday Makey took us to Brick Lane for amazing Indian food. Brick Lane is an area with a lot of immigrants and it is known for the food. It's also where the Jack the Ripper murders happened. It's much more poverty stricken than most of London. It was a neat experience to see how another group of people live here. Very different than Kensington. Dinner was great. There were fried something appetizers, then chicken and lamb kabobs, then four different curries and NAAN! Naan is so, so good. When we were leaving we accidentally walked into these old guys' photo. Turns out they had known each other for 45 years and were having a reunion. One guy excitedly announced he was from Iceland, so we assumed they all were. Then they insisted that we be in their photo. And then I insisted that they be in ours. It was hilarious.

Entrance to Brick Lane

Entrance to Brick Lane


More Art...

More Art...


Brick Lane Art

Brick Lane Art


Our friends from Iceland!

Our friends from Iceland!

Wednesday before the play, Josh and Catherine took us on a walk around Southwark. We walked through Bourough Market and got delicious food. Then we made our way past the prostitute graveyard, the church that Shakespeare went to and where his brother is buried, past the Rose Theatre and the site of the old Globe, past Clink Street, then to the Tate Modern. That museum just reaffirmed that modern art is not exactly one of my favorite things. Granted, there were a few things I liked (some weird big pieces, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol), but the rest was just too far out there.

Yet another market!

Yet another market!

Mmm food.

Mmm food.


The George Inn

The George Inn


Shakespeare hung out here

Shakespeare hung out here


Me and Andy Warhol art

Me and Andy Warhol art

Yesterday we had class then Makey took us on a trip to the National War Museum. One of the guides gave us a talk on World War One then we got to play around with some of the weapons and uniforms.

Today we got on our bus at 8 for our day trip to Oxford and Stratford-Upon-Avon. Oxford is ridiculously impressive. We all agreed we'd go there just for the dorms. I was really excited to see a lot of stuff that they think may have inspired Lewis Carrol while writing Alice In Wonderland, including the tree where the Cheshire Cat sat. We also saw some of the places Harry Potter was filmed and we walked up the Grand Staircase from the first film. We had lunch in Oxford then made our way to Stratford. There we toured Anne Hathaway's Cottage (wife of Shakespeare), saw his birthplace, his monument, and wandered around the little town. A very cute town, indeed.

Oh, just where much of the Oxford English Dictionary was compiled!

Oh, just where much of the Oxford English Dictionary was compiled!


HARRY POTTER GRAND STAIRCASE!

HARRY POTTER GRAND STAIRCASE!

They may have inspired Alice's long neck...

They may have inspired Alice's long neck...

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

This week has been a drizzly one! No big rainstorms, but its been pretty grey and we get drizzled on every once in a while. Of course every time it drizzles I have to fight with the umbrella to stay up, then as soon as it does, it stops drizzling. It was rainy today, but I decided I was just going to forgo the umbrella since it hates me. But then my jacket was pretty much soaked through so I decided I needed the umbrella. But of course, as soon as I get it up, the rain stops, the sun comes out, the birds chirp, so on and so forth.

I anticipate (and the forecast tells me) it will be a little dreary for a bit longer. I think I will practice opening up that umbrella.

Posted by laporlier 06:04 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

And What Does The Weather Look Like Today, Lindsay?

Hot. Really, really hot. Back to you with the sports, Ted!

This is the second entry I've had to rewrite due to the terrible internet connection here. My door is literally right next to the router and I can't get any connection. If I'm lucky I get a signal from two floors above. Ridiculous. Anyways, lets see if I can remember all of what I wrote...

Wednesday night we saw Enron. A bunch of people in our group found it offensive and argued that it put America in a bad light. Don't think so. Just Enron. People are too sensitive. Everyone seemed to like the play we saw Thursday, though. We saw the musical biography(ish) of Edgar Allen Poe called Nevermore. Very Tim Burton-esque with amazing costumes to boot! I still find some of the songs running through my head.

On Friday Emily, Kelsey, and I took a train to Windsor and Eton. So beautiful. I want to live there. We toured Windsor Castle and I finally got my picture with a guard. Poor guy. He had to maintain composure in that big furry hat on the hottest day so far in London. I also got a video of him doing his little walk around thing, which is slightly boring, but watching the tourist try to get a picture with him makes the video great.

Windsor Palace

Windsor Palace

Me and my guard friend

Me and my guard friend

After Windsor we made our way towards Eton and stopped at an amazing Thai place called Thai Place. Then we kept wandering and accidentally found ourselves in a fudge shop. Woops. We didn't mean to buy that slab of mint chocolate chip fudge. So we ate our fudge and continued towards Eton.

Good Thai!

Good Thai!

On our way to Eton

On our way to Eton

When we actually got to Eton we quickly found out that it would cost us money we don't have to tour the campus. So we made our way around the church and may or may not have sneaked in with the help of a friendly gardener. It was probably public area, but we did pass a concealed entrance sign, so we felt special. The gardener showed us some gardens and where they play the ball game. We assumed he meant cricket, but we don't actually know. Then we laid by the river for a while and took it all in.

Secret Passage

Secret Passage

Blue toes by the river.

Blue toes by the river.

Then we decided we were going to melt in the heat so we trudged back to the train station, got on the train, and then the nasty tube, and tried to find the fountains at Somerset House. When we finally did find the fountains we found out they are closed for a month. Of course. So we gave up and went home.

Yesterday we roamed around Oxford Street and braved Primark again as well as a couple other shops. Then we went to my new favorite market ever, Portobello Road. Its awesome. Tons of antiques, vintage clothes, and delicious food! If I had money I would have been in trouble.

Headless folk

Headless folk

Neat cameras

Neat cameras

Driving Miss Lindsay (thats a £60 hat by the way)

Driving Miss Lindsay (thats a £60 hat by the way)

This guy was just driving his vintage car through the market, smoking his cigar, and waving.

This guy was just driving his vintage car through the market, smoking his cigar, and waving.

Today was a nice lazy day. We slept in then went down the street to get some fruit, baguettes, and cookies, then set up camp at the park. We spread out, ate food, listened to a jazz quartet playing in the gazebo nearby, and read As You Like It out loud. Somehow I ended up with the roles of both Rosalind and Orlando (plus some), so I had several long conversations with myself. I'm sure others in the park loved my performance.

Now a bunch of us are sitting in the common room watching the last fifteen minutes of the World Cup. We can hear our neighbors, the Netherlands Embassy, at their party. We're all rooting for them.

(They lost. But they're still singing away....)

Posted by laporlier 14:59 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (2)

Playing Catch Up

I'm a little behind...

rain

Sunday consisted of Emily and I walking. A lot. We started off the day climbing The Monument. 311 steps. At the top we looked out over London.

The Monument

The Monument

In The Monument

In The Monument

After that I made an attempt to play one of the free pianos hanging out around London as part of the City of London Festival. A lot of the keys were mute. Also, I had terrible stage fright. Because I'm sure the five people hanging out around me really cared what and how I played.

Next we tried to find Spitalfields Market. Too bad the tube line we needed was down and we could not figure out the buses to save our lives. We ended up in Hackney, which felt like a completely different part of England. Not a Starbucks in sight. By then we were so tired and frustrated we just decided to go home and hang out before going out for our 4th of July dinner. For dinner Emily, Maris, and I went to an American diner in Soho. I had been craving a milkshake for days. The onion rings were equally delicious.

Ed's Easy Diner in Soho

Ed's Easy Diner in Soho

On our way back home we found some fireworks. Or rather, we saw some obscured fireworks and attempted to find them, but the streets are so small and have so many turns, it was too hard to find. We watched for a little bit then headed back home.

Monday we went to the Victoria & Albert museum. The exhibits were really interesting, but the docents kept following us around. We must look like thieves. After that we had lunch at a Chinese buffet. Not bad. It was a really cool area we were in so we plan on going back and looking around some more.

I liked this guy.

I liked this guy.


Piano dress.

Piano dress.


Peter Rabbit originals! Beatrix Potter lived relatively close by...

Peter Rabbit originals! Beatrix Potter lived relatively close by...

Yesterday was a very, very long day. We were running around from 9 in the morning till 10:30 at night. Despite us all being so tired, it was worth it. We went to Banqueting House, which was neat, but nothing too thrilling. Then to the National Portrait Gallery. Also neat, but I was a bit too tired to appreciate it at that point. Later in the evening we saw the play "War Horse." It is the story of a horse and a boy. The boy cares for this horse and is is best friend until his father sells the horse to the army. The boy then runs off to war (WWI) to find his horse. The story was not the best part (though everyone was sobbing). The real draw to this play was the amazing puppetry. All of the animals in the play are full scale puppets with incredible detail that makes them appear life like. Amazing.

Tonight we are going to see the play "Enron." Should be interesting.... Then tomorrow we get to SLEEP IN! Our two morning classes are canceled. So, we just have Humanities and one play tomorrow then the weekend!

Posted by laporlier 08:00 Archived in England Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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