Sunday, August 1, 2010

straight across fringe.

july was a blogging fail.
july was also a journaling fail.
i suppose remembering the highlights will have to do for now.

st. george
cliff jumping
a thousand splendid suns
b.o.b. duets
north carolina
east coast
the hunger games
ramona and beezus
hot pots
austrian friends returning
peter breinholt
clean rooms
new clothes
new hair
old friends
new friends

also, i have real bangs, for the first time in about 12 years. i hated them at first, but they are definitely growing on me. (literally.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

just around the river bend.

i love water.
i love swimming in the ocean.
i love boats.
i love cruising.
and now, i love kayaking.

for the first time ever, i went kayaking. and i loved it.
usually i hate anything that will make my arms sore, basically because i have no arm strength whatsoever.
but, this was different.
there is something relaxing, calm and wonderful about paddling your own little kayak around while floating down a river.
and that something is the reason why i loved it.
maybe i will even try something a little less tame.
something with more rapids.
i don't even care if i missed the front of my shins with the sunscreen.
and i also don't care if my arms will be sore for the next few weeks.

by the way, i am in texas right now. yep. i wish i was home, mainly because i haven't been home very much lately. (10 days all year) here is a breakdown of my travels from the past three weeks:

london, england - oslo, norway - copenhagen, denmark - tallinn, estonia - stockholm, sweden - milan, italy - aosta, italy - florence, italy - assisi, italy - naples, italy - capri, italy - amalfi, italy - rome, italy - provo, utah - austin, texas.

basically, i am sick of traveling. i never thought i would say that, but i am. maybe you think it sounds really fun. my friend matt said it nicely: "haha wow, you are like a vacation superhero". well... i could look at it that way because all of the places i have been have been absolutely amazing. but nothing is like home. if you want to catch up, august is probably the best time for me, seriously.

other things that i love lately, besides kayaking and being back in america:
refillable dr. pepper, eclipse, cafe rio, bella kissing jacob and edward in the same movie, the death and life of charlie st. cloud, texting, texas longhorns, cupcake books, lady antebellum, a thousand splendid suns.

and, some things that will be added to my bettering list:
•get in shape - on saturday i ran 6 miles with sherry. woooooowwwww. i almost died.
•learn how to sail so that zac efron will fall in love with me. (read charlie st. cloud!!!!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

omigosh you guys.

highlights as of late: blondes, sissy, wombs, letters, the west, david and cody simpson.

basically, all of these have something to do with charlotte coming to visit london. it was amazing. best week of the year!!!!!!

we went to two shows! legally blonde and oliver! oliver has been a favorite of mine since february, so she couldn't miss that one. and somehow i talked her into going with me to legally blonde the musical. OMIGOSH YOU GUYS. i loved it sooooooo much. i could not stop smiling/laughing the entire time. ever since 2001 that has been a favorite movie of mine, and i have been waiting and waiting to see this. okay. i doubt char liked it as much as i did, i don't think that would have been possible. best. show. ever.

we also went to almost every single museum and market in london. well, actually not even close, but it sure felt like it. she loved the markets. who doesn't?? i found a new favorite food at borough! yogurt covered dried raspberries. yummmmm. the museums were great too. i gained a new appreciation for modern art on a repeat visit to the tate modern. i really hated it the first time i went and then only went to the gift shop my second visit, but this time i actually gave it a chance...sort of. the natural history museum was something that we especially liked and is something that i will never forget. why???? the womb room. it has been haunting me for over a week now.

it was sure sad to see char leave. we had the best time. i learned a lot from her. like... apparently there is a cage full of geckos that are currently residing in my bedroom. and no, they aren't those beaded crafts. they are real live reptiles.

thanks for coming sissy! see you in a month.

also, we took a trip to the west coast/wales this past week. the lake district was my favorite spot, expect that i almost got stuck in an adder breeding ground, but luckily i escaped. and luckily david archuleta saved my life, in a way. i hate snakes almost as much as i hate the idea of geckos in my bedroom.

caroline and i discovered our new favorite singer: cody simpson. iyiyi can't stop listening to his songs.

and....the eclipse posters are all over the london underground. my life just got a little bit better. july 5th can't come soon enough.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


charlotte is now here!!!
we have had a fabulous day today.
like seriously, it was so good it probably could have lasted about 3 days.
i'm sure that it feels like at least five days to her. gotta love jet lag.
nando's, the natural history museum, the national portrait gallery, gazing at prince harry and prince william (well, their portrait), primark and the lady gaga glee episode today have kept us extremely busy.
clearly, a fabulous day.

tonight, we just happened to be at leicester square when the sex and the city 2 PREMIERE was finishing. so, we staked out a spot, right near the fence, saw four fancy cars coming to pick up the stars, and waited and waited. actually, it was perfect timing because then the mob started to come. and, who did we get to see?? sarah jessica parker, kristin davis and cynthia nixon. really cool, and now i feel like i actually need to see this movie. probably won't though.

ohhh, but now to the title of this post. guess what i forgot?!?!?! a CAMERA! one of the few days out of the past five months that i haven't had a camera in my bag, and something camera worthy actually occurs. i guess i didn't think that we just might happen to walk past a london premiere just as 3 major hollywood actresses were exiting with all their glamour and entourage. i should plan better for the future. for now, this post and our stories will have to solidify the memory. i promise, i was really there.

scots wha hae.

scotland is a truly beautiful place. what else can i say?? i really don't need to say anything else, that would sum up pretty much my entire trip to scotland. but....i guess there were a few more highlights.

edinburgh castle
stirling, and hiking the wallace monument. all 246 steps.
doing a little family history work by finding john macfarlane's grave, the first member of my family to join the church, and also my great-great-great-grandfather. this has motivated me to become a more avid family historian.
men in kilts.
the view over edinburgh was spectacular.

believe it, or not, i did a ghost tour of haunted edinburgh. those of you who know me pretty well will know that i get scared very easily, and hate scary things. somehow caroline talked me into this though. i was fine, except that somehow people always know that i get scared easily. i don't know how they know it, but they do.

and, i had a reason to sing "i'll take the high road..." all week!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

westward bound.

usually i hate coach trips. actually, i always hate the coach aspect of trips. i loved the three day extended trip that we took to the west of england though. it was beautiful, educational, exciting and fabulous. here is a little summary with some pictures.

a visit to jane austen's home.

winchester cathedral

bath... one of the greatest cities in england. everything is so cute there, i love it! also, being there after reading northanger abbey was especially exciting.

bath abbey. so, there was this incredible quilting exhibit that was on display. it had me thinking.... i should learn how to quilt. yes, i think that i could be quite crafty if i really set my mind to it. that is my new goal.

glastonbury - the supposed location of king arthur's avalon!! the result of this?? everyone that goes to glastonbury visits the abbey to see king arthur's grave, then hikes up to the TOR to meditate and receive healing. i passed a man chanting and saw a few people meditating. i tried my best...

i hiked up this.
meditating on top of the glastonbury tor

wells cathedral - favorite cathedral so far. why??? they have a cathedral cat. it is like a celebrity, seriously. he even had his own collection of greeting cards! wahhhhhh. i miss my cats!!!!!!!!

leslie and louis, the wells cathedral cat

ilfracombe - a little sea side town. it was here that i ate the most delicious fish and chips that i will ever eat in my entire life. also, i was able to see the sunset, which was gorgeous! this was a favorite visit, for sure. a favorite for caroline because she got the twin bed in the b&b while i got the luxurious queen. (wait, maybe that was my favorite) a favorite for me because we had american cable! i watched american idol for the first time all season! a favorite for my mom because she got to see rug man. (imagine a man with one dreadlock that went down to his knees. he owned the local hostel) and... a favorite for my dad because he made friends with the local teenage boy skateboarding gang. seriously, immediate friends. one of the boys came up to him and asked, "sir, could you please heal me of my addiction to smoking pot??" if we hadn't dragged my dad away he probably would have talked to them all night.

beautiful scene!

tintagel - site of king arthur's ruined castle! it was really fun to hike all over and see the coast!

we try really hard to be cute sisters. our sunglasses match.
dr. danger
oh you know, i don't drink water these days. pepsi and coca-cola help keep me hydrated. to facilitate my liquid intake i removed the lid from my water bottle, put it on this one and had a handy squeeze bottle.

we also stopped at the exeter cathedral on our way home to london.

i was more than thrilled to get home. and it is wonderful to be back!!!

other things that have happened lately:
caroline and i had a busy week: two musicals (lion king and peter pan), one movie (robin hood - HATED it), one concert (royal festival hall) and one play (eurydice)
i have become obsessed with mystery novels. i read them constantly.
glee keeps getting better and better, i love it!!

well, that's it. charlotte comes on thursday. i am more than excited!!!


i have a talent.
once upon a time i played the violin.
actually... this was only 6 months ago.
then, i came to london.
without my violin.
i miss it terribly.
i didn't think i would ever miss it this much.
but, i do.
now, since i'm in london, i have the opportunity to go to amazing concerts.
so, i go.
it makes me miss the violin even more.
i get home in 6 weeks.
will i still remember how to play???

last night i went to a concert at the royal festival hall. i picked this particular concert because of a violinist performing lalo's symphonie espagnole. i love this piece. i learned it during my sophomore year of high school, and it instantly became a favorite piece of mine. as i watched the incredible performer my fingers were fingering the notes of the runs that i drilled over and over and over again. memories flooded over me, and i had the feeling that if i wanted to, i could just go and play the entire concerto all of the way through.

every concert that i attend here makes me want to play the violin soooooo badly. sometimes during high school i would forget how much i really enjoyed playing the violin because i was so busy with everything else that i was trying to do. being here, surrounded by so many musically talented people has made me realize that i really do want to keep music a part of my life. somehow.

also, ravel's bolero was amazing.
thank you london philharmonic orchestra for a wonderful concert.

i miss the violin.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

i believe in fairies.

the london timeout said that if you could only do one thing this week you should:
see peter pan at the barbican theater.
it was a good thing that i have already wanted to see it for months and months, so i obeyed their suggestion. i love peter pan and all things related to disney and johnny depp (sort of pushing it with peter pan, i know. but finding neverland is great.) but, i still really, really wanted to go. i thought that it would be magical, i was right. the show was brilliant, and i loved every minute of it.

i had heard it was a 'new' version, but i was still expecting to hear my favorite songs like 'i don't wanna grow up'. i was wrong. it was an extremely different version of the story, but it didn't matter, it was amazing. one difference: it is supposed to be set in london, not edinburgh. but... this just made me extremely excited for my upcoming trip to scotland on monday.

my personal favorite parts: 'wakey wakey!'. 'hip-hip.......HIP-HIP.............'. 'lost boys forever!!!' the staging, the flying, tinkerbell, oh, and actually, EVERYTHING.

other news:
charlotte comes to london in 5 days.
jess comes to london in 19 days.
the lion king is amazing.
i am obsessed with cath kidston.
i hate every single pair of shoes that i currently have in london, and my feet do not forgive me for walking 20 miles yesterday. (well, what felt like 20 miles around windsor castle)
i saw the changing of the guard at windsor castle, and they were wearing animal skins over their uniforms. luxurious leopard.
i give up on running.
a MOUSE was found in the FRIDGE. disgusting?? totally.

Friday, May 14, 2010


today is my nineteenth birthday. on this day, nineteen years ago i was born. it is weird to think about. i am not that old. i don't believe it. also, it feels like i just barely got used to the thought that i was eighteen. however, i'm not any more. i am nineteen. strange.

i went on a run this morning in kensington gardens. it was a beautiful day and i couldn't have been happier. as i was running i decided to stop and sit on the grass and think about the past year. i made a list of everything that has happened this past year that has been great. here are some of the things on that list:
•graduated from high school
•took a trip to italy and greece with some great friends
•made some new friends fall semester and in london
•two semesters of 4.0 in college
•lived in london for 5 months - will be 6
•learned about life, culture and the world
•kept in touch with friends on missions
•made a life plan and goals

however, there are some other things that could have been better. so i have decided that this year is going to be different. this next year is going to be the best year of my life so far. so, i am going to focus on bettering myself. there are a lot of areas and things that this entails, probably too many to list. the most important thing is this year = i will become a better person.

i am excited and optimistic about this goal. the first step in my betterment is this blog. it is here that i will be able to post the things in my life that are going well and are making me happy. currently, i am happy that it has been my birthday today. it has been a fabulous day.

first, my run.

then, presents. i got some really cute things that i am extremely excited about. as my mom would say, they are very "leslie".
one of my favorites:

i seriously love this cath kidston bag. i have wanted one for 5 months.
i also seriously love the freaking cute headband that i am wearing that caroline got me...too bad you can't see the freaking cute part. (the flower print bow)
also notice the chex mix and swedish fish in the background. my grandma sent me the most amazing package filled with all of my favorite american treats, including the new pretzel m&ms that i am excited to try. i love you grandma!!!!

then, lunch at zizzi's. the most delicious italian food in london. fettucine alfredo, chocolate torte and coke. i couldn't have asked for a better lunch.

then, a stop by the hummingbird bakery to grab a beautiful, birthday cupcake.

then, a visit to kensington palace. i have been dying to go and visit the enchanted palace exhibit that is currently going on. i loved it. so so so much. it was so fun to see the palace decorated in the stories of the seven princesses who have lived there. i learned a lot and had a great time with my mom and caroline.

queen for the day

then, dinner at the centre of chicken cordon of my favorite foods. i am so lucky. terri didn't even know that it was my birthday when she planned the meal. i was having nightmares about what i might have to eat for my birthday dinner, but i was definitely pleasantly surprised.

to finish off the great day my family and i are going to watch bright star, the highly acclaimed movie on the life of john keats. i love his poetry and can't wait to watch this movie.

today has been the perfect beginning to my life as a nineteen year old.

Monday, May 10, 2010


the new students are here.
well, they have already been here for a week actually.
it is weird.
i expect to see anna before i go to sleep every night. i don't see her.
i expect to hear kellen talking. i don't hear him.
i expect to eat dinner with my friends. i eat alone, sort of.
the list could go on and on.
it has definitely been hard to adapt.

the past two weeks have been full of repeats.
repeat first dinner of broccoli soup - possibly my least favorite food in the world.
repeat visit to the tower of london.
repeat mouse initiation.
repeat skype threats.
repeat nando's trips.
repeat visit to stonehenge. (note the number two)

repeat greeting for president phillips (don't be too jealous anna)
repeat kitchen crew.
repeat ben and jerry's party.
repeat planning charlotte's trip to london. (YAY)
repeat, repeat, repeat. that is how it has been.

BUT. some things have been better... and different.
1. stourhead with no scaffolding and fully bloomed flowers.

2. wilton house. my absolutely favorite house that we have visited. it was AMAZING!!!!!

3. the phantom of the opera.

4. royal festival hall concert

5. planning my scandinavian cruise with my mum

6. mother's day vs. mum's day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

missing: sissy

funny name, right? well, it really isn't that funny.
this is the name of the icelandic volcano that has been erupting since thursday.
the result?? all airports in england are closed, indefinitely.
it sure has been fun to have the BYU students here longer.
but, my favorite older sister charlotte was supposed to arrive early this morning.
thanks to eyjafjallajökull, our fun plans for spring break have vanished.

i imagined that it would be more fun than our amazing trip that we took to disneyland last august for her birthday:

these were big dreams too, because that is a hard trip to beat. really really hard.

i had even bigger imaginations about what this week would be. we were going to go and see the west end musical the lion king. she was going to try all of my favorite places to eat... nando's, tortilla, hard rock, gbk and wagamama. we were going to visit hampton court and kensington palace. we were going to go to borough market, camden and portobello road. she was going to tell me how my cats are doing. she was going to bring me some spring clothes to mix my wardrobe up a bit. we were going to speak with british accents and people watch in hyde park. and we were going to go museuming. it was going to be the absolutely bestest week of the entire year. but, this perfectly wonderful week will never occur now. and it makes me so depressed.

last thursday at 5:15 pm, after finishing my culture and community final, i started getting really really excited about charlotte coming. this is how i felt:

i had heard that there was a volcano, but i never imagined that the airports would be closed for SIX days. i mean, seriously. now, after realizing that she really can't come i feel like this:

charlotte is supposed to be here with me.
i miss my sissy.

you are missing in the sissy picture. where are you sissy??

Thursday, April 15, 2010

finals. check.

i am DONE with finals. after i took my fifth and final exam this afternoon this feeling of freedom rushed over me and i had the realization that i have absolutely nothing that is due, there are no classes to attend and there are no tests to study for until august! it is an incredible feeling. also, after countless cokes and dr. peppers, late night runs to the food and wine, spontaneously dancing to william blake's cosmology, a lack of sleep, a facebook fast and a general loss of sanity at the center, i am excited that finals week is complete.

however, this is really sad news at the same time. the winter study abroad program is over. it happened so fast and ended even faster, i can't believe it. thanks to the volcano eruption in iceland my friends might be staying two days longer. you have no idea how happy this makes me. all flights to and from london have been cancelled. clearly this is a sign saying that we need more time together in london.

other than studying, this is what i have been up to...

i was in TWO places at ONCE. seriously. here i am at the prime meridian in greenwich.

baptisms at the london temple. it was so beautiful.

a visit to the houses of parliament, the cabinet war rooms and the winston churchill museum.

tonight i went to les mis for the second time. it was just as amazing and i loved it. anna and i were excited when we heard that barricade boy was still in the show, and he was as beautiful as ever. we decided to hurry out of the theater to wait for him at the backstage door. this was going to be great. he was going to be happy to see him, we were going to strike up a clever conversation and then he was going to offer to take a picture with us. after waiting for 15 minutes for him, we about had a heart attack when we saw him coming out of the door in all of his barricade glory. but, he was cold, aloof and unapproachable and our dreams were shattered.

also, i have also had to start moving over to the other side of the center, to my parents flat where i will be living for the next two months. it is sort of sad, actually extremely depressing. but i guess all good things have to end. maybe i will talk anna, arrin and karalyn into staying for the spring term. i don't think caroline would mind if they moved into our room.

Friday, April 2, 2010

five days up north.

i had been looking forward to the north trip all semester. it was viewed as one of our big trips as a whole group, and was also the longest one. i didn't really know exactly where we would be going, what we would see or what we would do, but i was still very enthusiastic about it. however, on sunday when i was faced with packing for our five day long coach trip with weather forecasts of winter weather all of my excitement was gone. i hate the cold, i hate the coach and i hate how i still have not finished any of my major school assignments. but, the trip turned out to be a great success and i loved everything that we saw. here is a really pathetically short summary trying to encompass all of the things that we did.

chatsworth house: a huge, eighteenth century estate house that is commonly known as 'pemberley' in the newest pride and prejudice movie. i LOVED this. not only because of my recent obsession with all things jane austen, but also because every single thing about it was incredible. the walls, the ceilings, the carpet, the guidebook. i loved everything. the only things that i didn't love were that we didn't have a whole week to spend there, and that it was raining and i didn't enjoy the gardens as much as i wanted to.

bronte parsonage: wuthering heights is a favorite book of mine. some people find this weird because it is a sort of dark, gloomy and depressing book, but i seriously love it. the story of heathcliff and catherine is so intense and emily bronte is a great author. going to her family parsonage was especially cool because it was exactly how i pictured it would be. it is located immediately next to this creepy graveyard and the moors, and it was a cloudy, foggy, gloomy and freezing day. just how i have always pictured the setting of wuthering heights to be.

york: this is such a great town. i especially loved walking around the complete and fully functioning roman wall that exists there to surround the city and looking around york minster.
fountains abbey: beautiful, old, enchanting.

durham castle: we stayed in the hotel this night. seriously. it was creepy and the cathedral bells woke me up promptly every hour throughout the night. i also am convinced that the castle is haunted. i think i have proof.

evensong: we went to evensong at durham cathedral and it was beautiful. the combination of the amazing voices with the magnificence of the church was a wonderful experience.

hadrian's wall/housested's roman fort: it was snowing, no joke. but this was one of the highlights of the week. standing on the wall, almost being blown off by the wind and screaming was so much fun.

dove cottage and rydal mount: the houses of the poet william wordsworth. so cute, such a perfect location, really explained why he wrote about the things he did regarding nature. i definitely enjoy his poetry a lot more now.

the lake district: i am convinced that this is the most beautiful part of england.

hilltop farm: the home of beatrix potter. the cutest place ever. i forgot home much i loved the tales of peter rabbit and jemima puddle duck and friends. those were some of my absolutely favorite stories from my childhood. the walk to the farm was so nice and i loved walking around the lake and up the hill.

church history in preston and the preston temple.

maritime museum and the international slave trade museum: both amazing museums.
beatles experience: i love the beatles, their music is great. seeing the music solely devoted to the beatles and their lives was one of the coolest things that i have done in a long time. i loved the feeling of having all of their songs blasting while i walked through the realistic rooms and buildings from their career. i loved every single thing about it and have been listening to their songs all day long.

quick summary of the trip: 24 hours on the coach. 4 authors homes. 2 hotels. 1 castle. 1 hostel. 4 churches. 4 great movies. hundreds of pictures. thousands of great memories. success.

i am happy to be back in london, it feels like home. finals are rapidly approaching and my time is getting shorter and shorter, which is really depressing. but, i am looking for the visit from jess in june! officially she is coming to visit me in london on the tenth of june, and i am insanely excited. we have a long list of things we have to do in the few days that she is here. i can't wait.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

j'adore paris.

well, the trip to paris was amazing and full of interesting and great food, a million works of art, incredible churches, creepy men, a lot of stairs, great views of the city and sore feet. but, i LOVED it!!!!

if i tried to break it down day by day it would probably make me remember how stressed and tired i was each day, so i'll categorize my adventures and everything that i loved (and hated?) about my four day trip to france!

tour de eiffel

view from notre dame

museums in paris are better than anywhere else. i am personally a fan of impressionist art. if all art was impressionist, i would be happy. and what better place to see impressionism than in paris? there isn't a better place, so i was happy. the louvre was really stressful. too many people, too much to see, too much to learn. are my top 3 museums:

1. musee d'orsay: no question. this was my absolutely favorite thing that i saw. as i was thinking my trip from three summers ago, i immediately remembered that the orsay was my favorite thing in france. the museum is huge and completely full of impressionism. some of my favorites? monet, manet, renoir, pissaro...etc. i bought two prints of my favorite works so that i can frame them and put them in my room. i am very, very excited.

2. l'orangerie: this is a very small museum, but definitely breathtaking. monet's waterlilies are displayed there, and they are incredible. he had these two oval shaped rooms built for him that perfectly fit these 8 huge panoramic paintings. i could stay in there all day, they were so beautiful.

this was one of my favorites. but, they were all favorites.

3. musee rodin: i loved how some of the sculptures were on display in the gardens and also in the house. all of his sculptures are great.

i love gothic architecture. it blows my mind thinking about how they had to lift all of the materials and had to design the huge, beautiful churches. in france we saw some really great ones:

notre dame. great at night, great during the day. always beautiful. i also loved climbing the towers and getting a wonderful view of the city and seeing the famous bells.

chartres. clearly, incredible.

sainte chappelle. the upper chapel has walls that are practically entirely made of stained glass, on all four sides. it is gorgeous, especially with the sun shining in!

crepes, pastries and croissants have been the basis of my diet for the past few days, seriously. i ate five huge crepes and now think that nutella and banana crepes are my favorite food. i wish that they were healthier. oh, and this is a big deal.... i ate escargot! amazing, right? even i can't believe that i, leslie paige macfarlane, ate a snail...that was green. WOW. i feel very accomplished and proud of myself.

yes, i promise that i ate it. there are six witnesses.

definitely the most delicious ice cream in the world AND it was shaped like a flower!

top five other favorite things that don't really fit into a category:

1. seine river cruise: a beautiful way to see paris by night.

2. eiffel tower - amazing view! and since it is march for march i had to take the stairs. ugh.

family at the top.

3. arc de triomphe - stairs, again, but a great way to see the city.

4. versailles - i wanted to go last time i was in france, but ran out of time. it was so fun to see!

5. the SUN! it is refreshing to know that it is spring in some other part of the world while it is cold and foggy in london.

well, paris was wonderful! we saw so many great things. i loved going back and seeing new things and other different but great things. oh, i got to witness my dad almost beat up a guy for trying to steal his wallet, that was scary. and i made it through border control! yay. when i saw the immigration officers i got really nervous, but i didn't appear to be a threat, so they let me through. our semester here is over in less than a month! it is really sad. i am super lucky and get to stay here two months longer than everyone else, but it is still going by way too fast! i have to start getting busy with my london to do lists before i completely run out of time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

mr. darcy

i am currently searching for my mr. darcy.
if you know who/where he is, i would really appreciate it if you told me.
this past week for our day trip we had a jane austen extravaganza.
what else could a girl ask for?
it made me want to read all of the books and see all of the movies again, which i plan to do soon.

stourhead landscape gardens was our first stop of the day.
this might look familiar from the 2005 pride and prejudice movie. remember the rain scene? where mr. darcy and elizabeth almost kiss? that was at stourhead, the most incredible, expansive and beautiful gardens in england, possibly in the world.
also, it was a sunny day! this is rare, but made our experience there so much more amazing.

"i love you. most ardently." -mr. darcy

we then stopped at jane austen's home in chawton. i love jane austen. i have read pride and prejudice, sense and sensibility, emma and northanger abbey, but after visiting her house i want to reread all of those and her other two. i realized that i am obsessed with the worlds that she creates for her characters and would absolutely love to live in that time period. if i were elizabeth bennett i would find mr. darcy and live the rest of my life with him. life would be bliss.

jane austen died while living in the little town of winchester, and is buried in winchester cathedral. she originally had this really simple gravemarker on the floor of the cathedral, but when her books became more accepted as great literary achievements a more elaborate plaque and large stain-glass window were added.

also, in winchester at the great hall they have a 12th century round table. like king arthur's round table. it was very cool, massive (it weighed 2400 pounds) and so old.

midterms have been keeping me very stressed, tense and busy this week. but, i had the amazing opportunity last night of seeing the london philharmonic orchestra perform at royal festival hall. the concert hall was the biggest one that i have ever been in and the concert itself was amazing. the piano soloist, although she was dressed in an owl dress, was absolutely incredible. i loved sitting there for a few hours with my great new london friends enjoying the music and getting away from the stress of school.

i am sort of depressed with how quickly time is going by. it is already time for our trip to paris next week! i am unbelievably excited though. i went to paris for a few days almost two summers ago, so i already know things that i want to do again. i can't wait.

and here is my favorite quote currently:
"when a man is sick of london he is sick of life; for there is in london all that life can afford."
-samuel johnson