Thursday, January 28, 2010

on my own.

we are on a harry potter kick. i mean, being in england automatically causes us to speak in british accents. and obviously, this relates directly to harry potter. so... after quoting harry potter all week we decided it was time to take a trip to king's cross station in an attempt to go to hogwarts. sadly, this plan failed. we plan to dress up and try again in a few weeks. hopefully it works.

monday night was a life changing experience for me. i have no idea where les miserables has been all of my life. like, i read the abridged novel in ninth grade, and i had friends that were pretty much obsessed with the musical, but i never really thought much about it. i have no idea why because i absolutely love musicals. we decided to try our chances at standby tickets, and ended up with eighth row seats. it was AMAZING. i have been listening to the songs non stop ever since. it was a wonderfully complete night with les mis, ice cream, running up the escalators and being embarrassing on the lift.

roommates at les mis (well, plus karalyn and minus brittany and kira)

"one day more" - one of my favorites
the revolutionist in the picture is also a favorite.

on wednesday we went on another great day trip. we started the day off by going to brighton and seeing the royal pavilion. it was such a beautiful and ornate building. i loved every second that we spent looking around there. the architecture is indian and the interior is decorated chinese. a beautiful and intriguing combination.

royal pavilion

brighton pier

we spent most of the afternoon at battle abbey, the site of the battle of hastings. it was freezing, muddy, and there were a lot of sheep. nevertheless, it was interesting and very cool to be there.

i love anna, matching, and pink backpacks.

the last place we went was the cutest little town called rye. we just walked around for like an hour, but i loved it! it was SO adorable. i would love living in a small, quaint town like it.

favorite cobblestone road.

what a lovely place for a cup of tea.

today i went to see a play called nation with my family. i didn't know what to expect when i went because i had never heard of it before. but, it was so entertaining, i LOVED it. caroline and i are obsessed with mau, the beautiful, ripped, gorgeous black man who played the lead. i am pretty sure that we both spent the rest of the afternoon looking him up on the internet. ahhhh. MAU!!!!

it has been such a great week. seriously, every day has been great. i love london!

"will. not. happen." - daphne and mau

Sunday, January 24, 2010

the young victoria.

there are several reasons why i love this movie.
first: i am staying pretty much half a block away from kensington gardens and kensington palace, where princess victoria lived.
second: prince albert.
third: unrealistic hopes for love and relationships. but, seriously. guys need to watch this movie so that they know what girls deserve!
fourth: knowing that royalty have real lives and real relationships.
fifth: victoria became queen when she was eighteen, and i am eighteen.
sixth: it was absolutely the cutest movie i have pretty much ever seen. seriously, i can't wait until i can watch it again.

i suggest that everyone see this movie. you will love it.
kensington palace

my obsession with queen victoria grew when i went with my family to see inside of kensington palace today. seeing the palace is definitely one of my absolutely favorite things that i have done so far on the trip. i seriously loved it so much!

at the palace they are having an exhibition on the last debs. oh my goodness, never before in my life have i wanted to be a princess so badly.
i tried my hardest to learn their five etiquette lessons:

very useful. if the picture were clearer you could read the 'polite' way to decline an invite.

surprisingly, i balanced the book on my head.

since there were no handsome guys there to dance with me, my dad eagerly became my dancing partner.

Most favorite part of the entire exhibit. The deb dresses!!!

evening wear:
love, love, LOVE the one on the left.

afternoon party dresses:
again, the one on the left is my favorite. why don't they make dresses like these anymore?

so many accessories for one weekend!

Arguably my favorite part of london so far.

Friday, January 22, 2010


It has been an incredible week. Study abroad is amazing. I am already having such a great time! Some highlights from the week:

friday - 15th
•The Tower of London. I absolutely loved the Tower. If the guards there would let me, I would spend an entire day just looking at the crown jewels. Seriously. Also, I wish that the chopping block was still there for people to see. After reading many historical novels about Anne Boleyn in elementary school, I have had an irrational fear of being beheaded. Seeing it would have helped me face my fears.

•Borough Market. Only the most amazing collection of unique food vendors that I have ever seen. The market runs every weekend, and I am most definitely going to return to drink some more of the most delicious apple cider in the world.
•The beginning of kitchen crew. Actually, this wasn't a highlight, more of an awful event that had to happen sometime since each student has to do it for two weeks throughout the semester. It was not until later in the week that I started loving it.

saturday - 16th
•Portobello Road - again. We walked the short couple of blocks to Portobello Road in pursuit of crepes. And let me tell you, we will be returning, for sure. Nutella, bananas and crepes. I don't know if there could be a better combination.

sunday - 17th
•I was so excited to go to my new ward because I had heard that everyone always has incredible experiences at church. However, after going on the tube for an hour to the ghetto side of London and following our directions perfectly, my church group found a locked gate and a friendly person who told us that mormons hadn't met there for over a year. We'll try next week.
•Family trip to the National Gallery, my favorite museum and sunday afternoon activity.

monday - 18th
•Other than a kebab run for lunch, Monday was rather uneventful. I was too scared to go on the Jack the Ripper night walk, so I caught up on homework for most of the night.
•Gelato Mio for the first time. Practically a life - changing experience. The best news is that it is only two blocks away. Also, they have a punch card and I will have no difficulty getting enough for a free one. It is SOOO good.

tuesday - 19th
•British Museum
•Gelato Mio, again. I told you, it is SOOO good.

wednesday - 20th
•Stonehenge. Even though it was freezing, raining and muddy, it was extremely cool to see.

•Salisbury Cathedral. Gothic cathedrals are incredible, and this one is no exception. I got a ton of really good pictures inside. It is so beautiful.

•Bath. Bath is the cutest town that I have ever seen. We went to the Roman baths and Bath Abbey, which were both great. I was particularly excited to see the Assembly Rooms that are written about by Jane Austen. Also, I am already excited to go back to Bath in the spring.

•Pasty Presto. Who knew pasties were so good? Before today, I didn't know what pasties were.
•This is not a highlight, but is hard to be forgotten. Me+long bus trips=car sickness. Definitely not something that I am looking forward to every week.

thursday - 21st
•We have classes pretty much all day long on thursday, which is boring. BUT, some of us took a break to walk to Hyde Park and feed the "cute" ducks at the pond. Sounds fun, right? Wrong. I never knew that I was so afraid of birds. Ducks, geese, swans and pigeons came from all directions just to devour our heels of bread. I thought we were going to be attacked. I did not have the courage to actually feed the birds. It was bad enough to observe from the side. Terrifying, traumatic experience.

•Kitchen crew. I can't really explain why this was a highlight. But i looked forward to this night all week, and it was not disappointing. Some of the best fun and conversation that I've had while being here.

friday - 22nd
•Westminster Abbey - so beautiful. Seeing all of the important royalty, authors, scientists and other people graves was really cool too.
•National Gallery, again. Apparently it is becoming a bi-weekly tradition.
•Roommate night! This included shopping on Oxford Street and a visit to Gelato Mio. We really need to control ourselves. The gelato is seriously SOOO good though!

Well, that is pretty much my entire week. Classes are so good. I love them. I also love doing homework at museums, it is so much better than just reading a book. I acquired some earplugs which facilitate sleeping and homework.

Everything is amazing and I am excited for another week. We are just trying to plan out the weekend. I think that a trip to Borough Market is definitely being considered.

"SWANS!" - anna hayes

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

defying gravity

london is incredible. seriously.
i have been here less than a week, and i already love it.
i feel a little overwhelmed because there is so much to do
and so much to see.
but this just makes me look forward to the next six months more and more.

the living situation is kind of insane. I am in a room with 13 other girls - crazy. it is sort of split in half, and the girls on my side are really fun. the place where we live is in the sort of in the ritzy part of london, and it is this cute, old fashioned six story apartment building. it is great. although, we have been warned about the rats in london. every time that i see a dark shadow or hear a little squeak, i am paranoid and think that it is a rat. it probably is, but i'm just not going to think about that. another thing about the house that i'm trying not to think about is the glass paned showers. we are trying to invent a way in which our towel can cover the door somehow. yesterday, that plan failed though and the towel landed on the floor.

we are trying not to act like tourists. i mean, we are going to be here for awhile, so what's the need to take a million pictures everywhere we go?? that plan worked until we decided to make a side trip to see big ben yesterday. hence, the pictures.

st. pauls cathedral

the london eye

tourists at big ben - man they look ridiculous.

last night was incredible. we decided to try our luck and attempt getting standby tickets to wicked. not only did we get a great price on the tickets, we had amazing seats. i love wicked. it was my third time seeing it, and i still love it, and still love the songs, even though i have heard them over 50 times each. musicals in london are the best, i plan to see many more.


i love classes here. today we went to the national gallery for an assignment which was great. i love that museum. there are so many great artists and some of my favorite paintings.

i am planning what jess and i are going to do when she comes to visit. i am so excited for her to come! les, jess and the traveling dress are going to see everything.

"guys, it looks like you have a lot of feng shui."
"can people even have feng shui?"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

london's calling

it's been awhile, but not much has happened.
craft days, trips to salt lake, finals, christmas break
and life have kept us busy.

some sad things to report:
leslie leaves tomorrow for six months.
jess leaves in four months for six months.
study abroad will be amazing...
not seeing each other for eight months, not so amazing.
jess' bottlecap necklace did not turn out as hoped.

some exciting things to report:
leslie is going to london for six months, and leaves tomorrow.
leslie will attempt to obtain a british accent.
jess will be going to austria in april.
jess will learn german, and no one will understand what she is saying.

flying in airplanes is one of my absolutely least favorite things to do. i hate the smell. i hate the sound of strangers breathing. i hate the germs. i hate the food they serve. i hate being bored and trapped. i hate motion sickness. i hate having to pop my ears and not being able to.

i will just need to focus on the things i love about them. i love the flight attendant movie they show right before take off. i love doing sudoku puzzles. i love catching up in my journal. i love people watching (but not in a creepy way). and most of all, i love getting to the destination that you have looked forward to for so long.

i am bound to forget something extremely important in my packing. it pretty much always happens. hopefully i manage to remember my passport, laptop, warm coat and headwrap. with those things, i will survive.

after a new years resolution to keep in touch, we will be updating the blog bi-weekly. (each taking a turn.) who knows, this might be our best year ever.

"Well, one of you can use the capital 's' and the other one can use the lower case." han
"And, why would we need to do that?" el
"You know, E.S. and L.S., for your initials." han

han, we love you. but, for future reference, my initials are L.M.

"just let it happen"
les and jess