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.