5.31.2012

hola barcelona

Arrived in Barcelona today. Our hotel is bomb. Seriously, it's way nice. I'm really excited about it.
I'm also in the middle of the most intensely long final of my life.
I can't believe this trip has gone by so fast. It's blowing my mind.
I'll catch up on recaps tomorrow. Much love!

5.30.2012

what the world needs now...

Last night in Paris and for some reason, this song is on my mind.

day 21 - adventure walks and a great cafe

Today was a wonderful day. Maybe I'll just end it at that.
...
Okay, I guess I'll post ;)

We had a free day today, a chance to do whatever we'd like. We had a relaxing morning and then headed off to go see Sainte Chapelle. We ended up getting off the wrong stop (oops) and had to walk a pretty long ways to get to the chapel. I'm so happy that happened though. It was a gorgeous day and being Sunday, everyone was out and about. It was so fun seeing all the life in the streets and parks of Paris.
We walked through the Luxembourg gardens and there were so many people hanging out, sunbathing, playing with boats in the fountain. There was a jazz band playing and people eating ice cream in the shade. It was wonderful to be a part of.
After walking through the park, we found the great and awesome Pantheon by accident. How dandy is that? And of course we went inside :) It was beautiful and big of course. We even saw Victor Hugo in the crypt. Swell guy. And even better, we also saw Courtney. What a lovely lady. She's been a fabulous teacher.
We then headed back on our venture towards St. Chapelle and wow that church is "incroyable". There are amazing, tall stained glass windows with beautifully painted ceilings. It's honestly breath taking. A must see if you're in Paris.
On Sundays, the flower market right by St. Chapelle also turns into a bird market so of course we stopped by that. So cute! Birds and flowers every where, I was so happy and such a girl haha :)
We (Mirielle, Tia, Conner and I ... Clark and Rick took off) decided to get food at a great little cafe by the bird market after our adventures were over. A little secret? I've been kind of splurging on food out here. It's so good! The pastries and the food and the baguettes, yum yum yum. I haven't been splurging too much, but definitely way more than London. Everything just tastes so delicious. I got a great sandwich and split a creme brulee with Mirielle. Oh heaven. It was delicious. It was such a relaxing and fun evening just talking and enjoying our food. I am so in love with the restaurants in Paris. Almost all of them have the majority of their tables outside and the whole environment is so relaxed and pleasant. Eating out takes a long time, usually almost 2 hours. It's chill, it's fun, it's relaxing. I love love love it.
Oh! The best thing yet? I spoke french with the waitress the whole time. Huzzah! I was so excited that I understood her and was able to respond to her questions. Oh man. Those 6 years of french paid off in that one evening haha!
Another thing about Paris. There are street performers everywhere. And they're usually pretty legit. While we were eating dinner, there was a skating group performing in the square. They wore cute little cliche french outfits and skated to Amelie music. It was adorable to watch :)

We finally got home and hung out in our hotel. For some reason we were super hyper and giggly. Tia, Mirielle and I just could not stop laughing, it was super fun and very unproductive in the homework area ;)

That was my wonderful day! Not really too much to write about, so you'll just have to trust that it was amazing.

packing to leave paris

I really am going to update my blog, promise. But for now, I'm packing to leave Paris.
I'm so sad my Paris trip is already over...
While we pack, we have window is open as usual and it's raining outside.
How beautifully cliche for my sad little moment.
At least is smells wonderful :)

5.28.2012

I guess I can play tourist...

A post made up entirely of photos. And not only are they photos, they're cheesy tourist photos, yyyeeessss ;)

Photo descriptions:
1: Tia and I at Versailles with the gardens in the background.
2: Me in front of the Versailles palace.
3: (Left) Me in front of Marie Antoinette's farm that she used as a vacation place.
4: (Right) In front of the Louvre pyramid.
5: In front of the Mona Lisa. The tiny little brown thing on the wall. We really just wanted to show the massive, ridiculous crowd in front of it :P
6: What I do when I get distracted from homework.





5.27.2012

a morning post - street markets

Since we sleep with the windows open, this is what I wake up to in the morning and I love it. The music, the hustle and bustle, the people and the excitement. Love :)

I had a video, but blogger won't let me upload it :( so just imagine with this picture. It was taken from out my window this morning.

5.26.2012

day 20 - pompidou

I'm currently writing this blog while I eat nutella straight from the jar (glass jar mind you, those classy europeans) and listening to the angry, drunk frenchman yelling outside our window. Update: I think the police just came to take him away... there's no more yelling. Only the sweet voices of the Civil Wars, love.

A story I forgot to share. At the Eiffel tower, I got to hold a bunny. And it started clawing me to get down. I was very sad and confused until I put it down and it peed on the floor. What a good little bunny not peeing on me.
That's the end of my story.

Today we went to the Pompidou Center, an art museum full of post modern artwork. I loved it! There were some amazing pieces. The ones that stick out currently... a whole lot of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, etc... (bleh, not a big fan). A Jackson Pollock (beautiful), Andy Warhol (always great), Rothko (amazing) and Klein and his International Klein Blue which is astounding in person and will vibrate your eyeballs (in a good way). And my favorite part of the day was when we went outside and there was a marching band playing awesome songs in the courtyard. The composer was so entertaining and was so into it. He was dancing about leading the music while the huge crowd clapped and danced, so fun! I really enjoyed it.

Then Mirielle and I went home to do laundry, homework and catching up on editing and journaling/blogging. It's been a relaxing evening (partially forced because we have no idea where everyone went haha). I particularly enjoyed walking through the streets before sun down, the weather was perfect and there were a lot of people out. Such a nice evening :)

Ps, this is the view from our window that we leave open constantly. To see this constantly. Because who wouldn't want to see this constantly?


Pss, do you guys like how I normally put links to all the things that I've been talking about? Would you like me to keep doing that? If no one responds, I'll stop. 

day 19 - the louvre.

Today, today was an epic day.
It was a day that we have been training for for weeks.
Today, we went to the giant of giants.
Today, we competed in the final round of an epic tournament.
Today, we conquered the olympics of museums.
Today...
...we went to the Louvre.

Here are some facts about the Louvre that you might enjoy:
- The Louvre is the most visited art museum and one of the largest museums in the world.
- Louis XIV used to ride his horses through the halls of the Louvre when it was the palace.
- The pyramid in the center of the Louvre was created to facilitate the large number of people going into the museum. It was controversial at first, but just like the Eiffel Tower, has become iconic to France.
- If you were to spend 30 seconds looking at each piece in the Louvre (and this doesn't count the time it takes to walk between pieces) it would take over 4 and a half weeks to see the entire museum. It's true, I just did the math.
- About 6 million people view the Mona Lisa held in the Louvre each year. It's currently in an enclosed space that's climate controlled behind bullet proof glass. The Mona Lisa has also been stolen twice and attacked multiple times.
- During WWII, the Louvre was almost entirely emptied and the artwork was hidden all over France to keep Hitler from confiscating it (like he had with so much of the artwork over Europe). Only the largest pieces were left behind. It's amazing to me the work and passion that went into preserving the historic artworks of the Louvre.

We had a late start today but were able to get stuff done before hitting up the beast of beasts. When we finally got to the Louvre, Mirielle, Tia and I teamed up. Our first mission was to find a map.
Check.
Our second mission was to plan the most efficient route possible through the museum to maximize the amount of works viewed.
Check.
Mission number 3: Assignments were then given to each team member to aide in efficiency.
Tia- "map goddess", responsibility: keep track of rooms viewed and location in museum.
Mirielle- "keeper of the arts", responsibility: mark rooms on the map with significant work to be revisited.
Me- "hero historian", responsibility: distinguish the style of the artwork based on the time period and stylistic techniques.
Check.
Time limits were then placed on viewing artworks.
Check.
With our team prepped and ready to win, we then set out to conquer the Louvre.
And my friends...
we conquered the Louvre.

Our reward for such hard work was enjoying the evening in front of the pyramid while the sun went down. Filming in the sunset, laughing, photography and enjoying the beautiful atmosphere and life of France. What a win :)

day 18 - d'orsay, rodin, napoleon and snails

I am doing so much in Paris. I'm out all day and all night doing amazing things and it's been hard keeping up on this blog, but I am not giving up! It just may happen all in chunks :)

Things about Paris:
- It's really nice that traffic drives in the same direction as the US. I hated crossing the street in London, I always thought I was going to get hit by a car.
- Everyone smokes, just like London.
- I'm not sure if it was the area I was in, but I feel like people in London dress way better than the folks in Paris. I also really like the clothes shopping in London a whole lot better. So if you want to fashionably change your wardrobe, I would suggest shopping in London.
- I adore the beaux art style of architecture that's everywhere in Paris. It's gorgeous.
- It's warm in Paris! No more wearing sweaters in 40 degree, overcast weather. There's actually sun and heat. I am wearing shorts. What? Yes, shorts. It feels oh so good.
- Baguettes are delicious and cheap. Make for a great dinner. Especially when you have nutella ;)
- Everyone always tells me that Paris is dirty. I disagree. It's not dirty, I mean, there's not garbage everywhere or anything... but there definitely is a whole lot more graffiti than there was in London. So I guess that could give the sense of dirty.
- There are restaurants everywhere that have the tables outside in the open air with the chairs facing out so you can sit and watch while you eat. I adore it. I wish all restaurants where like that.

 Today we went to the d'Orsay Museum. I really liked it a lot. It had a lot of impressionist and post impressionist work. They also had an entire exhibit on Degas that showed work through out his life and career as an artist. It was incredibly interesting to see the development of his style and techniques through the years. He was ridiculously talented, I really love Degas. 
One thing that I've loved about going to so many museums is that it's a completely different experience seeing these pieces in person as oppose to seeing them in a textbook or a photo on the internet. There's been a lot of pieces or styles that I never liked when studying them in class, but seeing them in person has completely changed my perspective of them. For example, I never liked Van Gogh. But after seeing so much of his work in person (especially at the d'Orsay) and associating his work with his story... I was enchanted. My opinions toward his work has taken a new turn. I adore it now. There are still some pieces that I don't like much, but there was some his work that I couldn't stop staring at, it mesmerized me. I really have gained an appreciation for Van Gogh that I never had before. 
I've also decided that I don't like Monet after the 1870's. I don't mind his early work, it's completely different than his impressionistic work that he's so famous for but I just don't like his work that much. There's usually not a focal point or contrast and the colors are too much. It's bleh to me. But I adore Manet. His post impressionistic work is beautiful. I love Degas. I now love Van Gogh.... Those are just some of the conclusions I've come to :)

After the d'Orsay, he walked over to the Rodin Museum. He was a famous sculpture that completely changed the process of sculpture and basically gave other sculptures the freedom to experiment and enter the modern art era. His sculptures were placed around a lovely garden to walk through. Have you ever seen Midnight in Paris? There's a scene in the Rodin garden at the base of the Thinker. Made me smile. It was nice to eat lunch in the shade and talk with Tia, Rick and Clark while being surrounded by beautiful art. I sure love those guys :)

When we finished, we walked over to the tomb of Napoleon. It's huge under a giant dome in a gorgeous building. Pretty crazy that the giant thing was built for an emperor that had been exiled.
Clark and I wandered off in a happy fit of shooting joy and ended up loosing Tia, Rick and Mirielle. Oops. We had a really good time though, we got some pretty rad shots.

We went home and met up with the crew and decided to go out to dinner and enjoy the french way of eating out. We walked down the road to a great little italian restaurant that had enough room to compensate for our large group (11 people). I got a calzone and wow it was good. As in super good. Yum! And I even bought desert! Look at me splurge and live it up in Europe, haha :) And guess what else I ate? A snail! Yuck. But not really, because it actually was really good. It almost had the texture of a mushroom and tasted like the sauce it was cooked with which was a pesto-y goodness. I was surprised at how much I liked it, who would've thought?
It was such a fun night with friends. I'm glad I got to make a great memory with such great people.

We went home after and did school stuff. Psh, school ;) Kidding, I love school. John said I was like Lisa from the Simpsons. Made me laugh.

C'est tout pour jour 18 :)

day 17 - versailles and midnight strolls

Hello friends :) I'm now going to attempt to catch up on the last 4 days because the internet is working right now, huzzah!

Today, we went to the magical and ridiculously ornate palace of Versailles. A recent estimate on how much it cost to build Versailles in the late 1600's (but in modern day pricing) was placed at over 2 billion USD and it seriously was beautiful. The hall of mirrors was absolutely astounding. It amazes me that it was built for a person, a single person. Obviously other people lived there, but the intention was for one individual.
Every inch that could be decorated, was decorated. And not just simply decorated, but extremely ornate. The ceilings had intricate crown molding and murals painted. The doors had the most detailed gold plated wood work decorating the surface. The walls had beautiful, expensive wallpaper (obviously not original but from the restoration) and giant paintings hung on the wall with marble sculptures everywhere. Lots of gold, lots of marble, lots of expensive materials and lots of money. It was pretty amazing really. And huge. The palace was ransacked and destroyed during the revolution and they've only recently restored a very small portion. I would so love to see the other parts of the palace that are still destroyed. It would be really interesting to see the contrast between the two.
The gardens of Versailles were probably my favorite part. They were enormous. As in miles long and wide. Here's a link to a map to get an idea of the size. The big, cross shaped thing in the middle of the garden is water. Pay attention to it's massive size for a moment... now image Tia, Mirielle and I walking around the whole thing because yup, that happened. Not the best idea I've ever had. It was pretty nice though, very relaxing and fun in it's own slightly awful way.
I really enjoyed Marie Antoinette's little village and farm that she would escape to. It was adorable and the perfect little picturesque place to get away from royalty life. No wonder she loved it so much. While we were wandering and about to leave, we heard someone call our names and looked over to see Clark perched up on a little hill waving us down. Apparently he had taken a nap there, I wasn't surprised in the least bit, ha! We ran up his way and joined him on a little, grassy hill under the shade of big, old trees and enjoyed looking out on the farm with the sound of a stream running past us. How much more ideal can you get? It was a pretty great moment.

We eventually walked back to the palace and headed back home. Ate dinner and relaxed a bit before deciding to make a night trip to the Eiffel tower. We don't have unlimited metro passes like we did in London, so there's a lot of walking. Including to the Eiffel tower. It took about an hour to walk there. And I didn't want to see the tower until I was right up close to it for the full experience, so I looked at the ground and/or shielded my eyes while we were walking the whole way. Towards the end I was practically covering my eyes and holding onto Clark's backpack while he led me through the crowd. I opened my eyes when we got to the base.... and wow... it literally took my breath away. I was completely shocked from being so giddy and so overwhelmed by the massive size. It was everything that I hoped it would be and so much more. A little secret? There were some tears. I was so overwhelmed and so happy that I was there. I would highly, highly recommend seeing the Eiffel tower for the first time at night. It's pure magic.
At night on the hour for about 5 minutes, the tower sparkles. I've seen it before in movies but it's nothing compared to seeing it in person. And then right before they turn the lights off (1am) they turn off the lights to the tower and just turn on the sparkling lights. It's incredible. It's like an out of control starry night. Like I mentioned before, pure magic.
While we (Clark, Rick, Tia and I) were taking pictures and having a good time, a very drunk frenchman came up to us and asked Rick if he would take his picture with his "very professional camera" and Rick agreed. The guy was a riot, soooo funny. He was so happy about the picture that wasn't a terrible camera phone picture that he grabbed Rick's face and kissed him on the cheek and told us to come to his restaurant for free crepes. It was pretty hilarious for sure.

Walking home took over an hour but was full of fun jokes and goofing off. And then I finally got to bed at 2:45 am, late night for sure but probably one of my favorite days out in Europe so far.
This place is just amazing.

5.22.2012

day 15 & 16 - goodbye london, bonjour paris!

I couldn’t write yesterday because I was having issues connecting to the internet. In other words, the internet sucks and there will probably be more days when I won’t be able to write :P

I’m going to start with day 15 (Monday).

Today we woke up at 5am to get ready and meet John and Courtney at the tube station. We then headed our way over to Kings Cross (Harry Potter fans?) to leave for Paris. We took the Eurostar to Paris and got into town at about noon. I slept the whole way and it was wonderful. I was surprised at how comfortable the train was, a lot more than airplanes for sure.

We walked to our hotel in a torrential downpour and when we got to the hotel, they didn’t have our rooms ready so we dumped our luggage and went to find something to do while we killed time for 2 hours. Since we didn’t know where anything was, Tia, Clark, Mirielle and I just wandered around in the rain. We didn’t find anything interesting and came back to the hotel wet and cold, it was pretty epic in its lack of epic-ness. Not the best introduction to the beautiful city of lights.

Later that night, we had lectures with Courtney and John and then some of us girls went to shoot Tia with a speedlight and some crazy makeup. I got a shot I actually really like. It was fun!
That was day 15, mostly travel and adjustment, but still pretty good.

Now for day 16 (today).

We met this morning and headed over to Notre Dame. I’m definitely not getting over seeing these places in person; I still catch my breath from how incredible they all are.

Lesson learned of the day:
Don’t forget your memory card. Your heavy camera will become an expensive paperweight and your heart will cry in agony from not being able to document the beauties that you see.

As you can assume, I wasn’t able to take pictures today. So the couple hours that we spent in Notre Dame were spent writing in my journal and sketching what I saw. It was enjoyable for sure, more so when I got over being upset about my memory card.
Afterwards, we walked down the Seine river and headed over to Hotel de Ville for our wonderful and magical, wait for it…. bike tour of Paris.
And it was so good!
We rode around the back roads of Paris along with some famous landmarks and the tour guide would stop and tell us facts about the city and the places we were stopping. It was so great being able to see the picturesque spots that most tourists don’t know about and don’t go. And it was great getting a sense of the city and the layout. It was even better being able to ride a bike through the cobblestone streets with markets and smells of fresh bakeries. What a romantic introduction to Paris.

When it was over, we stopped by the market and I grabbed a baguette and some herb cheese for dinner (ya ya ya Shauna, I don’t want to hear it, it was more like garlic herb cream cheese).
Now we’re in the boy’s hotel room watching a movie.
It’s definitely been a beautiful day!

Thoughts:
#1: Paris is magical, beautiful, lovely, enchanting and wonderful. I fell in love with London, but London is nothing compared to how I feel about Paris. It’s everything I hoped it would be. I love it here so very much. I wish so bad that I didn’t forget all of my French, but I’m glad I at least remember some :)
#2: (This one is for Jessy) I never thought this would ever, ever happen… but I’m obsessed with nutella. Holy smokes that stuff is good. I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon but here I am…. on the bandwagon.
#3: Tomorrow we’re going to Versailles. I don’t think that I have to say anything more about how amazing this is going to be.

My photo of Tia:

5.20.2012

day 14 - evensong and packing

Today we went to church (LDS church) and it was dandy. It was their stake conference and it was great :) We hopped right over to the V&A museum right after that so I could see the fashion and ball gown exhibit that just barely opened.
Oh my heart.
I was soooo happy to be there. The dresses were just lovely and beautiful and perfect. I was in heaven. I think I took video of every dress there, that's a lot of video :P

After we went to Evensong at Westminster Abbey. We were late so we had to sit in the back. But the organ playing and the choir singing in the amazing abbey... it was heavenly. The music was absolutely beautiful. It was so wonderful to just sit and look at the gorgeous building and listen to the peaceful, soothing music. What a great experience.

I've just been home all day after that packing and getting things done. I'm sad to leave London. I really like it here. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled for Paris... but this is all just going by too fast. It makes me a little sad. I'm so grateful I'm out here though. I've already learned so much about art, history and myself. It's been a really wonderful opportunity :)

5.19.2012

day 13 - free day

It's much too late. Really. Almost 2:30 am. But I refuse to keep putting off my blog writing, if I do, it'll never get done and then I will never catch up. I have a hard enough time remembering what happened today let alone last week...

Today was a free day. I slept in, made a wonderful breakfast, took a long shower... it was a relaxing and lovely morning. Then Tia, Mirielle and I went to Portobello road to check out the markets. Wow it was crowded. As in crazy crowded. It was a holiday today, too, which doesn't help with the masses. Imagine this... the Beatles came back from the dead to host one last concert, there's no limit of tickets... and admission is free. That's about how I felt on Portobello road :P The streets were lined with venders and filled with people. It was a sea of people. A massive sea of people. And there were so many vendors. We walked a long ways and didn't even make it half way. It was fun to see all the unique things that were being sold though. There was some pretty cool stuff. If you ever want to go antiquing, this is the place to be!

We left after we couldn't handle the crowd any longer and walked around in Hyde Park. I love that park, it's so big and pretty. It was a perfect day for a walk because it was so warm, 60's I think. The best day we've had since we've been here. We walked around a bit and found the Peter Pan statue and Tia made it a lovely tiara of flowers. And then she climbed a tree hunger games style. It was pretty legit.
Then we went home and had lunch and I accidently fell asleep on the couch while I was editing photos. Oops. I didn't do much after that. Just hung out and chatted, worked on the computer, did some homework. Not too exciting really. It was nice to have a relaxing day.

Tomorrow's my last day in London. I'm really sad about it. It's gone by too quick already. I really love London and I'm sad to leave (crazy excited for Paris, but sad to go). Who knows when I'll get another chance to come back to London. Hopefully sooner than later :)

This was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Portobello road. I now have a video of me singing this song while on Portobello road :)

day 12 - st. paul's, saatchi and night shooting

I'm now going to catch up on my free pass day and write about day 12 :)

But first, a funny I forgot to share... Remember how I mentioned that everyone I've met out here has been American? There was a group of people sitting in front of us at Les Mis that we started talking to before the show started and guess where they were from? Yup, Orem. Ha!

Today we went back to see St. Paul's Cathedral. It is just stunning inside. It amazes me the abilities they had in the 1600's. In my head, I don't give them enough credit for being so advanced. Sometimes I think of people from the 1700's and earlier as cavemen haha, I know better, but it still surprises me every time when I see things like St. Paul's Cathedral. The building was incredible.
We were able to climb stairs up to a gallery view in the dome of the cathedral (called the Whispering Gallery). It was really awesome being so high up and being able to look down into the dome and through the cathedral. There's also a small staircase you can climb to get to the top of the dome and go outside to see the city. The staircase was small and spiraled and super sketchy (or dodgy *said with english accent). There was a part right before getting to the top of the dome when you could stand on a metal plate and look through a hole covered with glass that showed you were at the very top of the dome. You could see from the top all the way to the bottom of the cathedral. Talk about a trip! I had major vertigo for sure, it was crazy. I'll put up the video I took from it.. unfortunately it does it no justice whatsoever. But it really was amazing.
Once we got to the top, the view was incredible. It was basically a living panorama of London. How fantastic! I wish we could've stayed up longer, I would've enjoyed more time up there.

After the cathedral, we went over to the Saatchi Gallery. Love love love! The gallery itself was beautiful. The rooms were large and had lovely, light wooden floors. And the majority of the exhibits were photography which made my heart sing. Some of them were beautiful, brilliant and I looooved them. I felt so inspired by so many of the images.  However, there were a few artists who's work I found to be almost offensive. One in particular was a female artist who took a bunch of photos of nude women (possibly just one girl, I'm not sure) in crude poses. It was basically just naked women, booze and sex. And the photography was awful. Bad lighting, poor composition and it looked like it was basically just straight images from a point and shoot. I thought maybe the artist statement would justify in some way the demeaning images of women she displayed, but in summary, all it said was, "girls doing what girls love!"................................ really? I don't know about other girls, but that's definitely not what I love. It was just offensive. Women complain about being objectified and disrespected and then they do crap like this. It was frustrating to me and embarrassing... bleh. Yucky. But on a more positive note, I really did love the gallery! There was an exhibit in the basement (keep in mind these rooms are pretty large), where the artist lined the floors and walls with an iron "tub" that was about shoulder high and filled it with used oil. It was incredible. It was so perfectly still that it mirrored the ceiling above and it honestly took me about 30 seconds for my mind to realize that it was a reflection and even then, it took a minute for my head to sort it all out and figure out what was going on. It was trippy. And absolutely beautiful. I never thought I'd say that about used oil.

We later walked down the street to a little gallery shop that was full of original prints from famous photographers. Super cool to see them. There were some Brian Duffy's and... others... I don't even remember really. But there were some beautiful prints of the beetles, David Bowie, Twiggy, etc...

After a few hours of chill time, eating, etc.... and waiting until dark, a few of us went out to night shoot. I'm not terribly excited about the images that came from it, but some of them were fun. I think the experience was the best part.

And that was that for day 12 :)

(This is the clip of the view from the top of the dome. It's kind of hard to really get a sense of how amazing it was... so just imagine ;) ... and forgive my filming abilities, I'm slowly getting better. But it's slow.)
video

5.18.2012

i think it's a pass day...

I went night shooting tonight by the Big Ben and well, it's now 1 am and I haven't written my blog yet and I'm getting up ridiculously soon... so today I'm going to have to pass on blog writing. I'm sorry! I'll catch tomorrow though :)

5.17.2012

day 11 - design museum and les miserables

I feel like my entire day was nothing compared to how amazing tonight was. But I'll get to that :)

First things first.
I'm incredibly snacky at night lately. Holy smokes! All I want is mars bars and chips and bread and ice cream and chocolate and popcorn and eggs and orange juice and truffles and...... I could just eat the whole world. Literally (*said with an english accent).

Today we were going to go to St. Paul's Cathedral but it was closed so we didn't. We hopped over the river and went to the Design Museum (creative name right?). It was a small museum, especially compared to the ones we've been going to lately, but despite the size, there was a lot of pretty swell stuff. One of which was a Christian Louboutin exhibit. If you don't know who Christian Louboutin is, then you're probably a boy or you don't shop for $500 shoes. Either or. (He's a famous shoe designer and his stuff is beautiful. You might know his shoes as the one's with the red soles. They are pricey little guys.) The exhibit showed a lot of his more unique, non commercial work. One of which being a shoe covered in fish skin. There were some interesting designs. Shame I couldn't try any of them on ;)

Afterwards, Tia, Clark and I walked around and found info on tickets for Les Mis. Let's just say that being a student rocks my socks off when it comes to discounts. I wish everything had a student discount... plane tickets, hotels, clothes, food.. life would rock. We finished getting our info and headed home to eat and change. After letting peeps know about going to the show tonight, filling up our bellys and dressing up to go out on the town... we headed to the Queens Theater.

I can't even tell you how excited I was to see Les Miserables. I grew up listening to the music on road trips with my family. Ever since then, I've been in love and have always wanted to see it. When the curtain raised and the music started, I thought I was going to die. I was so thrilled I could barely breathe. And really, it was incredible. It was stunning. Beautiful. Powerful. Moving. Amazing. Brilliant. All of the above. I would go into more detail but I don't want to bore you and I do need to go to bed soon. But just know that durning the last scenes, there were tears streaming down my face. This was definitely one of my favorite parts about London so far.

After the play, we (Tia, Mirielle, Clark, Rick, Kelsey, Emily, Megan and me) just walked around the busy streets to get a taste of the London night life. We watched all sorts of fun street performers, my favorite being a group of break dancers that were super entertaining. And then Kelsey got cussed out by a drunk, crazy homeless man so we decided it was time to go.

And now I'm here, typing up my blog.
The end :)

PS- I've been updating my instagram pretty regularly if you want to see more pictures and don't follow me on facebook. User name missyjean37.

5.16.2012

day 10 - the tates, alcohol and a baby shower

Today we visited the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern.
I loved the Tate Britian. Especially because they had an entire gallery of just Turner paintings. And let me tell ya, I love Turner. Lots. Times 10.
I even really enjoyed the post modern section (post modern is anything after 1970). There was a lot of really good stuff. Very well thought out and well executed.

Then we went over to the Tate Modern and all my happiness from the Tate Britain left my heart and floated away through the clouds into nothingness...
Okay, maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but I really didn't enjoy it. The majority of the museum was post modern work. One of the keys to post modern work is that it's all about the concept and idea and not necessarily about craftsmanship or the final product. And that's what frustrates me the most. I love art that has concept and something deeper than just looking pretty... but I feel like there are so many people who are using that philosophy as a cop out from producing truly good work.

I just wrote an entire long post ranting and raving about this idea and then deleted it. So that's all I'm gonna say about my thoughts on post modern art :)

In the Tate Modern's defense, there were some pieces that I liked a lot. Especially Damien Hirst's diamond skull. Over 8,000 diamonds laid in the skull. One of them a 52 carat diamond. The thing was incredible. Seriously. It was gorgeous and it absolutely blew my mind.

After we stopped by the oh so famous Hotel Chocolat. And I sampled a mystery chocolate... that was filled with rum. And it burned my mouth. I feel like it was a coming of age moment by unintentionally and unknowingly trying alcohol. Pretty nasty stuff and it was even coated in chocolate.

Then Rick made us chili for dinner. Bless that Rick. And some peeps threw him a baby shower. Are you questioning this yet? Let me explain.
Rick ordered the new Nikon D800 back in February. He was supposed to get this fabulous camera well before we left for Europe. However, due to miscommunications, employees saying things that weren't followed up, etc... he left for Europe with only a film camera and no D800.
So, they told him that they would mail it to him in London. But they didn't fill out the right customs paperwork and it got held up and after much drama and much worry... he finally got his camera. In celebration of Rick getting his baby, we are now having a baby shower. Decorations, cake, the whole 9 yards... Congratulations to the Rickster!

Now for some thoughts..

#1 - There are a ton of smokers in London. It's surprising actually how many there are.
#2 - Everyone walks their dogs through the streets and a lot of people have dogs... it makes me miss my poochies.
#3 - I really love the people in my group out here. They're awesome :)

Well, that's all my friends. I'm going to go to bed and get more than 7 hours of sleep. Yay me!

5.15.2012

day 9 - V&A, natural history, thoughts

Today we went to the Victoria & Albert Museum. I was so overwhelmed that I didn't even try to see the whole thing. That place is huge. And unfortunately, the part I was most excited for was closed (fashion and ball gowns). But it's open again on Saturday so I'm going to go back. 
They had a fabulous collection of historic photographs, paintings, amazing casts from famous sculptures around the world, etc... I think the thing that caught my eye the most was all the wonderful textiles they had from so many different cultures over the centuries. The patterns and colors were brilliant. I wanted a sample of all of them! Especially the victorian floral prints, gorgeous... gor-ge-ous.

Afterwards we stopped by the Natural History Museum....
Eh.
I don't know if I was just tired or hungry or what... but it wasn't that great to me. I wasn't really interested in taxidermy animals and bug collections so I went home to warm up and eat food (PS- it's going below freezing tonight. Yup. Below freezing.)
I then skyped with my mom and sis and made bread with Mirielle. And now I'm sitting in the kitchen with peeps just talking and editing photos.

John Fact of the day:
(Background info: there's a buddhist statue at the V&A Museum with the figure holding their hand up in a "stop" motion.)
This statue is the first ancient stop sign. Just rotate for the direction needed!

Thoughts:
#1 - Let me just say, I'm hungry all. the. time. 
Walking all day and every day is making me SO hungry. I'm like a bottomless garbage disposal, I can't eat enough.

#2 - I discovered mars bars. Ha! So yummy. And kind of a problem. I just want to go back and buy more.

#3 - My kitchen has striped tiles on the walls and I really like it.

#4 - I was really excited to meet locals and talk to people with their English accents. But so far, all the people I've talked to in the streets (save a few) have all been American. Even at church... the bishopric guy, half the speakers, one of the people saying the prayer, the sunday school teacher and the relief society teacher were all American. Seriously? So lame...

#5 - I love the TV show Sherlock even more now because I recognize the locations and know the places they talk about :) Happiness.

Goal for the night, go to bed before midnight. Let's see if that happens.

5.14.2012

day 8 - courtauld museum, sherlock, tardis

More things that I've noticed about London:
#1 - They charge you for grocery bags.
#2 - They also charge you to "Eat in".
#3 - It's really hard to get used to traffic. I'm going to get hit by a car.
#4 - I still don't really know what a "hob" is. So far we have found that a hob is:
-A shelf or projection at the back or side of a fireplace, used for keeping food or utensils warm.
-A tool used for cutting the teeth of machine parts, as of a gearwheel.
-Chiefly British A hobgoblin, sprite, or elf.
-Mischievous behavior.
-(Cookery) the flat top part of a cooking stove, or a separate flat surface, containing hotplates or burners
-(Cookery) a shelf beside an open fire, for keeping kettles, etc., hot
-(Engineering / Tools) a steel pattern used in forming a mould or die in cold metal
-(Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Animals) a male ferret

Facts:
#1 - I have a fear of trains. Riding the subway everyday has been a unique experience. I avoid the fear and adrenaline by not looking at the train when it rides up and thinking happy thoughts :)
#2 - I should check the weather more often because every day it rains hard, I just so happen to wear my Toms. At the end of the day, I'm freezing from my lack of coat and wet feet. I suggest you learn from my experience.
#3 - Clark found a shirt in the garbage and is wearing it right now. (To give him justice, it was the garbage in the laundry room and it's actually really nice.)
#4 - There are multiple lines of laundry hanging in my room. It's a sea of laundry.

Today we went to the Courtauld Museum. It used to be a personal collection. What an amazing little collection! Besides the British Museum, it's been my favorite so far. I loved it. So many names that I love from history: Rubens, Degas, Mondrian, Van Gogh, and so many others.... It's amazing seeing these works in person. You can see the texture, brushstrokes and flaws. You can see the artist as an individual coming through the work. It adds an element of life and intimacy that you don't experience when you're looking at a picture of the piece on a computer screen or projector. I've gained such an appreciation for work that I've never really liked before or just didn't care to study and now I love. And I've gained an understanding on another level that I could've never learned from a classroom. It's been an amazing experience.

After we went to the Sherlock (modern TV show) door where they film 221b Baker Street. And I of course took a picture because I love that show! And then we went to the actual 221b Baker Street where the Sherlock Museum is. I'm not a souvenir fan but I found a book named Sherlock Holmes School of Self Defense and I just absolutely could not resist. So I bought it :) And it is just great! I don't have it on me right now, but I'll type up some quotes from it later because it's pretty fabulous.

While we were on our picture op hunt, we went over to find a Dr. Who Tardis. I don't really watch Dr. Who, but I took the picture for all my Dr. Who friends, I love you all :)

We had class tonight for 19th century art history. I love art history. I wish UVU had an art history major. I would seriously consider doing it. I definitely want to do the minor if they get it in time for when I graduate. Cross your fingers.

That's all for tonight. I'm off to bed!

Forgive the last minutes Instagram photos.

My awesome book from the Sherlock Museum.

Dr. Who Tardis.

Sherlock Museum.

Modern BBC Sherlock TV Series 221b Baker St. location.

Me with Van Gogh. We're buds.

5.13.2012

side note...

Just hand washed our clothes. I didn't realize how dirty clothes got, it's kinda gross, ha!
We were dancing in the bathtub washing our clothes and now there's a sea of hang drying clothes in our room.
So great :)

day 7 - it's been a week

I've been out and about overseas for a whole week.
It went by much much too fast :(

Today we went to church. There was a YSA ward that met just down the block. It felt at home to be in sacrament meeting. Gosh I love the gospel :)

Funny saying of the day from sacrament meeting: "Bless his cotton socks."

After, we went back to the National Gallery. So beautiful. My favorites were Turner, Caravaggio and Canaletto. But those are just the first ones coming off of the top of my head right now :) The National Portrait Gallery was my favorite though. They had more 20th century work and I enjoyed it greatly.

And now we're just chillin'.
Definitely a calm day. It's been nice to relax.

I also wanted to publicly announce that I love my mother lots! Wish I could give her a great big hug right now. She's just the best :)

5.12.2012

day 6 - markets, girls night and pictures

Funny story. 
When we first got to our flat, our "RA" (I guess you could call her that), had a meeting with us and told us that we have keys to the building and that we shouldn't let people in behind us because, well, they could be a creeper trying to get in and that's not cool. So yesterday when we were coming home from Camden St, Tia was the last to come in through the door. I was watching her as she went to close the door and saw a girl running up behind her to catch it. The look of panic on Tia's face was priceless as she slammed the door behind her yelling, "I'm sorry, I can't let you in!" and then ran up the stairs in front of us to hide from the girl who was now unlocking the door to get in. I about died laughing, literally, I almost fell down the stairs. It was absolutely hysterical. The look on Tia's face and the look on the girl's face as Tia slammed the door hahaha, so so wonderfully hilarious :)

Some things that I've noticed about London.
#1: It's cold. Always.
#2: The public bathrooms are more private than American ones, the doors are usually floor to ceiling.
#3: There are never toilet seat cover tissue thingys in the bathrooms.
#4: McDonalds are really nice. Seriously. They have awesome colored office chairs at the tables.
#5: The public transportation system here is brilliant.
#6: Back to the bathrooms, the ones I've been in so far are really nice and very clean.
#7: The grass in the parks are out of control wild. Long with weeds. Do they ever mow it? I dunno.
#8: Their hot chocolate is soooo good. I'm drinking some right now. The butter is creamier and the yogurt is thicker. Heaven. 

Weekends are our free days, we get to do whatever we'd like. We decided to go to Spitalfields Market to do some looking around. There was some pretty cute stuff. I didn't really feel like shopping though, I'm pretty stiff when it comes to spending money (which would be why I'm still wearing clothes from 9th grade... ) and so Mirielle, Rick and I broke off from the group and decided to try some good ol' fish and chips. I didn't know chips were french fries until today, I always wondered... We got them from the most recommended restaurant (poppies I think?) and wow, so good! I'm definitely a fan of this fish and chips thing.
We also went shooting around in downtown London. There were so many beautiful shapes and tones and the juxtaposition between the old London and the new London was very interesting. It was lovely. I really enjoyed shooting there.  
We went back to the flat because Rick ran out of film and we rested for a bit. Then Mirielle, Tia and I went out shopping. I got some cute sweaters for really cheap at Primark. Awesome priced stuff, it's kinda rad. And then we got ice cream cones at McDonalds and took the bus home. It felt really good to be with two close friends hanging out around the town instead of a massive group. I really enjoyed it.
Now everyone's out pub hopping and I'm drinking hot chocolate in the living room with Clark and Mirielle and listening to Bon Iver. It's lovely and relaxing. I love this trip :)

For one of the classes I'm taking out here, we get to choose our "thesis" or topic to shoot. I decided to do black and white, square format and unusual compositions for my project. Unusual meaning, unusual for me. I normally shoot very symmetrical and centered and it's starting to bother me. I want to shoot in ways that I normally wouldn't. Of course the symmetry is still coming through, but I'm starting to see things in new ways that I haven't before. It's a long and slow process, but I'm getting there :)

Here are some of the shots that I've been working on. Photo peeps, give me some good constructive criticism, I'd really appreciate the feedback. (Ps, these are more on the rough edit side... )












5.11.2012

day 5 - getty images, national gallery, camden st

The more I stay in London, the more I realize that as much as I adore this city, I don't think I could ever live here. I absolutely love the sun and there isn't any here.
But today there was sun and it made everyone happy including me :)

We went to Getty Images today. We got to meet with a photographer, an art director and another person in charge (I don't remember what he did). They went over how they ran the place and how they worked with their photographers. It was very informative and very interesting. I really enjoyed it. It also completely changed my perspective on stock photography. I had always thought it was so boring and probably the last thing in the world that I would want to do as my profession for photography. But after learning about what Getty does and what some of their hired photographers shoot... it's definitely something that I'm interested in now. If you want an idea, check out this video, it's pretty sweet.

After... Mirielle, Rick and I headed over to the National Gallery to get a head start on the museum (I tend to be slow in museums... as has been made apparent by the fact that I haven't been able to finish one yet). Instead, we ended up going to the St. Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square. We went inside and there was a string orchestra practicing for a show they were playing that night. It was incredible. The acoustics in the church were unbelievable. And the music... it was so smooth and soft on my ears, it was delicious if you could describe sound that way. Truly beautiful. What a wonderful thing to accidently stumble on.

The National Gallery was great. But unfortunately, I was so exhausted from the packed week that I couldn't take it all in... so we browsed around a bit and then left. I'm going to go tomorrow when I play catch up on all the other museums I need to go back and finish.
(Random- I ran into a friend at the museum today. Someone I haven't seen in about 2 years who's from Utah. Crazy right? Small world...)

When we finished with the gallery, we headed over to Camden Street. It's such a unique place with so much character ... and is totally sketchy. There were definitely some shady folk. Good thing I was with a group (Clark, Tia, Mirielle and Rick). We went to find food and found the funniest little alley with 3 competing food stands. One chinese, one indian, and one american. The chinese one had a guy that was totally bashing on the poor little indian stand. Clark and Mirielle got food from the indian stand and the rest of us went to the chinese stand. Now just imagine this... a very raspy and harsh robot voice that's projected crazy loud. And now in that voice, say this phrase: "yo friends are not smart, their food is bad, chicken overcooked." And if that's not hilarious to you, I guess you just had to be there because it was ridiculously hilarious :) After we found a doughnut stand and got 6 doughnuts (that were amazing!) for 2 pounds. Total score, they were delicious. I also saw a store that had the windows lined with old Singer sewing machines. It was so cool! I wanted them all. So rad. And then we went home because it was absolutely freezing.

Speaking of freezing. I had no idea/was not in any way prepared for how cold London gets/pretty much always is. I thought hey, Utah is 80 and sunny, I'm going on vacation, it's summer... it's gonna be the same. I expected rain, yes. But I didn't expect frigid cold/wind. Boo. I have a measly little cardigan.  Not cutting it. Oh wells...

We have the weekend to do whatever we'd like. I'm excited to see what comes of it!
(I'll do pictures tomorrow, too late tonight.)

5.10.2012

day 4 - tower of london, IWM

We started the day out with the Tower of London.  It was pretty interesting. I definitely enjoyed the crown jewels. The sceptre with the cross was unreal, a 530 karat diamond? Are you kidding? It was amazing. I would love to just hold that thing in my hand, it would fit perfectly since it's practically the size of my fist. And all the gold dishes they have for coronation banquet ceremonies, ca-ra-zy. It amazes me how detailed and glamorous all of it was. Out of this world. Some other places were pretty cool. Seeing the armory, the White Tower, the chopping block where heads rolled and the torture chamber. Interesting stuff. Such a rich history.


Another John fact about London:
The ravens in the Tower of London court are actually only there to protect the crown jewels. Anyone trying to steal them will be pecked to death.... and that would be a pointless death because the crown jewels are fake anyways.


Afterwards we went to the Imperial War Museum. Wow. Seriously. Wow. There was so much in that museum and once again, I didn't even come close to finishing despite the multiple hours spent inside. There were old airplanes and guns and canons and tanks, a photo exhibit featuring highly detailed and blown up portraits of soldiers, a walkway you could go through replicating what trenches were like, an exhibit going through all the wars after WW1 with artifacts and so much information your brain will melt... and lastly, a holocaust exhibit. Rick, Tia, Mirielle and I spent almost 3 hours in the holocaust exhibit alone. It was very well done, I like how they laid it out. It started out with the all the small things that Hitler did that led up to the horrors of the concentration camps towards the end. I was holding it together pretty well until the end of the exhibit where they had piles and piles of shoes from the camps. All I could think about was what the people who were wearing those shoes must have been thinking and feeling and how one moment they were wearing those shoes and the next moment they were dead. And then I saw a small pair of children's shoes. And I lost it. I just cried. It was heartbreaking and horrible. I just can't believe that someone born with the light of Christ could make choices that would lead to such evil. It really is a testament that the little things make up who we are... whether they be good or whether they be bad.

When the museum closed, Clark and I explored some streets in London that were just lovely. What I would give to live in a place like this!

And lastly, Carlos entertained me with magic tricks. I was like a 6 year old in a candy shop. I love magic tricks!

Here are some picks, I'm off to bed :)




5.09.2012

day 3 - british museum, library, tomb raiding

First, some funny short stories.

My first day here, a guy asked me where I was from. I said Utah and then asked him if he knew where that was. He replied, ya... I'm from Pennsylvania.
*Smack head* Idiot.

Our professor John has been giving us his version of British facts. Here are a couple.
The guards stomp their feet when move because hundreds of years ago the palace had problems with rodents so the guards had to subtly stomp the rats to death to keep the guests from noticing.
Big Ben was originally named Huge Hue but they changed it because it didn't roll off the tongue.

Clark found an umbrella in the trash. And of course he kept it.

I thought I could flip my laptop case in the air and catch it... I didn't. It landed on my little toe. And it hurt.

Now for day 3.

British Museum
Today we woke up and went straight to the British Museum.
Oh.
My.
Heart.
I was in heaven. We were given 3 hours of time to browse through the museum and it was definitely not enough time. The first section I went through was egyptian sculpture and honestly, I was getting emotional over how beautiful it all was (I was getting emotional over a lot in the museum actually). After so many semesters of art history classes, it was amazing being able to see the pieces that I had studied in person. It was incredible and overwhelming. Afterwards, I headed over to the greek and roman sculptures. One section that I had been looking forward to for so long was the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon. I was literally giddy seeing them in person. They are incredible! Wow.
Wow.
Wow.
Wow.
Greek sculpture is probably one of my favorite parts of art history (Hellenistic period to be exact). I'm so excited to see more at the Louvre.
There was so much at the BM that I can't even begin to write about it all. It would take forever. But know that it was incredible. I didn't even get through the whole thing. Some of us ended up going back for about an hour and I still didn't finish. We're going to go back again :) ha!

British Library
After the BM, we went over to the British Library. There's a gallery section of old treasures from their collection. It was beautiful. It was full of first editions and rare, old books from history. Some of my favorites were the illuminated manuscripts from all sorts of cultures and the book of hours. When I had studied book of hours before, I always loved how intricately painted they were but I never realized how small they were until seeing them in person. The ones we saw were on average about 4x5 inches which made the detail even more impressive. Rick was saying that they would use paint brushes with a single hair to get the detail they were getting. Amazing. Some other great things were original copies of Handel's Messiah, Jane Austen writings, Charlotte Bronte writings, Beatles lyrics written on backs of envelopes and scrap papers, and lots of other treasures. And lastly, my very favorite pieces were some original papyrus documents and Mozart's marriage contract. It talked about how Mozart wrote to his father and told him that he and his bride both cried in their small and personal ceremony. I thought it was the sweetest thing. And the original papyrus documents were fragments from the Gospel of John scrolls and the Book of Psalms. Those were my overall favorite. I couldn't stop staring at them. They just fascinated me.

Other Adventures
After all of the stuff I just wrote about, some of us broke off and we just explored. We found an art show that was exhibiting in a crypt in the bottom of an old eerie church. It was super creepy (the art and the location). And to make things even creepier, Tia, Clark and I snuck through a locked door into the other end of the crypt that was dark and dusty and scary. We pulled out our cell phone flash lights and explored the tunnels and sections that we could get to. Not gonna lie, I was freaked out. But it was awesome all at the same time. I felt like a tomb raider. Without the raiding and without the monsters.

After, we walked around to the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel by Kings Cross. What a gorgeous building! We walked around inside and I felt super out of place. Everyone was business casual/semi formal and I was in dirty jeans and wet toms. But it was lovely. And Clark grabbed some candy from the front desk that was delicious. I want to go back just to get more. No joke.

Then we went home exhausted and tired. I fell asleep on the subway. And Clark took pictures. Bleh.

When we got home, we ate and Rick made truffles (gosh I love that kid). And then Clark and I decided to play hot lava in the hallway. I miss rock climbing so I climbed the walls haha! It actually was super fun climbing everything and trying to get down the hall using door frames and window sills. Felt satisfying :)

Now for bed. Tomorrow is the crowned jewels. Yes :)

Entrance to the British Museum. Huge, overwhelming and beautiful.



Egyptian sculpture.


Greek sculpture.


Elgin marbles from the Parthenon.

5.08.2012

day 2 - playing tourist, getting lost

I woke up early this morning and walked with Tia and Mirielle to the grocery store down the road to pick up fresh bread and breakfast.
It was lovely.
Afterwards, we met up with our group and took a walking tour through parts of London. We played tourist and went by the London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Bond Street (posh shopping). When we were done with all the touring, we were told that we had the rest of the day to ourselves to do whatever we'd like. I ended up breaking off from the group and wandering around London on my own. I kind of needed some solo time and it was the perfect fix. I took the Tube (which, by the way, is brilliant and very user friendly. I already feel like I can get around London on my own and be confident about it and it's only been 2 days... ) anyways... I took the Tube over to Notting Hill and then walked around Kensington Gardens. I just kept walking and had no idea where I was so I guess you could say I was lost (even though it took me only a few minutes to find a Tube entrance and then I knew exactly where I was...). I made my way to a grocery store and then headed home.
Rick (from our group) has a culinary degree and has been making dinner for everyone every night. Bless him. I came home to pizza hot and ready to eat.. which was wonderful to say the least. And then we hung out in the kitchen and made up games and had a good time.
Now I'm in bed completely exhausted. Probably more so than yesterday. But still so happy to be here. It's amazing! I would put up pictures, but Lightroom isn't installing and I don't want to edit them all from Photoshop so you're just going to have to wait :P I'll put up a few though..

PS- English saying of the day "Don't fuff about or do anything dodgy." So ya, no fuffing about, you.

(This was an awesome bird lady I saw at Kensington Gardens.)
(The London Eye.)
(The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.)

5.07.2012

day 1 - flying, london, jet lag

It has been requested that I document my trip for people to read.
So here it is...

Lesson number one, don't accidently leave your phone in the airport bathroom. It won't be there when you get back.
Lesson number two, sometimes people are really nice and turn your phone into the lost and found so you can find it.
Basically I spent 15 minutes running around like a crazy person and found my phone right as my flight started boarding (thanks to my dad who had been calling it multiple times and told the person who answered where my terminal was).
Whew.

My flight into London was fast and smooth. I attempted to watch a few movies but got bored quickly, small screens and headphones don't tickle my fancy I guess. I instead tried to sleep... which was a fail. I ended up listening to music and tried to get comfortable which kept me pretty preoccupied.
Riding "the Tube" after landing was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Who would've thought that following signs was so easy? :P However, it was a pain with my luggage. I thought that having a luggage with wheels was going to be difficult to navigate when it came to train hoping and so I opted to having a large duffle bag.
Worst.
Idea.
Ever.
I wore it like a backpack (not a backpacking backpack, but a school backpack), there were no waist straps and it weighed 45 lbs. I thought I was going to die. It was so heavy that I had to stop every 50 ft and take a break. It was pretty hilarious actually. I flew out with my friend Mirielle and ironically she had the same stupid idea as me. We both were quite the sight hobbling down the streets of London with our giant duffle bags on our back. I couldn't stop laughing :)

Do you know where Hyde Park is? Because we're staying right across the street from it. It's a great little place, super cute. And it's by so much! The Natural Museum of History is right down the street along with the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Albert Hall. And there are tons of shops within walking distance in all directions. Some of us went walking down the streets tonight and it was just lovely. I'm so in love with London. It really is so beautiful here.

I'll try and post everyday that I'm here. We'll see.
And I also may never come back, just sayin' ;)
And did I mention I'm exhausted? Jet lag's a beast.

5.05.2012

Tomorrow

Tomorrow.
Tomorrow.
I leave for London,
tomorrow.
Its only a day away...

And I'm freaking out. Yup, totally not prepared or packed or remotely close to being ready to leave the country. Oh boy.
Not to mention if I think about it, I get sick from excitement :D
Sssoooo excited!!