Archive for February, 2011

February 24, 2011

Successful week


This week was one of the first that I felt completely normal and in my same old routine-mode probably since I got here. With everything that happened with me so far it was absolutely amazing to go to the gym, feel great at work, have great classes and get relatively normal amounts of sleep. Monday for politics we watched the Prime Minister’s questions video. Every Wednesday at noon David Cameron answers questions from Parliament when the House of Commons is sitting. It was actually really entertaining & informative…take a look:

For theatre this week we had an extra long class because the star of Vernon God Little, the play we saw the week before, Joseph Drake, came into our class! He was the main character, Vernon, and he talked to us about the play, about rehearsals leading up to the show, his life, and how he doesn’t read reviews. He was so funny and it was great to get to meet him. I got him to sign my journal 🙂 After class we grabbed dinner right by the theatre before the show, and then we saw Penelope at the Hampstead Theatre. It was about an hour and a half long with no intermission, and it was probably the most odd out of all the shows we’ve seen. Don’t want to spoil it for you in case you ever end up going there, but I’ll just tell you the set was in the bottom of a swimming pool the entire show, and Penelope, the girl the play is named after, did not have one line. Our teacher is trying to broaden our horizons to all types of theatre, and all types of theatre we are seeing.

Tuesday for Media & Society was really fun. We talked about the history of radio and TV broadcasting, and then we went out to East Finchley tube stop (a little out of the city) to London Greek Radio. LGR used to be a pirating station back before commercialized channels still hadn’t expanded. We got a tour of the studio and got to ask Vasilis Panayis, the big cheese at the station, who’s been in broadcast for 25 years. I also got him to sign my journal 🙂 Work at Wriglesworth this week was great, I was constantly busy, well-rested and learned a lot. I helped with some press releases, surveyed people over the phone and did a lot of desk research. Wednesday after work we had a group outing to the British Library concerning their exhibition on the Evolution of English. Three professors came in to talk about the different dialects among all regions in the UK. After the British Library we went to O’Neils for Liz’s 21st birthday. Liz’s mom and godmother came to visit her for this long weekend, so we’ve seen them a lot and it is so much fun having moms/parents around! They’re staying at a hotel/apartment literally two doors down, which is so convenient. We got the tour of their flat and it’s a hundred times nicer than ours, but what are ya gonna do. We got the live band to give Liz a shout out at O’Neils and call her up to the stage! So far, birthdays in London are a major success.

Today I worked in the morning, I love when I come in for mornings because Wriglesworth provides cereal for all the staff 🙂 Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. I didn’t even need a jacket, and the sky was blue. We must be extremely lucky people because we’ve seriously only had about 2 rainy days, and they weren’t even that bad. Crossing my fingers that this luck doesn’t change when spring officially comes! For Pop Culture today we talked about a book named Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, which is a directory of prostitutes in the Victorian Era, and then we played a game where we had to act as members of parliament and pass/veto rules to regulate prostitution in order to control it. After class we went to the Museum of London where we saw the history of London from when it was just land to Roman times to modern day.

Tonight is yet another Thursday night before a weekend of travels. We’re headed off to Amsterdam this weekend, waking up at 3:30am to make our 6:55 flight. Thank you Ryanair.

Have a great weekend and I’ll give stories about Amsterdam Sunday/Monday!

Cheers 🙂

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February 22, 2011

Edinburgh (ed-en-burrow)


Before we even left, Charlotte biased us in telling everyone that this was usually the student’s favorite group trip. Long behold, she was right. I’ve been to Edinburgh before with my family back in 2002, but coming back almost 10 years later was a completely different experience.

We took the 5 hour East Coast train ride from King’s Cross in London to Edinburgh and I took the time to catch up in my journal. We also used our time to find out that Taylor Swift is coming to London, so we got tickets. Once we got there we found our hotel, dropped our bags, and went on an hour double decker tour of the city. We were brave for most of it, sitting on the top deck in the cold, but eventually stopped getting feeling in our fingers so we went downstairs inside. After the bus tour we were determined to heat up, so a group of us went to the first pub we found, The Albanach. Little did we know this pub would change our life. (Dramatic, but it changed our night) After some warm soup of the moment and some Edinburgh-made beer, we were about to leave when Kristine found the pub trail brochure. Off we went on a pub hunt for 8 pubs to get our free T shirts. The night was so much fun, we had to find our way through Edinburgh and every pub had a great & friendly atmosphere. Sarah and I decided to go above and beyond and do the World Beer Passport at the same time, so I ended up leaving this weekend with about 5 T shirts and probably a couple extra calories. Since we began this adventure around 5:30 pm and traveled to 7 pubs we were home and ready for bed by 11:30pm. What happened to the 8th? We found out after pub #7 that the other ones were a VERY far walk away and in a sketchy area if you didn’t know where you were going, so we opted to leave it for lunch the next day.

After our 9+ hour slumber, we had breakfast in the hotel (Regent House Hotel) and then headed off to the castle as a group. When we left the hotel it was snowing/raining/sleeting and due to the weather the castle tour guides weren’t operating. We got audio tours instead and were set off to explore however much we wanted. I ended up listening to every single audio track and looking at probably every inch of the castle. By 12:40 I realized I was probably the only JMU member left at the castle, but I decided to stay an extra 20 minutes to watch the one o’clock cannon. After the cannon I had all of Edinburgh to explore and was by myself so I took off down the Royal Mile. I found The People’s Story Museum, which was all about the history of the people in Edinburgh..the classes/occupations/statuses/activities/lifestyles etc. After the museum I was determined to get my free T-shirt, so I trekked over to the other side of town, about a 30 minute walk and found Waterline. I got one of my T-shirts and also found Lisa and Kelly W! Lisa was bummed because she threw her camera off the castle by accident (spoiler alert: IT STILL WORKS!) I was so relieved to see them. After they finished eating we went across the street to Cameo, another pub on the map, and got more Tshirts. We grabbed a cab back to the hotel, where we re-grouped with everyone else. Kelly, Erin, Liz, Annalina, Sarah and I went to Calton Hill, Edinburgh’s first public park. On top of the hill we saw the scenery of the city, the Firth of Forth, the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument and other monuments and buildings. We went to get Kelly a sweatshirt and some other quick errands and then went back to the hotel. We had shower/relaxing time and then went out for dinner. We got turned away from a pub because we were American…not kidding. They originally asked for ID, and then asked if we were American and asked us to show our passports. Since we were a) still in the UK, we left them in London and b) even if we had them, we wouldn’t bring them out with us at night. Putting it aside, we found an Italian place close by for dinner and then went out to a bar called Three Sisters. We saw a lot of stag and hen parties…aka bachelor and bachelorette parties. Most of our group who went out that night went to that bar, so we had a lot of fun.

Sunday morning we woke up, had breakfast in the hotel again and then took off to hike Arthur’s Seat. It was easy to go off trail and take a number of options up to the top, and Sarah, Cecelia and I ended up literally on a vertical hill clinging onto rocks to get up. Pictures to come (they take a really long time to upload over here) The strenuous hike was completely worth the view we got the whole way going up and the view from the top.

We took the tourist route down, which was a way more relaxed and easy. For lunch Scan, Annalina, Kelly & I went to a pub called The White Horse and I ordered haggis. I had to. Probably not something I would order again. Annalina, Will & I went on an Underground/Ghost Tour of the vaults underneath The Royal Mile, and then it was basically time to get back to the hotel to pick up our bags. We grabbed our bags, headed to the train and I slept most of the 5 hours back to London. We found platform 9 and 3/4 from Harry Potter so that was an obvious photo op.

The weekend overall was a great success and the entire group had a blast!!

Hope everyone’s weekends went well.

Cheers!

February 18, 2011

Class this week..WORTH READING


So…I wanted to make an individual post for classes this week, but specifically for our class this afternoon. I’ll get there quick, I promise.

Monday for politics we had class and then went to the Cabinet War Rooms right near Big Ben/Downing St/St. James’ Park/part of the Imperial War Museum. It was actually really cool seeing everything that was under there, and there is also a museum dedicated to Winston Churchill. To make the day even better, the weather was absolutely beautiful. I feel like this comment comes more often than about bad weather…in fact, we’ve only had 2 rainy days I think. Counting my blessings! (Especially because this weekend in Edinburgh is supposed to be 80% rain/sleet/snow. Gross) Monday for theatre we had regular class, discussed last week’s show, and then saw Vernon God Little at the Young Vic Theatre…right down the street from where we saw Flea in Her Ear and the Old Vic. If you’ve never heard of this play it’s a satire about Columbine. Personally, I’m not a fan of the show. The book was much better, but I’m still not a fan of that situation becoming a comedy. Our discussion next week will certainly be interesting.

Tuesday morning for Media & Society we had a discussion/argument about the infamous question, “What is Art” and then headed to the British Library to browse on our own. I ended up playing with these iPad type machines that show tons of old books that aren’t allowed to be touched, but the museum found a way for them to be interactive. Looked through Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebook and the original Alice & Wonderland. Tuesday I worked at Wriglesworth and had a good day until I got the stomach flu that ruined my life until Wednesday night/this morning. No need to go into detail about any of that…so flash forward to today.

I worked this morning and it flew by. Some staff at Wriglesworth are doing this event called Vertical Rush at Tower 42. They race up 920 steps for a charity for the homeless. To raise some money they had a cake sale (yes, not a bake sale) for the building and I got to man the table/smell the tempting sweets for an hour. I did some more assignments and then came home for lunch. OK, the part worth reading is here. In Communication, Diversity & Pop Culture we talked about Autism. We watched clips from A Beautiful Mind, and then we went to a museum by an Autistic artist, named  Stephen Wiltshire. He sketches landscapes (mostly) from memory. His work was absolutely incredible. Just an example:

So, the gallery for Stephen is right near Trafalgar Square. We took a break there right before the gallery, and Scan made a comment about how a bunch of guys around the square reminded her of this show they have to watch in another class named “Gypsy Weddings” aka…the guys seemed sketchy. We also noticed that there were a LOT of cops randomly around, but didn’t really think much of it. After the gallery, we had a group meeting before parting ways, and during it we saw a ton of teenage guys running everywhere, some getting caught by cops, random cop cars driving over curbs..aka a mad scene starting to happen. One guy was headed in our direction, but sort of jogging..not running from anything. He started to stick whatever he was holding down his pants and pretend to blend into our group, and then realized that there were 5 cops chasing him, and sprinted away. He threw what end up being a field hockey stick in the air and we watched him get tackled by the 4 cops and get arrested. Here’s what we were watching unraveling:

http://www.donsidepiper.co.uk/news/19_arrested_after_trafalgar_brawl_1_1460403

Luckily, none of us were hurt or anything of the sort, so it’s just another story to add to our list. Class picture right before this all started: 

For dinner we went to Giraffe and then (of course) got Baskin Robins. Tonight just consisted of laundry/packing because we leave for Edinburgh tomorrow!! 🙂 I wanted to catch up on here before heading off for the weekend. Hope you enjoy!

Cheers!

February 17, 2011

Older, Wiser & possibly a bit more Italian


My birthday last week was incredible! My roommates got me cakes (yes, plural), Paul made me carrot cake and the house celebrated in the 1st hour of last Wednesday with me to complete my birthday’s success. Wriglesworth surprised me by having a bottle of champagne, chocolate and a card on my desk when I came in Wednesday morning! Overall, whoever said my birthday in London was going to be anti-climatic was wrong….sorry (but not sorry!)

Unfortunately, my health had a really rough past weeks. Since coming to London I had a weird cut on my face and it ended up turning into a bacterial infection that took over the bottom of my face, and it was really painful and gross by last Thursday…so I went to the Medicentre and went on antibiotics. One week later and my face is back to normal!!! While on antibiotics I got the stomach bug that Sarah woke up with on Monday morning. I left work on Tuesday at 5:30 and stayed in bed basically until 6pm yesterday. Now, knock on wood, all of that is behind me and I can get back to living a relatively normal (because is this really normal? a 3 month vacation in London?) life here in the UK.

This weekend we went to Italy!! We stayed in Florence Friday night and Bologna Saturday night. Ryanair is an airline that has super cheap flights, but the catch is that they are a) not from main airports and b) weird times. Our flight was at 6:30 am on Friday but we left out of London-Stansted, so our journey began at 3:30 am Friday morning. (The plan was to go to bed around 8pm Thursday night…that didn’t happen.) We took a cab to the bus station, and then a less-than-hour bus ride to Stansted. The entire check-in process took all of 6 minutes. It was heaven. We got our boarding passes stamped, flew through security, and as soon as we got to our gate we were in line to get on the plane. I slept on every form of transportation that morning…sort of bummed, because I missed going over the Alps on the plane ride over :(. Annalina got pictures though..amazing:

We arrived in Bologna around 9:30 am (Italian timezone) and took a bus into the center of the city, took a train ride to Firenze which an identical replica of the Harry Potter Hogwart’s Express. We got to Firenze, and although Elayna/Stacey/Caroline lived approx 10 minutes from the station, it took us over an hour and a half to get there due to us exploring without any sense of direction and heading towards the wrong bridge. Luckily, we were in Italy so who really cared? We had pizza for breakfast, gelato for snack, and by the time we met up with the JMU girls, we had pasta and bruschetta for lunch. There’s no time to NOT eat in Italy, you’ve got to take in as much as you can, especially when you’re only there for one weekend. After exploring the city we split up and went back to our hostel, Archi Rossi. It was a really nice hostel and only 20 euros per person. We went to a place for dinner in Florence named Oibo. The way it worked was that we bought a drink and then had as much buffet as we wanted…aka dinner and a drink for 8 euro. Afterwards we went to a bar named Naima which has happy hour until 11 so we drank for cheap until whenever, met all of their friends and then after the night stroked the boar’s nose before going back to our hostel. (Stroking it means good luck and that you’ll return to Florence)

Saturday in Florence we, naturally, woke up and ate Italian food. Spaghetti to start off the day is not such a bad thing 🙂 …It was also almost 11:30 by the time we found a relatively cheap place to eat. We met up with the Florence girls and then climbed the duomo!! It was 8 euros and worth every penny. I’m adding the panoramic pictures into the pictures section of the blog. After more Italian adventuring we parted ways and hopped on our train to Bologna. Once we got there we realized that our hotel was in fact 20 minutes outside of the city. So, a 20 minute cab ride later we arrived in our FOUR STAR HOTEL in San Laazaro. It was so nice, especially as a change from our hostels and our not-4 star Madison House. We made friends with the concierge, Francesco, and he told us about a local pizzeria. The owners were from Naples and it was absolutely the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. Annalina’s birthday was on Sunday and Francesco played a Happy Birthday recording for her when we came back to the hotel. Sunday we took a bus back into the city and explored all day. We climbed the tower, which had more steps than the duomo, and had just an incredible view, despite the foggy weather. Later in the afternoon we decided to break for coffee/tea in the square, and after being there for only a few minutes the entire square filled with people..turns out we were in the middle of a protest/demonstration against the Italian prime minister. (We also saw one in Florence the day before) After watching that for a while we went on a mission to find a restaurant Annalina’s friend had recommended to her. We finally found it and it was 100% worth it. Great last meal in Italy..even though we got gelato right after. It’s safe to say we might’ve gone up a pant size after this weekend…and if not, our peacoats definitely fit a little more snug on Monday. We got in around 1:30 am Monday morning/Sunday night and passed out before class in the AM.

It was weird coming back on Monday and only after 3 days wanting to say “Grazie” to everyone. We definitely at least tried to speak Italian as much as we could this past weekend. Overall, such a fun weekend and a great start to our travels during free weekends 🙂

Cheers!/Ciao!

February 7, 2011

Politics, Primark & Becky Shaw


Today we had our politics class in the morning as per usual, but didn’t have an outing because going to Speaker’s Corner yesterday was our outing. In class we talked about British vs American government systems and the difference between both of our written and unwritten constitutions. Since we had an extra 2 1/2 hour block in our day, Kelly and I decided to take on Primark for real this time. After lunch and some relaxation, we headed to Marble Arch station for round 2. Even with it being a Monday, the line for the fitting room took about 20-30 minutes. After a successful shopping trip we went grocery shopping at Sainsbury’s and Kelly was in the mood for ice cream so we stopped at Baskin Robbins before a little while of free time at home.

In theatre tonight we previewed the show for tonight, Becky Shaw, and then Erin gave her presentation on last week’s play, A Flea in Her Ear. We ate dinner at home and then, once again, ended up sprinting to the theatre to make it just in the nick of time. (Weekly goal for next week: actually make it to the theatre with more than a minute to spare.) The theatre we went to was the Almeida Theatre. The show was so good, it was more American and modern than the first two, and flew by. One of my only complaints is the ending…it was one of those shows that just ends abruptly, leaving the audience with thousands of unanswered questions.

Kelly, Liz & Annalina had to read The Railway Children for Children’s Literature class, and now we are all watching the movie together. (Made in 1970s)

Hope you had a wonderful Monday 🙂

Cheers!

February 6, 2011

Brighton & Greenwich weekend


I’m going to make my titles more witty once I update this regularly, I promise. I’m going through my head right now everything that has happened since Wednesday so for now you’ll just have to enjoy summaries & stories 🙂 Prepare yourself for a relatively long post!

Thursday mornings at work are usually a breeze…3 1/2 hour days fly by. I had Pret for lunch at had an amazing sandwich, as usual. Finding that I eat a lot of avocado here (no complaints!!). For Communication, Diversity & Pop Culture we watched a programme (hehe) from the BBC called The Prisoner, it’s a series that has about 18 episodes. I tried to find a YouTube clip to show you all but I can’t find the episode we watched, sorry :(. For our outing we went to the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, a gallery that Princess Diana supported and was at a lot. The exhibit was by Philippe Parreno and has 4 films set up throughout the building. After the gallery we walked through Hyde Park and saw the Princess Diana memorial fountain, a fountain that’s supposed to represent her life and how it was similar to a roller coaster, lots of up and downs. It was dark by the time we got there so my picture is a little blurry, but when it’s warm out people can lay out by (or in) the fountain or you can walk through it.

Thursday night we had a progressive dinner at Madhouse (Madison House) and had an “Around the World” theme.

  • Flat A-Turkey: kabobs
  • Flat B-Mexico: chip, dip, salsa, layer dip
  • Flat C-Italy: spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, caprese salad
  • Flat D(us)-USA: ice cream sundaes
  • Flat E-France: french pastries

After dinner we went to a pub/club (=plub) O’Neils and had so much fun. The ground floor was just a regular bar setup, the second floor had a bar and a DJ, the third floor was a bar and a live band and then there was a rooftop for the smokers and a ground floor with a coatcheck. The band was a cover band and played some music we didn’t know and then all of a sudden played music that we LOVED, ie..Blink 182, Sweet Home Alabama, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cee Lo, stuff that we couldn’t get away from. Eventually, though, we had to leave and that was the end of our night.

Friday we woke up and took the train to Brighton. The Brighton trip was so much fun! We got there and went to the Royal Pavilion. Our tour guide was hysterical and the building was insane inside…no pictures allowed. 😦 After our tour we were set free for the rest of the day (minus the Children’s Lit class who had lunch with Emily Gravett!), so some of us went to the beach, played and ran from the waves and then went to a pub for lunch. After we ate we browsed a little bit, shopped, and then took the train back to London.

Friday night we went to a place called The Rocket, another place geared towards students. All of these places we’ve gone to have all ended up being within a 10-15 minute walk home, it is so nice having our house so centrally located with so much going on around it, especially when the tube closes at 12:30.

Saturday we took the ferry to Greenwich, which was about a 45 minute ride. We went to the old royal navy college, toured around there briefly, and then headed up to the royal observatory where we went to the prime meridian. We got to take pictures being in both the eastern and western hemisphere at the same time! We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Cafe Sol which was delicioussssss and then went to the Greenwich Market. I got a coin purse and a new satchel, and Erin got a churro injected with chocolate. The food at these markets is insanely good. Last night we went to Zoo Bar, a hyped up club that we didn’t really like. The boys had fun, but we weren’t particularly fond of the expensive drinks and 40yrs+ crowd, so we left and ended up at a pub called No. 7 for the rest of the night.

This morning we had to wake up for a group outing again but it wasn’t until 11 so we got to relax getting ready this morning. It was nice not having to chug down my coffee and actually sit and eat breakfast. 🙂 We went to Speaker’s Corner, a part of Hyde Park where people can come and speak their mind. We listened to a speaker talk about God/Jesus/religion and another one just had a conversation/argument with Sarah. He was up on a podium but not talking, and she heard that he had very strong views against women and got into a heated argument with our Politics teacher last week, so she basically instigated the fighting with him. After we left we found PRIMARK, which is the only place I will be shopping here from now on because it is dirt cheap. Pair of leggings, 1 pound. Shoes, 8 pounds. I can deal with that. Annalina, Erin & I walked home instead of taking the tube to explore and we ended up eating at a really good sandwich place in Soho on one of the off-the-map roads. We stopped in Snog, a frozen yogurt place, and then kept on venturing home. We had time to relax & nap, and then we went to the FMIR (Faculty Member in Residence) aka Joan’s house in East Finchley for dinner. The food we had delivered was incredible. We had pasta, bread, salad, lasagna, pizza and tiramisu. We snagged the leftover tiramisu and I’m actually eating it as we speak. Ah.May.Zing.

The weather this week has been relatively warm. We’ve gotten into a pattern of leaving the house saying, “Wow it is so warm out today” and then freezing when we’re out and about, but it’s really not that bad. Knock on wood but it hasn’t rained STILL! A little gloomy, but not complaining about the weather at all like I was expecting.

Looking forward to this week so much-my birthday and going to Italy this weekend!!

Updates soon

Cheers!

February 2, 2011

Class Week 2


Monday morning for politics we did not have an outing, instead we watched a video from the BBC entitled The Virtual Revolution. Yet another movie about how technology is shaping our world and social media is expanding.

In Theatre she split our class up into even smaller groups, and the group I was in is the group that comes for the second half of class, so we went to Tea & Tattle for a little while instead of going home. I got a double espresso because I was feeling a little droopy. In class we discussed the play for Monday night, and then when the first group left I gave my presentation on Hamlet & we had a group discussion. I just ate dinner at home and then we ventured over to Waterloo station to get to the Old Vic Theatre. The show we saw was named A Flea in Her Ear, and was the complete opposite of the previous week’s show, Hamlet. The play was focused around the theme of adultery and is, what my teacher calls, a charce. It was highly entertaining and very funny, and we all left with smiles on our faces. Some of us met a small group of students not in the Theatre class at Cornwallis and then we came home after it closed.

For Media & Society we had a lecture and got another breakfast break for Eve’s Cafe before out outing to Soho. Sort of. I never actually noticed when we were for sure in Soho. The general area is only a few blocks from our house so maybe that’s why I didn’t recognize it as such a famous area as Soho. We ended at Gaby’s Deli, where he treated us to hummus and falafel and I had a cappuccino. That’s pretty much the end of my week excluding Thursday afternoon class because I intern Tues afternoon, Wednesday and Thursday mornings usually! Not sure how much detail I’m allowed to post about it but it’s going well and I learned how to make a proper cup of tea 🙂

 

Cheers!

February 2, 2011

The King’s Speech


Last night we went to see The King’s Speech as a group/cultural outing. What an amazing movie. I had no idea what it was about before we went to the theatre, leaving me entirely in awe as we left. I highly highly highly recommend it.

Here’s a picture of our theatre, The Odeon (Yeah, I know.)

I hadn’t even seen this before last night, so just incase you haven’t either:

February 2, 2011

What a week


I’m sorry I haven’t updated! I’m trying to make this a daily or semi-weekly thing, but I just haven’t had much time on the computer recently.

The end of classes last week went really well, our classes are all interesting and the outings even more so. For Communication, Diversity & Pop Culture we went over by the London Eye, where we were set free to ask as many people as we could with set questions about London’s economy. (What do you think caused the economic crisis? Will benefits and welfare cuts make London less diverse? What do you think is the greatest prejudice in society today?) As expected, it was a learning experience. We approached all types of people; rude, polite, European, foreign, opinionated, clueless. What I came to find out was that the majority of the people (at least in this particular area) didn’t have a clue about any of our questions, but they loved to complain. Example number 1…”I have no idea what the cause is but I’m not happy about it.” Or…”The cause? Americans.” It was freezing on Thursday and getting dark so our professor treated us to hot chocolate at McDonalds. That night we all went to a club called Fabric for the London Re-Freshers Festival with dubstep groups Skream, Nero and Mistajam (All new to me as of that night.) The experience was a first, we ended up in a moshpit for a few minutes before deciding that we weren’t too keen on being thrown around like rag dolls.

Friday was awesome. We woke up and met Joan & the group at the Tower of London and had a tour until about 12. It was extremely cold on Friday so when we got to go inside to see the Royal Jewels is was twice as exciting. The Tower of London has so many stories, so much history and the Royal Jewels are breathtaking & amazing. We had a 2 hour break for lunch so a group of us found a cozy pub and warmed up & relaxed before heading over to Westminister Abbey. Also another breathtaking place. Twice in one day! Being inside was absolutely beautiful. The thing that stood out more to me than anything else was the original coronation chair that they still have since 1308. They’ve used the same chair for every single coronation since the first. Seeing it inches from me boggled my mind. After we toured that we all came home and crashed until around 8, and then our group went to my new favorite pub, Marquis Cornwallis.

Saturday was my first morning to sleep in! It felt amazing. We went to the Camden Markets on Saturday and although it was freezing, I got some good finds. Saturday night we met our friend Caroline (Alpha Phi, graduated in May and now goes to King’s College for grad school) for dinner. We went to a Thai place and then to a club called Tiger Tiger. Sunday was my last morning to sleep in basically until I return home in May, so after sleeping in and taking the morning slow Erin Kelly and I went to Spitalfields Market. We ate at Gourmet Burger Kitchen for a late lunch and then headed home for a lazy Sunday night (the best kind.)