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Monday, August 31, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day 35: The Last Supper.

Our last rainy day in London. We toured Buckingham Palace this morn, and it was quite beautiful. I actually really loved it. Unfortunately pictures weren't allowed. Getting on the tube was a little tricky after that because "all lines are closed due to a person under the train." Whether accidental or intentional, they were very nonchalant about the whole situation. After walking to every Underground station within 5 miles and finally having success, I discovered the store I wished I had spent all my money at: it was a mixture of Urban Outfitters and Anthropology (my dream come true). Although slightly pricey, everything in there was a must have for me. It was called Top Shop (for girls) and Top Man (for guys). I loved both of them, and invested in a few fantastic T-shirts (P.s. When googling their website, do not accidentally type in On the way home, we stopped at the humming bird: the most adorable cupcake shop in London. It was priceless, okay it was 2 pounds and 15 pence but it was so cute and I loved it! That was followed by packing everything I've been living with into my closet on wheels, also known as my suitcase. Amidst the mess, Kaitlyn and I shared one last lunch of Nachos on our flat floor. Not long after, we journeyed across the street to Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I love burgers. I love them so much. Me and Ali's blue cheese burger was SO GOOD! Me and Kait had to stop by the Tesco to pick up a few last minute treats for the fam (and ourselves). On the way out, we saw the same homeless man we pass by every morning on the way to the tube asking for spare change. We gave him all the money we had left... he was so grateful, and he let us play with his dogs. We came home, got locked out, and waited for the keys to be thrown down a 6 story window for us. Now we have to clean our flat (I didn't know I agreed to this). At this point, America is just a 13 hour flight with a 4 hour layover away.

Day 34: Nemesis Inferno.

People attend theme parks for 2 reasons: The first- to defy gravity at 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds on a vertical, twisting, winding, plummeting, life threatening coaster of steel. The second: to witness other theme park goers. I happened to be quite the attraction myself: just rolled out of bed, sick (to be used in reference to illness, not sick as in cool), sporting the fanny pack and yes, a large oversized blue rain jacket tied around my waist (Note: today is the only day it did not rain.). There are always, and will forever continue to be, people at theme parks that you can't stop staring at because they never should have been allowed to leave the house like that. I only managed to capture a couple of these unique individuals on their fun filled day at Thorpe Theme Park (please note the man with the buzzed head: with jelled bangs). The park is on an island surrounded by a river, it's so fun. It was like a drastically upgraded Lagoon (minus their version of the Rocket, it was pretty pathetic to say the least), or even comparable to a Six Flags. The rides on the other hand were excellent: Stealth (rode it twice), The Slammer (couldn't feel my head 79% of the time), Nemesis Inferno (self explanitory), Saw (hated the movie, loved the ride), Teacups (my first time!), and Collosus (my favorite one). Our hair explains their impact on us. The lines were that of any Disney Land attraction, but they were all worth the wait. It was SO much fun!! Another favorite of mine are the gift shops, filled with overpriced useless crap. Always a good time.... I love amusement parks, just as I loved this one.

Day 33: It was quite the slow Sunday for a fast Sunday.

This may be the most unexciting, uneventful, uninspiring, blog post that ever happened. I went to church, it was great. Actually, now that I think of it I do have things to talk about... the testimony bearers of the ward: typical yet surprising. Judgmental as that may sound, I heard a few firsts that would have fit nowhere on the average testimony bingo card. You always hear the "with every fiber of my being", of course the "I wasn't going to get up here today..", or the ever classic "I don't know any of you but I already love you all"... well today I heard a new one: "(picture a thick Ukrainian, barely translatable accent) I'm going through economic crisis, so if you could all please leave money or food with Bishop for me. Thank you." The best part of that was probably the bishop's face of instant, unknowing, disapproving shock. Besides some of the entertaining thank-timonies, there were actually quite a few fantastically given testimonies. The rest of this Sabbath is all quite a blur... Ashlee, my caretaker and mother hen, made a delicious Sunday dinner for us all: oh it was so good! Our stove top doesn't exactly work, so noodles, grilled cheese sandwiches, potatoes, and anything else that should never be put in an oven is cooked in ours. My sickness is still flourishing and I look like death, but nothing a lot of Tylenol cold PM can't fix.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 32: Hakuna Matata... What a wonderful phrase.

Since endeavoring on this European journey, I have had only one request. It was not to explore the ancient Colosseum of Rome, stand atop the Eiffel tower in Paris, or check the time courtesy of Big Ben (although those were all UNFORGETTABLE and irreplaceable experiences and that was in no way shape or form a complaint). My dream of all dreams, my only request of the trip, was to go to LION KING!! So I made it happen: Ash was equally as eager and enthusiastic... so we walked down the cobblestone road, past the talented and amusing street performers, towards the beautiful yellow and orange tiger adorned theatre. We had incredible private box seats for just the two of us, and as we were ushered to them we were informed that a performer from the show would be singing in our box for the first number: um, OKAY!! The shirtless, loin cloth laden man walked in before the show and was so sweet and friendly. After singing the most incredible version of The Circle of Life that could have ever been composed, he shook our hands, told us that we were "so gorgeous, just so gorgeous", lingered for maybe a moment too long, then headed down onto the stage: where he continued to wave to us and blow us kisses!! It was quite a treat: not everyday that you are blown kisses from a performer onstage during a Broadway show! The show: PHENOMENAL, absolutely incredible, breathtakingly spectacular in every sense of the word!! The costumes were unreal, the most creative, intricate and extravagant costumes that would put any special Halloween number to shame. Human giraffes, life size elephants, flocks of birds, herds of antelope, Timone and Pumba (hilarious), and of course all the other amazing classics. It went above and beyond all of our expectations. On the way home, we couldn't stop smiling, laughing, and reminiscing about the show... we just loved it! Side note: I started feeling sick yesterday, my throat is the color of a ripened tomatoe (refer to below picture) and it hurts like you wouldn't believe. Then the nose and cough and headaches set in... Luckily for me, I'm in London. So none of that matters right now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Day 31: Brothers on a Hotel Bed.

We took our last 30 minute tube, 2 hour train, and 45 minute bus ride through Europe of the week. We got the opportunity to see Haddon Hall, it is this ancient medieval style house that was abandoned in the 17th Century and wasn't updated or renovated, so it's just how it was back then. It was so different from what we've been seeing, and it smelled a lot worse. The interior was darker, it was pretty but I really loved the outside gardens and windows. The windows were stained glass but they were swervey... very cool. Next was Chatsworth. The scenery surrounding both of these houses is incredibly beautiful, lush and green with trees everywhere! Chatsworth was big, but the gardens were even bigger. I think these may have been my favorite gardens of the trip: there was a rock garden, with giant moss covered boulders everywhere. There were waterfalls, leaning hedges, ponds, flowers, artwork, fat statues, fountains, and a MAZE made out of bushes! We gave it a valliant effort for about 30 minutes and then gave up. It was beautful. We adventured through the gift shop for a while, and then journeyed back to the bus. Afterwards, we came back to our flat and layed on our beds.