23 June 2010
It turns out that I was pretty doomed anyway. My tickets through BYU travel were kind of screwy so when I called them to help me out, even they had a difficult time. But they set me up with a swank hotel room and booked me on a flight tonight. I will keep working on my Paris blog posts while I wait for my shuttle to the airport. But only if my tired brain stops wandering.
I would also like to mention at this time that I was awake for 26 hours before I got into my bed at the hotel. 26 hours. The end.
19 June 2010
Then we cruised on over to the Victoria and Albert Museum since it’s only about a 5 minute walk from the church. We saw the Grace Kelly: Style Icon exhibit (for me, the second time) that featured a few of her costumes and a lot of her clothes. It was a nicely done exhibit that talked about how fashion fit into her life and influenced the general public. She was quite the lady.
Sara may or may not have gone nuts-o in the V&A gift shop. We left there with some treasures and presents and other niceties.
Lunch was at Café in the Crypt, located in the crypt of St. Martin of the Field’s church. The food was quite tasty and the atmosphere was actually light and easy.
Sara had a full pork roast dinner with carrots and potatoes and I enjoyed a quiche with salads.
The highlight for me was this ginger lemon soda. It wasn’t as kicky as a ginger beer, but it was very light, refreshing, and delish.
We then headed to Trafalgar Square and saw some Picasso, Van Gough, Renoir, Seurat, etc. at the National Gallery. Whatevs. When we came out of the museum, there was a huge Sikh demonstration in Trafalgar Square. They were just beginning to march into the square, but it was all very organized and calm. We’re not exactly sure what the demonstration was for, but I inwardly cheered them on in their cause. I find the Sikh religion fascinating.
We skirted around the Sikh’s to walk down the mall to Buckingham Palace without all the hullaballoo of the parade. It was a loverly walk.
There was a different regiment of guards than normal guarding the palace. They were wearing jaunty berets with feathers and carrying huge guns with scary looking bayonets.
We decided that we better hit Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. There were about 7 or 8 people set up, and most of them were speaking about religion and why the bible is wrong or why it’s right and what people should believe. There was one guy that talked about the economy but his hecklers were keeping him pretty well off track. All of the speakers had hecklers. The people watching here was fantastic.Last we had a nice little picnic dinner of sandwiches and blueberries at the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park. We were glad to get home a little earlier than the days before, as our touring has been, and will continue to be, extensive.
This one is the Queen, she's wearing purple.
This one is Prince William. He's looking right at me and waiving with a white-gloved hand.
This is a posed picture of what I thought my face would look like when I saw the Queen.
I also unwittingly became a protester for PETA. I just wanted a balloon. But a funny old British man asked me if he could have it as a joke and I was like “sure”! Then he tried to give it back and I was like “Sorry, buddy. It’s yours now.” He gave it away to the next passing parade-goer. He was just that sassy.
We fought our way out of this crowd
then headed to the British Library to see the Magna Carta, the Guttenberg Bible, Handle’s original score for Messiah, Jane Austen’s writing desk, some original Bronte sisters manuscripts, an original manuscript from Alice in Wonderland, the “upside down Jenny” stamp with the plane upside down. Ya know, no biggie.
Then we took a little jaunt to Sir John Soane’s house/museum. I have blogged about this previously, but we had a good time. On our way there, some tourists asked me for directions and I knew just what they were talking about. I am so in the know, don’t even worry about it.
Then it was high time for high tea at Kensington Palace, which is located in Hyde Park. It was tres chic and very fun. The cucumber sandwich was the best, the butter for the scone was so fresh and, well, buttery, and the passion fruit tart was tangy and delicious. Plus our waiter was from Brazil.
Feeling refreshed from our tea, we walked towards Harrods. we passed through, and by through I mean through, an Iranian protest outside of the Iranian consulate. I think it was about getting a democratic system. There were hundreds of people, all wearing green, some were yelling, some were holding signs, and some treated it as a grand social even, talking and eating and laughing.
After Harrods, we went to a play at the National Theatre called The White Guard. It’s about a family in Russia when the Bolsheviks took control of Russia. It was pretty good and interesting. The sets were wonderful, but the lead actress was…meh. I felt bad for Sara because there was lots of swearing in the middle and she’s not as desensitized as me. But, as she reminded me, she’s a “big girl.”
We've been in Paris a few days now, and we're touring ourselves to death. But all the pastries are sustaining us. I'll finish with England posts then start talking about pastries. Stay tuned.
18 June 2010
Sara and I had a fabulous time in London, which I will tell you all about it several posts. We didn’t do much the first night, just kind of settled in and bought some food and treats. Then we people-watched from the window of our hotel.
On Friday we first rode the tube to St. Paul’s Cathedral to take a tour. It is a beautiful church with mosaics and paintings in the ceiling. We were able to walk up into the dome where there is a whispering wall. While I was trying to whisper to Sara, a male voice asked me if I would go out with him. I looked around to see who it was, but I couldn’t tell. So I had to say no.
We walked up to the top of one of the towers where we could see all of London. All and all it was 530 steps in spiral staircases. We are so hardcore, as displayed by my Flock of Seagulls hair. (What, it was windy.)
Then we took a walk across the Millennial Bridge, past Shakespeare’s Globe, and onto Borough Market. We shared fish and chips from Fish! and some curry in the Southwark church yard. (I have already blogged about both these food items previously.) We also picked up some scones, olives, and wonderful mushroom pâté, which we left in our luggage in London, so we will not be eating it. Sad.
Then, oh then, we went to Les Miserables. C’etait fantastique! We were so jazzed at the end and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. The only bummer was that Marius was not very talented and Eponine wasn’t a super strong singer. Luckily their performances didn’t taint the rest too much. Sara may or may not have a “Les Mis crush,” we both refuse to say. However, I will tell you that we have not gone one day without singing songs from Les Mis.
05 June 2010
But lets start at the beginning. Our first stop we made was at Kenilworth Castle, where Queen Elizabeth's favorite Earl lived. It's all ruins now, but it was very cool. There were guides there that were dressed in costume and you could learn archery and the art of sword fighting.Lexy and Shelby took a lesson.
This is also the place where a fellow in my group dropped my camera. It broked--it broked good. This was the last picture.
I look threatening, but apparently no threatening enough. So, this was also the place where I split off from everyone and wandered around by myself without a camera to mourn my loss and to keep from punching people physically and emotionally. But Shelby took some lovely pictures.
Next we stopped at Mary Arden's Farm (Shakespeare's mother)and Anne Hathaway's Cottage (Shakespeare's wife). At the farm, the had a bunch of owls and they did a little bird show type thing. They lady who showed us the birds just happened to be Mormon. She told us that after the show and it was like she said a secret code and was admitted into the clubhouse. People in the group were so excited and they were shaking her hand and basically acting like she was a celebrity.
Anyway, the grounds and gardens in both of these places are amazing. I needed a little more alone time to cope with my camera loss, so I wandered around here in a slow, peaceful way, just soaking it all in. It was glorious.
I've had this post saved forever and now I'm just going to post it even though it's not quite finished nor does it have enough pictures. I've been reluctant to post since my camera broke. Yes, I am that big of a baby, thank you.
03 June 2010
Just got back from Stratford. This guy in our group dropped my camera on our way there. My camera is now broken. I was/am so so so sad. The lens is jammed. I'm going to try and get it repaired, but I don't know if it's possible. One of the directors said that he could lend me his camera for the rest of our trip, which is very kind. But hopefully the repair thing works out.
P.S. I'll post about my trip when I can get some pictures off Shelby's camera.