Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Muffin Man & A NIght Out

     Today brought more excitement and some much needed free time.  Kacey and I went for a run, then breakfast, and then I took a long shower.  Kacey, Mandi, Laura, Annie, Lauren, Megan, Abby, and I went on our Theatre Walk .  This was a fun walk because it started on the Thames and went past Waterloo Bridge, Somerset House, Leicester Square, Drury Lane, Catherine Street, and ended at Covent Garden. Covent Garden was hopping.  There was street yoga, I got a free foot massage, great shopping, and we had lunch.  I was happy to find a Lush, Ben’s Cookies, Paperchase, Thorton’s, and a darling cupcake shop.  
A few stops along our London Walk

Street Yoga

     We then headed back to the center and then Abby, Megan, and I went to the 5 pound store to get dresses for later.  We had a yummy dinner, I did my homework, and then we got ready to go out for the night.  Abby, Megan, Mandi, and I all went to Diva Beach (a really fun/posh dance club) with VIP access.  It was totally different and way better than I thought it would be.  There was a really good DJ and it was so fun to go out. 

In Da Club

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Little Catch Up

     So I know I haven’t blogged in a few days, but there hasn’t been a ton to blog about.  However, I will try my best to do a little catch up.  Saturday was a total detox and recovery day for all of us.  We were all pretty worn out from our trip and it was just good to be home so we could do laundry, homework, and rest.  Kacey and I got out for a super long run, which felt so good considering we hadn’t been able to run all week.  The Internet was down which was frustrating because it made it hard blog, email, facebook, etc.  I took a long afternoon nap and then went for a run again by myself.  The night was mellow.  We had a DC session, talked, laughed, and then watched a movie.  It wasn’t a super exciting day, but a very necessary one. 
     Sunday was a pretty typical Sunday.  We went to church, came home and did some homework slash took a nap, and then I had my first night of dinner crew.  We had yummy lasagna for dinner and it tasted so good to have home cooked food rather than hostel or fast food.  Monday consisted of a run in the park with Kacey and Abby, school, another run by myself so I, and then dinner crew.  After dinner I went to McDonalds to use their Wifi (our Internet had been down pretty much the entire weekend) so I could get some homework done and use Skype.  Tuesday we had biology for an hour and then went as a class to the Wellcome Collection.  It is a museum dedicated to learning about medicine and the body, but was a little weird.  After the museum we headed back to the center to eat and then I ended up taking a nap for about an hour and a half.  After my nap I headed over to Portobello Road to get some fresh air and to find Kacey a birthday present.  Portobello is so fun and also a favorite place of mine.  I hurried back for dinner crew and then had some delicious Taco Soup for dinner.  After dinner Abby, Kacey, and I went on a walk around the neighborhood.  On the way back Annie and Lauren nailed us with water as we were walking up the stairs.  It was pretty funny and I’m trying to decide the best way to get them back.  My most recent idea is to henna a unibrow on them while they are asleep with the black henna we got at Southall.  Only problem is that my henna is still on and it’s been 3 weeks, so it might be too rude.  We were then in for the night and I Skyped Abigail for the first time in a few weeks and she gave me a tour of their house.  She sounded great and the house was darling.  Now I just need to go visit.  

A few shots of Portobello Road

Friday, September 25, 2009

Let It Be

     Today was our last day in the North and we spent it in Liverpool.  After breakfast we headed over to Albert Dock.  Many people/things have come and gone from this dock including the launching The Titanic and some of the Mormon Pioneers.  Dave taught us some history about the dock/Liverpool and then we headed to the Beatles Museum.  Because The Beatles are from Liverpool, the museum tells the entire story of the band, is set up to replicate many famous venues (i.e. The Cavern and Abbey Road Studios), has many original artifacts, and cool information regarding The Beatles and their impact on the world.  It took about 2 hours to go through the museum plus audio guides were included with admission, which made it even more interesting.  

On Albert Dock

Beatles Museum

Sargent Pepper

John Lennon's Glasses
     After the museum we grabbed some soup at a little cafĂ© and then headed back to the hostel to catch out coach.  We then had a 2-hour drive to Derbyshire where we visited Chatsworth House.  Chatsworth is a huge country estate where the Duke of Devonshire lives. The inside has 126 rooms and is covered with beautiful paintings, furniture, statues, and artifacts.  The gardens are 105 acres and have 5 ½ miles of walking paths. I loved walking through the gardens because we have been studying English landscapes and the work of Capability Brown in my Humanities class so it was fun to see actual examples of what we have been studying.  The Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice was filmed at Chatsworth and it represented Mr. Darcy’s home, Pemberley.  Therefore, the shop was filled with all sorts of Jane Austin stuff and I actually bought a book.  After leaving Chatsworth, Kacey and I watched Pride and Prejudice on the Coach and it was so fun to watch where we had just been.  About halfway home we stopped at a rest stop for dinner.  I was happy to find some yummy tomato soup and a cheese toastie (grilled cheese).  We then loaded the coach again and arrived home at about 10:30PM.  It was a great week, but a lot of packing/unpacking and bus time so it felt so good to be home.  P.S.  I love that Palace Court really does feel like home now.

With statues in Pride and Prejudice
(Mr. Darcy on the left)

On the South Lawn of Chatsworth
(also the last shot in P&P)

The Fountains with Courtney

In the Gardens with Megan

Thursday, September 24, 2009


     Today we woke up and departed the Lake District for Preston.  Once in Preston we met our tour guide went on a walking tour of Preston.  The tour was for our religion class so it was a church history tour.  We saw the different church historical sites such as where the first baptism in England took place and different spots where apostles preached.  It was pretty interesting, but we were all a little tired and burned out.  After the tour we had lunch in Preston.  We then loaded the coach and continued our tour by stopping in a little town called Ripchester, and a second one called Downham.  We then loaded the coach again and headed Chorley to visit the grounds of the Preston Temple.  From Chorley we headed to Liverpool.  We were all stoked when we arrived to our hostel and discovered that the beds were already made as making our beds at each hostel was getting old.  For dinner we all headed over to a large mall with a lot of good restaurants and shops.  Annie, Lauren, and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Pizza Hut (Pizza Hut is a sit-down restaurant here) and I can honestly say it that American pizza has never tasted better.  We finished dinner and then headed back to the hotel where a group of us fell asleep to Pride and Prejudice.

Missionary Oak Monument in the Japanese Gardens in Preston

Down by the River Ribble

Outside the Preston Temple

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dove Cottage & Hill Top Farm

     Today was our second day in the Lake District.  We woke up and headed to Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth.  Once there, we went on a guided tour through the house and then spent some time in a museum that was on the property.  It was cool to have read some of his works and visually get an idea of the setting in which he wrote so many famous works.  As we were loading the coach we noticed that Brooke (the super annoying 18 year old) and Nicole were missing.  However, it was time to leave and so off we went without them.  We had been told over and over again that the bus leaves at the designated time so to not be late, but none of actually thought it would be followed so strictly so it was actually kind of funny. 

     We then went on a country ride to view the lakes and landscapes.  The ride was very beautiful, but the curvy roads made everyone feel a little carsick.  Next, a group of us caught a ferry to go to Hill Top Farm, the home of Beatrix Potter aka the author of Peter Rabbit.  We had to wait a while to catch a shuttle after taking the ferry and Dr. Evans and Dell Ray were so nice and fed us all sorts of food from cheese and crackers to dark chocolate Kit Kats.  They are seriously the coolest/nicest couple and I told them that should anything ever happen to my parents, I would have them take custody of me. 

Sheep crossing during our Country Drive
     Once we got to Hill Top Farm we walked around the gardens.  They were so green and pretty, plus we even saw a few rabbits throughout the grounds.  We also made a stop in the little gift shop where I bought a copy of Peter Rabbit to have for my first child.  After exploring the farm, Courtney, Kacey, Dell Ray, and I walked up a path that overlooked the small town.  While walking she told us all about her family and how her daughter designs Martha Stewart’s Halloween line, Christmas line, and Crane Wedding Invitations as well as stationary for Princesses in the Middle East.  I was excited to hear that the two of them have a small business doing wedding invitations and she said they would do mine (even though it's probably 10 years away).  After the walk we met others at the pub and had some hot chocolate (it was a pretty chilly day).  We then got back on the shuttle and caught the ferry so we could catch the coach to go to the hostel. 

Waiting for the Ferry

Hill Top Farm

     Our hostel was actually pretty nice, but the location was amazing because were located right on the Lake and next to the pier.  I roomed with Courtney, Lauren, Andy, Sicong, (Yes, she does randomly “meow”) and Ashael.  Once settled Kacey, Courtney, and I walked about 1 mile to the closest little town called Keswick.  It was really cute and it felt good to be out of the coach and walking around.  We then had dinner at the hostel that as average.  I then did some of my religion reading and a bunch of the girls dragged mattresses into our room and we watched You’ve Got Mail.

View from our Hostel

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fountains Abbey

     Today was our second day in Northern England.  We had a surprisingly yummy breakfast at the hostel and then loaded the coach to go to Fountains Abbey.  The drive was so pretty because it is pure green.  Once we arrived to Fountains Abbey it was about a 15-minute walk to the actual Abbey.  Fountains Abbey is basically huge ruins dating back to the 1100’s that were built by the Monks after they left York.  The ruins are so old that grass and moss have grown all around and on them.  This makes Fountains Abbey unique because nature has taken over architecture instead of architecture taking over nature.  In addition to the Abbey, there were also beautiful fountain and statue gardens that we walked through. Fountains Abbey was so beautiful and by far my favorite stop of the trip so far.  I also decided, as did about every other girl, that it would be the perfect place to have my Bridals taken.  I know I went a little picture crazy, but have a look at the pictures because this place was amazing.

Andy's Dreads
(the result of last night's project)

A Perfect Setting for Bridals

On the porch of a house in the gardens

On the bridge with Abbs

     After the Abbey we loaded the coach and then stopped for lunch in a little town.  A group of us had Panini’s at a cute little place called “The Sandwich Box.”  We then loaded the coach again and drove for about 2 hours before reaching the Lake District.  We checked into our hostel (I was in a room with Courtney, Kacey, and Jennifer) and then went to one of the little lake towns called Windermere where we walked around, shopped, and had drinks at Costa.  We also went to a cute Peter Rabbit shop because the author, Beatrix Potter, was from the area.  Once back to the hostel we had dinner which was also surprisingly good and included ice cream and crumble for dessert.  We ended the night by having a short educational meeting where Dr. Soper taught us about the Picturesque Movement and Dr. Paxman taught us about William Wordsworth and some of his works/history.  

On the Lake

In our Hostel