Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

       Happy Halloween!  Londoners get really into Halloween and it was so fun to be a part of it.  I first celebrated by sleeping in until about 9AM and then went on a beautiful fall run with Abby and Kacey.  We then had to watch Charlie Chaplin for our Humanities class.  After the movie Kacey, Abby, Annie, Courtney, Megan, Laura, Emmy, and I headed to the London Dungeon.  To our disappointment there was a 3-hour queue just to get tickets.  Needless to say, we decided to ditch the dungeon.  However, we were still glad we went because there were people dressed up outside the dungeon that would randomly come and scare us/make us jump.  Since the dungeon was right by Borough Market, we decided to go get some food and some samples.  I tried chocolate covered honeycomb that was amazing.  We then headed back to the center to get ready for the rest of the day.  

Just one of the many people dressed up
       Annie, Lauren, Kacey, Abby, Laura, Emmy, and I all dressed up and headed down by the Thames to go on the London Eye.  We loaded at 4:30PM, which was perfect timing because we got to see the city at sunset and at night. 

I was quite excited with the timing of this picture

Witch @ Big Ben

London Eye

Views from the Eye

Riding the London Eye

Post London Eye

       After the Eye we happened to stumble upon some hot homemade donuts while walking along the Thames.  We walked past Big Ben and jumped on the Tube to go to dinner.  We put our name in at Hard Rock Café and we thrilled to only have a 1-hour wait.  While waiting we went into “The Vault” which is a little museum at the Hard Rock that has everything from Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar to Madonna’s clothing.  It was pretty entertaining and made the time pass quickly.  Dinner was delicious, but the setting was really fun.  All of the staff was decked out in costume and would randomly come scare us while we were eating.  After dinner we took a rather long route home on the Tube, but had fun people watching.  The remainder of the night was spent talking, laughing, and dancing.  

Group Picture in  "The Vault"

Madonna's Outfit

The Original Hard Rock Cafe

"My Team" Underground Edition

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shawshank Redemption

       Today started with a morning run, breakfast, and then biology from 9AM-12PM.  After class a group of us gathered on my side of the room to do homework, eat some trick-or-treats, nap, and talk.  Most of the afternoon was spent getting things done that we had all been putting off.  Court and I ran to Primark to make a return and then hurried back to have dinner.  After dinner Megan and I went to “The Shawshank Redemption.”  It was fun to experience a play as opposed to a musical and it was really good.  The play didn’t start until 8:30PM so it was fun to have time to wander around Leicester Square before it started plus have something to do on a Friday night.  After the play we came home and just talked with everyone and then I headed to bed.  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cracker Jack, Pumpkin Carving, and Caramel Apples!

       Today being Thursday meant another long school day.  I was in class from 9:00-11:15 and then went running with Kacey as well as went to the store to pick out a pumpkin.  I then came back and was in my Humanities class until 2:15.  After class Abby and I ran to Tesco to get a few ingredients for Jaelyn and then went to our culture class.  By about 4:30 we were finally done with school for the day and could start to get ready for out Halloween Party.  We ate dinner at 5:30 and then the party started at 7:30. 

       Laura, Kacey, Abby, and I had the idea to have a Halloween Party and it all came together perfectly with the help of Jaelyn and her cooking.  There were decorations throughout the main floor, Halloween music playing, and everyone dressed up or wore Halloween colors.  Jaelyn made a big pot of homemade Cracker Jacks for us to munch on, plus Terry put Treat bags together for us.  The activities for the party included carving pumpkins and making Caramel Apples.  The apples were a hit as were the assortment of toppings including chocolate shavings, white chocolate, crushed up HobNobs, cinnamon sugar, and crushed up pretzels.  Once everyone was done carving their pumpkins we took them outside, lit them, and placed them on the porch of 27 Palace Court.  As you can see, there were some really clever/cute pumpkins.  My favorite was probably Laura’s “27 Palace Court” pumpkin or Mandi and Rachel’s “Stonehenge” pumpkin.  It was a really fun night and I think the party was a hit.  

Sicong the Kitty

Dr. Soper's Masterpiece

Future picture for the mantle in our apartment

Jaelyn's Cracker Jack

Caramel Apples!

Carving Masters

In loving memory of London


The whole crew

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


       On Tuesday morning we loaded the coach and headed off to Wales.  It took about four hours to get there, but I sleepy most of the way so I didn’t mind the drive.  Our first stop was at the Living History Museum.  It was kind of like Wheeler Farm and a little childish, but I decided to let the child in me come out.  Courtney, Megan, Emmy, and I looked at the scheduled event and decided to hot up the Halloween Art station.  We sat and made shadow cutouts, colored, and told stories.  I made a black cat for Sicong and she loved it.  After our art stop we explored the rest of the grounds including the carnival area and the castle.  We then loaded the coach and drove for about a half hour to our hotel.  We were so excited to be in a hotel instead of a hostel and with only two to a room, but it turned out it wasn’t much nice then a hostel.  The remainder of the day was free for us to do whatever.  Courtney, Kacey, Annie, Lauren, Laura, and I went and attempted to find this Methodist church for our religion assignment, but discovered not only was the area it was in ghetto, but the church didn’t.  Once we discovered this we turned around and headed to the main part of town where we walked around and then had a delicious dinner at Pizza Hut.  After eating we went back to the hotel and all of us watched Titanic in Courtney and Lauren’s room.  I discovered that Laura is an expert on the Titanic and had fun asking her very obvious questions with her answering it before realizing I was joking.  It was a fun night and I was happy to just take it easy.  

The Art Station

Living History Museum
            Wednesday started with breakfast at the hotel and then loading the coach for a drive through the Wales countryside ending in western England.  Once back into England we picked up Peter Fagg, our church history guide.  We then drove to Benbow Farm, which is a place where the United Brothers lived and many people were baptized.  From there we headed to a small church called Perish Church ßthat was just below the farm.  After the church we stopped in Ledbury for lunch and to see another church.  We then drove to Herefordshire and hiked to the top of a Beacon.  This was a place Wilford Woodreuff often came and also the hill where Brigham Young received revelation to head North to Manchester to publish the Book of Mormon.  The views from here were stunning and the weather couldn’t have been better.  Our bus driver, Tony, backed into a car in the parking lot, but luckily it wasn’t too bad.  Our final stop was at one of the first LDS chapels in England, Gadfield Chapel.  There is a number lock on the door and to get the numbers for the code you must be able to answer 6 common knowledge questions.  It was rather small, but cool to see.  After the chapel we loaded the coach and endured a 4-hour drive home.  Wales was fun, but it feels really good to be back in London.  

R.I.P. B.D.

Benbow Farm

Perish Church

Inside the church in Ledbury

Top of the World

Making the climb

On top of the Beacon

View on top of the Beacon

Gadfield Chapel

Thursday, October 22, 2009

P.S. I Love You

       Today was a really fun, but rainy day.  Kacey, Laura, and I woke up from a great sleepover in our double bed and headed to meet our Day Tours Unplugged coach.  There were about 12 of us on the tour including some rather obnoxious, yet funny Californian airline workers, our guide named Martin, and a French couple that spoke no English.  The tour left from Dublin at 9AM and we made our first stop at the Dun Laoghaire Pier.  It was actually sunny and the view of the coast was gorgeous.  We then continued on into Wicklow County also called “The Garden of Ireland”, which is where scenes from both P.S. I Love You and Braveheart were filmed.  It was so green and almost mysterious with the mist from the rain.  We drove through Dalkey (home to Bono, U2, Enya, and Van Morrison) and then through Loch Tay.  When we came to the P.S. I Love You Bridge, Martin was kind enough to pull right over and let us get out to see it/take pictures.  After the bridge we continued on through the Wicklow mountains, through Sally Gap (setting for many Braveheart scenes), and then stopped in Glendalough for lunch.  For lunch we went to a darling little Bed & Breakfast where we had scones and hot chocolate.  

Dun Laoghaire

Loch Tay

On the P.S. I Love You Bridge

       After lunch we went to an old settlement and toured a tower and church.  We then had a few hours to explore two different lakes.  It rained off and on, but the setting so beautiful.  After the lakes we loaded the coach and headed back to Dublin.  We unloaded at the stop near Temple Bar and headed back to Bad Ass Café for the exact same dinner.  We then got cute Ireland sweatshirts and wondered around town.  On our way back to the hotel we noticed a movie theater and decided to go to Love Happens.  Let me just say that I feel dumber having seen it.  It was so cheesy and stupid.  After the movie we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

At the Lake

Our Engagement Picture

Exploring the Settlement