Monday, April 7, 2008

Cambridge Trip

We started off our day at 10:45 am when we took the train to the town of Cambridge. The day was beautiful and the sun was shining. When we first got off the train the town seemed really modern and we had to walk about 20 minutes before we hit one of the colleges. The buildings were so old and I honestly thought that this town was better then Oxford. They are both really different though. Oxford is a larger city/town. And Cambridge is alot smaller with more to see all compacted all together.

We made our way to the center of the town and found the main river that flows through all of the old town of Cambridge. We decided that the best way to see the town would be to take a punting boat ride on the river. Many of you know what a gondola ride is in Italy, it is where there is the man on the back of the boat that stands and pushes the boat with a stick. Our tour guide was so funny and told us some great stories about the history of Cambridge and what students are like today. He told us about a student a few years ago that lived in one of the dormitories and when he went to take a test he looked on his contract for is dorm and it said that "a man must be given ail and cheese when he would take an exam." And obviously this rule was made hundreds of years ago but he thought that it would be funny to start enforcing that rule again. Well his teacher gave him his ail and cheese after a huge fuss and then after he took the test his teacher failed him, not because he did bad on his essay but because his teacher did a bit of homework of looking at the rights on the contract as well and what the boy forgot to read is that he must bring a shield and sword with him to class, and he didn't so the teacher failed him. We all laughed at that story. The tour took us to all of the colleges and the ride was about 45 minutes long.

After that we headed to some of the shops to get some souvenirs. Then we made a mad rush to the train station. That tends to be the story of our lives here. We always stay until the very last second in a place and then we end up running to the train. Well we missed our train but that was ok because the train runs ever half hour so that was good. Then when we got back to the center we decided that we should finish up on some home work but that is about our day in Cambridge, it was great!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Today we started off by getting up at 6 am for breakfast and heading out the door by 7:30 to catch the bus for our final and last away trip around England! It was a really sad thought and we all tried to not think about it.

Our first stop was at Blenheim Palace where the duke of Blenheim still lives! Crazy huh, he lives in the far left side of the palace where they obviously didnt do tours there. But we got there around 9:30am and our tour didnt start until 10:30 so we had an hour to walk around the gardens and the cemetery. There was a really pretty lake with a monument on a hill side. We still dont know what the monument was for but it was still a really neat thing to see.

During the tour of the palace we learned alot of really neat things about Consuelo Vanderbilt, she married Charles the 9th duke of Blenheim who was completely broke at the time and if it werent for her money the Blenheim palace would not be in existence. She was forced into her marriage and was in love with some one else way before she even married Charles, but her mother threatened her that if she ever married the man that she was in love with that she would find him and kill him. She really Consuelo Vanderbilt had no choice but to be forced into a marriage. She had two children with Charles and there is a tapestry that hangs in the drawing room in the palace with the family sewn on it. She was a really pretty woman and I wish I could read more about her life, she seemed so interesting to me.

After our tour we headed back out to the bus to go to Cotswald village. It was about an hour away. There was a little path way that we had to take to get to the main town and my professor said that the main part of town reminded him of Disneyland on main street. There were a bunch of people and alot of tourist shops. So my professor took us on a path way through the country side to this place called "Lower Slaughter." The is the complete opposite of what the place is actually like. As you can tell by the picture it is alot quieter then the main town and the houses are alot older and more picturesque. There were little streams with ducks swimming in them and we went passed the old mill where we bought some really good ice cream. The weather was perfect all day! The wind didnt blow at all and the sun came out every once in a while but it was never cold and we enjoyed every minute of it.

On the drive home most of us slept. My friend Anna fell asleep with her mouth open and I decided that it would be funny to take pictures of her with her mouth open. We were all laughing so hard.

When we got home our professors had pre ordered gourmet burgers for us from this place by our flat and they were amazing! I got this cranberry chicken burger and they were huge, most of us could only eat half because they were so big. But our fridge has been broken the past few days so its not like we could save our food and put it in the fridge. Hopefully that gets fixed soon, but the day went great and I am so sad that it was our last trip!

Oxford v. Cambridge Football Game

Sorry, I was suppose to post these pictures a long time ago and I just havnt had the time this week.

On saturday we got tickets to the Oxford v. Cambridge football game! The tickets were really cheap and we had to go to a real football game while we were in England so what better game then the two top univeristy rivals in England! Seeing as that we are huge Oxford fans we all decided to wear our Oxford t-shirts and I wore my sweat shirt.

The weather was really bad and rainy that day and it had been one of the coldest days that we have had in a long time, but we went to the game around 12pm and we got seats right up close to the grass (which we loved) but then the rain started to come in hard side ways and we got soaked so we had to move up higher into the building. But when Oxford scored their first goal we jumped up and started screaming and cheering and as we looked around us we realized that no one was cheering with us. Just when Cambridge scored their first goal. The entire crowd on our side stood up and cheered. We were on the WRONG side for Oxford! Every stared at us, even the cambridge guys with their powder blue blazer jackets on. (They were wearing vintage blazers from way back in the day) But it was pretty imbarrassing. Oh well we still didnt move and our favorite player for Oxford, Homer Sulliven, ran past our side of the stadium when we made him first goal so that was pretty exciting.

The game ended badly. Oxford lost and we were all pretty dissapointed...and very wet. A bunch of people wanted to go to the famous boat race against Cambridge and Oxford but it was so cold that I went home with some people (the majority of us left.) But from what I heard Oxford won the boat race!

The rest of my day included writing a 12 page paper for my Sociollogy class and bed.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Week of Plays!!!

On Thursday night I had bought tickets for this show called "Into the Hoods," it was a really cool hip hop dance show based on the play "Into the woods." The dancers were amazing and they got the audience standing and dancing through out the show. Also when we first got there, paparazzi were everywhere out front because it was "Gala night" ( I think that is what it is called) but it was a fundraiser night for a bunch of British celebrities and so we got to be in a bunch of pictures in the the back ground, it was really cool!
This has been a really eventful day. It started off with Tori Walters and I planning to go to Brighton for the day, but the rain got to be too much and we decided that we should just go another day. So we went out and got tickets to STOMP with Meg Conrnelius and Rocky Rane. We were so excited that we got tickets, because in London it is almost impossible to get tickets to anything on a Friday night. So as Tori and I are walking through Convent Garden looking in shops I see the theater sign for the play Chicago, and I told her how I really wanted to see it but no body would go with me. She told me that she would go with me because she really wanted to see it here. So we decided to go see what would be the best day to see it for a reasonable price and they said that they had a matinee at 4pm on the 4th row available for that same day. So we ended up buying the tickets and had to rush home to get ready for the two plays that we were going to see on the same day! We were both so excited, and in the rush of the excitement a few things started to go wring. Tori had bought an extra ticket for Anna Gordon because we thought that she might want to go, and she did but an hour after we told her that we had a ticket for her she told us that she didnt want to go any more and so we left it up to her to find someone to take the ticket. Tori was upset because if Anna didnt show up then Tori would be out $40. So that was kind of stressful but I knew that Anna would get someone to go. Then as we were on the tube going to Chicago I realized that we forgot to sign out of the book at my apartment. My professors are really strict about people signing in the book if you are going somewhere after 5pm and we had forgot so that was nerve racking too! It was alot of stuff just going wrong but in all honesty we didnt let it affect our amazing time at the play.

After Chicago we ran over to the theater for STOMP to meet Meg and Rocky and the mystery girl who took Anna's ticket. There were 5 minutes till the show started and the girls finally showed up. Erin was first. She told us that Rocky and Meg had left her so she was really confused why they werent there yet. And so we were really concerned that they were going to miss the show. Just as the lights dimmed I saw the girls running to their seats, everyone had made it!

Stomp was amazing, the people came out on stage with garbage cans, lighters, pipes, and sinks that they got the audience wet with! It was great.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

This was kind of a random trip because we were actually suppose to take a trip to Liverpool and Preston over a period of 4 days but we had some weather difficulties and the trip had to be canceled. Alot of people were really upset because this was a trip that alot of the students were planning on going to, but with a huge snow storm up north it just wasnt possible. So our professors gave us the option of going up to Liverpool for just the day on Wednesday. It would cost us 40 pounds to get there so the trip wasnt going to be cheap but I decided that there was just alot in Liverpool to see and what better way to spend the money then taking a trip there, after all it is the home to the Beatles!
The trip started at 7am when our bus came to pick us up. There was only about 15 out of the 40 of us that went to Liverpool so the bus wasnt very big this time. We each got our own row so that was a nice bonus for the 4 hour ride that was ahead of us. Most of us slept the entire way and when we got to Liverpool alot of us were questioning whether it was the best thing to spend our money on. It was pouring down rain and the city looked really modern. Not like I expected it to be. We were all trying to think positive but it just wasnt working. Then when we got out of the bus we stopped next to this dock with boats all along it and this little yellow boat called "The Yellow Duck Marine" came right around the corner. It was so funny, it is one of those boats that can drive on land and then float right on the water. It reminded me of Alaska because there were so many tourist boats like that there.

We made our first stop in this Beatles gift shop and this is where our day got so much better. Obviously you can see by the glasses that we are wearing. Once we saw those in the gift shop we knew that we had to have them for the day!

After we got the glasses we went to the Merrytime Museum. It had a whole section for the ship the Titanic because most of the people working on the Titanic were from Liverpool and the ship the rescued the survivors was from Liverpool. The Titanic was also designed in Liverpool and I didnt know that so it was really interesting. And they had a bunch of Artifacts from the ship. The rest of the museum had a section for slavery and the Navy. It was kind of a random museum and I am not sure how all of these things play together but I learned alot.

The sun started to clear up by this time so we decided to go find this brand new Beatles hotel that has taken 5 years to build. They had statues of them on top of the hotel. It was really cool to see, and on the way there we stopped at this really yummy doughnut stand. The guy made them right on the spot for us, they were the best ones I have every had.

We started to make our way down to the ferry where we got on and took a ride around to the other side of the city. It was about a 50 minute boat ride and really fun because we got to see more of Liverpool then we would have if we just stayed where all the tourist stuff was.

After our boat ride we went to take pictures at the Queen Victoria monument where there were all of these gross construction workers so we didnt stay very long.

We then headed back to the gift shop by our bus to pick up a few more things and some lunch and then we headed back to London for the rest of the day. It was a really great trip and I am so glad that I went!

Sunday, March 23, 2008



Hello everyone and Happy Easter! Today was a freezing cold day in London and I think it was one of the coldest days I have had here so far. This morning when we went to church there were huge snow flakes falling everywhere and the tube station was closed on the district line (which is the one that we normally take to church). So we had to take the bus which wasn't to bad we just had to wake up a little earlier then we wanted to. Megan Perry and I both spoke today in our ward, it was a really good sacrament because two of the girls in my young women's have incredible voices and so they sang a song and then Megan and I had to speak after them which was really hard to follow because the whole congregation was in tears for the song that the girls were singing. Our building was freezing cold and the heater wasn't on in our classroom for young women's so the elders brought in heaters and we sat in a circle like it was a camp fire. For the past few weeks after church we have been trying our hardest to make it to the tram station on time because if we are even a second late to make the tram we have to wait another 20 minutes before another one comes. Last week we didn't even have time to buy our tickets for the tram and luckily they didn't check to see if any had their tickets. So today we ran to the tram station and there was one minute left before the tram came, once again we didn't have enough time to buy all four of our tickets so we just got on the tram and hoped that they wouldn't catch us again. Which they didn't so that was good. Tonight for dinner the Schuellers (the director of the program and his family) made us ham and cheesy potatoes, and then we had a raffle for a bunch of British chocolate! Every body got some thing but it was really fun. The only problem with today is that my professors have planned for us to do our religion class tonight, I have no idea why they would want to do that on Easter but I have to go to that and take a quiz. Mom I took a picture in front of my flat with my new skirt on. I remembered that we always take pictures in front of our house on Easter and Christmas so I did that for you. And here are a few pictures of my flat and kitchen duty that I had last week. Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

West coast trip!

I have to say that this was one of the most incredible trips I have taken around England. This last week was our trip to the west coast. We had origionally planned to take the trip last week but a hurricane left us making a few changes. Penzance was completely covered in water and so we did the first half of our trip last week, which was our trip to Bath, and we did Penzance this week. In the end it was the best thing that we changed our plans because the weather was fantastic the entire trip.

We started our drive on wednesday morning at 5am! Anna Gordon and I have become bus buddies and we have finally got the perfect system down for these long bus rides. It is funny as look towards the back of the bus most everyone is sleeping sitting up with their mouths wide open and it is so funny that you cant help but take pictures of them. The drive was about 5 hours and we stopped at a small town called Cloverly. As the bus pulled up we couldnt see the town because in order to get there we had to walk down a hill to the beach. It was a cute little cottage town with pebble stone pathways and in order to get into the town you had to pay. There was an artist painting a picture of the ocean and part of the town and it just made the town that much more picturesc.

Tintagel was the next stop on our list and it was a few hours away from Cloverly. Tintagel is on a hill that we had to hike to and there are remnants of a castle on top of this hill that over looks the ocean. They say that this is the castle where King Arthur was concieved. So now I can say that I have been to King Arthurs seat in Scotland and King Arthurs castle! The castle was no longer standing but there were ruins left of it, walls and an alter from the church that was in castle. The wind was so bad because we were so high up and right next to the ocean but it was still a great time. Some of the girls decided to do some Yoga on the cliffs over looking the ocean. That was funny to watch.

As we climbed back off the mountain we had some time left so we walked around in town. There were two things that our proffesors told us to get while we were on the west coast. They were Cornish Pasty's and Cornish clotted cream ice cream. A bunch of us found a cute little ice cream store and bought our first Clotted cream ice cream. They were deliscious!

After a long day of riding on the bus we finally made it to our hostel near Penzance. We were all put into the same groups for rooms that we had before in our last hostel in Bath so that was fun to be with the same girls again. We had made a quick stop at the grocery store before we got to our hostel so that we could buy some dinner. It was a really long day and all of us were pretty tired so we went to bed pretty early that night so that we could be ready for the next day.

That morning we had breakfast at the hostel, nothing fancy just cereal. We then headed out to Landsend. This is where our 6 mile hike started and we really didnt know what to expect. In the beginning our professors told us not to take our rain boots and I thought that they were crazy. I was determined to bring my boots because there was no way that I wanted to have muddy pants and shoes the whole trip. Well in the end I didnt bring my boots on the trip and I was glad because our hike just would not have been the same if I wore my rain boots hiking.

The view was amazing when we started and there isnt a whole lot to say about our hike because it was great the whole time. The beaches looked like tey had never been touched by anyone, there was white sand that looked like pillows next to the water and the ocean water was brigh green and blus and completely clear next to the white sand. I never thought that the beaches in England would have looked like this.
After the hike we were pretty tired I will admit and extremely hungery so we went into the town of Landsend and bought some English candies for the ride to the Eden Project (Our next destination).
In the beginning we were given two groups of travel that we could join. One group would be going to the town of St. Ives and the other to what is called "The Eden Project." I chose the Eden one. It is a project where they are trying to collect every type of plant in the world. Obviously they are just starting off but they have a large number of plants so far. The green houses are in these huge biomes and there are two of them. One biome is for Meditteranian plants an the other is for Rain forest plants. I was so glad that I chose the Eden project because it was really interesting to see the different things that they have collected and put together. The rain forest actually felt like you were there. They had water falls and banana trees and cocoa plants. It was great for about the first 45 min. and then it got so hot and our clothes started to stick to us. After our trip there we headed back to our hostel and got another great nights sleep.
For our last day some of the students decided to go watch the sun rise on the ocean. We then ot ready for our long drive home. We had one more stop before we headed out and it was to Michaels Mount. The guard at the front told us that the wind was to bad so they closed the path way that led up to the castle on the top of the hill on the island but we could walk on the causeway if we wanted. Michaels Mount is a castle on a island and normally water surrounds it but when the tide is out from 10:30am to 12:30 pm people can just walk to the island on the sand so that is what we did. When we got to the island they had a few little shops that we could go through and we found this dog that was huge and he was just so funny blowing in the wind that we had to take a picture with him. His name was murphy. I bought a really pretty print of Penzance in a shop there and it was about lunch time and I hadnt had a Cornish Pasty yet so we went into this little restaurant and had pasty's. (They are like calzone shaped pot pies)

After our trip to the island we headed back to the bus for a long ride home. My teacher Joe Ostraff has a son named Ethen that sat infront of us on the bus and he entertained us the entire way home. One of the girls on the bus, Tori got sick and had to lay on the floor for a while because she was so motion sick. The drive home was long and we were ready to be home in the end. It loved every minute of our trip though!