Friday, February 29, 2008

Stratford-Upon-Avon! Hello Shakespeare!

The trip started out extremely early in the morning, at 6:30am to be exact. I had to wake up that early in order to get a shower before we left at 7am. Its a really good thing that our water heater is broken or else it would have been a really miserable shower. Wait a was a miserable shower! The people that were suppose to fix it still haven't done anything and BYU has a contract with them so they are just being really lazy about getting it fixed. We are now going on a week of taking ICE cold showers here in London and it about freezes my brain every time. I have the biggest head ache after, and I don't even think that we are even getting that clean here because the soap will just freeze to us and crumble when we try to use it. It is NO FUN! The bus ride over there was about three hours and I was so tired that I slept most of the ride, which I hate doing because the scenery is amazing with the green hills and sheep and everything. It is just so pretty. The morning didn't just start off bad because of my shower though. A few weeks ago I had bought Phantom of the Opera tickets and we had planned to go on the same day as our trip, not knowing that we were going to Stratford Upon Avon. So we had to try and sell our tickets or else the four of us girls were going to be out of $50. One of the girls went to this University called Arcadia by us and put an add up for the students to let them know that we had tickets available for them to buy from us. We got a few responses and this made us so happy because then we wouldnt lose any money. Well, one of the girls here told the people that were going to buy them that she would meet them to exchange tickets and money. Well my friend forgot. I was pretty mad because we had been trying so hard to sell them and then our one chance to get money out of them she forgot. So she called them that night and apologized for forgetting and asked if they still wanted them. The obviously still did, and this is where I got a little confused. The girls told them that she would leave the tickets at the front desk at Arcadia for them to pick up and they could leave the money in the envelope that she left there for them. I didn't really understand that logic because we are in a foreign country and not everyone is honest, so I was extremely worried that we were going to get ripped off.
The whole time at Stratford I couldn't stop thinking about the tickets, it just made me sick. But when we arrived home we got an email from the people that got the tickets from us and they said that Arcadia wouldn't let them leave the money there because the University didn't want to be responsible for all of that money but the woman said that she would meet us anytime to have her pay us and she thanked us for the tickets. So in the end it did work out and I am so glad that the people that took our tickets were honest because it would have been so easy for them to have just taken them and avoided paying us.
So now that I have gotten that story out of the way want to tell you about my visit to Stratford!
Our first stop was at Anne Hathaway's cottage! My professor told us that this is the place where she lived before she married John Groburg...Well if you know your history well enough, there was another Anne Hathaway who was the wife of Shakespeare. This is the cottage that she grew up in and it was so cute. As we pulled up you could see this small little garden in the trees with this cottage that seriously looked like snow white cottage. It had a straw roof and the flowers were so pretty everywhere. The tour didn't start until 10am so we were able to wander for a while. I found a gift shop for the cottage and they sold these really pretty prints of the house and the flowers so I bought two of them. One of my professors wives gets the biggest kick out of me because I am always looking for really pretty prints to buy of places that I go to. But I look at it as a really good investment for when I have my own house and I can have the pictures hanging in there. The picture with Mike and I holding the little things that say "Out, damned spot!" Are erasers, we thought that they were pretty funny.

So after the cottage we went to Shakespeare's birth place. My professor thought that he was funny and asked me where the epidural room was in the building. It fooled a few of the girls, they actually thought that Shakespeare's mom would have had an epidural when giving birth to Shakespeare. It was pretty funny. The whole town is so old! Just eh houses an everything you can see from the pictures have stayed the same and alot of the floors haven't even been replaced from his time. CRAZY!

We also went to this old church where Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway are buried. It was a really great experience to see that and get pictures with it.
We had a play to go to at 1pm called Henry the 4th by Shakespeare. Well it was least the beginning and the end, I don't remember much of the middle, seeing as that I fell asleep because I didn't understand most of what they were saying and there is obviously no music involved so I crashed pretty fast. I should have read a summery of it before but I didn't so the play was really confusing. It was a really great thing to end the day with because we went on an entire Shakespeare tour and then we got to end the day with one of his plays. It was a beautiful town and so fun to just walk around in. We left for home around 5pm and made it home in time for dinner and it gave us time to relax from our long drive.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Last day in Scotland!

This is the last day of our trip and I will tell you that I am so excited to go back to London. I have realized through my travels here in Europe that the French (at least in Paris) are grouchy, People in London are friendly, but the people in Scotland are really really friendly. The Scottish people are just alot more laid back then alot of the other people.

We started the day at 8am and slowly got out of bed to have breakfast and pack to go home. I had bought a banana and a granola bar the day before so we just hung out at the hostel for breakfast that morning as we packed. The girl in the bunk below me (Brittnee) bought bagpipes and was trying to figure out that morning how she was going to get them home. We were all so tired from our hike in the rain so we were in no hurry to get up that morning. My feet hurt so bad because I had hiked in my rain boots and those were the only shoes that I had brought for the trip. So I was starting to form blisters even though I was wearing all of the socks that I had brought (which was 5 pairs). That morning I put on all of the clothes that I had brought (which wasnt much) and this made it alot lighter for my back pack. I am sure that I smelled really good wearing all of my dirty clothes, I felt like a home less person.

We made our way back out of the hostel and we wanted to go back to a few shops before we left for the plane. The gypsy store was at the top of our list and I bought a journal there.

Some of the girls wanted to go to the Edinburgh University to see what the college looked like so we made our way down there. It was really old looking and we came across the school library, the sign to it read "Library Pub." I have never heard a library being at a bar but that is just the way that they do it in Scotland I guess. We also made our way up to the English department and were able to see some of the papers that students have written that were graded by their instructors. They were extremely harsh and I realized then and there that I was not cut out to be a student at a university like that.

On our way closer to the bus station to catch our plane, we made a quick stop to the national gallery of Scotland. I bought a childrens book that has scottish words in it, its called "Katie goes to Grandpa's Ferm" I had to buy it!

For lunch we went to this place called "Chocolate Soup" They have chocolate pancakes and they really do have chocolate soup! I just got a sandwich because obviously I needed somthing more then just a melted down candy bar. But the place was so fun! We were trying to kill some time so we were in that restaurant for about an hour. Once we finally had the energy to walk again we headed up towards this hillside that has a bunch of old Roman ruins. We stopped on the way at this really neat graveyard and took some pictures there.
When we got to the Roamn Ruins it was a great way to end our trip to Scotland. The weather was beautiful and the view was almost as incredible as the view from Arthers Seat.
This is actually a great view of Arthers seat from the hill of the ruins.
We finally made it to the bus station to catch it over to the airport. And once we got to the airport we met the rest of our group and talked about the great time that we had in Scotland as we waited to get on our plane.

When we got home I found out that the heater to our shower was broken, I know, Great thing to come home to right? I am so mad and tired and cold that I just went and got in the shower any way and it was so cold that the soap just froze to my skin, I dont even know how clean I actually even got but it felt alot better after I was out. That is the end of my trip to Scotland!

Long rainy day in Edinburgh

Today is the second day of our trip to Edinburgh and we were so tired so we slept in until 9am. After we finally slugged out of bed we got all of our warm clothes on because the plan for the day was to hike Arthers seat. It is the tallest mountain point in Edinburgh and it looks over the entire city. The hike isnt that bad, but when you combine rain and wind it tends to make it a bit more difficult. We were given a locker to put our stuff in at the hostel that Andrea and I shared. I put most of my stuff in there because I didnt want to have to pack all of my things up the mountain. I took the most essential things with me up the mountain like my passport and money but most everything else I left there. I had worn two pairs of leggings under my jeans and three shirts along with a sweat shirt and my coat with rain boots. I was completely bundled up. We had to walk back down the Royal mile to get to the starting point of the mountain and as we got there it started to pour down rain. Not just sprinkle rain, but it was blowing side ways! But that didnt stop us. This was our one time in Edinburgh and we wanted to do everything, rain or shine. I was really glad that I wore my boots because the girls that I was with were soaked at their pants even in the first part of our hike.

As we got closer to the top it started to hail and the wind was so strong that we had to stop and hold onto some boulders so that the wind didnt blow us off the mountain. It was getting really scary but we were determind! As we got to the top we had to hide next to some rocks for the wind to go down, 10 minutes into us waiting at the top the sky cleared and the sun started to shine through. It was the most incredible view from the top. We could see the Isle of Skye across the way and we could see the entire city and even farther! Pictures wont ever justify the view. Just as we got the good weather we decided that we better go back down before it got worse. Half way down the mountain the wind started to pick up again and we were glad that we werent on top of the mountain any more. We were able to see a natural well and some old Roman Ruins on the hills as we made our wayto the bottom.

When we reached the bottom we looked like we had just gone swimming in the river. I was completely soaked, everything was; including my passport, journal, camera case (luckily I had kept it in my pocket so that it wasnt damaged). This put us in a delema because the clothes that we were wearing were the only ones that we had. so we couldnt go back and change...we had nothing to change into. So we went to a Starbucks right up the street and bought lunch and hot chocolate. It was a good place to relax but I think the people were a little upset with us dragging water into the cafe. Wet and cold we decided to go to the palace of Hollyrood, where the queen lives during the summer when she comes to Scotland. This is also the palace where Mary Queen of Scots lived. We were able to get audio guides and listen to the many stories that went on in this palace. We heard a story about Mary and how she was having an affair with her secretary and her husband found out and stabbed the man 57 times in her bed chamber (which we got to see!) this is the palace that she lived in before she went to England to ask Elizabeth for help, in which Elizabeth put her in prison for 19 years before her execution. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during this time period. Marys son James is the one that united Scotland and England.

After our tour we decided that we needed a break so we found this movie that is 3D of Locness. We didnt end up going on the tour with the rest of the group so we decided that the best way to see Locness because the rain was so bad would be to see a 3D movie about it. Did you know that the Locke is as deep as 2 of the Edinburgh castles! That is so crazy.

Dinner was next on the agenda and we were starving! So we found this little Italian place that was so good! The waiter started to talk to us about American politics and the elections and his friend got mad and told us that we were not allowed to discuss that kind of thing there. It was pretty funny because they are both from Italy. Nothing goes on after 6pm, so we headed back to the hostel after that. We were all so tired and we decided that one more day of not showering would probably be ok, but my hair was so bad because I hadnt washed it in 3 days so I washed my hair in the sink that night and it is just so weird because the bathrooms at the hostel are combined so males and females are together. That was weird to adjust to and I tried to not spend much time in there. That night I was looking forward to a good nights sleep and putting on dry pajama's.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1st full day in Scotland!

When we got to Scotland we got off the bus and headed to the bathroom to brush our teeth and get ready for a long day of walking around the city. I had my worn my pajama's on the bus and so when I put on my clothes that took a whole lot of weight out of my backpack. I only took one pair of pants for the trip and two shirts. That is about all I could take in my back pack...this was a very "light" trip. We had packed breakfast in London so we didnt have to buy anything when we got ot Scotland, so we had our breafast and headed out into the rainy city.
The first stop was to follow the group to help them check into their hostel. We had a really great walk past the national gallery and the Edinburgh castle to get to the hostel. As we walked there the wind was blowing like crazy and we could barely hold our ground.
This is Kendra and I out side the hostel, we took a bunch of pictures and this is the best one that turned out...we look really good huh!
After going to the hostel we went to the castle that you see in the back groud of the picture, The Edinburgh castle!
We got to see alot of cool things like the crown jewles and the castle has an amazing view that looks over the enire city. There were also doors that were on display in glass cases from the prison. It had carvings in it from the prisoners that stayed there. then there are also the canons that are always fun to see.

After the castle we decided that we needed a break and honestly I will admit that we were feeling a little tired seeing as that I hadnt had that good a night of sleep and we were just really tired from traveling so we went to a small pub to get some hot chocolate and we ended up running into Anna Gordon, Andrea, and Erin. They were having a really great meal of Haggis and black pudding. (Really groas Scottish food)
While we were there I had the feeling that it would probably be easier on Kendra if I just took Aimees place at the hostel and let her stay with Kendra at her friends house. They were planning on going on a bus tour through Locness (?) the next day and it would just be a hassle if we had to figure out where I would go for the day, so I just let them go do their thing and I stayed with Anna and the girls that we saw at the pub. It turned out to be a really good idea and I was glad that I did that.

The hot chocolate at the pub was AMAZING! They served it with a chocolate bar in it with whip cream covered on top!

After the pub Anna, Andrea and Erin decided that we should start by walking down this famous street called "The royal mile" It is like a main street with tons of gift shops, a total tourist trap, kilts are sold around every corner. We found this really fun Indian shop that sold some really fun head bands and books and stuff with beads all over it. Anna called it the Gypsy store and the joke the whole time we were in Scotland was that we were "The three Gypsys." She gave us all names, Anna-Arrabella, me-gabriella and Andrea-Esmarelda. Yes I know what you are thinking, we were extremely tired! But the streets ends at Parlament and then we took a right and went down a street called "Princes Street." This was really fun but the shops that they had were nothing unusual, it looked alot like the shops that I see here in London like "Top shop" and "H&M" So we didnt spend much time there. It started to get dark and so we decided to go out to dinner and this place called "Yum Yum" It was a little place by our hostel that sold anything from Pizza and sandwiches to fish and chips. I got the fish and chips for 3 pounds! It was very exciting because the cheapest that I have seen it about 7 pounds for that so I was really happy about that. When it hits around 6 pm in Europe there isnt much to do after that besides pubs so we headed back to our hostel to get a good nights rest. Anna and Andrea were so funny the whole night. We tried to keep eachother awake late enough so that we could get a good nights sleep. We were all ready to go to bed at 7pm which wouldnt have been good, but we were so tired. Each room at the hostel had a certain name and theme to the room. Our room was themed after an old childrens book called "Mr. Men" I was Mr. happy. There was also Mr.strong, Mr. grumpy and several others. But the other part of our group stayed in the "Happy days" room. It was great!

Bus ride to Scotland

Today we left on a bus for Scotland but that is just the smallest part of the night. It all started with our trip that morning to Hampton Court that I have shown you pictures on, that was on wednesday morning and the weather was freezing cold so we left early that morning to go back to our flat to pack for our trip to Scotland. At 9:30 pm we left for the bus, Me, Kate, Rebecca, Amanda and Lindsay to meet the rest of the group. We left with just our back packs and Mike is the one that had bought the tickets for all of us so we left with him (he is a really good leader, we tend to just follow him around half the time.) The plan was that I would stay with Kendra at her friends house in Edinburgh so as I look around at the bus station I dont see her or Aimee there. I started to panic...we all did because they had left a half an hour before us and it isnt that hard to find the bus station so we thought somthing had happend to them. We started loading on the bus and I am starting to get really nervous because I havnt made a reservation at a hotel or hostel. I figured though if Aimee missed the bus with Kendra I could just use her reservation at the hostel so I did at least have an option. Right as the bus driver starts up to leave I look out the window and I see 2 girls running down the hall of the bus station. They made it at the last minute! What happend is that they got on the wrong tube, they went to Earls court tube station instead of Victoria. We were so happy that we didnt have to call the center to tell the directors that we had lost 2 girls and we hadnt even made it to Scotland yet. That wouldnt have been good.
As we got on the bus I found my way to the back, Lindsay and I sat together right infront of these guys from Scotland. They looked like they were in a band or somthing because they had guitars and stuff and they looked like they had some to drink as well so I thought about how long the bus ride would be with these guys talking behind me the whole way. Luckily my friend Kate that sat in front of me had a Lunesta sleeping pill and I took one of them. After 20 minutes I was out! Those 9 hours on the bus flew by because I was completely unconcious the whole time.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hampton Court!


Today is another "away" trip from the center. We normally go somewhere in England on Wednesdays and Hampton Court was a really great place to go. We started out the day at about 9am and were divided into groups of 4 because that was how we got discounts for our train tickets. I was in a group with Kate, Aimee and Emily. Then once we got to Hampton Court we met up with Kate and Mike to look around the palace. This is the palace where Henry the 8th lived and we heard alot of cool stories about Kathrine and how he found out that she was having an affair and so he had his guards drag her down the hall screaming. We got to see that hall! The palace was amazing and we got to see inside all of the rooms. We also went out into the garden where there were these really cool trees and the guard told us that if we come back in the spring the trees pollinate so much that they look like they are on fire!
The fog was horrible that morning so that put a damper on our plans, but while we were inside the palace the fog started to clear up so by the time that we went out to the gardens we could see everything. We also went through this maze that is really famous there and we actually did get lost considering how small it was. There is was jsut alot of fog so you really couldnt see where you were going.
We started to get extremely cold by the end and some of our friends had to be back for dinner crew so we decided to leave around 3pm. But it was definitly a great trip.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I got to see WICKED!!!

This week has been so incredible! It all started with monday...I had class and that wasnt very exciting because I have class from 1-4 pm and then dinner is at 5 pm and then right after dinner we have Family Home Evening for about 2 hours. So I spend alot of my day inside on mondays. So right after dinner I went and explored in the park for an hour and I took some really cool pictures of the Kensington Gardens. There was an old man that was feeding all of these squirrels and they would just eat right out of his hand. At family home evening we went to my proffesors flat, the Ostraffs. We played this game called "In the manner of the adverb" and it was so fun. The object of the game is to act out a certain adverb and the main person is supposed to figure out what adverb you are acting out. It was so fun and then we have muffins after.

Tuesday I woke up and had breakfast and then I was hopeing that I would be able to go running in the park. The park is beautiful! All of the flowers are blooming the grass is so green with swans and ducks swimming in the pond/lake in the gardens. It is the best run. Well tuesday morning I found out that some people were going to get "Wicked" tickets and I really wanted to go so I scratched my run for the day and went to the box office with Rebecca, Mike and Michelle. We asked the woman at the office if we could get student tickets for the show that night and she told us that we could but the only problem was that we needed to buy two other tickets for Kate and Kristen who needed to be there to show their student ID in order to buy a student ticket. So we asked her if there were any seats available for cheap that we could get with out a student discount and she sold us 6 tickets for the FRONT ROW OF WICKED!!! And this is the best...we got them for the same price as the student tickets, 25 pounds! That night when we were getting ready for it my friend Rocky is a make up artist and she did my make up incredible for that night also she let me borrow this really pretty black dress and this huge diamond neklace. I felt so dressed up for the night and it was so fun! My friend Kate also got her make up done so we looked fabulous! When we got to Wicked the outside is exactly how I imagined broadway! The screen was all lit up with the big Wicked sign out front that we took pictures of. When we walked into find our seats we looked around us and the theater was huge! And we walked all the way to the front row in the middle!!! It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my whole life! I will never be able to describe the energy that I saw on that stage. I could see the spit coming out of their mouths when they would sing and what made it so amazing is that I could see their facial expressions while they sang. That was probably the most exciting, incredible thing I have seen here since I have been in London! Nothing beats Wicked on the front row!

After the musical we wanted to get the stars to sign our books but we couldnt find them and so as we were walking away we saw this random door with some people walking out of it, and I GOT ALL OF THEM TO SIGN MY PROGRAM!!! And I got pictures with all of them! I am just so excited right now I cant even explain.

Today we had to wake up at 7am because we went to Windsor Palace. It started out a not very fun morning because we stopped at this place where they have a commemoration for the Magna Carta and I will tell you that it was the longest walk in the mud and nobody warned us to wear rain boots, we were all covered in mud and I eventually got to a point where after we saw the commemoration some people wanted to walk farther in the mud and I just turned around and went back to the bud, Alot of people gave up because it was just too cold and muddy to walk any more. When everyone got back on the bus we hit the road to Windsor. As we were pulling into the city the view was so cool! There is this road called the "Long walk" where you can walk up to the palace gate but we just drove all the way to the top because it really is too long. We were able to get Audio guides that took us through the castle and they were a huge help. They told us where all of the Royal families are burried and it took us through all of the rooms and explained what happend in each room. As we were leaving we took some pictures out side of the castle jumping in the air and that took FOREVER!! Try getting 40 girls happy about taking one pictures (we had to do so many retakes!)

After the castle we loaded back onto the bus and went to this church called Poke Stoges to see the grave of Thomas Grey the writer. That wasnt the most exciting part. The best for me was to see the view on the other side of the church. The view is of this enormous pond/lake and this huge mansion that was filmed in the movie James Bond! The new one! It is the one of the golf course so if you remember that part, I got to see it!

We were all pretty burt out from the day so after that we went home and had waffles for dinner! Not just ordinary ones they were already cooked in tons of sugar. I didnt have any because seriously I could not have that for dinner so my friends Kate and I just had left overs from the night before. Any way that was my week so far I know it was really long but it has been amazing!

Monday, February 11, 2008


These are the two short videos that I made for you, enjoy!

This is the second video:

I hope that you liked them...hopefully you are able to get them to work on the computer that you are using. I love you have a good day!

Friday, February 8, 2008


Hello once again! This week has been really busy just with Oxford and then I went to a play called "The Woman in Black" It was so scary! It is about this man that has a night mare about a certain incident that happened in his life and in order to get rid of this nightmare he makes it into a play. He wants to share it with everyone so that he can some how get rid of it. The nightmare is about this woman that lives in this old house on a marshy foggy island of of England and her ghost still haunts the house. The man goes to the house and see's the woman in black and so that is what the play is about. But my friends and I were screaming the entire time and I was so scared that the woman was just going to pop up in the audience so I had to keep my feet off the floor as well. THE BEST PLAY EVER! That night my friend Meg and I waited up until 3 am to dress all in black and then we went up stairs and crawled on the floor of Kates room and jumped up and scared her....she didnt think that it was that funny. She was really scared of the play so our plan didnt go over very well with her, but we also went to Liz's room and we crawled up the stairs because she is on the 5th floor and she thought some psycho was creeping up her stairs...she about had a heart attack it was so funny.
Yesterday I went to the tower of London to take some pictures for an assignment and on the way I stopped off at this book store and I bought a few really good books. In the mornings I really like going running and I go to Hyde Park. there are alot of people walking their dogs and there is a lake with ducks and other birds everywhere. It is so green here! Today I walked farther into Hyde Park and I found this place where it looks like Spring has sprung! The flowers were everywhere! Red, purple, pink and yellow. The grass is bright green and the trees have all their leaves on them. It didnt look at all like it is February here. The Peter Pan statue is also there along with the Princess Diana memorial fountain which is huge. I love to go there.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Today went to Oxford and the town is so small. It is not the typical campus it has four colleges on it and there are no classes held there, the students do alot of one on one work with the proffesors. We went to this place called Christs Church and it is where Harry Potter is filmed with the great dining hall and in the court yard we found the place where the weasley twins have a scene in the movie too. Here is a video of Kate and I using Magic spells in the court Yard.

Here is another video of us in the Great hall where they held the big meals at Hogwarts!

We saw alot of really cool stuff today along with these beautiful gardens... which are located at the top of this blog!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today was our last day in Paris and I am so glad! It has been amazing but I can honestly say that I have done everything possible in Paris that there is to do. Verssailles would be fun again in the summer but that would be the only thing. Last night was so cold that I slept with my coat on again and it was so hard for me to wak up this morning. My friend Kate sat up in her bed and said to me in a sleepy voice " I am not going anywhere today!" And then she went back to her bed and she whined about how she didnt want to go back out into the rain again today. We were all complaining but it was so funny. We had breakfast and then we had our last meeting together before we would meet at the train station that night.
Last night we went to this Lingerie store and I think that I left my back of suvineers there and they got stollen because I couldnt find them anywhere that night. I was really mad about it but at the same time I am thankful that it wasnt my wallet or anything like that. The stuff in the bag was replaceable and it was only about $11 so that was better then a huge amount of stuff. Today I replaced it all anyway.
We went to the biggest graveyard in all of Paris today and it was so cool and creepy! We got to see Mozarts grave and the rain was coming down like crazy, it was a great place to play hide and seek!
After that we went to this place called the Pomedu. It is a modern art museum and the building itself is the best part. All of the piping is on the outside of the building. So my friend Kendra and I just wanted to see the outside and that was it and then we went over to this museum called the Rodin Museum. It is actually in Rodins house, he was a sculpture (the creator of the Kiss and the Thinker) both were amazing to see!
After the museum we went to the Orangerie with Kate, Rebecca and Mike to see Monets paintings of the lilly pads. He told the Museum that they could display them if they displayed them in Oval rooms and that is what we saw. When we would go in these museums they have a "cloak room" and you can take them your back packs and coats...its so nice because we had so much stuff!
After that we went back to Socra Couer to get some suvineers and get rid of the rest of our Euros. At 6:30 pm we headed to the train station and we stayed there until we left. There was not anything left to do in Paris! We were done!


1/31/08 Today was thursday in Paris and I can honestly say that I am completely exhausted and cant wait to go back to our flat in London. English people are alot nicer and cleaner the the French. After breakfast today we went to this museum called the Orsay. It had tons of famous paintings like Renior and Van Gogh and Degas. Proffesor Ostraff lectured for our art class for the first hour and then we were free to roam around. My friend Amy and I saw this escalator that went up stairs and so we jumped on, what we didnt realize is that there were no stairs to come back we got lost for a while. To our surprise those stairs led us to the coolest part of the museum...the ballerina paintings by Degas! And I actually bought two of the prints in the gift shop because I loved them so much. Some of us are so burnt out from looking at Museums that was had to sit down in the hall for a while and take a break because the French for some reason do have any where to sit in any museum (I figured that out early on). After the Orsay Museum we went to the Metro to catch an RER train to Versailles. The RER is a train that goes out to the suburbs of Paris and it is very convenient for tourists because it goes through the city itself. Well the RER is alot more complicated then the Metro because it travels farther and everything is in Frech once again! It took us three hours to get there, when we finally figured out where we were going we stopped at this little cafe where we bought our RER tickets and I bought this crab pita good! After we all had somthing to eat we were in a much better mood and so we got back on the train and headed to Versailles. When we got there we were all surprised because we were expecting it to be in the coutry because we have seen pictures of the gardens and everything. It was the exact opposite. There was city all around it and then you hit this road where you turn right and there is this huge old palace with gardens all around it. It was so cold outside and when we got there our first response was " lets get this over with." We were given these museum passes that let us into the palace and all over Paris for free so that was nice. When we got inside I bought this headset, best decision I have made this whole trip! It took me through each room of the palace on a guided tour telling me about all of the rooms and what took place in them. The palace was owned by King Louis and Marie Anntionnette, who was eventually beheaded. Each room is painted with a special design of either gold, silver, or red. This is the palace that is famous for having the "Hall of Mirrors." These people were so bizzare int he way that they spent money. Going to Verssailles was honestly the best part of the whole trip. I wish that I could go back in the summer to see the gardens and everything.
For dinner we went to this place by Notre Dame, there was a group of ten of us and we all got different kinds of Pizza's. I feel like I have spent so much money on food its insane...but really, I dont regret it at all because it all was so good!

Monday, February 4, 2008

1/30/08 This morning I hit my snooze button twice before I actually got out of bed. Paris wore me out! Once again I slept with my coat on. We all did and Kate slept with that blanket with the booger on it again, its so funny. After breakfast we had a meeting again about things that they wanted us to do in Paris and then we were able to go our own ways.
We went the to Arc De Triumph and saw the tomb of the unknown soldier where they have a candle lit all the time for him.

Once again we had to climb up the stairs and it felt like they were never ending as well. But the view was worth it when we got to the top. I was kind of grumpy after an hour of taking pictures because I really wanted to go the the Louvre Museum. The Arch is cool but it is really old after a while. The Museum was incredible! I saw paintings by David and Van Gogh. I also saw the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo the statue and Winged Victory. The only reason I knew about these things are all because I my horrible humanities class that I suffered through last semester, I actually thank that proffessor now because he prepared me for all of these things! When we walked out of the Museum there was this really cool sunset that had the Eiffel tower in the background. It was so pretty! We were inside the museum for about 4 hours which wasnt as bad as you think because there were so many cool things there.
For dinner that night we went to this place called "Hugos." It was so fun, just this little cafe that had French cuisine. I got this creamy pasta with Salmon in it, I got about half way through it and I was so full, they had so much food! The restaurant use to be outside so they covered it with plastic things and we had a heater over us with candles lit every where, so pretty. We recommended it to some of our friends for the next day and when they went they got ot listen to this guy sing while they ate their dinner. We went to this little bakery across the street after and they had these cute little wedding cakes they looked like. And tons of eclairs and stuff like that. It was a really cute little place. That night my friend Kendra and I went to this internet cafe that was owned by an Arab guy and he smoked up a storm. We were there for the shortest amount of time possible.

2nd day in Paris!

Today is the 20th of January and I am completely exhausted from walking around yesterday. Our hotel room is freezing cold so I wore my coat to bed. The heater in our room works but not very well. That morning I woke up at 7:30 am to take a shower (we have mold dripping from our sealing when it gets too steamy in side) so that I could have an early breakfast before we left to walk around the city again. For breakfast at the hotel they have, bread...bread and more bread. Oh and cheese! But no fruit of veggies. They also serve hot chocolate for breakfast with chocolate toast. No body brought blow dryers or straight irons for their hair so we had to go all natural every day that we are there.
We had so many people in my group that day that every one was onry. So many people wanted to do different things and its hard to please 11 girls in Paris so we had to find a way to separate. That morning we went to the San Chappel. It is the cathedral with all of this beautiful stained glass on the top room of the building. My friends Michelle and I thought that it would be funny to talk like British people, and see who could go the longest. We did it for about 3 hours. We went through security and everything at the cathedral like that. It was so funny. After we walked back down the stairs in the cathedral we realized that we had lost two of our girls... Laurie Rocky Rane and Erin. They kind of wandered off and so we spent an hour looking for them.
After we found them we went to Notre Dame Cathedral! It was amazing and no we didnt ever see Quasimodo. But we did climb up to the bell tower. The stairs to the top seemed never ending. It was a spiral staircase in a tower that we had to climb up and you could never see the end so it just kept going. When we got to the top we saw the most incredible view of Paris. You could see the Eiffel tower and Sucre Couer. There was a perminant fog over the city and the limb to the top was totally worth it.
When we came back down there was a little art store where I bought some prints of different sites that I went to that day and I bought the most amazing ham and cheese crepe that they made right in front of me at this stand.
We continued on to the Pantheon that was massive! The French people call it "The temple of the Nations." We decided to draw inside for a while to get some hours in for my art class. When we walked out of the building it started to get really cold so we stopped at this small pasterie place and had some treats. These little French kids heard us speaking English and decided that it would be funny to mock us about our language. So they started singing and we realized that they were singing high school musical. It was so funny we started laughing with them and then they went away.
That night we went to this mall in Paris that is a huge designer place. The clothes were extremely expensive so I went outside to look at some of the stands on the road side. I bought some perfume at a small stand for 10 euros! It was a steal, and the Perfume is calle "Jerdin de Paris!"
We finally decided to leave at 7 pm because we were so tired before we went to the hotel we made a stop at this grocery store and I bought some French candy, they are small coke cola bottles that taste just like the real thing!


Paris was definitley a huge adventure! And it is also probably one of the groassest citys in the world. The first day of our trip we had to be to the train station by 9:30 pm and we left a little earlier so that we could stop by some major Harry Potter sites like platform 9 3/4 and we got to see the bridge that Harry and Hagrid walk on with the big clock in the back ground. When we got on the train I sat by my friend Rebecca and we were in the very back row. The Chunnel is what it is called and it goes under the ocean for about 20 minutes. We were only allowed to pack our back packs because the last day that we would be in Paris we would have to carry all our luggage around Paris. When we got to Paris we were able to pick the people that we wanted to room with and I chose my friends Rebecca and Kate. As we walked up to our room we opened the door and just about fell on the floor laughing at the sight of our room. It was two bright orange twin beds with a bunk bed over top. The room was about the size of a closet. We called it the Brady Bunch room. After unpacking all of our luggage we went to Sacre Couer. It is a large cathedral that looks like Aladins palace. One of the girls told me that it is about 290 stairs to the felt like alot more then that, but the view was worth it. As we started climbing the stairs we saw a big group of African guys coming up to us. They followed us asking us to let them tie a bracelet on our wrists. After they were done they asked us to pay 5 euros for it and we reminded them that we had no money and offered to give the bracelets back to them, they were mad and told us to keep them. They are the bracelets with string that you have to make a wish before you tie it off. So we all got matching bracelets our first day there. After that we went to Mouline Rouge, I was thinking that it was going to be a groass place in Paris just from the movie description but it was a huge tourist place. There are a few girls in my group that wanted to buy some lingerie in Paris so we went to a few shops around there ad then we went to the Eiffel Tower! It is amazing and alot bigger then I was expecting it to be. We walked around it for a while and then these little white lights turned on all over the tower and it started sparkling for about 20 minutes! It was so beautiful! We found a cute little crepe restaurant around the tower that this little French lady owned. I got the Hawaiian crepe and she made them for all of us by her self. It was a really fun meal for our first time in Paris. She had one son that helped her out by setting the table and everything but you could tell that she was so happy to have us there.
We took the Metro home that night and can I tell you that it is really groass. I dont like to touch the handlebars because who knows what kinds of germs are all over that thing. The French dont believe in a certain thing called boundaries. They will push and shove you all over the place on the Metro and they are rude about it. There was a woman on the Metro that heard my friend and I talking in English and I heard her say to her husband "Stupid American." My friend and I just looked at eachother and it took all we could muster not to laugh.
When we got off the metro at our stop we have to walk through this mall to get to our hotel and there were these black guys standing outside talking and they looked at me and said "Je Ve Bien?" Which means "Are you good" well what I didnt know is that he was asking me if I was good to have sex!" I said "yes (Bien)" I had no idea what I had said to him and then we started yelling back to my friend Brittany and I and we just kept walking away from them. The French language can be so complicated! It was a really interesting experience.
In our room that night as we were getting ready for bed it was a whole night of comedy. The room was really nasty and the blankets had hair and stuff all over them. My friend Kate slept on the top bunk and she sat up in her bed and told me to go get her a tissue because she had a booger on her bed! We were all laughing so hard and the funnest part was that she just picked it off with a tissue and then went back to sleep because she was so tired. She didnt even care what she was sleeping in . That was our first day in Paris!