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!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Weekend trip to Stonehendge and more!

WOW! This week has been filled to the max with sitting on a bus and site seeing to absolutely everywhere. We started our trip with breakfast at 7am and I was on kitchen crew so I had to help clean up before we headed out to the bus. We pre-made lunches and I made two sandwiches this time because I had no idea if we would be stopping for dinner. Most of the other people had that same idea in mind. So after we packed our lunches we headed out to the bus. Anna Gordon and I sat together. This was great because the majority of the time on the bus we fell asleep and we were able to sleep on each other during the ride. The only complaint that I had about our bus ride was that the driver made a comment for everything that we passed and the speakers were so loud that you couldn't block him out with music on your head phones. Alot of the girls started quote books on the bus for the comments that he would say because he was so random with what he said. One of the things that he said was "We as humans do not own the road... the ponies do, so please stay out of their way." How random is that. It had nothing to do with what we were looking at out side. But that is how the entire drive was.

We started the trip with a 2 hour drive to Bath. This is where the Roman Baths were and we got to take an audio tour through them. They even sold warm Bath water for you to drink. After the tour we went to this milk shake shop called "Shake-Away" They are so good, I got a hot chocolate and they even served hot milkshakes. It was just a fun treat to get before we had to get back on the bus for another two hours.

After another 2 hours we went to the Moor (Large rock). It looked exactly like it would have been off of Lord of the Rings.
There were also these wild ponies when we got off and we took a bunch of pictures with them. One of them charged after my friend Anna when she went to take a picture with it, the ears pinned back and it started chasing after. I have never seen her so scared for her life. The view was amazing from the top and it was a great time for us to stretch our legs before we headed to Exeter where our hostel was.

Well I can now say that I have had my first taste of Alcohol. Yes I know what you are all thinking. Well it was exactly that. We checked in and then we ordered pizza. My professors told the guy at the hostel that they wanted to order drinks but Non Alcoholic. So when the drinks came out there was a bunch of orange soda and lemonade and I got the elder flower. But before I got the elder flower I got the orange soda. On the front of the bottle it said that it contained Alcohol in extremely fine print and it was so funny because most of our group had already finished theirs. My professors about died and tried to get everyone to stop drinking. After we got Pizza we went back to our room and we all talked for a long time and went to sleep because we still had a big day ahead of us for the next day. It was really hard to sleep that night also because the heater was up on high and we couldn't figure out how to turn it down so we opened the window and it cooled down a little but it was miserable at first.

For breakfast at the hostel we had a traditional English breakfast with eggs toast sausage baked beans and croissants. Then they had cereals and stuff like that. We got on the bus and had a two hour drive to Stourhead. It was the most beautiful place I have ever been too. If you all want to have a really good look at how pretty it is. Watch Pride and Prejudice and watch the scene where Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth (Kiera Knightly) are fighting and it is raining. They are in a big pavilion. YES, that is exactly where I went! It was amazing and it was just fun because we got to walk around the lake and take tons of pictures. Anna and I met this older couple taking a stroll through the garden and they told us that they lived in a cottage just up the road and they loved living there. We were really sad to leave there because that was probably one of the funnest places that we have been the entire trip.

Stone Hendge was the next stop on our list and it was about 2 hours away from that. I thought that it would be allot bigger then it really is but it was still a cool experience to see. They have it roped off so we weren't able to go very close to the rocks but we still got some really cool pictures of it.

On the way home we made a stop to Salisburry Cathedral. It was huge and we were able to take a tour inside. It was a really quick stop because we had to get home before dark so after that we got back on the bus for another 2 hour ride home. The trip was so fun and I am so glad that we went.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Week of Plays!


Sorry it has been so long since I have put anything up on my blog. I wanted to wait until I had more pictures to put up for everyone.

The first thing that I went to see this last week was "The Sound of Music." We were originally going to see Phantom of the Opera but the place that we were going to get tickets at sold them for way out of our price range so as a back up plan we went to the theater for the Sound of Music and we got tickets for that night.The girls that I went with were Tori, Andrea and Amanda. The theater is at a place called Covet Garden and it is this fun square with shops and these Chinese lanterns hanging from buildings. The play was amazing especially because we got seats on the 5th row from the stage and the kids that were in it had the most amazing voices. Marie did an excellent job as well.

The next day there was going to be a single adults dance and a bunch of girls here at the center were planning on doing that for our Friday night. I personally wasn't in the mood to go to a dance and so some of the other girls and I went to this play called "Mouse trap" It is the longest running play in London and we got our tickets for a really cheap price. We went to the Box Office to get the tickets which was the biggest mess ever because the theater is not where it should be on the map. They changed location and so we went all over London looking for this place and we were all a little grumpy by the time we got there. We bought the cheapest tickets that they had which was on the back row but when we got there we moved up because alot of the seats weren't filled. The play is about this couple that opens a hotel and there is a huge snow storm and they hear on the Radio that there is a murderer out and they find out that the murderer is in their hotel. So it is a "who done it" kind of play. I really enjoyed it and it was fun to see an original London play.

Well this week we ran into kind of a predicament. The Wednesday we were suppose to go to the west coast of England (Penzance) and this past Monday we had a hurricane and it completely covered the town in water so our trip was canceled. We are now moving that trip to next week and going to Stone henge this Friday and Saturday. I am excited that we are still going dont get me wrong there is just one problem though. The young women in my ward have been planning a trip out to London from Mitcham for next Friday, but we cant do it any more because our trip was moved. The girls have been planning on it for a long time and now we are going to have to change the date for them to come out again. Its just kind of a pain.

This week I have Kitchen duty, its actually really fun. We have been listening to the sound track to "Wicked" and "Hairspray" while we clean and we will sing at the top of our lungs and everyone can hear us. Its pretty funny. I think that we have been the fastest group at Kitchen clean up, seriously. We are SO FAST!

Meg, Betsy and I have been talking the past few days about how we want to go see the play "Grease." So today we went to get tickets 1 hour before the show started and we were right in the middle on the bottom about 5-7 rows from the stage! It was so fun because after we got pictures with Danny and Sandy. Rocky did my make up again for the play, she is the best! I love it because I will go upstairs and ask her to do it and she will know what she wants to do before I even tell her. This time I wanted to go a little crazier with my make up because it was Grease that I was going to and so she put gold eye shadow on me and it looked so cool. The guy in the picture with me is Danny from the play and I even got a picture with me touching his hair! Meg and I wore almost the same outfit, our red and black were swapped. We had a blast tonight but now I am really tired and we have a really big trip tomorrow to Stone Henge so I will post pictures of that when I get home!

Also I saw the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl" and we were really hating life after that movie. It wasn't very uplifting to say the least so I wouldn't recommend it.