Thursday, August 20, 2009

Final Thoughts

Well, I've just gone through this blog and edited my academic entries so that they can be graded.

After almost two weeks away from London, I can say that this was the best experience in my life so far. I hope that life only gets better for me, and I know that if it does that this trip was the catalyst for everything.

Some memories I'll keep forever from this trip:

Falling on the train while trying to get to the dining car, and Bookie falling from laughing at my fall.

Joe Wisdom - maybe the world's coolest librarian.

Finding out that my iPhone has a subwoofer.

Raggae party on the Thames - I got hit by a wheelchair!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The couple I ate Sunday Roast with who taught me how to have a perfect English accent - by trying to sound Australian.

Hearing Michael Jackson everywhere.

The Karen Millen dress...

Discovering Flight of the Concords.

"Please mind the gap."

Touching a Shakespeare First Folio.

Going to see Coco Before Chanel at the Barbican.

All the great friends I made.

Getting to see Big Ben everyday and especially getting a beautiful painting of Ben along the Thames.

Seeing the Oscar Wilde statue for the first time.

Gasping at portraits and the National Gallery of Ireland.

Meeting Euan at Edinburgh Castle.

Doing whatever I wanted and not worrying about my daily life.

I know that I will definitely go back. I go through periods where I am a little depressed about not being there now, but it's good to be home. One day though, if everything works out for Nicole and I, London will be home. I can't wait to call that great city home!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keats House

Today I traveled to Hampstead which is in the north part of London with Lauren to see the Keats house, where the Romantic poet John Keats lived for some time. We both thought there were original manuscripts there so we were a little disappointed but the house was still beautiful and walking around the Hampstead area was really nice. It's a cute neighborhood. The Hampstead tube station is the one that's deepest in the ground. There is a sign saying that if you take the steps it's 320 steps so please do so only in emergency situations. We took the lift :)

Afterwards I wandered around Oxford Street so that I could find the perfect gift for my brother (hey, any excuse to go to Oxford is a good one). Once I finally found something I thought he'd like I came back home to a chill evening eating pizza with Christina and Kendra.

We only have two more days in London. I'm a little sad about it. I've made such good friends here and have been able to see and do things I never thought I'd actually get the time or money to do. I've been blessed in a lot of ways on this journey.

I bumped into Dr. Welsh today with some others and she said that this experience has set us on a path that we don't know yet. In other words, coming here to London will affect the rest of my life. Decisions I make, people I meet, opportunities that come my way will have something to do with the time I've spent here. I'm just excited to find out what else is in store for me!

Camden Town loves you

And they have horses! That you can not get on... My two lovely friends here made the most of it though.

My camera takes awful pictures at night, oh well.

Last night Jenn, Kendra, Natalie, and Betsy (our new addition to the club) went to a club in Camden. It was like a barn converted to a dance club and in different horse stalls there were places to dance and hang out. We met some Londoners and they were sorta nice but also hated on Americans at the same time...? You get that a lot out here. "Oh American girls are so easy" or "Americans are thick" or "Americans are so extravagant" or "American tourists are the worst" etc etc. Sorry we won the war and you live on a tiny island. But get over it dudes.

I really do love the British people though. I just gotta stick up for the good ole US of A from time to time.

Cobb Salad

Sometimes you just want a good salad. Just a nibble of what my life will be like (minus the chicken and half the dressing, oh and the egg) when I jump back into Weight Watchers land.

Bleh. London forever.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Last Time

... at UNIQLO

I loved it! I got a skirt and some tops and I also got a pair of shoes at Topshop. I think my clothes shopping is complete. I think.

I went with Bookie and her daughters and good friend Shelby. Such good Kentucky company!

After shopping ourselves to death we went to Fortnam & Mason for tea and lunch. I got scrambled eggs and salmon. Really good. The salmon was raw which was fine, but I can handle only so much fish in one setting. I don't regret it though. It's fun to order things I don't usually get at home.

Tonight will be another lazy night I think. My body and mind are starting to ware down after 3.5 weeks in Europe. Unfortunately when I get home, I have to travel that week to Nashville for business but hopefully after that I'll get to RELAX!

Coco Before Chanel

Last night Christina, Kendra, Jenn, Nicole and I went to the Barbican and saw Coco Before Chanel. It was fantastic and so amazingly sad and beautiful and French all at the same time. I almost cried. At the very end is a great scene featuring vintage Chanel.

It was really great just to watch a movie one night here in London. Plus, I'm not sure it's showing anywhere in Lexington right now...

Monday, August 3, 2009

I love scones!

I really do. I had this one at the Hugh Lane Gallery. Delicious.

Oustide the Hugh Lane Gallery

It's a woman walking on the screen there.

Don't we have the guy version of this in Lexington? Right off of Broadway where they are building the new apartments? That's what I think.

Garden of Remembrance Sculpture

Full Irish Breakfast

Great service and way too much food!

BOBO for the win

Seriously when can I go to Dublin again so that I can eat more yummy cheeseburgers and chips with ROSEMARY.

The Tart with the Cart

Hello Molly!

Yummy Pasta in Dublin!

I had a great lunch with Kendra and Emily. It was so great being the only three people in the restaurant, especially when the food is so delicious and it was a two for one special.

Can you see me?

This is a great sculpture on Trinity's campus. It spins!

ACADEMIC - Marsh Library

The Marsh Library was Ireland's first public library, founded in 1701, and still serves that purpose though the library no longer collects books. There are over 25,000 books in the collection, all from the 16-18th centuries. The books are stored on oak bookcases and the order of the books has remained the same since the library first opened. The library is run as a charity but has recieved some governmental funding in order to improve reader services.

Kendra came along with me and we got to enjoy an exhibition entitled "Beware the Jabberwock!" of animal books within the library. It's so much fun to see drawings and descriptions of animals from the 17th century and beyond.

The library smelled of old books and the floors creaked and there was a whole case about Jonathan Swift there. It's the place where he wrote Gulliver's Travels apparently. The Marsh Library is located next to St. Patrick's Cathedral. The library is open to visitors for a small fee. For more information click here.

Like I said before,

I was really excited to go to the Abbey. I wish my little 5 person class on Modern Irish Drama and Claudia could have been there with me!

Dublin is cooler than you.

Because you know, they quote Ulysses ON THE STREET.

What I ate at the National Gallery of Ireland

It was all great but the sesame dressing on that salad was INSANE. My mouth went into shock.

I found him!

Oscar Wilde and I are BFFs. In case you didn't know.

ACADEMIC - National Library of Ireland

On my first day in Dublin I visited the National Library of Ireland. I wasn't shown a tour but the nice staff there let me see the reading room. It's gorgeous... no pictures allowed though. This library also puts on great exhibitions. I went to the one celebrating W.B. Yeats. I cried. I know, I CRIED.

There was this part of the exhibit where you could hear his poems being read and I was just really caught up in the moment and so I cried. The exhibition was great because items were donated by his son for it. I saw a lock of Yeats' hair! This might be creepy to you, but that hair used to be attached to the scalp of the greatest poet of the twentieth century!!!

The library was founded in 1877 by a government act. The library's first collections was the collection of The Dublin Society, a society whose goal was to improve vocational studies and arts and sciences. The library is not a lending library. Like the British Library, books are given to readers with a valid reader's ticket.

The library also includes The Genelogical Office and the National Photographic Archive in Temple Bar. For more information about the National Library of Ireland, click here.

Scots heart McDonald's

This is Euan, the helpful guy at Edinburgh Castle. Bookie tried to get him to go to lunch with us, but he really wanted McDonalds... and we were just not down with that.

spicey camden town

Here is some chicken I ate at a chain restaurant in Camden. I picked medium but I think I should have gone up one level on the spicyness.

I would post the picture of me on the scooters that now serve as seats while you eat in Camden but I look hideous. Realllllly. Plus I'm really into this posting what I ate thing.


This is from my second visit to World of Crepes that same day. Starting clockwise at the top: Nicole, Jenn, me, Kendra.

Picture Timez

I added some pictures to some older posts, but others I'm just going to add as new posts so you don't have to scroll down to read the posts again...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I was right about Dublin

I knew it would be the most amazing place in the world. After reading so much of the literature from here duing my time at BYU I've wanted to come to Ireland and explore Dublin. I feel like I'm in a dream right now...

My first day started off with a bang. I went to The Abbey first and got a ticket for that night. They are performing The Rivals by Sheridan right now. It was fantastic. They took a Gregorian period play and were able to bring in some of today's technology into it in a really clever way. The play was hilarious and one that I hadn't read before so yay.

After I got my ticket I went to St. Stephen's Green and found the most beautiful park in the world. I then went to Merrion Square and found "The Fag on the Crag" AKA Oscar Wilde statue. So amazing. I went to the National Library (which I will write more about later) and one of the National Museums. I also went to the National Gallery and found out that John B. Yeats (father of W.B. Yeats) is my new favorite painter.

More pictures and detailed posts to come later as I am paying for this internet right now.

The second day was a waste and not a waste at the same time. I went with some of the girls in our group also staying in Dublin to Cork... which was too far away for a day trip. Oh well. It rained and was cold. We got over it. It was fun to at least be with my friends. That night at the hostel was not good however...

So I woke up yesterday and booked a hotel room for the rest of my stay. I had enough money to afford it and I didn't feel hostel dirty anymore. :)

Yesterday I went to the Marsh Library and St. Patrick's Cathedral with Kendra. AMAZING. We met with Emily and went to Trinity to see the Book of Kells. Tourist overload but worth it.

We went shopping and then sat down at St. Stephen's. I really love that place. I checked into my hotel and then met the girls at BOBO - greatest burger of my life. Picture to come soon. The happiest cows (and tastiest) live in Ireland.

Then we went to the Library Bar - fitting. Had a fantastic (and very long) conversation. I took a taxi ride home and was taught life lessons by the driver. Apparently I'm too pretty to ever let my guard down. Not in this city. Not in any city. Not even in Kentucky. I must always guard myself. It was like riding home with my Irish dad or something.

I love the Irish. Anytime I ask for anything, they help me out and always ask, "Where you from?" The Irish know more about Kentucky than the English do, as in Jack Daniels DOES NOT come from Kentucky.

Anyway, it's awesome. I'm getting ready to head to Dublin Castle, then the Dublin Writers Museum and who knows what else. Tomorrow morning I fly back to London so I'm going to soak up all of Dublin that I can. Who knows when I will be back - but I will be back (Terminator voice lolz)