so i broadened the extent of my london culture intake the other day. We all went to The Tower of London for a little tour and loved it!
We got to pretend we were guards and pose in their little box.
We posed with the little guard and loved the way he marched and worked his gun.
We saw the crown jewels and all their beauty and became pretty jealous of the queen. and just england in general. by the way.... I seriously LOVE the queen. she is such a cutie. ahh. long live the queen is one true statement.
We walked up a lot of really steep stairs and through a few towers. We even saw designs that had been scratched into the walls by prisoners. Creepy. And we saw the place where Anne Boleyn was executed. I even got to meet her as we were walking through the square. yeah...weird.
the tower of london was great. my school blog has some more facts about it too. this double blogging thing is SUCH a pain!
so i went to the jay-z and coldplay concert in london the other week...best thing ever.
first off, one of the things i wanted to do the most in London was to see a real authentic european concert. Now sure, Coldplay is popular worldwide but they are from this place, they live here, this is home. The concert was at Wembley Stadium, maximum capacity 90,000, circumference of 1 KM. Needless to say it is huge, and this show was sold out.
I went with three other girls, Catherine, Courtney and Megan and being the concert frequenters that we are, we quickly took advantage of our general admission tickets and made our way through the crowd. We danced our hearts out to Jay-Z and appreciated that face that Beyonce was probably somewhere in the building.
Then we prepared for the main event and pushed our way right against the bar of the pit. All the sudden it started to pour. Now, people talk about London rain and its extremities but I never believed it till I felt it. These raindrops are the size of dollar coins, and that isn't an exaggeration I promise. The rain just comes down in buckets! Wembley Stadium is only partially covered, and most of the roof is open to the elements, so within minutes the entire crowd was soaked. hair dripping, underwear soaking, mascara running, drenched. But the show must go on...and oh boy did it go on.
Coldplay comes on shortly and notes that "it is really bloody raining." And it was. But being the rain lover that I am, I think this made the concert 20 times better. Just picture Yellow being sung as yellow lights are shinning everywhere and yellow balls are being tossed through the crowd. you couldn't write a music video more idealistic than that moment.
Eventually the rain stopped itself, and my camera felt better about it's life. But the show didn't get any less amazing. I was within just a few feet of Chris Martin and I felt pretty great about it. He sure knows how to put on a good show, he is all over the place and dancing and singing his heart out. All the boys in the band are brilliant, and coldplay remains to be one of the best bands ever.
It's plain to say that my first London concert was something I will never forget. They just do it better here, simple as that.
well it's happened...the first one has bit the dust.
soon, callista lauren priest will soon be gaining another name...welling...
on sunday, one of my best and closest friends got engaged to the perfect man (yeah, he totally exists) i am so happy for her and glad that these two are finally going to tie the knot. it is a weird feeling knowing she will be married soon but I know she is about to have the best times of her life and I am so excited for her! I just wish i could be around for the engagement! But at least I won't miss the wedding!!
the other day we experienced some 78 degree fahrenheit london weather...it was gorgeous. I didn't even know how to take it...i didn't being any clothes for warm weather, just the freezing kind.
being the first (and possibly only) gorgeous day we had here in london, we decided to take full advantage of our surroundings. a few girls and I went over to kensington gardens and napped in the grass by the pond.
i checked a mark off my harry potter dream tour list...
i visited the millennium bridge, which luckily was reconstructed after the death eaters destroyed it in the half blood prince movie.
i feel pretty complete in my life...
after basking in all my HP glory, we headed over to Shakespeare's Globe theater where we saw As You Like It. we laughed, we cried, but mostly we thanked our teachers for getting us tickets that weren't in standing room only.
a couple days later we entered into a dream home... buckingham palace. i've never wanted to be the queen more in my life after this event. They opened a few of the rooms to the public while the queen is away on holiday this summer. and it was amazing. We walked through many gorgeous rooms, saw some amazing paintings, viewed glamourous dresses the queen herself wore, and became extremely jealous of all things royal.
afterwards some of us treated ourselves to a little bit of lovin. we indulged in some pastries brought to us by the people who cater for the queen and oh boy i could have died. heaven on my fork is what it was. worth every pence.
another lifelong goal of mine was accomplished as we were exiting the palace...i spoke to an actual royal guard with the red suits and furry hats... no big deal. luckily for us they had just gotten off duty and were walking through the garden. we took this opportunity and ran with it and demanded a pic. turns out they are allowed to smile when they aren't on duty. laugh even.
a few days ago i flew to the second star to the right and straight into neverland. and i couldn't be more pleased.
currently, the royal shakespeare company is putting on a production of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. this is extra special because J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan lived right across the street from Kensington Gardens at one point and spent a lot of time there. there is even a famous peter pan statue right in the park. and what makes this story even better is that i got to go see it!
the play was adorable and i loved every second of it.
Last week we went to this place called Southall just outside of London. Truthfully, I think the train took us to India instead but we'll leave it at that...
First, we headed to this Sikh Temple where we removed our shoes and covered our hair and paid respect to this book full of all the wisdoms of past gurus. Then we ate a whole plethora of disgusting food called langar. aka GAGGED DOWN!!
After that we headed over to a Hindu temple where we got to see the ornate idols and decorations and smell the horrid aroma of feet that filled the air. We resisted the urge to chant Hare Krishna, no worries.
Then we walked through India to go to a second Hindu temple where we again, sat on the ground and paid respect to a whole bunch of things we didn't understand.
After our numerous temple visits we took a walk around the town. There were shops and vendors everywhere with places to buy very elaborate sari's and bangles. There were little corn stands where you could buy a cup of seasoned corn and there were millions of people everywhere. We participated in some pre wedding activities and got henna. We felt pretty cultural about it.
To finish off this educational experience, we had a Indian feast full of curry, basmati rice and lots of other strange things.
Spending an afternoon in India taught me a lot. Mostly like the fact that I don't know how my brother Trevor lived in real India for two years without dying.
at least it wasn't a slum-dog millionaire afternoon. more like bend it to beckham minus the hot football players.
i will also blog more about this on my other blog eventually.
i decided i need a king. want one. love one. maybe?
why? well because we went to dover and strolled through a castle. but not before the king and princess came though and we had court with them. five other girls and I were "nuns" coming with the message from the pope. it was the best. i've never talked to a king before. and sure, he was fake but i feel just as pleased about it.
the rest of dover was just mostly windy. the white cliffs were real pretty and the beaches were nice. The "sand" here in England is quite different. It's just rocks. big ones. thats okay, they were actually kind of comfortable to sit on and quite nice when you didn't have to shake or shower them off before leaving the beach.
then we went to Canterbury. this part was so great. we went to the cathedral where Thomas Becket was killed and toured the whole building. see my other blog in a couple days to learn more about it. (once i get around to writing about it.)
p.s. i tried to put more pictures on this post but our internet fails so i can't.
okay so for one of my humanites classes we are required to keep a blog. so i have started a second. more educational blog. feel free to read if you care. but don't judge my lack of skills in all areas. i'm no professional.
but mostly just in case you need proof that i am really doing something in london besides just partying my pants off. here you go...
saturday was a busy day. but a good day. a day where i got to know my city a little bit better.
we slept in a bit and did some homework then went on a walk. now, let me explain what i mean by walk... for one of our classes here we have this book full of walks around london that they have mapped out for us. we are supposed to do all of these. except so far, we just end up getting lost.
anyway, we took the seats of power walk this day and it was amazing. it took us around a lot of the political parts of london. we saw big ben and the eye in daylight and a ton a statues of important people and trafalgar square. and westminster abbey and parliament and the prime ministers house and buckingham palace. i took like 5 million pictures today so i am just going to show you a few.
people do such weird stuff in london and i love it. like we saw a bunch of people dressed up as sumo wrestlers. like those big blow up suits you can get for halloween! apparently they were doing a scavenger hunt for their friends birthday. i loved it so much and am planning to do that for my next birthday. so beware.
sunday was really nice. my church is at least and hour and a half away but it is great. i am in the wandsworth commons ward which is in very south london. I am just with three other byu girls. the rest of the girl are all spread out around london. we have to take a bunch of different tubes and walk like 15 minutes to get there though! i got called to work in the relief society which should be fun! the people are so sweet and welcoming. i even got invited to a wedding! we talked to some missionaries...but not for very long because we didn't want to distract them...but they were fun and it is crazy to think that my guy friends have done and are doing that right now! i can't picture that at all but i bet they are all doing amazing. i love seeing missionaries but it makes me miss my boys! the rest of sunday we just relaxed and did homework and ate too much.
monday was our first day of classes and we just went to class and then did homework. i know i know. the past two days have been super lame. but bear with us, we are exhausted. but it is fun to just sit around and talk and get to know each other. so i'm okay with that too.
today i fell into a terrible trap of life called primark. this place is disastrous. oh man. first of all it is HUGE. store...goes on for miles. second of all, it is a clothes store, with VERY cute clothes in it. third, it is SO cheap! and all these things are so great but so terrible. i wanted to buy everything in the place. but it is really overwhelming. people are everywhere and deals are always in sight. i can't stand it. i've decided i should only go there once a month or else i will be completely broke. trouble.
it was so beautiful out today. it got up to 78 degrees Fahrenheit even. we decided to take advantage of this rare sun and went and napped in hyde park. it was beautiful and amazing. the rays of the sun were much needed. other than that we have just been hanging out and doing school work. we took our usual stroll down queensway, which is a nearby street, stopping at our various favorite places.
day one and i'm already in love. this was one of those love at first sight kind of things that i never believed were true.
i was wrong. i love london with all my heart.
our first day we mostly just got to know each other and recovered from jet lag. we took a short walk around the neighborhood and slept long and well. nothing too special.
day two was amazing.
i woke up real easy this day. which, i know isn't going to last long at all but one day out of 100 isn't so bad right? first off, the showers. wow. mom, dad, rondi... remember the showers on the cruise??? ours are smaller. yep, its possible. and alyssa...remember how difficult it was to shave our legs in our shower. this is WORSE. oh man. reason 783292 i am glad no men between the ages of 16 and 50 will be in close proximity to me here. hmmm. after breakfast we had some meetings and then headed out to the British Museum. gorgeous.
we saw the rosetta stone and some pieces from the parthenon. which were awesome.
it was a quick trip to fulfill an assignment and we quickly headed over to the National Gallery. as we approach the national gallery, we see a large crowd of people gathered in a corner. at second glance we see a man sitting on a platform. and at an even closer glance, it becomes quite clear why the crowd is so near...he is naked. just below him were two other men, almost as naked. they simply had two signs wrapped around their explicits. we're not really sure why they were there. but soon the police showed up warning the men that they were "potentially indecent." to that he replied "we are al potentially indecent if we shed a couple layers." which, okay, is true. back to the man on the platform...as two people raise up to fetch the young man, he proceed to stand up and jump on top of the tower. then he puts on a zebra and blue feathered robe. soon he is jumping off the platform and running through trafalgar square. brought back memories of Nate Miller and the homecoming game.
the national gallery was gorgeous. i saw some monet's and loved it. monet is one of my favorite artists. there were some raphael's and a michaelangelo, and a da vinci. and a ton of other really amazing art. again, we were quick but we are planning on going back lots.
we came home and had dinner then went back out for more fun. we rode the tube to see the london eye and big ben. both were gorgeous. not to mention the full moon. oh man, it was one amazing sight. it still hasn't set in that we are really here. seems more like a quick visit right now.
other important details: had my first diet coke here. doesn't quite taste the same but it will do the job. decided like 432435353214 things that i MUST DO in london, realized that my hair just won't ever look the same here and i feel fine about it. realized how many things i left at home that i really really wish i had. and continued to absolutely fall in love with london town.
day three was busy.
but nothing too special. we were introduced to all of our classes. which i hate. come on. school? this summer has been so great without you. why must you come back? in london even. but its all good. i guess its sort of worth it or something. all i know is it is going to be hard.
then we ran a lot of errands to get some things we needed. went to hummingbird bakery to get some cupcakes. but they weren't the best things i've ever tasted in my life. had my first kinder egg! one of many i'm hoping. came back and had dinner. with the best tasting tomatoes i've had in my entire life. hands down. after dinner we decided we needed some gelato. so we got some. it was delicious. then we came back to our place to work on homework and play.
only had a few minor issues in the airport and such but we made it. all i have to say is there is going to be a whole lot of girl time these next four months. we couldn't be more pleased about it.
london is gorgeous. first purchase: towels. 7.50 pounds. i reaaaaallllyy need to shower... another reason to be grateful for this all girls thing. haha gross!! its been a long day and a half of traveling. i don't even know how long its been since i really slept because i can't figure out this time difference. but i think its been a couple of days at least.
it has been pouring all day and i love it. everything is so pretty and fancy and great.
you are jealous. i know. i would be too. its okay though, just watch notting hill and pretend you see me walking down the streets. why? because i probably am. i live like a block away from william and anna's stomping grounds.
you know, i'm happy, real excited and anxious to go. it is going to be an awesome semester. london for four months, seriously? how lucky am i. sure it isn't a lifetime in a gorgeous flat with little british children and chris martin. but really, we can't all be gweneth. unfortunately.
but don't get me wrong, its hard too. there are definitely a few people i will miss. and i hate it. okay fine, i guess i will miss some other things about this free country too. like halloween, and thanksgiving, and diet dew, and dr. pepper, and 32 ouncers of each, and all my belongings and you know, stuff like that.
so i say goodbye whether i like it or not. and i do like it. only a little bit of not i promise.
and lets be real, i may not be the best blogger over there. but i'll try my hardest okay? don't judge me if i fail. i've made it this far.