Thursday, February 18, 2010

a whole week in one post.

Monday and Tuesday were recovery days from my travels last weekend. I literally did nothing while I stayed in sweats all day, and I loved every second of it. I feel like we go go go and I needed that time to myself.
On to Wednesday, it was probably my favorite day trip we have taken. Firstly we stopped off at a beautiful palace called Blenheim Palace where the Churchill’s once lived and where I don’t remember which but a Duke lives now. We had a tour of the state apartments and rode out on a golf cart to the Pleasure Gardens. Weird name I know… but I believe it’s named that because there are fun things to do in the gardens. I walked through the butterfly house alone because everyone was scared. I was brought back to my childhood of chasing after butterflies for house and wanting to be an entomologist while butterflies landed on my head. We then hopped back on the coach and were early for once!

I thought I would share this little treat with you... this is Daniel Cooper. He's one of a kind.

We then drove a few minutes to my favorite place so far, Oxford! I absolutely, whole heartedly love this town. We disembarked the coach and began our exploration of the quaint little town. We started off by peaking in a pub called the Eagle and Child, where C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would meet and discuss their thoughts.
We then walked around and saw some of the amazing sights Oxford has to offer, many of them being shown in the Harry Potter movies.
After sightseeing for a little while we walked to the covered market and got a cookie from the first Ben’s cookies. For some reason, that was probably just in my mind, my cookie was more delicious than ever! Being the starving students we are…hahaha, we then walked over to the English treasure, Moo Moo’s! Moo Moo’s in the most amazing milk shake stand. I had a Kinder Bueno shake that was, I dare to day even better than the shakes at the fair’s milk barn… yes that good!
Best Milkshake I have ever had! At 3:15 we met up with our group again to tour one of the colleges in Oxford, Christ’s Church. We then had the privilege of having high tea in the “Great Hall” of Hogwarts! Although there were no levitating candles and the ceiling did not show the sky it was an amazing experience, and the hot cocoa was some of the best I have yet to partake of! We then had a Q&A with a BYU graduate who is attending Oxford and after headed home. Once we were home a few of us decided that in honor of our day we would watch the first Harry Potter and the whole movie we were pointing out things we had seen that day. If I wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan before, I am now… and not just because the famous wizard and I share the same birthday.
Caitlin and Me in the "Great Hall" of Hogwarts.
Eating High Tea in the "Great Hall"
The Fab 5 at Christ Church College.
I swear half of our outings have movies attached to them. Thursday we took a tube ride and a short walk to Middle Temple. Some of you may recognize this area from the movie/book The Di Vinci Code. We toured the chapel and then had a fancy luncheon in the great hall of Middle Temple. Our main course and pork medallions and “squeak and bubble” which I am guessing were mash and string beans because that was what accompanied the meat. After lunch we, being the true divas of flat 4 went to Starbucks and then took a taxi to Charles Dickens house. I think it was one of the smartest things we have done so far as it was raining and it was quite a walk and for one pound each taxis might be my new favorite way of travel. Dickens house was honestly a joke to me, the center paid six pound each for us to see some old furniture and watch a forty five minute film that I am sure we could have rented somewhere. I then came home and the rest of the evening was left to my Shakespeare paper. Being the professional procrastinator I am, I did not get more than a few sentences done all night.
Because of my procrastination Friday morning was dedicated to, I swear, one of the hardest papers of my life. I literally felt brain dead I could not think of a single thing to write so I have decided that Shakespeare is not for me. Once my essay was finally turned in and I could relax a little we went as a group to a Muslim mosque. We sat through one of their five-time daily prayers and had a tour/discussion with the leader of education, Omar. This sounds terrible of me but I am so sick of going to churches. I, unlike some of the members of our group who grew up in Utah have been exposed to other religions and this is not really anything new to me just because I am in London. I think all the cathedrals and beautiful but after seeing about twenty they all start to look the same. Okay, thank you for letting me vent. I think some of my frustration has come from my stupid sinuses that have decided to start acting up and getting stuffy. We were starving after the mosque so we went to Giraffe, where I had a good old fashioned hamburger with my ever present barbecue sauce. Jenny and I then went to Boots to get all kinds of medication to try and get us feeling better.

Saturday was an absolutely beautiful sight. It was the first day that I have not had to wear an overcoat which I was extremely happy about! I spent the morning sleeping in, taking a shower and for once spending a little time on getting myself pretty. Audrey, Emma, Jenny and I then went to Portobello Market, which is conveniently located a few blocks from our humble abode. I had been to the market in the rain but on a gorgeous day like it was made it ten times more amazing… and crowded. One of my favorite stores here has to be Cath Kitson, and I made my first purchase there Saturday. RAIN BOOTS!! I have been needing some very badly as all of my other shoes get soaked when it rains and I walk around with cold soggy feet all day. I am so excited for them!!
I also ate a wonderful crepe made by an authentic French woman. It was delicious and I regret not bringing my camera with me to take a picture… I guess that means I will have to go get another to photograph! After coming home and relaxing for a hot second Jenny and I along with a bunch of the other girls and Kellen went to dinner at Zizzi’s Italian restaurant for our friend Sarah Shepherd’s birthday. She is such a doll! I had the tasty red pesto that I am going to miss so much when I leave London. After dinner we came home for cake and it was off to bed, or in my case off to my little corner to watch Phantom of the Opera on my lap top. I love nights to myself!
The Birthday girl and myself!
Jerry and Me.

Sunday, as they always are here, was stressful. I honestly am getting sick of making the hour and a half trip to my ward and this week was even worse. As I always do in before we leave, I checked online to see if there are any delays on our journey and just as usual there were plenty. Our first tube had severe delays and our ending train station just happened to be having engineering work going on so it was closed. Heavenly Father must be trying to teach me patience. We ended up taking two tubes a train a bus and quite a long walk in the pouring rain without umbrellas all before church. When we finally arrived at the chapel, late, we taught out not very prepared lesson. I thought we would take most of the time introducing each other and playing get to know you games but after about five minutes our small class of four was ready for their lesson. To my surprise it wasn’t all that bad but there was no discussion and I feel like no one cared about what we were teaching them. After church I took my usual “waste the rest of the day away” nap which was much needed. Then we had dinner and a great fireside given by President Phillips of the Hyde Park stake. He talked about knowing yourself and how Christ ultimately knew exactly who he was which enabled him to perform the Atonement. I then had the greatest skype date with my family; I don’t think I went a minute without laughing. Because of my exceedingly long nap I was not a bit tired when it came to bed time. So I had a few other skype dates with friends from school, a snack, spend about two hours on YouTube (who does that), and around 5 am I was finally tired. Since this post is going to be probably the longest I have done I will wait until tonight to update on today!


Kristy said...

First comment...what's up with Daniel Cooper?

Kristy said...

I loved all of the details of your adventures, Christ's Church, eating (I am envious of your Moo Moo's and Ben's Cookies...Dad and I sure didn't eat at the great places you have been while in London...yummo! You are so adorable in your photos and I am glad that you are staying patient with your ward calling and getting to church...Heavenly Father must have known that this ward needed YOU!

Kristy said...

What a great update. Sounds like you are continuting to have an absolutely awesome time. This is my favorite update of yours so far. We are so proud of you and happy for you my dear. Continue to enjoy. Try not to take the castles for'll miss them before you know it. Love you cutie. Dad

John and Jill said...

Wow!! It's been a long time since I've been on your blog!! What adventures you are having! I had a lot of catching up to do, I'll be sure to check in more often. You look great, and I'm so happy that you are getting this chance to visit these spactular places!!

Jocelyn loved talking to you on skype! We miss you and wish you all the best Macy!

Enjoy! Enjoy!! Enjoy!!!

We love you!

John and Jill said...


That was supposed to be spectacular!!!

Marilyn said...

You are having so much fun. I haven't been to Oxford but after these pictures, I can see it is a must next time. By the way, you can get someone way cuter than Demi's guy. The pictures of you are all so adorable.

Kylie said...

good post Mace! We need to talk on Skype asap. It stinks that I'm away from home...I feel a bit excluded from the "family" skype dates! hehe! Let's chat asap! And shoot, every time I think of you I remember that I still need to write you and send you a cool thing in the mail! I will do it soon, I promise! Life is uber crazy here, what with practice every day for DanceSport, hard classes (kinesiology is 4 credits, I just had my first midterm for that class and it was a lot of studying!), etc etc! Well I love you so much lil sis! Keep up the patience with your ward, you will be blesses!