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!
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.
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"
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!!
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!