Friday, April 30, 2010

one week ago.

Seven days ago I was doing this...
with these lovely people...

On my last day in London which was luckily Thursday I went along with the rest of the stragglers to Leeds Castle. It was a breathtaking day and we spent it wisely. First I, along with a few of the girls walked through the castle, which happened to be my favorite of all the castles I had seen. Then we strolled though the gardens and the aviary. And finally we laid down on the grass and took some time to nap and work on our tans... or in my case burn. By the end of the two hours we spend basking in the sun I had a tomato for a face, red is not my color. Once we had arrived back at the centre I went on a little last walk though the city that has come so close to my heart. I also stopped and purchased about 16 delicious Ben's cookies [best cookies on the earth]. It was a lovely last jaunt through my dear London. I ended up staying up all night as my car for the airport picked me up promptly at 4:15. I anticipated traffic and lines galore but I was to the airport in about 20 minutes and through dropping off baggage and security in about an hour. As a result I had about four hours to kill until my 10:30 flight. I waisted away my time taking naps and people watching. Once I was on the plane and in the sky I had the greatest feeling of relief, I was headed home! I sat next to the loveliest person on the plane also. Her name is Paige, she is a wedding planner and exactly who I would love to be when I "grow up". We spent just about the entire flight talking about everything from our favorite spots in London and wedding ideas. I know I was meant to be on that flight and in that seat because I have never been more inspired. I got off the plane, went through customs[which was surprisingly a breeze] and was welcomed home by my wonderful mother, father and surprised by my little sister whom I though wasn't going to be able to make it because of testing. I could not have been happier to be home with the people I love most!

Now London literally seems like months ago and it has only been days. Somehow I find myself extremely busy here in California, obviously displayed by my lack in upkeep of my beloved blog. So today I have made it a summer goal to blog once a week. Yes, I know most of my goals revolve around this blog but it is something I need to do to keep these memories alive because like my mother my memory is going fast...[joke... kind of :)... love you mom] I will make sure to blog again tomorrow as I have to fill you in on what I have been up to while being home but for now... Cheers!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Dear blog,
Since I have come home
you have been left alone.
I am full of sorrow.
But I will update you tomorrow
with real stuff
happening in my life
upon my return to america
and the beautiful land of california.
So until tomorrow....
[yes, that was almost a poem... woops]

Friday, April 23, 2010

as i sit in the airport.

I look like a complete joke.
I have three heavy and not small carry-ons
to avoid spending massive amounts of money on checking more bags.
Airlines are such a rip off.
I am a comfort traveller.
I wear sweats, dont do my hair and dont care about what any one thinks when I fly.
I am in heels and a dress, London what have you done to me?
Maybe I grew up a little more than I realized.
but now it is time to leave and after an extra week in this city,
four cancelled flights and more stress than anyone should have from a volcano...
I am more than ready for home and family.
p.s. songs of inspiration...
Going back to Cali - Biggie Smalls
More Bounch in California - Soul Kid #1
California - Phantom Planet
California Girls - The Beach Boys
California Love - Tupac
Dani California - Red Hot Chilli Peppers
This is my playlist for before I land... haha.
p.s.s. song I have on repeat [going on number 10 of listening to it]
Paperweight by Joshua Radin
[thanks rach!]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

day 6 of waiting...

And it was a beautiful day of waiting.
I woke up fairly early with the intention of being up for the day but I soon found myself asleep again and not awake until eleven. After waking up I got "ready" for the day and went to Starbucks by myself for lunch. After I walked through Kensington Gardens and then sat down on Jenny's blanket with her and a group of us that were already lounging.
Anne, Kira, Michelle and Brittany walk up and asked if anyone wanted to go paddle the Serpentine with them so Jake, Christina, Jenny and I joined them.
It was beautiful despite the small gusts of cool wind every once in a while.
Christina and I were lucky enough to have Jake and Kira to paddle us around.
While laying in the park I spotted this....
A day and a half and I get to finally come home.
I am even more excited now because everyone is leaving
and my family is the greatest.
[sorry I'm not writing a ton but all anyone looks at are the pictures anyways.]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

friday is the day.

Things are looking up. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has given all UK airports the go-ahead to open as of tonight at 2200h. I am so excited by this statement because this means I am for sure getting home to see my family!
Today Jake, Jenny, Christina went to Camden Market after me and the girls had a long morning slash afternoon of sleeping. Yes I plan getting as much sleep as I can until I leave.
I had some more of my favorite Chinese food... although tonight I found out it makes me quite sick. Not fun but sooooo good!
I am going to miss Camden, I love how unique everything is here.
3 days and counting...
Dad told me that we're going to the lake Saturday, my pale body is extremely excited.


Yesterday was lovely.
I slept in again because I can. I showered, ate starbucks for lunch, took a walk and enjoyed the weather, had my favortie dinner of red pesto from Zizzi's and went to see Billy Elliot again with Jenny and Christina.
Jenny's parents were supposed to be here to go with Jenny but because of this volcano they are in the states still so Jenny's dad let us go with her. Thanks so much Brother Hanson!!
This song just came on my iPod...

Another summer day
Is come and gone away

In Paris and Rome [and London]
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aerorplane [i wish, no airplanes right now]
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home [volcano]
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome [and London]
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home

Let me go home
It will all right
I’ll be home tonight [of friday, or never]
I’m coming back home

Thanks a lot Michael Buble for making me even MORE homesick.

Monday, April 19, 2010


We wait and we wait and we wait and then.....
We go CRAZYYYYY. hahahahaha.Friday is now the day I am hopeful to return to the beautiful state of California, and most likely for to be there for the whole summer... As I stay here I am missing my classes in Rexburg. I am not one to start off a semester missing a week+ of school, so I am about 80% sure I will be deferring Spring semester.
I will miss all of my friends at school.
I not receive the credits I would have earned next semester.
I have not been home for more than 7 weeks since I graduated high school, so I will get quality time to spend with my parents and sisters.
I will have time to recover from jet lag
I will have time to emotionally heal from stress and everything here
I can find a job better in California than I can in Idaho.
I will be tan and relaxed.
And finally I will save my parents money.
Verdict is that staying home next semester will probably be good for me or maybe I am just trying to find a way to apply some thing good to this volcano... who knows.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

a lovely stranded day.

Today Laura, Christina, Jenny and I made light of our situation and enjoyed a beautiful day in London Town. We slept in a little bit and some of the girls that hadn't yet, packed.
Then we were off for our blissful day in the city.
This is Terri, she is our "house mother" and with our help cooks all of our amazing food. I absolutely love her! As we walked out of our flat she was gardening in the "garden" we have on our porch... [a few small pots in front].
After doing some research on what was going on in the city the night before we decided to hit up the Holland Festival which is pretty much a beer fest in Trafalgar Square, to say the least we walked around for a few minutes, listened to the music and left. It was fun to see though.
Funny story: Jenny and I waited like 3 minutes to take a picture in the biggest clogs I have ever seen and right as we did this little kid jumped on the clog. He was holding his dad's hand and the father was just looking at us and smiling like it was funny that his child was playing around. He knew we were clearly trying to take a picture and wouldn't move his child... hello. So we jumped back in the clogs after Laura and Christina took their picture. Some people need to learn how to parent their children.
I don't know who I wanted to slap more, the child or the father.
We finally got a child free picture...
After our little adventure in a crowd of orange we split up, Laura and Christina going to Subway and Jenny and I going to Pret a Manger to get lunches. We met back up and walked to St.James Park and had a little picnic. It was the most beautiful day I have here so far, not a cloud in sight which is surprising because there is supposed to be tons of ash in the air [odd?].
We had so much fun eating, talking and laughing.
These are the times I am going to miss most.While taking a rest we took some pictures...
Love these girls.

After our lovely time in the park we went to try our chances at the lottery for Legally Blonde tickets. Christina and I won and got two tickets each so we were in! I absolutely fell in love with the performance. We were front row center and it made me feel like we were in the action of the show. I laughed, I cried and I flirted with a gorgeous man in the orchestra. It was a great last night with the girls. It is now Sunday and I am trying to sleep as much as I can to pretty much take up my time. Laura left this morning for Madrid to try and get out of here... I hope she does. For now I am still stranded, my flight is now cancelled for Monday as well. I pray that the weather forecast is correct and it rains Monday night so some of the ash will clear, but you never know.
We think we are so modern and advanced but if we were I would not be stuck across the ocean with no way to get home.
I am sure God is having a good laugh at men who think they are so great right now.
Until next time...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I am going to miss my little habeeb.

This girl is leaving me tomorrow. Laura's brother is getting married on Tuesday and she was in a bit of a pickle because of the volcano. So Laura's sweet father worked it out so she will fly out of Madrid Tuesday. She is leaving us tomorrow to take a two day trip through Paris and Spain to get home. [ahhhhhhh]
I am going to miss this girl.
She makes my life happier.
Travel safe Laura!

daddy dearest.

This man in the GREATEST.He is the reason I will get home safe and sound as soon as possible.
[While I was busy doing nothing but freaking out here,
papa was calmly working out all my travel plans along with our travel agent and family friend Rowena]
He is the reason I have been able to
experience all the wonderful thing I have this semester.
[Thank you for the experience of a lifetime!]
I don't know what I would do without him.
[literally, no idea]
I love you more than words can say daddy
and I can't wait to see you soon!


Well my flight for today was officially cancelled last night and the centre has been in complete chaos. Not only are we stuck here because of volcanic ash...
we have rats.
No, they are not huge sewer rats but none the less these little guys can sure make a group of girls scream. I have been packed for about 5 days now so luckily I have not had any of them going though my belongings but I am the exception.
Yesterday after hearing that I will be staying in London until at least Monday I had to get out of the centre and clear my head, so Jenny and I went to Oxford Circus and did a little retail therapy. I am not kidding after being so stressed nothing felt better than handing over a little cash and getting a shiny new purse from Anthropologie [don't worry dad it was on SALE, and yes that is my favorite word]. Ab and Ky I got you a few things as well.
For a few hours I didnt think about the possibility of missing my first week of classes for spring semester at BYUI and only getting to see my family for less than 24 hours before I am gone again until July.
Its amazing to me how shopping can do that.
I am going to miss this place,
but first I need to leave to miss it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

very annnnngryyy.

Dear Eyjafjallajoekull,
Please stop erupting.
You're making it so I can not get home
to my family :(
I start classes again on tuesday,
and can not miss them.
Why are you ruining my life?
I hate volcanoes...

Cancelled....? not yet, but might happen and if it does

I will not be a happy girl.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

hellooooo finals, nice to see you again.

I am literally going crazy with a capital C. Finals have gotten to me. The surprising part is that I am not a single bit stressed, it's crazy. I have been bouncing off the walls the last few nights [most likely because of the overload on diet coke] and Jenny, Christina, Laura and I have been the only ones in our room, as everyone else lives in the library. We say literally the most outrageous and funny things when it gets to be about two in the morning. I am going to miss these nights with these girls, love them!
Yesterday after our final review for Brit. Lit. we walked to Wagamamas and got take out katsu curry [delicious!]. We all came home and had lunch with Susan. I love that woman, she is amazing and an inspiration to me.

Yesterday I packed, everything. It was the best thing ever and it made me feel amazing! I CAN NOT wait to go home, mostly because of the annoyance of finals and the fact that I am so excited to see my cute little family.
I smile every time I think of walking out of the airport and seeing me dad and little sisters faces and getting home and giving my mom a huge hug!
This is me today.
I have no words.
My shirt is supposed to be positive re-enforcement.
Maybe it's working... maybe not.
Two finals down, three to go.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the final days.

My semester abroad is starting to wind down and I am now in my final week here living in London. Sad I know. Thursday was spent in classes, the last day of classes! Well the last day besides finals. I finished my Classic Civ. class, British Literature, Religion and culture classes, just one more to go on Monday!
Friday was a good way to end our day trips. We woke up and headed to Westminster Pier to board a boat cruise that took us along the river Thames to Greenwich.
Once there I went with Laura, Jenny, Christina and Jake to a few museums and finally up one of the steepest inclines I have ever climbed to the observatory.
There we waited in a line to stand on the prime meridian. Yes I stood in two places at once, both halves of the world. I even managed to do a handstand there too. I know, you are impressed.

After our thrilling adventure we all walked back down the hill to eat at GBK [gourmet burger kitchen]. I ordered an avocado bacon burger. England has the worst bacon. After finishing we got on the DLR and Jenny, Laura and I went to Borough Market, I am a regular there now. Because we had just eaten, the girls and I just walked around and sampled everything and I got a drink. I am going to miss that market the most.
Saturday I accidentally slept in until 11 and woke up to an empty room. I suddenly started to panic because Christina, Jenny Laura and I had tickets to see the Cinderella Ballet. Soon after I got a little ready the showed up from running and we all headed to the Royal Opera House to watch the ballet. It was beautiful and of course I loved it because it was Cinderella.

After Jenny Laura and I walked around, got some late lunch and went to Cath Kitson where I got my mom a few little goodies. I spent Saturday night in my bed studying and watching movies on my lap top. Relaxing and needed.
Today was my last week in my ward here. It was fast and testimony meeting and there were some sweet things said from the pulpit. After saying goodbyes and giving hugs, Emma, Maddy and I took our last Sunday train ride. Once home I took a long Sunday nap and awoke just in time for dinner. We then had our own testimony meeting at the centre for our last devotional. [I just said last about 10 times] I was really touched by every ones testimony's and I got up and bore mine as well. I love everyone in the centre. We all have so much fun and have got along fairly well.

I am going to miss being around so many great people all the time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I prefer the house of Lords.

Today I woke up for kitchen crew as it is my week to work in the kitchen. I love it because I get to hang out with Dave's wife Teri, our sort of house mom and cook. She is a doll, mom you would love Teri. Anyways after an early breakfast we got on to tube and headed for Westminster to tour the houses of Parliament. Our guide was a fellow named Andy and he did a wonderful job of getting us though quick but still giving us all the information we wanted to know.
Channeling our inner Asian.
I love these girls.
In front of Parliament.I am going to miss this gorgeous sight. It never gets old.

After touring the houses Jenny and I went to a little cafe for lunch and then walked in the rain to the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum. It was by far my favorite "museum" I have been to here and everything is just as it was back when Churchill occupied it because they left it that way. After walking in the rain again to the tube I may or may not have gone and done a little shopping. :) I then came home and took a nap, almost missing dinner kitchen crew. Dinner was sun dried tomato pasta with garlic bread, fruit and salad; Delicious!
I have done nothing but by lazy tonight so now I am going to attempt to work on some long awaited homework.


For the temple is the house of God, a place of love and beauty.

I am on a spiritual high lately. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go and do work in the London temple with my roommates, classmates and professors. I love the temples. I love the feel you get when you walk into the house of the Lord. We got to the temple early for our session we we walked around the grounds and took pictures. When we went inside we were greeted by one of the temple workers who was ironically from Sugar City, just five minutes from Rexburg. He thought I was the coolest for living there. The temple workers were thrilled that we were there and said they had never seen so many youth there at a time, there were twenty nine girls, four boys and our professors. We had to wait a while and take shifts of five when doing our work so in the mean time we sat in a waiting room and sang hymns. I have never felt such peace than when I was in that room singing with all the girls, the spirit was so strong. We sang Families can be together forever and I soon felt tears rolling down my cheeks from thinking about my family and how happy I am that I get to spend eternity with them. After about fifteen hymns I was called do go into the conformation room and then the baptismal font. It was so neat to be confirmed by my professor and then baptized by my teachers assistant. I have gone to the temple in Rexburg with my ward and roommates before but this was different. It was special and I loved every second of it.
The London Temple

Audrey Susan and I on the temple grounds.

Katie[Bruce] and I in front of the temple.

Monday, April 5, 2010


This year was obviously different... no family around, no Easter egg hunts, no Nanny's for Easter brunch, and no Easter basket. Although all of these things were missing I think this Easter was the most meaningful one I have ever had. My day was focused on the Lord, his atonement for my sins and his resurrection. I am sure that it helped my spiritual side to have Conference weekend one and the same with Easter. Unlike when I am home for conference, here with the time change the first session of Sunday started at 5:00 p.m. It was odd not waking up and instantly watching conference. I liked it almost better though. I had almost the whole day to prepare myself to listen and take in the words of the prophet and other speakers.

We had the most delicious brunch here at the center that consisted of Amish oatmeal, pancakes, bacon [I could live on bacon alone], omelets, hash browns, quiche, tarts, cakes, and strawberry shortcake bites. Terri defiantly out did herself. After brunch we had a sweet Sunday program where several of the girls sang and Sarah, Jake and Dr.Macfarlane spoke. After the program I took a walk with some of the girls, we parted as they walked to Hyde Park chapel and I to my bed to watch conference. I love my church, I love that where ever I am it is true and sure, I love how when the prophet speaks I feel he is speaking just to me.

Sweet Sweet Jenny and I.

Christina, Laura, Jenny, Rachel and yours truly.

Laura and Me!

The church is true.

trip to the [lake district] north.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up. I know my parents have been anxious to see what I did what I was in Northern England. I started to write down pages and pages of notes from my trip but then I realized that I am sure no one reads all I have to say so I am going to skip to short captions on the subject of each photo I put up.
Anyways I loved visiting a new part of the country I have come to call home. We all woke up fairly early Monday morning and piled onto the coach we would call "home" for the next five days. Our first drive was about three hours and the entire coach was full of sweet slumbering girls, and a few boys.
Our first stop was Chatsworth House or better known as Pemberley
from Pride and Prejudice [Mr.Darcy's estate]
It was gorgeous and despite the pouring rain Britin and I went exploring on the elaborate grounds. I love Britin's sense of adventure, she keeps me alive.
After getting a cup of soup and getting back on the coach we were off to Hawthorn to see the Bronte Parsonage. After seeing the graveyard and gloominess of the Moors I soon realized why Emily Bronte would have written such an almost disturbing book like Wuthering Heights.

Another lenghty drive and we were in York. It was still pouring down buckets of rain but Katie and I walked down a ways to eat at a local pub. I had pasta and of course sticky toffee pudding with custard sauce, a British dessert that I have come to love. Although we were looking a little crazy from the rain there were some Yorkish fellows that thought we looked like the gorgeous American girls we are [haha]. As we walked out of the pub we got some knocks on the window, a wink, a wave and a blown kiss.

After a long chat with my roommate for the night Caitlin and semi-good nights sleep we woke up, had breakfast, and then walked on the city wall of York to the York Cathedral. Yes, another cathedral and surprisingly not the last.

Once we had our lenghty tour of the Cathedral we walk through the adorable inner city of York and then got back on the coach. We then drove to Fountains Abbey which is an old abbey that was put to ruins by king Henry VIII in the dissolution of the monasteries. I walked around the grounds with Katie, Calvin, Cam, Laura M, and Kalyn. We had a lovely time although we were attacked by gnats. Next we drove to Durham, where we next checked into our place of residence for the night, Durham Castle. I can now check off sleeping in a castle off my list of things to do before I die. I slept in the room with the top small window right above my head. :)
After checking in a setting my stuff down I went to dinner with Laura, Jenny and Christina. We had such a fun night and talked for hours in Jenny and Laura's room after dinner.

The next day we walked through Durham down to the coach park, loaded up and headed even more north. We first stopped along Hadrian's Wall at Housesteads where I proceeded to climb an fairly steep hill [more like a small mountain] to see remains of the wall.
This is me after I had made it to the top in my no traction Uggs.

This is me about five minutes later after I had fallen in the snow and froze the right half of my body off. I was not happy. [I have a gigantic bruise on my side still.]

After a quick change session, luckily I had brought some extra sweats, we were off again to see two of the poet's Wordsworth's houses. This one was my favorite because it has the most beautiful view of the lake district.Next we drove through the Lake District to where we were staying just outside of the bustling metropolis of Hawkshead. this was my first experience of staying in a youth hostel and I was surprised at how clean it was, but then again we were in the Lake District which is an exceptionally nice part of England.
Before we ate dinner at the hostel, I went for a walk with Eliza and Britin. If I wasn't quite sure that I was in love with the English countryside already, I am sure of it now. The lake district is one of the most beautiful places I have even been in my short lifetime. I would be utterly content to spend the rest of my life there in a small country home.

There are sheep everywhere. Luckily we were there in spring and were able to see all kinds of baby lambs . Loved it.
Then after dinner I went for another walk with Jenny. I could have spent hours outside. I know this is probably hard for my parents to believe but while I was there I had the urge to go camping. It is quite the sport to walk along and camp in the lakes and I actually thought it sounded like fun.It was a little tricky going for walks because there are no sidewalks and we have to remember to stay on the side of the road so cars are coming head on to us. There were some parts of the road where the hedgerows were about three feet taller that I am and we would have to run around corners to be sure there were no cars.
I found a sign for cow crossing. I thought it was hilarious, mainly because my nickname from my family is Macy Moo. I miss the stinky smell of Turlock cows.The next morning after breakfast most of the group including myself walked about three miles to Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Farm. This walk was my favorite and the weather was perfect, a change from the rain and snow we had the previous days. It was blissful. Once there we toured her house at Hilltop Farm. Before she died Beatrix left all of her property to the English people for the preserving of a certain breed of sheep in the lake district and left Hilltop to the National Trust for visitors. She literally had left directions as to where even the furniture was to be placed in the house so it looked as if she had just walked out when you tour the house.
After taking the craziest taxi ride I have even taken back into Hawkshead and getting some lunch we hit the road for Preston. Church history time. We met up with our favorite tour guide Peter Fag who lead us all around town showing us various sites where prophets have been. My favorite was being next to the Ribble river, where the first baptisms occurred in England.
Next we were able to go visit the Preston Temple, which is actually located in Chorley. I realized while we were there just how much I love the temples. I love the feeling of being home I get when I am near one. I am luck enough to be able to see the Rexburg Temple just out my window while I am at school and I am just two hours from three temple when I am in Turlock.
For some reason I think it is hilarious to take pictures with Jake as if we were a couple. Here we are at the temple, I think it's my favorite of the collection.
After our quick visit to the temple grounds we drove into Liverpool, not the most gorgeous city in England, where we stayed for the night. In the morning I went with a few girls to the Beatles museum. It was probably my favorite museum so far, I am quite fond of the Beatles.
After our visit to the gift shop Margret, Sarah, Kalyn, Christina, Laura and I went to lunch for Marg's birthday at a place called Pesto. Yes I had pesto, and it was the nastiest pesto I have ever eaten. We then walked back to the coach for our last ride on the beloved home of the five day trip. Once home I instantly packed, showered and fell asleep. It was overall a wonderful last trip while here in the UK. I am going to miss it so.
12 days left.