Wednesday, July 4, 2012

English Musings

Lots have changed lately. My friends left, and that's been super sad. We went to high tea before and that was fun. But they've left now :(

I met up with my family on Saturday morning. We went on a hop on/hop off tour of the city. Then we took a little cruise on the Thames. We walked around a bit, saw the palace, Trafalgar square, The Royal Mews, and some other places. Including a picnic in Hyde Park.  We also had a delicious dinner at this Italian place called Zizzi.

Sunday, we went on the London Eye. Lots of the tube lines were closed (partially) for routine maintenance so we had to do a big go-around and FINALLY got there. It was really neat. We walked around the South Bank, got some ice cream, then went to Hyde Park and looked at the Prince Albert monument, the Peter Pan statue and the Princess Diana memorial fountain. I wanted to catch the final game of the Euro cup in a pub, and we needed to get there by 7 to get a table- but we didn't finish all the other stuff until after 7:45, so it was basically POINTLESS to go attempt to go in one, much less eat. We tried anyways, until we eventually headed back and looked for places around where we were staying. We came across one pub just down the street from us but it was minutes after 9 and the pub kitchens close at 9. So we were out of luck, and we just went back and ordered some pizza/ate left overs.

On Monday, my mom, Beth and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour! It was so awesome! But sad at the same time. It was/is sad to know it's over. It was kind of unbelievable that this is where the series I grew up with basically lived for the past 10 years, and here I am walking around and seeing all the things they used. I, naturally, got loads of pictures and BUTTERBEER. It was very different from the WWOHP butterbeer. Better, than the fizzy anyways. They don't have the frozen here, but the fizzy is made with ginger beer (gingerale basically) and the frothy has butterscotch in it, so it was good. After we made it back from that basically all day affair, we met up with Ash and Matt in Kensington Gardens and saw the 360 Performance of The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. The first act was, eh, ok. But when Aslan came out it changed and got lots better. There was some singing that was a little odd and the music was too loud to make out what they were saying. It had been raining all day (English rain) and was still raining but we wanted some food when we got back, but it was close to 10 so everything but McDonald's was closed. Then we made it back to the apartment in Wapping, sorting things out then passed out.

YESTERDAY we took a bus tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. It was really neat, but the drive back was long, after waking at 5:35 to be ready and at the coach station by 7:45. Windsor Castle was amazing. So much history! We saw the changing of the guards, places where the queen entertains, places that Monarchs from before our country was founded entertained, the place where the fire started a few years back, and the church the Queen attends while she's at the castle. We stood on Henry VIII's grave (whaaaat) and so many other really awesome things. It's so crazy to know that some of these people buried in this castle have been there longer than my homeland has been (founded). Then was Stonehenge. It was in a slightly awkward place... between 2 roads in the area that could be described as an acute angle. It was neat to see, but we couldn't get too close which was sad. It was a traditional English day, which I guess added to it. My cough was awful and is really starting to hurt my back, and I don't think all the sitting on the coach was much help. Lastly we went to Bath. the drive there was beautiful! Rolling country side, horses, sheep... and Bath itself was such a lovely place! SO different from London. I was really glad I was able to see some other parts of the country than just London. It's way different.

Today I met up with a friend of mine that I've been friends with for ages, but since we live on opposite sides of the pond, it was basically impossible to meet! She and her sister rode the Megabus down and we spent the day together. It was really lovely and I was so glad to have to opportunity to meet (up with) them!

I've just gotten word from my sister about where we're eating, so I'm off to the pub for some grub and a drink, and hopefully my dad will FaceTime us when we return!

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