Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Clink Street

I ran across an amazing blog today, called "London Daily Photo". As I browsed the photos of my pseudo hometown, I found a picture of a place I had almost forgotten.

I don't know how this could have happened, because for some reason during the last few weeks of my stay in London, Bailey, Lauren and I found ourselves running up and down the west bank almost daily. Whether for a play at the Globe, a disappointing visit to the Tate Modern, or our numerous visits to The Gourmet Burger Kitchen, it seems that I walked the length from the London Bridge tube stop all along the west bank so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. There is a specific stretch of this walk that I became very fond of. If you would just shut your eyes for a moment, and just try to experience this with me for one moment... it is the evening and you reach Southwark Cathedral and follow the stone road along a small path... This takes you through an almost ally-like way along Clink Street. There are pubs and restaurants packed with white collar workers stopping for a quick brew after work, you wind through them and come upon this.

How many times did I run past this beautiful disaster without even giving it a second look? It is the perfect image to describe what I love most about London. If you look closely you can see how the old wall has melded into a slightly newer one, and directly behind that building there is a completely modern 21st century business tower. How can a city so old be so modern? This is how. They take their beautiful history and build from it.

I wish I had video taped my last walk along the Clink street so I could remember every single detail. It is my biggest fear that I will too soon forget the charming stone walkway,the stunning designs engraved under the bridges, or the plain but unforgettable aged brick walls, that were simply a means to transport me to another end.

Oh how the smallest details of this city will forever keep me in awe.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

i left my heart in london....

i must admit i had extremely high expectations for this trip, but i never expected this. i have fallen in love with england, london especially, and had the best 5 weeks of my life. i made life-long friends, and had experiences i will never forget. with that said, i leave you with a quote that sums up just about everything:

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

— Samuel Johnson

farewell foggy london town! i will be seeing you soon.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


since i can't get the foreign computers to cooperate with my requests to post pictures on my facebook, i thought i would share a few through a more tedious outlet.

so here are a few gems that should give you a peek into my life here at regents college.

my roommate bailey and i at the airport

our first view of england!

took this on the first day. where else in the world would this just happen?

This is the outside view of my dorm. what a cute little building.

my cute friends lauren and bailey on our first day here.

me posing with the lions at trafalgar square. you can't tell from the picture, but it's quite a climb to make it up there. i have the bruises to prove it!

we took a tour of the tower of london, and this man was our guide. he was so funny, we had to get a picture!

us in trafalgar square at night. yes that is big ben all aglow in the background. so perfect!

me being my crazy self in front of St. Pauls Cathedral

bailey and i survived all 528 narrow and treacherous steps to the tippy top of st. pauls. you can see the entire city from there, and it is breathtaking.

One of our favorite discoveries. Snog. it is the pg-13 rated version of Spoon me. and it is delicious

John, Bailey, Lindsey, Lauren and I in Oxford.

Oxford again. so pretty.

One of my favorite images. big ben all lit up and majestic looking.

the british do something really funny, they count all the steps everywhere and post them on signs. we were walking down to a tube station and it told us it was 92 steps to the bottom... so here we are standing in front of The Monument with our written cirtificates stating that we climbed all 311 steps to the top.

John bailey and i in front of tower bridge.

i'm going to be honest, i don't remember the name of this place.. but isn't it amazing that this square is just tucked away somewhere? i mean seriously. we stumble upon amazing places like this daily!!

these are most of the people in our group in the backyard of Shakespeare's daughter's house.

a picture of the clever river boats named after females in shakespeare's plays.

the river that flows though stratford.

the key to my room at the B&B. can you believe they still use keys like this? i loved it and wanted to keep it!

our whole group in front of Ann Hathaways cottage.

rain rain go away!!

shopping in covent garden we found this amazing paella!!! i crave it all the time now. lauryn tell you mother she best be having a paella night when i come home, becuase i must have it!

a very successful shopping day with the girls

a bunch of us eating dinner at Nandos, one of our favorite restaurants. yummy portugese food :)

our guide for the Jack the Ripper tour. spooky!

the road that leads to buckingham palace. love those union jacks!

the most perfectly placed phone booth in all of london.

the city has all of these elephants around to promote awareness about the endangered species. this is one of my favorites!

this one's for you mommy. wish you were here to see it with me!

i took this picture last night. it was one of the most amazing days i have had in the city so far, and this was the perfect end to our perfect day.

ten things i hate about you.

While being here in the U.K. my roommate bailey and i have made a list of the most annoying things that i thought i was escaping when i left america, but actually followed us all the way across the pond. here is the list of the things that made the top 10:

1. Justin Beiber. i thought.. ok, i was hoping that londoners would be smarter than to fall into the baby-faced trap that is justin beiber. the worst part is, they have i heart justin beiber t's right next to the london souvenirs. how embarrassing.

2. Gym-bags. thank you "is she really going out with him" (a wonderfully awful show produced by MTV) who gave me the best descriptive word to use on all gym-rat-douche-bags. go back to the jersey shore.

3. Allergies. i was hoping pollen went on vacation too. no such luck.

4. tacky american chain 'restaurants' (e.g. subway, pizza hut, kfc, mcdonalds)

5. ed hardy. again, you belong on the jersey shore. not in my london.

6. hollister. tween beachwear should be the last thing people are wearing in this wonderful mecca of affordable shopping.

7. Head colds. yucky.

8. Utah weather. either it's hot or its cold. pick a side already.

9. crazy drivers. you thought utah was bad? i can't wait til i get home and the thing i am most worried about is someone not using their blinker!

10. School. i know i know, kind of the reason i am here. but really?? studying in london???? not cool.

of course this post is all in good fun. i loooooooooooooove love love love it here. seriously every single day i have at least one moment where i am completely stunned at the beauty of this city. i will take these ten things any day, because the good outweighs them tenfold.


Friday, May 28, 2010

this might have been the place that shakespeare might have lived at one time in his life... maybe...

this weekend we took another beautiful train ride to the town of stratford-upon-avon. we stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast called the virginia lodge. it was owned by a man named tim, who was quite possibly the nicest englishman i have met!! this was a unique quality because the longer i stay here the more i realize that the brits must not have been taught manners... there have been several incidents where we have been insulted for being tourists. one man yelled terrible things at us right in front of his 2 year old child because we were standing on the sidewalk. confused? me too. things these severe are rare, it is usually just the common un-courtesy's we encounter like people bumping into you and not saying they're sorry, or blatantly running you over like their lives are so much more important than yours. there have been several times where i have almost gotten left on the platform by myself because people shove in between you, and you get separated from the group, and next thing you know the doors are closing and your not on the train!! you would think that was just something that happens in large cities, but our trip to stratford and the afore mentioned example, proves it is just an english thing.

anyway..... stratford is beautiful. there are thatched roof houses lining stone paved roads. while there we of course saw the big shakespeare attractions like, his 'birthplace' his daughters house, his wives families house, and the church where he was buried. the funny thing is, is at every single place, the tour guides never tell you exactly what happened there, who lived there, and when. its always things like 'we believe that this is the place where shakespeare was born because it is likely that his mother lived there somewhere around the time that he was born' wow. amazing. and all of the houses are filled with artifacts that you would think actually belonged to shakespeare, but no. they tell you 'they are possibly things that people who lived around the time of shakespeare were likely to own'... so to recap, i saw a lot of old stuff that actually didn't have much to do with shakespeare, but were semi-interesting anyway. but this doesn't matter because what i am about to tell you was possibly the best news i have to report so far...

i had a room ALL TO MYSELF! and not just a tiny hole in the wall with a tiny bed. no, an actual full blown room with a queen sized bed, and my own bathroom, and my own tv. it seriously was bliss! i got the much needed sleep to help me get rid of the cold that has been ailing me for the past week or so. in the morning i woke up completely rejuvenated. i opted to not eat a traditional english breakfast like the others (it looked very scary... who eats beans and grilled tomatoes at 8 in the morning??) but had croissants and cereal instead. it was yummy.

the rest of the day we had to ourselves to meander about and explore the place. we ate lunch by the river and made friends with the local ducks. around 4 we all rounded up for the train ride home. i was disappointed we had to leave so soon! as hokey as all of the shakespeare stuff is, this has been my favorite part of this trip so far. this city is beautiful, and i can't wait til i have the chance to go back!

hope you appreciate all of the posts lately...(coughbriannecough) i am trying really hard to find time to post! more to come soooooon



oxford :)

so since i have been such a slacker about posting lately, i thought there were a couple of things that deserved there own posts....

Last weekend a few friends (john, bailey, lauren, and lindsey) and i decided to go on an adventure out of the city. We heard there was a bus that would take us to the quaint university town of Oxford. There is a fantastic man who works at the front desk of the college who looks exactly like elton john (no seriously, i will post a picture. they could be twins). but as much as we love him, he is a true brit which means he is horrible at giving directions. they tell you things like 'oh just head down there for a bit and head 'round the corner til you see the man selling the flowers and cross the street there and the bus will just pick you up right about there'... not very clear. we tried to follow the directions as much as possible, but considering the vague-ness, we got lost somewhere around the second corner we were supposed to head around. after we watched several buses drive past us, we gave up and headed to the train station. this ended up being a very good decision! the train ride to oxford was lovely. we saw a lot of the english country side and it is truly picture-esque.

Once in the town it didn't take us long to find the city center. there is a road down the middle of tons of great stores. this was a great break from the crazy city where i have almost gotten run over by crazy drivers at least 50 times. we did a lot of window shopping (p.s. lauryn i found my first lush! and i am in love!) and eventually found our way to the campus.

we walked through the beautiful gardens and tiny walkways for an hour or so, taking hundreds of pictures (to be posted asap!!) and admiring the place. if i would have visited this campus when i was younger, i would have done unforgivable things in order to be a student there. seriously, it is like nothing i have ever seen!

on our way out of town we stopped at the bookstore and bought oxford shirts to remember the beautiful day we had. we then hopped on a train and headed back to london, and that was another adventure... but i will save that for another time!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

mind the gap!! (in my blog posting)

for those who don't know, in all of the tube stations they have reminders to 'mind the gap' meaning, don't step in the space between the train and the platform. so i thought i would throw a little pun into my title to say i'm sorry for not posting more!
so with apologies out of the way, in a nutshell this is what i have been up to for the past week:
visited St. Pauls Cathedral
seen a production of Twelfth Night
taken a backstage tour of the National Theatre
toured the Tower of London and the Tower bridge
seen the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace
Shopped at Portabello road market
climbed to the top of The Monument
Watched an England football match in a pub
ran the entire outer circle of Regents park (it's not that far, but i felt accomplished!)
read 2 shakespeare plays
attended both FHE and sunday meetings at a church we found near Hyde park
taken a MILLION pictures
eaten 50 gallons of ice cream (including some froyo from a place called Snog, the PG rated version of Spoon me)
Gotten lost on the tube, bus, and just walking around the city
succesfully had 2 skype conversations
gotten a partial farmers tan/burn in the unseasonably warm weather
managed to get a horrible cold.

All of these things have contributed to the fantastic time i have been having (minus the last one). We are finally feeling settled in our schedules, and officially gotten over any sort of remaining jet lag. Last week was spend getting all of the touresty things out of the way, and now we have a little bit of breathing room. We still have many things to cross off our to do list, but we have made a good dent in it.

Tomorrow we are headed to Stratford upon avon. We are going to stay in a bed and breakfast and see a performance of Antony and Cleopatra. I am really looking forward to it. it should be a fun getaway from the bustling city(and the ridiculous noise that comes from staying in dorms full of college students)

hope that holds you over til the next time i can post!