Tuesday, June 12, 2012

It's been real!

I am leaving to go to the airport in 3 hours. I can't believe it! I am very overwhelmed with how many different emotions I am feeling right now. One emotion I for sure am feeling is HAPPY. Because i have had an amazing last three days in London! 

Sunday was one of my favorite days here. Not because of London, but because of the people I am here with. People are the BEST! Church was awesome, I have really come to love my ward, especially my cute primary kids. It was harder than I thought saying bye to those little guys! Sunday night, we had a talent show with the whole group! It was an absolute BLAST. As I was watching, I just looked around the room at all my new friends, and I just thought Whoa Baby. These people are so COOL! I love everyone here, and we have had a blast together. Everyone here is so talented, as well! And funny. By the end, my cheeks were numb from smiling so big and my abs were sore from laughing so much. I am seriously going to miss this group! 

So, another emotion I have been feeling the last few days is STRESS. We had our finals and ohhhh my land. They were SO rough. We learned SO much information in such a short time, that it was just overwhelming trying to remember it all for the tests! But I studied as much as I could and am just sure glad they are over! So that's what Monday was full of. 

Today, was an absolutely PERFECT last day in London. I could not have asked for better! After finishing our final this morning, we pretty much ran out of the London Centre so we could spend as much time as possible outside for our last day. So, we rented some bikes and cruised hyde park! It was just lovely! Hyde Park is so gorgeous! I am going to miss that big green beauty a whole bunch. We had fun reminiscing our good times here and just taking in a typical foggy london afternoon for the last time. 

Tonight we had a delicious dinner! We went to a place called "My Old Dutch Pancake House." It was amaaaaaazing! BIG and YUMMY are the best descriptive words for it. Just check out the picture of it, and you'll see what i'm talking about! So, as our big last shabang we decided to hit the city. But here's the catch. We didn't just hit the city, we hit the city In the DARK. What is it about night time that just makes everything a billion times more awesome? Well I sure don't know but, London is definitely included in that! London at night is INCREDIBLE!! I about died tonight. It is truly exhilerating! I am in love with Big Ben at night. And St. Pauls. And the river Thames with the lights reflecting on it. And LONDON

Me and Amanda with the darling primary kids! 
These kids are going to grow up to be so amazing. 
i just know it! 

BIKES in hyde park! 
Absolutely perfect in every way

Hyde Park is so GREEN
I will miss it sooooo much! 

Palace Court. Our street. 
Home away from home. 

At "My Old Dutch!" 
Taaaaaasty goodness

Millenium Bridge and St. Pauls! 
at night. 
Is that not AMAZING?! 

Oh my. 
I don't think I can leave this place! 

 Oh Big Ben, i LOVE you.

I dare you to find me in this one. 
I love this group sooooo much! 
we have a good time, if you can't tell! 
I am so grateful to have gotten to know these fantastic people.  

Now everyone, it is time for me to get sappy up in here. I just have to! There is no other way to sum up this blog. So. It absolutely NUTS that I have come to my very last post! I mean, in some ways it seems like i've been here forever, in others it has flown by. I look back at everything i've done, and I am overwhelmed with how much i've learned, how happy I have been, how much fun I have had, how many unique and incredible things i got to see and experience, how many great people i've gotten to know, and how much i have come to LOVE LONDON. I will never forget this experience, and I know that there is nothing else like it! I am incredibly grateful for every moment I have had here and will cherish these memories forever
Goodbye London!  
It's been real! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Eye Love London

These past three days have been incredible! But then again, that’s not unusual when you are living in London!

So Thursday was a day full of wars and battles. Literally! I went to the Churchill War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum, and saw War Horse that night! The museums were both awesome!! It was interesting to see how the British view Winston Churchill and see where he worked during the war. I can’t believe how much time he had to spend underground! The Imperial War Museum was really really good. We saw exhibits on World War 1 and 2. The WW1 exhibit was cool because they had replicas of trenches. You could walk through them to get a feel of what it might have been like. They made it very realistic. It even smelled like it would have in the war, and they had bombing and shooting sounds going on. It was scary! I can’t imagine what it really would have been like, but it was interesting to get an idea. They had a WW2 and Holocaust exhibit as well. These were very hard to walk through but very eye opening and interesting. Outside the exhibit they had a sign that said “no children 15 years and younger” and boy, I understand why they said that after walking out of it! It was very heavy. I felt extremely grateful to not have lived during these wars, and to not have gone through what so many people went through.

To follow along with the theme of the day, that night we saw the play “War Horse.” You may have heard of the movie, but it was actually a play first! It was incredible! The horse puppets were extremely impressive. After only 5 minutes of watching I was totally convinced they were real horses! So crazy. The story was really good too! I was very impressed with this play! There was also a cool violin man that would occasionally come on stage and play a little tune or two. He was my favorite part.  Something else I very much enjoyed was that the horses name was Joey. Really?? A horse named Joey. Well is that silly or what! I found it quite amusing.

So yesterday was a coach day!!! Sadly, our last and final one! But guess what, this time, we didn’t have our usual caterpillar. This time, we got a double decker coach! Boo-yeah! It was one fat caterpillar. How exciting! So our original plan was to head straight to STONEHENGE. However, (note: this next part is very sad so you might want to go grab a tissue or two) during the night before this there were terrible wind and rain storms, which caused big trees to fall down onto the middle of the road. And not just any road, the road leading to Stonehenge. And tragically, these trees were big enough that not even the fat caterpillar could drive over them. So, no Stonehenge. TRAGEDY!! I will be quite honest with you, I was thoroughly bummed. I just can’t believe I will leave England without seeing Stonehenge! That’s just crazy. But I will tell you, once, on one of our other coach days we did drive by it. But that doesn’t really count as seeing it because we were driving real fast and so we only got a quick glimpse. But, I guess that’s going to have to count now! Darn wind.

So, instead of Stonehenge, we just headed to our next destination for the day, which was Blenheim Palace! Besides the fact that it was pooooouring rain, freeeeeeezing cold out side, and sooooo windy I couldn’t even open my umbrella without it pulling me violently, Blenheim Palace was really fun! It was really beautiful and had really pretty gardens surrounding it and a cricket and polo field by it too! I SO wished I could watch a match! So Blenheim Palace isn’t actually a Royal palace, but it was used by the Monarchs of Britain quite often. The reason we chose to visit it is because we are learning about Winston Churchill in class, and his great grandparents owned Blenheim! Winston himself stayed there often during his time in the British government and such. The palace is in a ton of movies, too! Probably because it looks so palace-y. Blenheim was fantastic!  

Next stop: the University of Oxford! You guys. I LOVED Oxford! I mean I do love provo, but Oxford was like the coolest college town ever! We got a sweet tour from one of the nice blue badge guys and everything! Oxford is a very prestigious university. I loved seeing students everywhere! They all looked so studious. I even thought about joining them to work on my own papers and finals! (but not really.) But in fact, the students there are taking finals as we speak! Wanna hear something cool they do there? So on the first day of finals, they wear a white rose on their shirt. (They also wear cool fancy school clothes.) In the middle of their finals, they wear a pink rose. And when they take their very last final, they wear a red rose. And when they finish they are greeted with Champaign to celebrate! Cool huh! I am thinking of doing this myself at BYU. But don’t worry, I would drink Martinelli’s instead. So at Oxford we got to see all of the different colleges and basically just learn about how Oxford works and the life of a student there. It was sooooo neat!Oxford is one of the oldest Universities EVER in the world. The whole town is just so unique and old and gorgeous and fun and awesome. I loooooooved it. OH and guess what else? So there are these absolutely deliciously scrumptious cookies here in England called Ben’s Cookies. And in Oxford, is the first and original Ben’s cookies! They are soooooo yummy! I may or may not have had three. I mean, I had to make up for not seeing Stonehenge somehow right? Good ol’ Ben did the trick!

Today, Madeleine and I enjoyed our last Saturday in London with some nice fun cousin time! We went and did…. Drum roll please…. the London Eye!!! I have been so excited to do this since the moment I came. I purposely waited till the end to do it. And it was so worth it! Madeleine and I loved everything about it. It was so cool to get to the top, look out over London and be able to know everything I saw. And really know it. Because I experienced it all. And lived in it. And learned all about it. It was the BEST. I was listening to the tourists standing next to me try and pick out what everything was, and I loved being able to answer every question they had. I have truly come to know and love London, and it is such an exhilarating feeling

Blenheim Palace!
Please excuse my wet and wild hair.
And the rain drop on the lens. 

In front of the Library at Oxford! 
How'd that be to study in? 
I probably wouldn't get much studying done. 

The original Ben's Cookies! 
Yummy gooey soft rich creamy goodness.
I may name my first son after Ben. 
His cookies are just too good! 

Waiting in line for the London Eye! 
I have had my Eye on this thing for quite a while! 

On our way up to the top! 
Enjoying each other's company
as well as the tourists who were all over the age of 50. 
we felt so young and free

That, my friends, is the current love of my life. 

Well, tomorrow i will go to my ward for the last time
Lots of things this week have been in that category..."for the last time"
it makes me incredibly sad
I am truly going to miss this place! 
Luckily, i still get one more blog post. :) 
Talk to you then! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today, all my troubles seemed so far away...

Jubilation. That is what i feel here in London! I am sad the Jubilee is over! But it is also kind of a relief. It was CRAZY here. You couldn't do anything or get anywhere because everything was closed and blocked off and just crazy. All for good causes though! Everything in London is totally decked out for the Jubilee. There are flags everywhere. And people are just completely covered in Union Jack clothes from head to toe. Its SWEET. Like i said earlier, it just makes me feel so British, being here for all this! So for the  Royal Procession, rather than risking your life (but not really) and going to the actual thing, we got creative. We had what my professors called "Ye Jubilee Tea." We had a Tea Party! And when i say tea, i mean juice. And we had scones too! And when i say scones, i mean biscuits. The party was a gooooooood time! We decorated with Union Jack flags and watched the Procession on TV while enjoying our tea and scones. Ye Jubilee Tea was a huge success. And it sure is fun seeing that darling Queen! When she came out on the balcony of Buckingham, i secretly hoped she'd bring her dog out with her to wave hello. A girl can dream right?  

So one of my very best friends in the world, Ashley, happened to be in London this week! And lucky me, i got to meet up with her here! I showed her my favorite Gelato place here. Gelato Mio! I loved seeing Ash here and talking with her! It was so neat to be able to tell her fun things to do here, yummy food to eat, places to shop, how to get places, just how to do London. It made me realize how comfortable I feel here. I LOVE it. Something they always say here is "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." Aint that the truth! I think if i really lived here, like for more than just two months, life would be a constant THRILL. Because that's just what London does to me. It THRILLS me. 

So today, "all my troubles seemed so far away".....because i went to ABBEY ROAD! You know, that famous road, that is basically just the Beatles stomping grounds? Yeah, i went there! And it was COOL! Mostly just because the Beatles are cool. We tried to copy their famous photo walking across the street... emphasis on the word "tried". Although our photo isn't quite like theirs, at least its proof i walked there right? I was singing Beatles all day today. We got to sign the wall that everyone signs! I tried to find where my sister signed but failed. There are so many dang signatures on that wall! It is so cool to see how many people come to see Abbey Road just because of what huge Beatles fans they are. Myself included! 

Tonight after hours of doing dishes and mopping floors (i'm on dish crew this week, bleh), it was time for a TREAT. I am finding this to be somewhat of a routine. Every night, without fail, about 15 minutes after dinner, i just get huuuuungry for something sweet. Maybe its just because i know i am in such close proximity to so many yummy treats? Probably. But its becoming quite the problem. But a very very very delicious problem. So tonight for our treat, we went to a place called "Ciao!" And they have a wonderfully scrumptious creation there called Ice Cream Spaghetti! It was FANTASTIC. I can't even explain it to you, you just gotta see the picture!! 

Even the Tube is Jubilified! 
Jubilified, is a word i just made up. 
Like it? 

Look! Its Ye Jubilee Tea

When the queen started waving
 well i just couldn't help but wave back

Meeting up with cute Ash
Loved seeing this girl! 

Beatles stomping grounds! 

Our attempt! 

Proof! I walked across Abbey Road! 

Ice Cream Spaghetti. 
It was very exciting and yummy. 

On our way home we walked through Trafalgar Square! 
And happened to climb this big guy

Standing in Trafalgar Square
with Big Ben behind me.
This is my "I love this place so much and am not ready to leave it" smile. 

To be tired of London is to be Tired of Life! 
I will never ever ever ever ever be tired of London. 
I want every one to experience this amazing place!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hey Queen Elizabeth! Thanks for inviting me to your party!

Happy Jubilee!!! Being here for this makes me feel ALMOST British. It’s the best. But I’ll get to that later first I gotta talk about other stuff I did!

So Friday a bunch of us went to Greenwich! (pronounced gren-itch) To get there we got to take a boat ride! I LOVED it. It started at Westminster Pier, which is right by Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, the London Eye, and such! And then we rode along the Thames to Greenwich! It was so cool to be able to start from one end of London and just ride along seeing the whole city. I loved being able to identify what everything was on both sides of me. It was cool to go underneath all of the bridges! And there are SO many bridges! And they’re all awesome. So when we got to Greenwich, we decided to first get something to eat. One of the girls I was with had heard of a cool restaurant she wanted to try. It was a double decker bus turned into a pizza place! The restaurant itself was creative and fun, however… getting there was interesting. We somehow ended up in what looked like the slums of Greenwich! Haha it was a funny experience. After that things didn’t get much better… We went to the Royal Observatory, which is actually really cool! And we saw the spot where all time is decided! (a.k.a prime meridian) Its not a new day till it’s a new day in Greenwich! So the reason it didn’t get much better after exploring the slums is cause, when I was straddling the prime meridian, I was taking a picture for my friend, and, I dropped her camera! Dropping leading to breaking. It was awful and I felt so bad the rest of the time! But she’s the best and quickly forgave me.

So yesterday was great! We started out by waking up early and hitting Portobello Road. It is soooooo fun! I could walk up and down that road for hours on end and not get bored! There are yummy crepe and waffle stands at every corner, and so many fun stores/stands to explore! We all found some good finds. After Portobello we went to the Tate Britain! I’ve been really excited to come here. The museum is under construction so not everything was available to see, and the layout was confusing. But it was still amazing!! Madeleine and I were completely thrilled to see “Carnation, Lily Lily Rose” by John Sargent because it is my Auntie Elizabeth’s favorite! And I fully understand why. It was incredible! I bought another post card. I also really enjoyed the Turner exhibits. He is brilliant and I was fascinated by his paintings!

So yesterday night was a real hit. We went and saw a show, but not just any show. A very unique show called STOMP! Ever heard of it? Well, youtube it or something. Because it was SWEET! If you don’t know what it is, well basically it’s just a group of people that create music with whatever they can find. They use garbage cans, brooms, buckets, rubber, water, tires, cups, matches, pots and pans, ropes, newspaper, and especially their hands and feet. You wouldn’t believe what they can do with these things! It was extremely impressive. I can’t imagine how tingly their hands and feet must have been, my hand gets tingly after one high-five! The end of the show was sort of interactive and they had us clap and stomp and snap with them and stuff. I think they had us do this so that we would feel stupid and realize how talented they really are. Ha! It was awesome! I was stomping and clapping and snapping all the way home.

Today everyone, was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! The Queen is commemorating 60 years as Queen, and so she’s havin a big HUGE celebration! It is absolutely crazy here right now! It’s like the 4th of July times ten, but BRITISH. Obviously. It is so cool how much these people LOVE their Queen! After church some friends and I rushed on over to Westminster bridge to see the 1,000 boats come along the Thames! There were ten million billion trillion people everywhere. It was MADNESS. But the best kind of madness! We could hardly see anything but it was fun just being there for it all. I managed to jump really high and see the Queens boat! She is one classy lady! And I sure hope her boat was heated, because well, I was freeeeeeezing. But it was all worth it! These Brits really know how to throw a party! 

The London Eye!
so excited to go on take a spin on this baby! 

On our boat ride! 
You betcha we went under Tower Bridge! 

No biggie, just eating pizza in a double-decker bus! 

Found this awesomness in Greenwich! 
Madeleine and I reminisced playing with our pirate ship as kids! 

Love me some Portobello 

the absolutely wonderful
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

On Westminster Bridge celebrating the Jubilee! 
Happy 60 years Elizabeth, thanks for inviting me to your hoppin party!

I can't believe tomorrow is the beginning of my last full week in London. 
Well that's just not okay with me at all! Not one bit.
But i can assure you, London and I are going to spend one blissful last week together!  
Bring it on. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"making the magical world real and the real world magical"

These past two days have been AMAZING! I am living the good life here. I feel soooo lucky to be doing all the cool things i'm doing here! London is the coolest place ever

Okay so yesterday was EPIC. Some of us big Harry Potter fans went to the Warner Brothers Studio and took a tour! The Warner Brothers Studio as in, where the Harry Potter movies were filmed and created! This is where the best series in the world came to life!!! This experience was very very very overwhelming! Overwhelming in a good way, i mean. in a GREAT way, actually! All you non Harry Potter fans out there, go ahead and roll your eyes or laugh, but seriously this was UNREAL! Actually no, it was real! And that is why it was so COOL! We saw the actual sets they used in the movies for the burrow, hagrids hut, gryfindor common room, the classrooms, diagon alley, privet drive, hogwarts bridge and more! Oh my. My jaw was dropped the entire time we were there. We saw all the props too! To name a few, all of the horcruxes, costumes, wands, wigs, masks, and more. We saw the actual night bus and the Weasleys car! These are the ACTUAL sets and props used in the movie. I died. Okay and it seriously is amazing how much detail goes into these movies! It was insane! It was so cool how incredibly detailed every set, prop, costume, everything was. It made me love the movies even more! (if that is even possible!) AND the coolest part was seeing the model of the Hogwarts Castle! Did you know that anytime they do an over the top view or scoping view of the castle that its really just a model?? What the! Thats nuts. This tour was overwhelmingly awesome. I wished my Harry Potter fan family was with me the whole time! 

Today we spent the day exploring! We went to Covent Garden which is a really famous street/area in London! It was really fun and we happened to hit it on a day when the market was open! You KNOW how much i love markets! This was a really fun area. The other day my mom asked me what my favorite part about London is. (Silly Mom, that's an impossible question!) I obviously couldn't name a very favorite because like i said, is impossible, but one that definitely came to mind is London's markets. The atmosphere is SO much fun. I love love love it. 

Today we also went to Hatchards! Hatchards is the oldest bookstore in London! It first opened in 1797! Whoa baby! This is also another really neat thing about London is its bookstores. I could spend hours on end there! We found some really cool books there and even bought myself a darling copy of  "Emma" by Jane Austen. Told you she'd be on my summer reading list! 

So tonight, i had an absolute BLAST. Know why? Because i saw "Singin in the rain!" Oh my word. I didn't know it was possible to have so much fun just sitting for two hours! This musical was just down right delightful. I had an enormous grin on my face the entire show! The whole time i was watching i just wanted to get up and dance! And the scenes in the rain were so awesome! This musical just made me so completely happy. I am still grinning. I just can't stop. Singin in the rain was FABULOUS! 

Warner Bros Studios: "making the magical world real and the real world magical" 
the warner brothers may be the coolest brothers i know!
other than my own of course.

The Knight Bus!!! 
Destination: ANYWHERE! (except underwater!) 
its gonna be a bumpy ride!

#4 Privet Drive. 
Uncle Vernon wasn't home, sadly. 

The Weasley's enchanted car! 
This is the REAL thing guys. 

Just drinkin some delicious Butter Beer! 

Olivander's Wand Shop! 

Fred and Georges joke shop! 

The lovely Covent Garden. 
London is THE BEST! 

The happiest musical ever! 
I can't wait for the next time it rains. 
I will definitely be singing in it. 

We have two more completely open days coming up! 
I can't wait to see what they hold. 
I am on cloud 9 here in London! 
Miss you all! 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Food Glorious Food

Hellllllooo everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the summer sun. I know I am! Wait, did i really just say that? Is it really sunny and warm here? IT IS, and I am still trying to grasp the concept. 

Sooooo member how much I LOVED Borough Market? And how I said I would for sure be going back there? Well, this saturday was the day! A day when all my dreams came true. Ha! Really though guys, Borough market is a food dream land. And I went craaaaazy there. I didn't even realize how much food I ate and bought until I was walking out feeling like I was gonna explode. I turned to Madeleine and I said "What in the world did I just do!" She asked me to name all the foods I ate, and I started to name them and the list just kept going and going and going, I ran out of fingers to count! But guess what? I don't regret it one bit. Food Glorious Food! Borough Market, you totally nailed that one. To name a few fun things I ate... delicious sugar coated nuts, fresh fruit, kangaroo burger, ice cream, flap jacks, and more.... YUM. 

So remember in the movie "Parent Trap" how Hallie and her mom spend the day "getting lost in harrods"? Well, Parent Trap being in my top five favorite movies, getting lost in Harrods is something I have always hoped to do. And I did! And it was spectacular! Harrods is extremely high class. I felt a tad out of place wearing my 10 dollar Forever 21 shirt and keds haha. I tried on sunglasses that cost more than probably my whole wardrobe combined! Whoa baby. So, I decided as I was strolling through Harrods, that because all of the clothes were outrageously expensive, that it is just not even logical to buy things there. So in my mind, Harrods is just a big clothes museum! What a sweet museum right? 

School is still in session here in London. Darn school. Just kidding. But really. We had our history midterm today and it was bru-tal. I refuse to study in London when there is still day light out, so I may or may not have studied in the late hours of the night. Don't worry, I took a power nap right before the test! The test was.... well, lets just not talk about that. Ha! Lets talk about the fact that I saw WICKED tonight!!! Oh, I am Wicked through and through! I love Wicked. Always have always will! I have seen it a few times before, and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to see it here in London. No regrets! And Elphaba, well she is just a power house. I have extreeeeeeeeme goose bumps every time that gal opens up her big ol voice. "No good deed" blew my mind! My desire to be able to sing like that is flaming right now. Flaming!!! 

My new motto in life. 
Thank you Borough. 

Eating strawberry balsamic goats milk ice cream 
best ice cream i've ever had. 

Exotic meaning Kangaroo!!!
Very tasty. 

I could have eaten a whole watermelon. 
or a whole five watermelons. 
or ten. 


Me in Harrods!
Gucci, maybe someday I will own you... 
But until then, thanks for letting me pretend i'm one of your models! 

next mission: Defy Gravity! 

So tomorrow I have class ALL DAY. 
But thats okay because after that we have the rest of the week free! Holla! 
My time is running out here... so much to do so little time. 
Wish me luck! 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My sand castle came to life!

Well hey! So this post is going to be a wee bit long considering I have been away from the Internet world for the past three days! I have so much to catch you all up on! Here I go.

Soooo Wednesday morning we stuck around Ambleside for a little bit longer and did another hike! Yes, another hike. Thing is, I love hiking. And I love Ambleside. So it all worked quite nicely. This hike was more of a walk, actually. We walked a ways and got to see the other house William Wordsworth lived in as well as the Church he attended. Sa-weet! So after this we grabbed a quick lunch before getting on the coach for our next destination. Our professors told us to eat at a place called “The Apple Pie Café” because they love it! They had really delicious sandwiches and I got a yummy scone. But I tried their apple pie… and call me biased, it wasn’t nearly as good as my Mothers. Hers are like, the BEST. Everyone knows that!

So one long coach ride later, and I was in SCOTLAND! Oh how I loved hearing bagpipes at all times either close by or somewhere off in the distance. Oh how I loved those charming Scottish accents! Oh how I loved seeing people actually wearing Kilts. Oh how I loved Edinburgh! (I learned it is pronounced Ed- in- bur- uh, BTW) When we first got there we checked into our Hostel. Hostels, well they aren’t the greatest. It was a fun experience though… I mean, I love sleeping next to a wall with mysterious green stains all over it, sleeping on sheets as scratchy as toilet paper. and showering in a shower that is in close enough proximity to the toilet that I could be washing my hair and using the bathroom all at the same time. What’s not to love! So anyways, roaming Scotland was AWESOME. We saw St. Giles Cathedral, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Palace, the famous Princes Street and St. Andrews Square, Caltons hill. I loved it all! Guess what else I saw? A place called “The Elephant House” this is the café where Harry Potter was born!!! I saw the very table that J.K. Rowling sat at when she jotted down the beginning of the incredible series on a napkin! Wow, it was an overwhelming experience. Haha

Well anyways, we got dinner and then we were off to do another hike! Woo! We hiked to Arthurs Seat. You guys. This was INCREDIBLE! I know I know, I need new adjectives to describe things. Let me know if you can think of any others because right now, all I can think of to describe this view is: incredible, fantastic, amazing, phenomenal, wonderful, beautiful, breathtaking, jaw dropping. Definitely “Whoa Baby” status. From the top of this massive mountain you could see everything! Not to mention we got to watch the sunset from up there! It was just PERFECT.

So, let me tell you a quick little story. When I was little, my cousins and I used to build what I would call a masterpiece in the sand. We’d start by making a big mound of sand. Then we’d build a huge castle on top of it. Then, surrounding it we’d build a little village, and all the other stuff in the town. And then on one side of the creation would be the ocean, the other side would be the beach. Well, when I was in Edinburgh, I saw my sand castle come to life! Little did I know, I had been building Edinburgh in the sand, all this time! Because that really is what its like. Just smack dab in the middle you’ve got Edinburgh Castle, which is like the epitome of what a castle is, on a huge hill, surrounded by the town. And then not too far is the ocean! Seeing it all from Arthurs seat made me absolutely giddy. And seriously there is no more perfect way to describe the Edinburgh castle, then by just saying its totally a CASTLE. I love love love love Edinburgh!

Okay so after Edinburgh we made our way back down to England and went to York! When we first arrived in York I didn’t think it would be that cool or fun, but i was very wrong! It was SO cool and SO fun! In york, is the York Minster. Oh my days, it is AMAZING. York Minster is the biggest Cathedral in all of England and in most of the Western part of Europe. This baby is BIG. I think it was my favorite cathedral we’ve seen! Inside, it was just so light. And open. And beautiful. Although these churches are not our (as in, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!) churches, when I step inside, I definitely feel spiritual. It is just really cool to think that these people built these INCREDIBLE structures, all for worshipping God. I don’t know how anyone could not feel that walking into York Minster.

So other than the Minster, York is just a cute little town. There is this famous street there called “Shambles” and it is SO fun! The street is all crooked! The side walk, the sides of the buildings, everything! I felt like I was in Disneyland, but it was a real street! I guess that’s what happens when cows build your streets. And when I say build, I mean just walking over the same path repeatedly. Ha! So along with this fun street there was a big market there that was amaaaaazing. Definitely right up there with London markets! I tried enough samples to count as a meal! It was AWESOME. And I had some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had, ever! I was in heaven!

Our last, but definitely not least, stop was Fountains Abbey! Fountains Abbey is the ruins of this massive Abbey that Henry VIII tried to destroy when he was all mad at everyone for religion. I mean that’s unfortunate that he did that, but man these ruins are COOL! Madeleine and I were in heaven and the kid came out in us. We climbed every part possible to climb and were positively giddy about it. Surrounding the Abbey are beautiful gardens, and a pond and river and such. It is wonderful! I laid down in a field of butter cups day dreaming, making pictures out of clouds, and laughing with friends. What a great way to end our trip!

sunset from Arthurs Seat. 

Don't worry, there was some grass below me. 
Fooled ya! 

At the Elephant House
Harry Potters birthplace!!!!

Me with some snazzy scottish guards! 
One of them even winked at me! 

The Edinburgh Castle! 
My sand castle came to life. 

The incredible ceiling in the Chapter House of York Minster
A nice man told me it was okay to lay on the floor to take my picture...
So i did! 

York Minster! 
Couldn't even fit it all in its so big! 

Fountains Abbey! 
Nice try Henry VIII, you didn't destroy all of it! 

Climbing to my hearts desire 

Butter Cup fields make me soooooo happy! 

the good life. 

One loooooong coach ride
and my first experience with severe car sickness later...
and i'm back in London! 

I love this place.