Friday, May 28, 2010

A page from my picture book life


Charm, thatched roofs, sunshine, green fields, walking through narrow paths, huge gardens, old church, cute B & Bs, Shakespeare, and a different colored door on every house.

Let me introduce you to Stratford-upon-Avon:

Lauren and I were in the attic room. Small, but worth it for the charm factor. Such a cute Bed & Breakfast. It was called Forget Me Not Bed & Breakfast. I tried the Full English Breakfast which includes sausage, tomato, bacon, egg, toast, hot chocolate, hashbrowns, and beans. My body is definitely not used to all that food for breakfast. I've been a little off all day. Lunch time came around and I was still stuffed.

Just a street. I'm sure it's been tourist-ized, but look at it! It looks like a postcard.

We saw cute little school children walking down the street like a scene from the picture story book Madeline. We're pretty sure they were headed to this school, which had these rain boot plants in the playground. Perfect.

Just a little lane that runs behind the B & Bs.

A sample of the different colored doors we saw. The full rainbow is represented on the Stratford Streets.

Everything here is named after something Shakespeare. These boats on the Avon river (by the way, that's why it's called Stratford-upon-Avon) are named after heroines in Shakespeare's plays.

My favorite place we visited: Anne Hathaway's cottage. (She married Shakespeare). Above is a picture of some of the accompanying grounds. So so green! Sidenote: I've noticed that they don't have sprinklers here. Unnecessary.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Non-Foggy Days in London Town


Sunny days in London must be rare. On such a day, the reaction of the people here is to run to the park with a picnic and take off their most of their clothes.

It's very convenient that there are so many beautiful parks here.

Here are some pictures from Regent's Park. Most of these were taken the day Jenny left. We were both in thoughtful, nostalgic moods. But that makes for the best pictures:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Some things you should know about running in Regent's Park:

1. It's beautiful here. You just might turn a corner and find a beautiful fountain shooting water into a pool. Or breathe in and smell a floral aroma you've never smelled before.

2. There are A LOT of people who like to exercise in the park. Research the proper protocol on running around and past other runners or walkers. Also, know which side of the street/path to run on. These are things I still don't know.

3. There are many many many trees. Most of them are tall, obstructing your view of such things as Regent's College, where I live. Make sure you know where you're going unless you enjoy long cool downs while you try to find a map.

4. In case you don't heed the warning in #3, don't be alarmed when the person you ask for directions answers with a British accent. Remember, you're in England.

I figured that you should know these things I didn't know before. I learned numbers 3 and 4 this morning. Regent's Park is BIG.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I live in a Park

Can you imagine how that would be?

I don't have to. Regent's College fits into the park perfectly, complete with ivy climbing up the outer walls. For some reason, I can't upload pictures at the moment. I will try to do that later, because I just have to share the beauty. I tried to take pictures of the flowers, but they are so bright that my camera doesn't know how to handle the color. The resulting pictures aren't anything close to the originals.

We live about 3 minutes away from Baker Street. Thus, we just had to go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum today. There are all kinds of treasures here, including a miniature of the Hound of the Baskervilles that makes a baying sound that makes me jump every time. We had fun with the wax people and the violin.

Going to church here is a blast. I'm sure I'll enjoy it even more sans jet lag. Sometimes I forget I'm in England, but then I listen to the accents around me and I remember. I felt really good about having British accents dominate at church. I'm sure that novelty will wear off with time, but for now I still love accents, especially those I hear from the little children.

We went to FHE tonight, and we tried to play jeopardy. For some reason, answering with a question just didn't make sense to the British players. I can understand - it's weird to answer with a question. One girl just couldn't wait to get the answer out and would forget to answer in the form of a question. She got frustrated very quickly.

There are so many very large museums here. It's a bit overwhelming. We saw maybe 1/8 of the Victoria and Albert Museum today. It was beautiful. None of these white walls with art hanging on them. No - if you took out all the exhibits, the museum itself is a work of art. There are murals all over the ceilings, and so much stone and woodwork.

One of the girls in our group has a book about places to go in London, and we found a Pizza place that we thought would be just a little hole in the wall. It's not. We walked in and saw the goblets and white tablecloths and napkins and felt very under-dressed. But it ended up only being about 6 pounds per person. Not bad at all. My favorite was the Margherita pizza.

Class so far is wonderful! I love the dynamic between Tom and Disa, the instructors. They're married, and can just roll so well off each other's discussion. I've never been taught by two professors at once, and they do it very very well. Together they have such a great energy - they're so polite to each other, and one will get really excited and the other will calm the class down to discussion level. Sometimes I can imagine me marrying another English major to be a nightmare because opinion is such a big part of interpreting literature, but it seems like they've perfected the art of being open to other ideas.

Saturday was kind of a blur. I was so dead by 1:00 and couldn't imagine being up for another 8 hours at least. I'm pretty sure I didn't hear half of orientation, which is not the best thing to miss. I've been filling in the blanks with the help of my classmates through the last two days though, so no worries. I do remember a classmate eating a Sherlock Holmes sandwich - we figured that the reason it has this name is that it has a mystery sauce.

More to come. Hopefully including pictures.