Monday, June 11, 2007

Stratford-Upon-Avon and Les Miserables

It is now winding down to the last few days of the London Study Abroad program and I have to admit that a large part of me is very excited for the end!!!!
Last Monday my friends and I made our THIRD attempt to get tickets to the famous Les Miserables (the longest running musical). Everyone and their dog has seen this musical and my friends were determined to get me to the show since I had never seen it before. We arrived at the ticket office at 5:45 p.m. before the show was to begin at 7:30 p.m. If you come an hour before the show you can get very discounted tickets if the show is not already sold out! So this was our third time trying to get discounted tickets since we had been in London. The first time we attempted the show ended up selling out and the second time we tried it happened to be an English Holiday which mean there would be no discounted tickets sold for a week! So we were really hoping to get tickets this time! When we arrived the ticketers told us that they would not be selling tickets until 6:30p.m. and that the show would probably be sold out by then . . . we were so upset because we didn't want to be rejected three times. So we waited in the box office taking pictures of each other being sad and we continued to talk about how badly we wanted the tickets. I think the ticketers eventually got really sick of our sad faces waiting in the box office because at 6:00 p.m. he called us over and told us he had tickets for us at a student price. These tickets ended up being in the fourth row! It was such luck!!! The show was absolutely amazing! It was the best musical I have ever seen in my life! At the end of the show the whole audience is balling their eyes out!

Last Wednesday our program took a coach up to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a few days to tour Shakespeare's birthplace and see two beautiful productions done by the Royal Shakespeare Company. On our way to Stratford we stopped by Warrick Castle which is a famous old castle that has been turned into this medival theme park where we got to see little shows of archery and mideval birds. The castle was gorgeous and huge! It was so fun to climb up to the top of one of the towers and look down on all the little people!

We all stayed in Bed and Breakfast's that were so cute but really difficult when being accomadating to a girl's grooming! Whitney and my blow dryer did not work in the plugs for some reason which kept us from getting to do our hair for two days! It was horrible! On top of that, the shower had to be turned on by a power switch and I either had the choice of showering in ice cold water or boiling hot water. There was no median. During my whole shower I would turn the dial back and forth from cold to hot and finally by the time I was finished with my shower the water became a perfect temperature . . . which was useless by that time!

On our way back from Stratford we stopped in Oxford for a couple hours to tour the town and the university. It was a beautiful town with a lot of history! Oxford University was amazing! The campus looks like a castle in itself! Connected to the University is Christ's Church which is a very old castle like building that has the famous "great hall" where Harry Potter was filmed! Unfortunately we could not go inside Christ's Church because it was the day of naming the new Bishop. If only we had been there the day before!

This week will go by fast since it is filled with studying for finals and taking finals! Luckily I have home to look forward to at the end of the week and I absolutely cannot wait! Most people up here want to stay in Europe and travel but I cannot help how much I miss my family and Matthew!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Londres . . .

Well after a weekend in Paris there isn't anything more exciting to tell about my time up here in Europe!
The week started out cold and rainy which was scary since there were two out-door shows we had to see this weekend. Luckily, it has miraculously become sunny and warm! Which means markets and parks for us all day long! Yesterday we went to the Borough market to get the best fruit and chocolate covered nuts and dried fruit! So amazing! Two nights ago we went on the Jack-the-Ripper tour and we were given a two hour walk with lots of history and neat buildings in Whitechapel (a very poor area of London). The tour was a little spooky since we went to all the sights of the murders from Jack-the-Ripper but the history behind the infamous man was very fun!
My good friend Tara who goes to school in Scotland has finally joined us in our fun for the last two weeks of London. She shows us around and since she works at an amazing pizza restauraunt we can all go get food there for 20% off! Which is so helpful when you are a poor student!
Today we went to a theatre to get cheap tickets to the World's Longest Running Show: Mousetrap! I am really excited to see it! Our tickets are in the back row but that's what you get when you ask for the cheapest seats in the house! After we got tickets for tonights show we walked over to Oxford Circus which is like 5th Avenue in New York! It was packed with people and was a little too chaotic for me! I ended up getting one very cute shirt for the hot summer which was exciting because students at the department stores there get 10% off! Yay! The H&M is so amazing! They have 3 H&Ms on the same street!!!! And they are all 3 stories high! haha! Then there is this London shop (very similar to H&M but better) called The Top Shop where they have every bit of clothing you can think of at really good prices! They even have a nail salon in the store! It was really fun to see the store but there were so many people there that I was constantly losing my friend Whitney which was so scary because the store is huge!!!!! I felt like a little child losing my mother in Nordstrom! (Which happened once or twice with my mom).
Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day because we will be celebrating our friend Brittlyn's 20th birthday! We will start out the day by going early to the famous Portabello market where I am going to get souveniers for everyone!! Then we will be going to the very famous Orangery where they serve tea (herbal, they pronounce the 'H' here) and cake at Kensington Palace! Then we will end the day with the best ice cream and a performance of The Merchant of Venice at the famous Globe Theatre! It is going to be a day full of very famous things!