Sunday, July 31, 2011

Au revior Paris!

I have been so behind on blogging lately because our internet has been really spotty. But, I finally have some good internet! Here is my last update on Paris.
We ended our trip with a look through the Louvre, seeing the arch de triomphe, and realizing (a little late) that the tour de france had been going on while we were there. The Louvre was amazing of course! I did get into a little trouble when I very slightly leaned on the tape that keeps people 10 feet away from the Mona Lisa. I was quickly told that I was too close but I still got my picture! We meandered our way through the Louvre seeing all of the most famous and most beautiful and those in between.
About the tour de France...we were up on the eiffel tower the day before and looked down and noticed that there were a bunch of bikers. Catie and I discussed how there must have been some sort of race. Then, when we came out there was Tour de France people everywhere! So we were right, there was "some sort of race" haha. My Uncle O would be ashamed of my lack of biking knowledge. But, I did get a picture next to one of the signs.
Pictures: Winged Victory, Mona and I, outside of the Arch de triomphe, my tour de France picture!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shout out to Emily!

Here's to this little cutie! Thanks for always being the best skyper ever! Also, sorry for the bad quality photo! I love you!

Let them eat cake!

On Friday we took the train out to Versailles to see where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lived. The mansion is BEAUTIFUL. When you walk up the first thing you see are the amazing golden gates! We got there first thing in the morning so we didn't have to wait in a long line and we got our audio tours right away. We made our way through the entire estate, it is so pretty inside as well. This was my second time going there and it was even better then the first. There were so many new things that I didn't notice the first time and new things that I learned especially since I just took humanities at BYU. We spent about an hour and half walking inside and admiring the art work and decor. Then, we walked around the perfectly manicured gardens. It was like a movie! It also made me want to go home and watch Marie Antoinette. Here are some pictures from that great adventure!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jump, jump, jump!

Okay, so here are a few more pictures and they are mostly jumping ones. I told you...we really love them. I think we provided some great entertainment for onlookers as well!

Je t'aime Paris!

Thursday we woke up early so we could get a head start on everything we wanted to do. We started at Notre Dame. It is such a beautiful cathedral! This past semester I took Humanities and we talked a lot about the architecture of different cathedrals and Notre Dame was one of them. I loved seeing it up close after learning so much about it. We walked through and took a tour of the inside, which is equally as beautiful. The one down side was that there were so many gypsy ladies outside trying to get money from us. I had a run in with them last time I was in Paris and I am pretty sure they cast a spell on me. So, this time I stayed far away! After Notre Dame we met up with some more girls from our group and got tickets for the hop on hop off tour bus (great investment!) it saved us from a lot of walking! We visited the St. Michel fountain and stopped on a little "greek street" to have some gyros.
We jumped on the bus and worked our way through Paris. We stopped at the Louvre and took some pictures out front but decided to go in on Friday when it was free for students (woo!), saw the lock bridge, went into Lafayette Galleries, walked around the city center, took some more eiffel tower pictures (from a different angle of course), and found another yummy crepe stand. I can't put very many pictures on at once so I will do another post of pictures. Cydnee and I have really perfected the jumping pictures so of course we must try one everywhere, don't worry I will post those next :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More Eiffel!

Here are some more pictures of the sparkling tower!!!

Oh Pair-ee!

Last Wednesday we took a four day trip over to France via the chunnel. The trip was fabulous and we got to see and do so much! So, this is going to be a series of posts about the great Paris, France. Let me start by telling you about our adventure getting there. We booked our tickets about a month ago and in the process my computer booted me off and I had to start over. It went through and so we thought there was no problem. Assuming that both the tickets had gone through correctly we thought that we were on the same train leaving at 3pm on Wednesday. At around 1:05 after we had been sitting around waiting to leave I went online to check my confirmation number and SURPRISE my train was leaving at 2 and not 3!! We grabbed our bags and ran out the door. I flagged down a taxi and headed off to the train station. Our driver was so sweet and kept reassuring me that we would make it, maybe because I was looking very panicked in the back seat. He dropped us off as close as he could, there was bad traffic. Then Cydnee and I booked it into the station and too the gate. I checked in and made it through the gate right when they called everyone to board the train! I was so relieved when I got on, best feeling ever.
After I got there I walked around and found the gate they were coming into and waited! All went well and I found them! Cydnee and I booked our hotel about a month before everyone else so we were staying in a different hotel. We jumped on the tube thinking we knew where we were going but, when we got off at the stop we were so confused. It is so different being somewhere where everyone speaks a different language. We couldn't just stop and ask for directions. In fact we tried too but that got us no where. Finally we made it, after walking through some pretty sketchy areas of town. Once we had settled in we left to meet up with some girls from our group at the eiffel tower. When we came around the corner and got our first view of the tower we both screamed a little and were so excited! Seeing it in real life is so amazing. We were embarrassed that we were almost tearing up over how beautiful it was but really, can you blame us? We took some pictures, grabbed a little dinner, then we met the girls under the lit up eiffel tower. We grabbed some crepes, which were delicious, then sat and watched as the eiffel tower sparkled! It was a great start to a weekend in "Pair-ee"!!!
More to come :)

Forgot one!!

Here is my favorite one it wouldn't post on the last one :) It was obviously super serious.

Wait, platform 9 3/4 is only in the movie??

Before our trip to Paris we hit up a few sights in London that we haven't been to yet. The first place we went was platform 9 3/4 (again, I swear I am not a Harry Potter super freak). When we got to Kings Cross Station we asked a lady working in one of the little convience shops where the platform was. She looked at us very seriously and said "Umm, it's actually not real. I'm sorry. It is only in the movie. But the one they FILMED it at is upstairs and to your right." She must get some real crazies in there if that was her first response to our question. I wish I would have responded with "Wait really?!?! Hagrid said 3 pm at 9 3/4! How am I supposed to get to Hogwarts now?!?" but, I didn't think quick enough. We did make it to the "fake" platform 9 3/4 and spent a good 15-20 minutes trying to perfect our Harry photos. It was a good time, not only for us but for the onlookers that sat and stared as we jumped and climbed all over the little cart. Luckily, I ended up with some pretty good ones. After that we found a tasty burger place called Byron's. It was another google found restaurant and it turned out to be great! We spent the rest of the day hitting some museums. My camera died so I only have one picture and it is of the Rosetta stone, which was the coolest thing we saw anyways. So here you go!! Enjoy!

Love me a little family time!!

So I realize I am behind on my blogging, way behind, but before I update you all on my week full of adventures I just had to blog about the family visit. My mom, dad, and Makelle came to visit me this weekend and it was so fun!! It was so nice to have them here and to show them around my temporary home. We got so many things crammed into the two and a half days that I was with them.
The first night they were here we went to Legally Blonde the Musical, yes second time for me, and they loved it! It was even better the second time! I also took them to a tasty restaurant we love going to called Wagamamas. I am happy to say they thought it was tasty too. It was fun being able to take them around and show my mom that I am really not navigationally challenged and can maneuver the tube system like nobody's business.
The second day we started early in the morning so we could get everything in. I gave them a little tour of my flat and then took them to a cool little market that has a bunch of street vendors. We spent a while there then had lunch at my favorite kebab place. It was another score because everyone loved it! After lunch we went to the Tower of London and took a fabulous walking tour through it. It was fun to share the little tid bits I had learned from being there before. The crowned jewels were of course the highlight of the tour and Makelle and I decided we wouldn't mind sporting a 560 carat diamond on our crowns (too bad we don't have crowns!). We met up with my friends that night for dinner at our favorite burger joint. I'm not going to lie, it was so nice to have my dad pay for dinner and not worry about scrounging up my few pounds haha. Shout out to dad: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
After my finals the next day, which went very well, they picked me up at the Hyde Park Chapel where I have classes. We headed off to St. Paul's cathedral, home of the most beautiful view of London and Princess Diana's wedding. The inside of the cathedral is beautiful! It is a close second to the inside of Westminster Abbey. We decided to take the challenge and hike the 568 steps to the top of the dome and although it was a tight squeeze (I'm talking shoulder to wall on both sides) it was so worth it! When we got to the top we just stopped to ooh and awe over the breathtaking view. Once we made our way back down we had a "take away" lunch on the steps of the cathedral then made our way to Oxford Circus home of the best shopping. We worked our way down the street finding some very cute stores and very cute clothes. My dad was a great sport about it and trailed along behind us as we shopped and shopped. Another shout out to dad and mom: THANK YOU!!! After shopping we went to see another musical, Shrek. I was a little worried about how it would be but it turned out to be one of the best I have seen. It was adorable and the voices were AMAZING. We were all laughing the whole time. We ended our short trip with some gelato, it was perfect. I am sad they are gone and miss them already!! I love you all, couldn't ask for a better family! This weekend was so fun!! To my cute little brothers that stayed behind at Nana and Papa's: I LOVE YOU GUYS! I'LL SEE YOU IN A WEEK :)
Here are some pictures:
A great time at Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul's view, 9 3/4, Dad while we were shopping (such a good sport)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday in London

This week is a little crazy because I will be leaving Wednesday for Paris and won't get back until Saturday afternoon. On Saturday my mom, dad, and Makelle will be here then I leave for Liverpool on our way to Scotland on Tuesday! So we packed our day full of things we haven't done yet here in London. The morning started off of course with school from 9-12 then we headed home, made some lunch, gathered our things, and were off! The first stop of the day was Kensington Palace, our neighbors! It is right across from our apartment but we haven't been there yet. We walked around outside and in the gardens. It was hard to get a good look around because apparently Kate is having some renovations done before she moves in. I don't think it would be too shabby living in a palace in the middle of a park and I hear Prince Harry is single! After Kensington Palace we took the tube to Harrod's and walked around inside. That is one VERY nice department store. I felt out of place the whole time but it was so fun to look at all of the amazing clothes and shoes they have there! We walked into one room that was dark except for the lights under the shoe towers, it was like a dream, then we picked up one shoe to get an idea of how much they were 1000 pounds (or 1500 dollars) no thanks! We also walked into the wedding dress room and were like little kids in a candy store staring at all of the beautiful gowns. On the bottom floor there is a little memorial for Princess Di that we went and visited, it was beautiful. We also stopped by one of their "luxurious wash rooms", and let me tell you it was luxurious. Yes, I did sample the perfume and partake of the cold glasses of water being given out at the end.
The next stop was afternoon tea! We haven't had a chance to do this yet and I did a little researching and found a cute place called Bea's Bloomsbury. We navigated our way over there and had peppermint tea with the most delicious scones. It was a perfect afternoon pick me up! The scones were warm and served with some tasty strawberry jam! When we were done soaking in our afternoon tea time we headed towards St. Paul's Cathedral.
The cathedral is beautiful and there is supposed to be an amazing view from the top of the building but we got there too late and it was closing for services. We did get to take some pictures out front though! Last night we had a fireside from a man that was a child during WWII and he told us all about the bombings in London. One of the coolest pictures he showed us was of St. Paul's Cathedral standing amongst all of the rubble. He told us stories about how Winston Churchill said that if they could keep St. Paul's Cathedral standing they would make it through. So, after hearing all of that it was so cool to see exactly what he had been talking about!
Our last stop was the National Gallery. We got to see paintings from Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and many others. I took Humanities last semester so I knew a lot of the paintings from that class. It was so cool to be able to recognize them and really understand their importance. We walked through the museum until it was almost closing time then headed out.
We ended the day at a delicious little Kebab restaurant. We have been hearing about them our entire time in London but this was our first experience with them. I got the chicken one and it is grilled chicken with lettuce, cabbage, onions, and this tasty yogurt stuff served in a pita. It was great! (Mom, Dad, Makelle we are going there!) I am now sitting in the building down the street from us waiting on my laundry. Another great day in London, I wish it didn't have to end.

Pictures: Kensington Palace, Harrods, Tea, St. pails, and Kebabs!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Little Pinches :)

For all of you that know how much I love to give little pinches...I think you will appreciate this. This kodak moment was captured when I pinched Cydnee and Catie after we posed for a photo. Enjoy :)

A Day in Cambridge

Friday, the day after the Harry Potter palooza, we left at 8am and headed to Cambridge. It was a two hour drive and we all slept the ENTIRE drive. Even after that two hour nap I couldn't loose my Harry Potter hangover. We started off the day with a cruise down the Cam river. It was beautiful! It is called "punting" and we grabbed one of the Gardner boys, Owen, to be our "punter" and row us around. Come on us girls couldn't be expected to row down the river! He turned out to be a GREAT choice because we lapped all of the groups and made it back with no problem. It was really fun to see everything and the weather was perfect!
After our little river ride we stopped for some caffeine and a scone at a little coffee shop. Then we headed through the city looking at all of the different colleges. It was really cool to see where so many famous alumni have studied. Some of the people we learned about were Prince Charles, Isaac Newton, and C.S. Lewis. Seeing the colleges and the cute town made me wish I was a student at Cambridge! Too bad I'm not royalty or a genius.
As we were walking around we found a little market right in the center of town. We walked around that for an hour or so and found some really fun things! I got some delicious cherries and turkish delights, I had to try those. The turkish delights were not so tasty, the rose flavor tasted like perfume in my mouth but the lemon wasn't too bad! We searched for a place to eat around the market and found this yummy place to have some traditional English "jacket potatoes", just a baked potato that you can put a ton of different things in. I got a bean and cheese jacket potato. It was so good! After our lunch we were so lethargic so we walked around for another hour and saw a McDonald's close to our meeting point so we decided to go in for a little break. We sat down and ended up falling asleep. I realize how embarrassing this is, three girls sprawled out on a table asleep. And to top this off after slipping into a deep slumber a McDonald's employee came and shook Catie awake saying "No sleeping!!" so we left, extremely embarrassed, looking like homeless people. We made it back to the meeting place where the rest of the Harry Potter crew was passed out on the grass waiting for everyone else. After seeing that I didn't feel as embarrassed but still, I was sleeping in a McDonald's.
Once we were home we made some yummy dinner, spaghetti from a little meal box, put on our sweats, and turned on a movie. It was a great day and a great night! We even got to catch up on our sleep :)
Here are some pictures!!