The week was a whirlwind. We saw just about every touristy thing I can think of, rode every form of transportation except the double decker bus, and saw five different plays.

  1. Billy Elliot – about the boy that wants to dance but his dad doesn’t want him to and it was the very first performance for the boy that played Billy Elliot the night we saw it.
  2. 39 Steps – a comedy where 4 actors play over 100 characters
  3. We Will Rock You – a musical based off of music from Queen
  4. MacBeth – a play by Shakespeare that we saw at the Globe
  5. Oliver – my least favorite play

On the first day we took a tour of the Globe theater and the Shakespeare exhibition that was going on there. Then we rode the London Eye, went to a noodle bar, Waggamama’s, then we went and saw 39 Steps at the Criterion Theater.

Saturday we went to the Portobello flea market. If any of you have seen Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Julie Roberts, the scene where Hugh Grant is walking through a market and the seasons change, that’s Portobello. There were so many things at such low prices. I got Joe a really nice flask for £4, then a fathers day present for my dad, earrings for my mom and a birthday present for my sister. Then lots of touristy souvenirs. There was a table where all of the scarves on it were £1, so I bought one. We then went to Abbey Road and took the touristy pictures. We went to Harrods for lunch, but it was way too crowded, and expensive, to even thinking about shopping. We went to dinner at this swanky restaurant and I had my first legal glass of wine. Then we went to MacBeth. It’s an outdoor theater and that was the only cold day and we stood for the whole play and it was almost 3.5 hours. But in the long run it was worth it to be able to say I saw a Shakespeare play at the Globe.

On Sunday we went to Stratford, which is about two hours away from London. We saw Shakespeare’s birth home and the beautiful church where he was baptized. The ride there and back was beautiful. English country side is just gorgeous and green.

On Monday we toured the Tower of London where lots of people were held prisoner, tortured and of course, beheaded. Henry VIII had 6 private beheadings there that were all women and some were his wives. We then walked over to Westminster Abbey and went inside. The architecture is beautiful, but the building is like a giant mausoleum. There are so many kings, queens and other people that are buried and honored there, including Handel, Newton and Darwin. I also got carded when we went in there. We tried to get me in as an 18 or under, but they carded me, but never for a drink. Go figure.

Tuesday we went and saw the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. After seeing that, and getting thoroughly sunburned we went to the Royal Muse, which is where the horses and carriages are kept. I got the see the eccentric golden carriage that’s used for coronations. The back wheel is taller than me and it needs 8 horses to pull it.

Wednesday we went to Kew Gardens, which was wonderfully green. And there was a butterfly garden with butterflies the size of my hand. We then took a two-ish hour boat ride, that I fell asleep on, up to Hampton Court Palace. There was a beautiful garden, a maze, a big kitchen and beautiful kings and queens quarters. My cousin and I went through the maze and we learned that it involved almost always choosing the right (as in the direction) path.

Thursday was our last full day in England. We stopped by the British Library and saw the Magna Carta, things that the Beatles wrote their songs on, like a sons first birthday card, and other old things, like music from various composers, Henry VIII prayer scroll and some of the original Alice in Wonderland books. We then went over to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone and the mummy exhibit. I was a bit disappointed because people were allowed to take pictures so all I saw were fast moving people snapping pictures rather than actually learning about what they’re looking at. It was impossible to get a decent look at the Rosetta Stone because everyone was pushing everyone out of the way. I did get one good picture though. That night we saw We Will Rock You, which is based off of music by Queen. The story was a little strange and the female lead had a nasally singing voice, but it was fun to sing along. And I got a t-shirt.

The next morning we were at the airport at 6:30am and on the plane a little after 8am. Then began the 8ish hour flight. Customs went smoothly, but I thought my luggage had been lost. Mine was just the last bag to get on to the line.

It was overall an amazing trip, but I still can’t pick my favorite part.

June 28, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Stories. 1 comment.

Birthday/Christmas Present

For my birthday/Christmas I was given a week long trip to England from my grandma. My cousin, Kyle, was so jealous that I was getting to go that my grandma gave him the same gift for his Christmas/birthday present.

This is my first official time out of the country, except for staying a night on the Canada side of Niagra Falls, so I’m very excited. I will be gone from June 17th to June 25th and I’m so excited!

June 14, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . News. 1 comment.