Hello. I'm Back in England now. Today was long. This whole weekend was long. I got up this morning and gathered my crap. I ate a quick breakfast and took my stuff to the bus.
At Pollack Halls
My batteries died in my CD player so I was tuneless all day. I had to entertain myself in other ways. I wasn't in the mood to read- so I slept. About half way stopped for lunch. I ate at Wimpy's. It took them forever to get our food out to us- and even then it wasn't that great. one guy ordered a burger and they gave him one that a lady had just brought back to the counter because it was not what she ordered. She had to have picked through it. Gross! After we all got back on the bus we watched a movie. It was a movie my history class had to watch, Mrs. Brown. It was good. I got sick of sleeping in an uncomfortable position so I talked Tricia into playing farkle with me. When I bought the dice the came in a box with two decks of cards. I took out the cards and we just used the little box as our table. It was a lot of fun to play a miniature game! The bus ride took forever! but we got back.
Oh- At the England/Scotland Border we stopped for a photo opp. There was a bagpiper there! I asked if he took requests and he played Scotland the brave.
It totally made my day- and weekend. It helped that the sun was out too.
Anyway, back at the ranch I carried all my stuff upstairs and fell asleep on my bed. I forced myself to get up though otherwise I wouldn't sleep tonight. I went and checked my email. Pretty much everyone in the world wrote me. Tricia and I went to the Trailer for Life and got something to eat then I read my homework for tomorrow. yay.
Hey! Today was quite an adventure! I got up really early this morning and got ready. I went out do meet Evelyn and Laura and they wren't in the lobby so I went alone to the bus stop. They showed up just before the bus. We went around and picked up other people and then went to the main coach. We were the only Americans on the tour. Our driver, Graham, kept calling me Miss Idaho. :)
Hamish the Highland cow in Callander
He's actually quite famous and has his own website and facebook page
Sadly, I just read that he died last year. :(
It was a looooong bus ride but the highlands are so beautiful. Oh- there's nothing that can describe how gorgeous this area is! I love it! I think this is absolute heaven! It's paradise.
seriously- these pictures do not do it justice
I saw lots of lakes...er... lochs and many old castles. Graham was a good tour guide and pointed out lots of things. He told us all about the different clans and the wars. he talked a lot about war. He must really like that part of history. We stopped a few times for potty breaks and lunch- but mostly we were in a huge hurry.
this was near the area where Hagrid's hut was built and filmed for Harry Potter
(so he said...)
We finally got up to Loch Ness a little before 2:00. Laura and I went on the Royal Scot and went Nessie hunting.
Our sturdy vessel
It was freezing! But I was totally ok with it.
I mean, we didn't see anything of course- but it was cool just to be there. I learned a lot. I was listening to a sailor talk to an English couple about Nessie. He said he's studied the loch for 22 years. He has concrete proof that Nessie exists but until he can assure the survival and protection of the animals- he won't come forward with it. He talked for a long time about it. he was pretty convincing. I don't know. Human's think they know so much- but they don't. I think it's entirely possible.
Nessssieeeee, where aaaare yooooou?
Anyway- the boat trip only lasted about and hour then we got back on the bus. We went to all kinds of places but the last half was pretty uneventful. I saw heather everywhere all day- but when we would stop- not a sprig to be found! Grr...
When we got back to Edinburgh, Evelyn and Laura wanted to go to a pub. I told them to go ahead I wanted to shop. I bought a few more little things then walked back to school. I stopped and got some Italian food on the way. I ate in my room and I'm totally stuffed! I went to Deann's room and she was there with Joey- a kid from the program that she's been hanging out with the last couple of days. We swapped stories and showed off all the stuff we bought. It sounds like they had a really good day. I did. I'm glad I went even if it wasn't super exciting. Anyway, we're headed back to Cambridge tomorrow so I guess I'll see ya then.
Och aye- Thar's another dey goon! Ha! Today was good. I way great but it was wet all day and I think I'm getting sick. Other than that it was good. We got up and had breakfast. We met our bus and drove into downtown Edinburgh and went to Edinburgh Castle.
The castle was setting up for the military tattoo. We missed it by FOUR damn days!
The entrance to the castle
It was ok. It was mainly military stuff which is cool- but it would have been better had it been more about Mary Stuart. The parts that were, were really neat.
Tricia, Eunice, and the other Heather
This was about the time I uttered the immortal words, "I'm just not having a good time right now."
The rest of it was pretty hum drum. It didn't help that we were all wet and miserable. It was more mist than rain so umbrellas did nothing.
the view of the city from the castle turrets
The Great Hall
Anyway, we shopped and found some stuff then we walked the royal mile and did a lot of shopping. Well- I looked while D and T shopped. I really wanted to go to Holyrood Palace but I just didn't have time. We stopped for lunch at The Filling Station. It was good. It felt nice to sit down. Anyway- we just shopped some more and met the bus.
We got back to Pollack halls around 5:00 and Tricia wanted to call it a night. Deann wanted to go to a Jazz festival. I was not about to quit Edinburgh at 5:00- and I wasn't really into jazz.
The view from Pollack Halls
So I gathered a few people to just go wander. One girl dropped out before we left and another when we were a block away. So there were three of us. We window shopped and found a few places still open. One of the girls, Bonnie, was intent on having Chinese food. Sarah and I were not hungry so Bonnie went to eat while we shopped. I spent a ton of money! I bought presents for people at home- and something for me! :) We met up with Bonnie again and did some more shopping on the royal mile.
Cool stores! I love plaid! sadly, I did not hear one note of live bagpipe music! It was very sad. :( We walked back to the dorms and I'm gonna call it a night because I'm gonna get up early and catch a bus to Loch Ness. Cool eh?
Good Dey to yeh! I'm in Edinburgh!! It's so pretty! Well, what I've seen of it. I got up early this morning and got ready and had breakfast. Then we met at the porters lodge and went to the bus. We were told it would be an eight hour bus ride (oi!) We made a few stops along the way. One was in Haworth where the Bronte family lived. We went through their house. It was really interesting.
Haworth Parish- Bronte family grave site
I love Jane Eyre and know a little more about their home life so I see where a lot of it comes from. In the shop I bought a set of books written by all three sisters. I figured- what better place to purchase them than right where they were written.
The most beautiful hydrangeas I've ever seen in my life- outside the Bronte home
We had lost Tricia so D and I wandered around town looking for a loo and Tricia. We found both! :) Anyway- the countryside is absolutely amazing. I have never seen such a beautiful part of the world. Who knew it existed? I just want to take pictures of it all and remember everything. I just sat staring out the window while I listened to some tunes. Sigh...
Jedburgh Abbey Ruin
(this is where we found the sign, "Och aye- the loo!")
Finally we got to Edinburgh- 14 hours later. yeah. 14 hours! But it wasn't really as bad as I thought. The scenery was lovely. The streets were a little twistier then I would have liked. Haven't these people heard of freeways? ;) That made me bus sick a little- but I lived.
When we got here we were assigned to our rooms. Mine is facing the front door. I have to close my drapes or every person who walks by can peek in my window. I'm in a hall with guys. That bugs me but I'll live with it for what- two days? yeah. Anyway- once we found our rooms we wandered around [Edinburgh University] campus looking for food. Finally a bunch of us walked into the city. We found an Italian take out place so we got stuff there and brought it back. I called and talked to mom till my card ran out. Now I'm going to bed. I'm very, very tired.
It's such a loverly feeling being done with my mid term papers. one was a bunch of crappy BS about the divine right of kings and the other was a reproduction of my Bleak House paper from last semester. But still- it was a good relief to have them turned in. It's been rainy and grey for the last few days and I had a migrain today- but still, I just can't shake that good- I got my homework done- feeling. :) When I wasn't in class I was in the computer lab- or on my bed dying of pain.
With my headache gone, I went and emailed a bunch of people, then read my book for a while. I had high table tonight so I got the iron and ironed my clothes. High table was so much fun. I sat next to Dr Carnicelli and we just laughed. He's such a funny guy. He wants to sing with me on talent night. Too funny. After dinner I started to pack a little for tomorrow. 8 hours on bus is gonna be really long. I hope I live. Deann and Trish came and played. Trish taught me a new game called spit. It's hilarious It's like speed- but not. We played for a while and laughed our heads off. It was fun. Anyway, how it's time to gather the rest of my crap and go to bed. I have to get up sinfully early.
'Allo! Oh my goodness! I feel so busy! It was a crazy day. I got up this morning and threw myself together. After breakfast I headed straight to the computer lab. I got my Dickens paper done and out of the way. Whew! One down. I started my history paper but I had to go meet my partner for tomorrow's presentation. I waited 20 minutes and he never came. I met his littler lover on the way back to the computer lab ad she told me he'd meet me in a while. Whatever.
I was really annoyed but i went back and got to work on my paper. He came after a while and our conversation was pointless. I worked a little longer on my paper then Trish, Harry (our new buddy) and I wen to the Cow. It was packed so we had to go in the basement. It looked like and opium den! Hahah! After lunch we rushed back to school to drop off our stuff and met the group at the porter's lodge to go to Stratford-upon-Avon. The ride wasn't too bad because I got my own seat- I could stretch out and be comfy.
When we got there we had an hour or so to kill so we wandered around for a place that had deserts. Harry and Brian (a new addition) wanted to eat. We found a cool little place that was like, 300 years old (not kidding). They had the most amazing chocolate dessert I think I've ever had.
The Garrick Inn
We saw A Comedy of Errors. It was hilarious! a little more sexual than I would have liked, but funny. We had ok seats but beacuse so many of our people didn't show up- we moved to better seats the second half. The ride home was long but I got some good conversation and a lot of reading done. Tomorrow's another long day.
Hey! Today is Monday. I keep thinking it's Tuesday. Anyway, it an an OK day. My history class this morning- we had our debate. My team was for the monarchy- the other was opposed. The other team put in way more work to theirs, but we won. yay! It helps to have a British teacher who is partial to monarchy. He was a substitute.
Anyway, that was one stress out of the way. After class I gathered my stuff and went and did laundry. I read while I waited. it was kind of nice. I brought all my carp back to my room and folded my clothes and cleaned my room. I hung around a bit then went to my next class. I liked it.
We talked about Bleak House. I've rad it so I actually had things to say and opinions to give. At tea, I talked with my teacher. She's actually really nice. This afternoon I kinda worked on my paper, and I kinda read my history lesson. I've got two papers to do tomorrow plus meet with my partner for our presentation Wed. I just don't know when I'm going to have time to think! I'm also going to see another play tomorrow. Sigh...
After dinner I worked some more then Trish came to play farkle. Deann was not feeling well so she went to bed. It was fun just being me and Trish for a change. She's had a rough day so she vented a lot- but we had a few good laughs too. Anyway, as she was getting ready to leave Evelyn came in and sat down and ate a sandwich She was totally drunk. I didn't want Trish to leave me alone with her and I gave Trish "the look" so she asked me to walk her back cuz it was so late. hahaha! I feel bad about Evelyn but she's drunk and won't know the difference tomorrow anyway, right?
Happy Pioneer Day! You know, it's not celebrated here. I can't imagine why. ;) Anyway, today was ok. I got up, got ready and went to church. I got the right bus this time. Church was ok. I left right as soon as it was over. it was raining and I handn't thought- well, I thought, but didn't bring and umbrella. Oh well. as I waited at the bus stop and bunch of other Americans from the church stopped. We all got on the bus and they invited me to go punting sometime. Fun! I don't know if I'll be able to go- but it was nice of them to offer. It was raining harder when I got off. It's a long walk int he rain. I walked with this kid, Johnny from Utah till we reached my school. I was soaked!
I changed and was going to take a nap but watched yesterdays video (from my sister's video camera- which is now lost). It's pretty lame. I laid down to take a nap and just as I nodded off, Deann came in. I sent her away. Just as I nodded off, Deann came in. I sent her away and just as I nodded off, Deann came in. So I gave up and talked to her while she ate. When she was done, she left. She just didn't want to be alone while she ate. So I slept a little more then went and did my email. Dinner was ok. T and D weren't there so I was fending for myself. I talked to a bunch of weird people.
After dinner we watched a movie for my history class. It was interesting. I wonder though, how true to life it was. It was "the Madness of King George III" Hmmm... when it was over I went with Deann to get a coke. We ran into Johnny and his friend. We chatted a bit then departed. We went and played farkle in Trish's room. They talked a lot and playing took forever so I finally bailed.
Oh my gosh. Today was such a long day! I'm so tired I can barely move! At 5:30 this morning I got up and got ready, at breakfast and joined the group to catch or bus to London. Deann of course was my travel buddy. The ride to London was a really long hour. I'm so uncomfortable in buses because my legs are so long. I don't know how I'm going to do 8 hours to Scotland. Anyway- we got to London and were let off
near the Tower Bridge.
the Tower Bridge
We walked across the bridge to the Tower of London. It's a very interesting place. Not very nice stuff! Our tour guide was hilarious. The tour was about 30 min. After that we looked around at everying- did some shopping. Oh- I saw the crown Jewels. Can you say AMAZING? Wow! I've never seen such bling! One diamond that was 530 something carats?! wow! I was impressed. but looking at the gold things I just really got the reminder- you can't take it with you when you go. And "seek yet not for riches..." That was a tough pill to swallow cuz I wanna be rich! Anyway, we did some more shopping and then left.
Is this how Anne Boleyn saw the Tower?
a night in shining armor
The royal crest
We were told it wasn't far to St Paul's Cathedral. We walked. It was forever away! but we eventually got there.
A cool building we walked past on Victoria Street
Deann didn't want to go inside so I just took a quick picture and left. We bought bus tickets but walked 100 miles trying to find the right bus stop.
Queen Ann Statue at St Paul's
different views of St Paul's
Finally we got on the bus- but wen too far and had to walk back half the way. Let me tell you- I'm tired!
We finally made it to Coven Garden. We looked around, and sat down to eat and looked around some more.
displays of workers who used to frequent Covent Garden
remembering Punch and Judy
By this time my legs had really had it so we decided to head to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We took the bus back to St Paul's and then we walked across the millennium bridge.
walking across the millennium bridge
We had a couple of hours so we were going to kill them in the Shakespeare museum- but it closed just as we got there. But the lady directed us to a lovely pub. They had really good water. We still had an hour but we went to the globe anyway. We looked around around and eventually people from our group came. At 7:30 we went into the theater and saw "A Winter's Tale."
The one in the middle kept signaling to me to put my camera down.
before the play the actors come and wander around the stage.
after the play.
It was great! It took me a few minutes to get a handle on the ling- but once I did I really got into it. It was great. We had the best seats. We were near the centre of the first balcony. I felt awful for all the stupid people who paid 5 pounds to stand the whole time. A few minutes into the second act it began pouring rain and the Globe is open air! So all the people on the ground got soaked. When it was over we met everyone and took a looooong trip back to Cambridge. Like I said, I'm tired.
Hey! today was another adventure! I got up and got ready and went to breakfast. After, we all met at the porters office and walked to the bus station. We caught a bus to Saffron Walden. The bus ride was hilarious. I was on the top level and we hit tree branches and were swaying everywhere. It's a good thing I don't get sea sick!
We got to SW and Margaret Love Denman told us to go- have a good time- take as long as we want, have dinner, see the sights. So we walked through an estate and down the road to the manor.
Walking down the path to the manor house
Audley End- my new home! Oh my gosh! It was amazing. I found my Pemberly. Now all I need is my Mr Darcy! It was so beautiful. Just what i want in a dream home. You think I'm kidding. Nope.
The manor house
(we weren't allowed to take photos inside the house so I got this for you)
The guard station
The original kitchens
the small cafe in the new kitchen of A.E.
So we walked around in there. I was one of the first ones in and the last one out. I soaked in every detail I could. I didn't want to leave. But I met up with Deann and Trish and we saw the gardens- beautiful. Sigh...
Just wandering around on the grounds.
I can't remember what it was about this tree that had me so intrigued.
The gardens and back of the house.
The grounds. Isn't that a fair prospect?
We walked back to town and saw and old church then we walked to an old museum. Interesting. I think that's the first museum where I've walked out of one room with mummies and sarcophagi- into a room with Barbies in the display... ? whatever. They were along with other old toys from the past century or so.
The church at Saffron Walden
Centuries old tombs
That stained glass window was amazing!
What a beautiful little church
I can't believe that I failed to mention in my journal that this was where I saw a lock of Napoleon Bonaparte's hair! all these years later and that's the only thing I remember from this museum.
Outside the museum we saw and old castle keep- nearly 850 years old. Wow! It's just a ruin now.
We walked to the great city maze. it was supposed to be this grand maze that's thought to be 800 years old. We thought it was a hedge maze but it was just a brick path. It was pretty anti-climactic. We decided to head back to Cambridge but as we walked through town we passed a nice Italian restaurant so we went in to eat (when I say "we" I mean, D, T and I and a kid named Harry). Dinner was amazing. Probably the best food I've had in England. My dessert was absolutely amazing. It was some mousse cake with biscuits (cookies) and ice cream. Oh! Wonderful. Oh- I forgot- Earlier at Audley End I got a piece of nettle and gooseberry cheese cake. It was gross- but Mel will be proud of me for trying it. Anyway, after we all aged 100 years, our waitress brought our check.
We walked to the bus stop and checked the schedule. Remember MLD told us to take our time and go back whenever we wanted. well. She failed to mention that the last bus leaves at 5:30! We sat at the bus stop for 45 minutes before we realized we'd missed it. We'd looked at the wrong day. So we hailed a Taxi. It was my first time in a taxi, in a Mercedes, in an English car, in the American driver's side with no steering wheel. It was cool! Our driver was Jasel Ahmed. He was boring- but he got us back to Cambridge quickly. It cost us 25 pounds. Anyway- it was fun.
We emailed when we got back and De and I got tickets for the tower of London tomorrow. We studied a map and tried to figure out a game plan. We played half a game of farkle but we quit early cuz we gotta be up at the crack o dawn. So that was my exciting day! Expect another one tomorrow!