Sunday, April 26, 2009

home again, home again! jiggity jig!

Well well well...we are home! and have been since the 24th. and you're right if you are thinking, shouldn't they be in Ireland? Because yes, we should be. 
Due to Ryan Air over booking the plane to Cork, which we didn't know at the time, our tickets were declared invalid at the gate. After...going all the way through security, and multiple people looking at our boarding passes who said everything was fine. We learned later that they are pretty infamous for doing this, I'm just sad it happened to us. So after crying in the airport and the whole 30 train trip home I was just ready to be home!!! We still had a place to stay for one night with our group, so that was good, and mom got our flights change to leave the next day. I was so excited to get home, but it was soo sad that be had gotten jipped out of our trip to Ireland. Ryan Air wouldn't refund anything, but thank goodness we cancelled our rooms in Cork and they didn't charge us. It could have cost us alot more than it did...and just losing the cost of the plane tickets wasn't fun. In the end, Stephen and I handled it like champs. It was sad and frustrating, but we figured it all out. I was proud of us. 
So the next morning we woke us and were on a bus to Gatwick. (we were just there, right? yes.) We napped in the airport until our flight and then watched three movies on the way home! I love in flight movies! Our flight change was in Ohio, and we went thru customs and all the stuff and it was fine. I had two large suitcases both at there limit weight wise, then two backpacks absolutely stuffed! With Stephen it wasn't actually the amount of luggage (one large suitcase, a hanging bag, and backpack) it was the weight of the backpack that made it hard for him. See, he had bought chain mail in Scotland and the only way to get it home was as a carry on due to the weight. But that meant it had to go through security with us. It was hilarious how the security in the UK just laughed and didn't freak out, but the security in America were practically frightened by it!!! They looked scared and opened the box super carefully! hahaha, it was pretty funny. 
Well like I said we are both at my house right now. When we first got home we headed straight to Taco Bell, goodness I had missed it! I had my cheesy double beef burrito and was extremely happy! Then we got home and I unpacked everything in the middle of my very new living room! That's right, I live in a new house! It's beautiful! My parents and Jena did an AWESOME job on it, and I even have a bathroom with lots of birds in it! yayyy!!! Today Stephen and I went to see his brother and sister in law and his Nephew. Trey and Lindsay live in Dallas so it was funny me and Stephen driving up there after not driving for so long. Baby Tristan  has gotten so big since we last saw him, and he is a happy baby! They also treated us to our first mexican meal since getting home! We had such a good time visiting them! Well now it's technically Sunday. I  woke up at 4:45, my body telling me it was 10:45. haha. I'm still awake, trying to be productive by ordering pictures, and updating on here. After church I'm going to drive Stephen to Abilene. I'll stay the night and see some friends! I'm very very excited!!
Well i'm not quite sure if I'll continue to blog. Maybe i will for awhile and tell you about how weird it is to be in America! Stephen has an accent and it sounds soo weird now that we are home, I had not even noticed it when we were in London, everyone talked like that! haha! I'm actually really hungry right now. I'm gonna go get breakfast #1. 
Love you all, Can't wait to see all of you and show you pictures!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Our time here is ticking away...and it's soo bittersweet. 
I'm sad that soon i'll be leaving London, but i'm very excited to go home! Mainly I miss all you people at home. I think that if everyone I loved was here in London everything would be perfect. I'm just ready to get home to my family!

This week has been wonderful! Full of wrapping up loose ends and getting lots done! I've bought the last of my gifts, and have them all packed away. I went to Kew Gardens for Natural History, and I studied- a lot! Yesterday, Friday, Ashley and I went to Bath! I was so amazing! We took a tour of Bath by bus, toured the Roman Baths, went to a fashion museum, the Jane Austen Center, and spent 2 hours at the spa!!! The spa part wasn't planned, but we had time at the end of our day and decided that would be the most fun! We sat in sauna rooms, swam in a Minerva bath, and also the rooftop pool that overlooked all of Bath! We sadly had to leave there to make our train back to London, but it was something i'll always remember!

Now i'm studying again. Haha, no wonder I wanted to stay in Bath. I've got two tests and a paper due. I've already finished my paper, so I'm just focusing on the tests now.  And goodness gracious it's a lot! Pretty much I have to know everything about british culture from the creation of time...

Love you all,
11 days

Monday, April 13, 2009


I love Germany!! Haha, Stephen and I had so much fun! We got there in the morning on Thursday and Almut and her sister Selma were there to pick us up! We went back to their house and napped for a little bit before eating lunch. Since it was Easter weekend we got to do their Easter traditions with them. Like Thursday is "Green Thursday" and we ate a spinach casserole! It was really good. Then we headed out to see the city of Aachen. It was about a 45 minute drive...and by the way, Stephen and I haven't been in a car since we got to London and had to take a taxi, so it was really cool! In Aachen we saw an old town hall that dates back to Charlemagne, and the Aachen Cathedral that is also that old. We went into a museum for the cathedral and saw lots of relics, like the bust of Charlemagne with his skull in it, and part of his thigh bone in another relic. We also saw what was supposed to be part of Jesus's sweat rag, and part of the sponge they fed him with when he was on the cross. And all of these things were in the most intricate golden pieces you've ever seen! Some were shaped like little cathedrals, some were shaped like saints, it was amazing! After all this we walked around then headed back to Duren, where they live.  On Friday we spent most of our day at a palace called Augustusburg in Bruhl. It was more magnificent and grand then anything i've seen in London! And the gardens were just as great. We took the tour but it was in german, at this point Stephen and I had gotten used to not understanding anything! Thank goodness Almut and Selma are fluent in english, and their parents did their best and talked to us quite a lot in english! After that we went and saw a castle ruins, called Burg Lineggen. We also got a turkish sandwich, i forgot the name of it. Then after all of that we got ice cream! Stephen and I split spaghetti ice cream! The vanilla ice cream was in the shape of noodles and there was strawberry topping on it! It was delicious! 
On Saturday we rode the train into Cologne. Right outside the station is the Cologne Cathedral which is beyond words! You have to see pictures to understand how grand it is! We started the climb up the 509 step spiral staircase but I only made it 263 due to my ankle :( Stephen, Almut, Selma, and Stefan (Selma's boyfriend) went all the way up. The pictures he took are amazing! Then we did some shopping!! I got some sandals and lots of touristy things! haha! 
Later on that night Almut, Selma, and Stefan took us to an "American bar!!" Haha! Stephen and I tried their german beer, while we ate "Texas cheeseburgers and fries!" It was probably the funniest thing being in Germany yet in an American themed restaurant. The burgers even came out with little American flags in them! We loved it!
On Sunday we went to church with the Schoffers! It was a catholic service all in german! We didn't understand what he was saying but we got the jist! I mean, it was Easter! Then we went back to their home for a traditional German holiday meal! They eat really well, and I'm jealous now that i'm back in London eating cereal. haha. Later on we had to fly back to London. It was terribly sad. Stephen and I didn't want to leave. 

A special thanks to the Schoffers for being so kind to us! You went out of your way and made us feel extremely comfortable in Germany! We had an amazing time! Thank you!

For the rest of you...we come home in 16 days. Crazy, right?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I twisted my ankle haha

So Oxford was so fun!! We had to leave really early to get to Paddington for our train. It was rough. But we made it with plenty of time to spare and i got to eat the best bagel i've ever had! So it was worth it! hah! 

I'm going to let Stephen post something about all the Tolkien sites we saw! We had so much fun! 

So this week has been pretty laid back. Stephen and I went to Temple Church on Sunday. The Knights Templar built it and there are knights buried in it! On Monday we walked across London Bridge for class and went to the Old Operating Theatre. There we saw the operating room where they did operations without anesthesia. eek. They also explained how they amputated, and even "showed" us! (thank goodness I wasn't picked!) After that I went to the Tate Modern for art class. I got to see so many pieces that I've studied! I love it!

Well Tuesday I went to Kensington Palace. I got to see some of Princess Diana's dresses! It was absolutely amazing! Then I walked through Kensington Park and saw the Peter Pan statue I've been wanting to see! After all that it was time to buckle down and study for my theatre final on Wednesday.

Now it's Wednesday! I sort of fell this morning and twisted my ankle badly. :( and an hour later I had to take my final. Needless to say it's hard to get around, and...I'm going to Germany tomorrow! Haha, terrible luck. But I am going. I can walk on it good enough so i'll just take ibuprofen!  I am very excited about Germany! Stephen and I are going to head out to Heathrow late tonight and stay there until we can check in at 5:15. The tube doesn't start until 5:30 so we wouldn't have time to go in the morning. It'll be an adventure staying overnight in the airport! Almut and her sister are picking us up once we make it! Pray that we get some sleep! haha

I'll update after Germany!
Love you all,

Friday, April 3, 2009

i've been neglecting this..again.

Well well well..i've fallen back into old habits and haven't updated in awhile! It wouldn't be so bad but SO MUCH happens in a week it's hard to remember it all! Especially for me...Stephen has taken lately to calling me Dori from Finding Nemo! haha

So last Thursday we saw Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. was in a traditional japanese style of theatre. The actors were from Japan and spoke japanese. (the english translation was dubbed) They wore traditional outfits and it was very neat. Stephen would be able to tell you more about the culture involved in the play, but we both really enjoyed it! 

For British Culture we went to the British Museum and for art we went to the National Gallery. Man, I love that place! We had our last theatre class on Tuesday. (which means our final is this Tuesday! eek!)  Wednesday we saw Arthur Miller's A View from a Bridge! It was amazing!!! 
Thursday we went to the London Zoo! Stephen and I had a blast! We had to listen to a talk about the role of modern zoo's, but after that we were free to go have fun! The London Zoo was first a research zoo that was later open to the public. We learned about a lot of ways they are trying to protect and conserve. Then...we saw the animals! There was a tent we could walk into with tons of butterflies flying around you. We saw tigers, gorillas, and lots and lots of reptiles! But my favorite part of the meet the monkeys area! The area has monkeys climbing around on trees that were all around us, and there were some ropes above our heads that the monkeys would run across. It was my favorite because there was a momma monkey with the tiny baby attached to her back!! I loved her! The baby was so little and the momma was being protective...when she ran across the rope over us she pooped at Stephen! But he moved quickly so he didn't get hit! Thank goodness! We stayed 6 and a half hours at the zoo! whew!
After that Stephen and I just got on the only bus that rode past the zoo and rode for awhile. We were tired so sitting down was wonderful! The bus eventually ended up on Oxford St. were we found another bus that took us straight to Russell Square! They practically dropped us off at our doorstep! (ok, not at the doorstep, but a five minute walk is better than riding the tube!)
We sat in Russell Square for awhile, just cause the weather was nice.
Today we went to Greenwich. We got there by taking the Thames Clipper to Greenwich Pier. It's enclosed so we got to sit inside and see all the sights as we went down the Thames! In Greenwich we weren't off easy, our Professor Ronald Rumbelow was there to lecture! We went to St. Alfegee church, the Royal Maritime College, the Painting hall there, the Queen's House, and the Royal Observatory. At the Painting Hall we saw a ceiling that's believed only to be second to the Sistine Chapel ceiling!! It was the highlight of my day! At the observatory we stood on the Prime Meridian, eastern and western side at the same time! Then we made the long journey home. (due to traffic and waiting for buses, we finally took the tube) I stopped at the Apple store on the way back and picked up my laptop...which is my excuse for not updating sooner! The logic board had to be replaced, i'm just glad it's done now and I have it back!

Tomorrow Stephen and I are going to Oxford! He is going to show me all the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien spots and I'm going to try to find the Harry Potter spots! Should be a good day!
I'll update about how we do!
Love you guys,

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Phantom of the Opera was amazing! But..I will NEVER wear heels around London ever again. It was the first and last time! I really have no earthly idea how the women do it around here. 
Back to was gorgeous, and I was nervous about our seats but they ended up being perfect! We were smack dab in the center up on a balcony! When the chandelier fell it kinda came towards us!  
On Tuesday I was stressing over my natural history project and having to go to theatre and a tour of the national theatre.  But the tour of The National was so great! I got to see one of the horses from War Horse, my favorite play ever! It was so big and lifelike and I got to touch it, it was so neat! Btw, I got an A+ on my theatre paper! I wrote about why War Horse was a success! 
Later Tuesday I finished up my project! Thank goodness!
Wednesday I presented. It went really well. After class I walked around Harrods! It was so much fun! It's so big and there are so many rooms to see! I prefer the food halls, It's fun to look at all the tea and crackers and chocolate! yum! Later on Stephen and I couldn't figure out what we wanted to eat. So I ventured out to Waitrose to do some grocery shopping. and I came back with HOTDOGS!! They were so good! You don't know how much you will miss a hotdog until you're here. haha
Today is Thursday. Stephen and I are going to go to the British Museum and hang out. 
Love you all,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nearing the end..

of this trip. I mean, we have like 5 more weeks, but we are officially 2/3 done. 

It was great to have Cat and Crystal here! They got to see all the big sights and I tried to do as much with them as possible when I wasn't in class. Class always gets in the way. On Thursday they went to Paris while I went on a day trip to Canterbury and Dover.  We went to Dover Castle, and the Dover Cliffs! They were beautiful! Then we toured Canterbury Cathedral! It was absolutely amazing! I love all the churches we have gotten to see, they have definitely been highlights of my trip!  Cat and Crys flew out Friday morning, so the last time I saw them was Thursday night. It was not fun saying bye. I wanted to go with them for awhile! 

Sadly, once they were gone I had to focus on school. :( I have a project due on Wednesday this week. It's on bird's display behavior for my natural history class. I'm almost done with it. I also got three loads of laundry done! We have a washer and dryer here so I don't have to cart all my clothes to the cleaners and pay so much to have it done. I had seriously run out of clean clothes. I was wearing my nicer dresses because I had no jeans left! 

Well tonight Stephen and I are going to see Phantom of the Opera! Last monday was our year and a half anniversary, so we are celebrating tonight! We are both really excited about Phantom so I will definitely let you know how it goes!

Love you all,