Saturday, April 30, 2011

bare essentials

This morning Cali and I woke up bright and early to make our way over to hyde park for a new saturday tradition- running the perimeter of the park. It is a little over 6 km to run around the whole not miles, dont worry when i mapped it i was way impressed with how far we went in 54 minutes with stopping to look at monuments and such, but it ended up being only 4ish miles. But our new tradition is to do the same run every saturday we can and work on getting our time down. But along the way we passed by some amazing things and we were way sad we didnt have our we will soon start jogging photography like they do in "Yes Man". but highlights of what we passed: a memorial for the bombing of the tube on june 7, 2005, the coolest water fountain in the world, the beautiful river we had gone reading at the night before, a ferris wheel, a merry go round, a memorial park for princess diana, and the most beautiful trees ever! I love the trees sooo much!

We then came home and quickly got ready for the day and then were off to Portobello road, which is one of the largest outdoor markets ive ever seen. It was amazing! We had a huge group together but as soon as we hit the market everyone was gone. Luckily i had cali and we stuck to each other like glue. Portobello was amazing though- i loved it lots and lots...enter pictures to help explain...

On the walk through the park towards Portobello Road. It was wonderful and perfect weather!

we passed these beautiful homes on the walk and i adored them. They were so quaint and lovely, one day i will live there and will be the happiest girl in the world.

One of the street performers. This guy was my favorite. You can look him up on you tube, his name is robbie boyd.

We saw this little crepe stand on the side of the road and got really really excited so we had to get some. I got strawberry and nutella and cali got banana and nutella. It was delicious but very tricky to eat. Unfortunately for me, a good portion of my nutella ended up on my lap. Luckily i was wearing jeans so it was harder to tell, and was able to come home and change, but i was a little embarassed. Here is a video of us attempting to eat our crepes (pre ellie spilling)

*so unfortunately it wont let me upload the video but you can see in on my facebook page... sorry about that*

Did you see that pub in the background that we "didn't go into"? we ended up going in there for cali to use the restroom, they don't have many public restrooms and where i could try to wash off the nutella.

we then hit the food portion of portobello, which all looked amazing. we hadnt known it was coming when we got our crepes which was slighly sad, but i loved the crepe so it was all okay. It just means we will have to be back next saturday to eat more food!

This is the place we will be going next saturday! It smelled sooo amazing. They had jamacian food cooking in those huge "vats" (i dont know what you would call it) but it looked amazing and smelled even better.

This was my heaven. I absolutely love hair things. But no worries, i didnt buy any. the only this we bought were scarfs. 3 for 5 pounds. Cali and I split the deal, she got a pink one, and i got a blue one and a green one. Ive already worn the blue one twice i love it.

There were so many falafel places and it made me think of my mom. She likes falafel a lot. Mom, if i could i would buy you some and mail it home to you..but i highly doubt it would still taste good. I guess you will just have to come visit me.

This is for my brother matt. good work graduating from law school brother-o-mine, your the best.

So this one time my sister was getting rid of clothes and gave me a cardigan that i loved more than anything in the world. It is green and has lace and i adore it. Well when a friend admired it and asked where i got it i had to text her. her answer. london. well thats tricky for her. but guess what...yes above you can see the stall that sells the lovely cardigans. I might come home with the same cardigan in 5 different cardigans.

Cali looking adorable in a british hat. One of our goals is to get a hat, however im not sure if i would ever wear it and then that would be a waste of money. maybe i will just have to start going to the races and other high class places.

A look at the craziness of portobello market. i love it.

So this one time brits drive on the wrong side of the road. or just the other side of the road and it is so very confusing. I know i will eventually get used to it, but i feel like that day will never come. However they are the smartest people ever and write on the road so you know what way to look. Thank you britain for helping me not get killed.

On the way home from portobello we went on a little adventure going down a cobblestone road that was filled with the most quaint houses. This one was my favorite with the bikes outside! however because i wasnt paying attention we ended up missing our turn and getting lost. but what a better place to be lost in that beautiful london. after wandering for a bit we got on the nearest tube stop and took it home. We were so happy to get home after being on our feet literally all day. it must have been close to 10 miles run/walked by the end of the day. phew.

after our lovely morning we headed back to hyde park to do the reading we had to for class. i know, who does homework while in london. we do, thats who. But i actually really enjoyed the play. its called alls well that ends well by shakespeare and it has the craziest plot ever. im impressed shakespeare. good work. Helena the main character loves Betram but he doesnt love her. but she makes him marry her because she helps the king and he says she can have whomever she wants. but then he goes to war so he doesnt have to be her husband once married, and she follows him to italy and plots with the girl he is now interested in and tricks him into sleeping with her (being helena) and gets her pregnant. and its just crazy. but i dont understand why she wants to be with someone who doesnt want to be with her. if there is one thing i have learned in life its that i want someone who wants and adores me. Why would you want to trick someone into being with you. Helena's character was just so fascinating to me. But i realized she was experience eros (a type of love) which you can have even if it is not reciprocated.

while there i couldnt help but take a break for a galaxy chocolate bar. im in love. but no worries i am trying to limit myself. i realize saying no chocolate would never work, never ever. but i am allowed to eat one the days i go running and i got the fun size. im in love with none american chocolate. love love love.

there are these things that i like to call "fluff fluffs" that are constantly falling from the sky (or trees) and makes it looks like it is snowing spring. however, the make allergies not the most fun thing in the world. cali was the luckiest and had a chorus of sniffles while she read. My nose decided it would be fun to run a marathon and it was on a mission to get first. Luckily for me, my roommate lauren gave me some allergy medicine. she is lovely.

another adventure while at the park was getting welcomed to the nudist scene in europe. because it was such a beautiful day people were in the park enjoying the weather and soaking up the sun, but one woman took it a little farther and was there sun bathing without a top on. cali and i were shocked and then giggled. it was comical, and thought provoking. I couldnt ever imagine doing that, but i guess that is how they have been raised. they dont see it as wrong. it is just shocking to us americans.

next on the days list of events was going to see the tempest at the little angel theater. It was a child's play and they used puppets for ariel and caliban. it was so well done. it was in a very small theater and our group probably took up half the theater. the actors did an amazing job! they mixed the play with a music under theme and they did a good job of using song to describe what was going on for the kids. the actors played multiple parts and my favorite was the one who was stephano. he was hysterical! and i adored him. we lingered outside just talking after the show and the actors came out and i so badly wanted a picture with him, but i felt like it might have been a little awkward so i refrained myself. unfortunately though i fell asleep during the middle of the play. it was awful. i feel like every time i sit down i fall asleep. but amber (who i was sitting next to) was a doll and nudged me and then i broke out some trail mix to try to stay awake.

we then jumped on the tube and headed home to finish up some homework before sunday. and there was the most amazing performer who was playing music and just being hysterical. he of course was playing elvis. random, yes. but he was joking with us that hundreds of people dont make him nervous, but one camera does. he was grand.

elly, cali, and I then quickly stopped by the grocery store on our walk back and i grabbed some juice because i was craving it for some random reason and elly wanted a magnum bar. the walk home was grand just talking and all getting to know each other. it was amazing. but in our talking elly was telling us that mcdonalds have cadbury egg mcflurries and then cali and i started wanting them really really bad. like real bad. so we started asking everyone where the nearest mcdonalds was but no one knew. and then we looked it up when we got home and there is one right by the high street kensignton tube stop but after much debate deciding to go and then changing our mind, we decided to save it for another night. so added to the list of things to do...cadbury mcflurries.

i also got to skype with my parents which was wonderful. i love them lots and lots. but for some reason i have had this terrifying fear that my dad is going to suddenly die. so it was wonderful to see him alive and kicking and he promised me that he wouldnt die. i sure hope he keeps his promise.

the end of my crazy but lovely saturday.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding...

That's right. Today Kate Middleton and Price William tied the knot. It was wonderful. We ventured across the street into Hyde Park to experience the nuptials. It was wonderful, and felt slightly like the fourth of july. Everyone was waving flags and watching it on a big jumbotron. It was so neat to be able to be a part of such a major event in history. I will forever be able to say I was in London for the Royal Wedding. I was amazed at how much alcohol there was. It is such a part of their culture, it is just a little shocking at times, but it does make for some interesting people watching. There was one group who were absolutely plastered, and were dressed very oddly. Some had top hats and their faces were painted, and one girl was wearing a wedding gown. I wish I had taken a picture.

At the wedding in Hyde Park. You can see the screens in the back ground.

We then came home and took naps. While we had thought we had combatted the dreaded jet lag we had merely delayed the effects. But hopefully the nap did the trick. After naptime we went to the grocery store to get food. it was so interesting to shop at a foreign store. while very similar it did have its differences. We then came home and discussed a list of things we wanted to do while in london and made a tentative plan for tomorrow, and then once again headed over to hyde park to read "Alls well that ends well" we read for a bit until a car came and told us the park was closing, at which point we headed home.

I love just walking through Hyde Park, it is beautiful!

 Off trying to find a place to read

This was the winner, it was beautiful.

 Reading by the statue of Jenner, he was contemplating Shakespeare as well

At home i ate dinner, which I had gotten at the store earlier while bonding with some of the other girls in the group. I love the group we have. Everyone is so kind, friendly, and relaxed. It is wonderful. If ever someone is doing something they tell everyone so whomever wants to join can. Speaking of which, I was then planning on finishing and reading and getting to bed early but a group was headed to gelato, and who can refuse gelato. I got a mix of hazelnut and chocolate and it was splendid.

It is dangerous having foubert's less than a half mile away from our flat

Chelsey, Cami, Elly, and I eating our scrumptious gelato.

ps something i forgot to mention is that while we were walking to hyde park we had to cross the street, and while doing so there was a police officer holding traffic. as we were crossing two other police men came on motorcycles so we had to hurry quickly to get across safely- but the reason for all the police were that they were escorting members of the royal family in vans! the vans passed and we saw lots of people with amazing hats on. so that is my claim to fame. the end.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A foggy day in london town...

Adventure Day 2...
Today was a wonderful, wonderful day. With only a spout of homesickness...dumb home, why are you so grand that I miss you. But a short recap of the day...

- woke up and went running with Cali in Hyde Park. It was beautiful! the park was so green and the air so crisp I loved it. I am excited for many more morning runs there. Cali was a champ though...she had woken up feeling way sick and throwing up and still went running. if it was me and would have stayed in bed and complained all day. but we did it! and it was amazing. We walked a good amount, which is understandable, but it was perfect.

- after that headed to class where i felt like i had nothing to add. I wish I was more versed in shakespeare. I felt like i didnt catch any of the amazing connections because i was trying so hard to figure out the plot. During the second half my tiredness started to kick in and i couldnt stay awake, but other than that I havent felt any jet lag which has been amazing! this is when i started to feel homesick. I just missed the comfort of home, and was feeling overwhelmed thinking i would be going nonstop. But then our shakespeare teacher put up a quote from a song that said "Be here, now" and it was just perfect to help me refocus on the amazing fact that im in london!

 -after class the adventure continued to primark which is a store similar to forever 21 but times it by 20 and drop the prices 70 percent. It was grand. I got two hair things...both a pound. a watch. also a pound. and a kate middleton mock ring...happy cheesy wedding souvenir. it was packed though! i have never been so overwhelmed by a clothing store! Cali was my little buddy so we didnt get separated and lost. I am truly learning how convenient having a cell phone is, and how inconvenient not having one is. but it will be good to learn to get along with out one

Cali, Cami, and Lauren waiting in line at primark. oh blessed store. we will be going again someday and hope it is not as crowded. 

- we then jumped on the tube (we are pros now) and jetted over to buckingham palace to walk around. I was amazed by the number of people who had already set up camp for the royal wedding! oh brother! Some girls are heading out now to get a spot (its around midnight). I am being lame and sleeping and then watching it in hyde park in the morning. but on the way we decided to get a workout by taking the stairs instead of the legs will hate me in the morning.

104 stairs to the top...we then did it a few other times with only 63 and 53 stairs. but yay for getting a work out, as if walking around london wasnt enough. yay team

Parliament is my favorite. It is so beautiful and so british!

Cali and Carli in King James' Gardens- we walked through the gardens to get to the palace. Along the way we stopped for water bottles...i realized i was crazy dehydrated, so i spend a whopping 1.5 pounds for a water bottle. 

 When we got close to the palace we started seeing the people camped out. It was crazy! and amazing! oh the dedication!

 Beautiful Buckingham

- next on our crazy day was the theater district. our plan was to see les mis tonight but a quick shift in plans after getting there. we stopped for dinner at a little Chinese buffet...all the theaters are in and around chinatown. It was only 5 pounds for all you can and considering it was the first thing we had really eaten all day we got our moneys worth. The food wasnt amazing but it wasnt bad, what can you expect for five pounds...but their bathroom was the best. It was in the basement and was as creepy as could be- mainly just the door going into it.

Here is the sink. I liked the bowl look, but as you can see in the reflection i was very worried about it.

Here are the toilets, a little creepy, but they get the job done. London is not known for having public bathrooms. Thank you America for all of your restrooms, they are wonderful!

Here is the lovely Mr. Wu's we saw another Mr. Wu's whose buffet cost 7 pounds, it was curious.

But as aforementioned we ended not going to Les Mis but rather Mamma Mia! It was amazing! we decided to hit up les mis another night that wasnt as busy, and were very happy with are choice! Mamma Mia was amazing! I have never been so happy or engaged watching a show. It was a little scandalist at points, welcome to london, but the choreography was amazing! and the woman who played donna was spectacular! I want to be able to sing like that when im older. At the end the whole crowd was up dancing along as they put on a mini concert of some of the songs. I couldnt help but have a huge grin on my face the whole time!

Cali, Cami, and I outside before the show. 

 During intermission. Notice our huge grins! it is because it was that amazing!! bah I loved it.

Anywho...tomorrow will be full of more wonderful adventures including the ROYAL WEDDING! oh brother. until then. cheerio

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An adventure to start an adventure.

Im in LONDON!! it is so surreal to be here. I guess I was just expecting it to feel different, kind of like you do on your sixteenth birthday, but it never does. Its always just a normal day, but with celebration. Thats how London feels. Its just a normal town, but with lots of changes. Im still the same person, i wasnt magically enlightened by London ways. But getting here was an adventure...hold on to your britches here we go.

9 20. leave provo for the airport. thanks nate once again for taking me.
10 30. find out my flight was delayed and and will now get to texas at 6 for a 5 50 connection. flight switched.
2 00. board flight to dallas/fort worth
5 20. arrive in texas, realize i could have made my flight, and am very depressed about the switched flight and now having to wait until 7 40 for the next flight.
7 00. flight attendent calls for volunteers to be bumped. ellie volunteers. and then finds out current flight is delayed until 8 30
8 00. "elizabeth jane hall" is called over the loud speaker. was asked to be bumped. give 400 dollars for American Airlines and upgraded to business class.
8 01- 9 00. ellie giggles happily
10 00. board flight to london in the most amazing seats ever.

8 1/2 hours later arrived in london

RIght after we found out we were bumped. we were soooo excited! i giggled a lot.

in business class i could straighten my legs completely without touching the seat in front of me. also the seats would recline all the way. it was so comfy.

This guy was my favorite. he was the nicest and would bring us anything and everything.

Dinner was amazing! we had a salad with chicken and then four cheese ravioli and bread and then toped it off with ice cream. I could definitely get used to business class.

Once we got to london the adventure of customs and the tube began, and it was grand. Except ellie overpacked. Mom, you were right.

Once we made it to our flat we went on a walking tour to see where are classes would be. then went to dinner at nandos, picked up some groceries, jumped on the tube, and then went to the heart of london. It was beautiful! we saw parliament and big ben, westminster abbey, and the eye of london. It was wonderful. But happy jet lag. I am as sleepy as could be. Here are a few other picture highlights.

The cool wall at Nando's that was all pop cans. I loved it. We had way good chicken, as well as chips (french fries) and corn on the cob. It was delicious.

Big Ben how i love thee. Peter Pan teach me to fly please.

Cali and I at Westminister abbey. Its kind of dark, but i adore this girl. 

more of the minster

 double decker!! oh london how i love thee!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear boys. Im not engaged.

Contrary to popular belief I am not engaged. In fact I am not even close.

Last night I was standing on the porch talking to some friends at a going away party when a boy in the ward approached me and said congratulations I hear you are getting married! Thinking he was being funny I laughed and then realized he was being serious. I spent the next little bit explaining that I in fact was not engaged, which you would think he would have realized based on the fact that i had no ring on my left hand- but alas he had not made the connection. After much discussion, I realized he was very justified in his thoughts that I was what made him come to this conclusion you ask. I blame my roommates.

Incident #1. 
Two Sundays ago, I was having a rough day- Nothing was necessarily wrong, I was just feeling a little blue. So I come back from family dinner, open the door, and become overwhelmed as all of my roommates and some friends in the ward start cheering, and hugging me. I just started laughing. Things like "yay ellie!" "you made it" "we missed you" "we love you" and all other kind things flew from their mouths to my ears. They had no clue I was feeling down, because that morning I had been chipper as could be. It was definitely one of those tender mercies. The door however was left open, and as this continued on for a good five minutes, it makes sense that someone might have thought I had just gotten engaged. After all why else would a group of girls be cheering one of there roommates and hugging. It makes complete sense. I just have ridiculously good roommates where that is a normal occurance.

Incident #2.
Last weekend I ran a 1/2 marathon. Yes, it was supposed to be a full, but after listening to the advice of my wise mother, I realized running a marathon with out properly training would be torture. The run was grand. A friend from work and I ran the whole thing together. The weather was perfect. And we never stopped running which was my goal. My darling mom came in from Chicago to cheer me on along the way. I have never been so excited to hear my name as I was when I would her yelling it from the side of the road. And did I mentioned she did this all on her birthday with a hurt knee. Talk about selfless. Anyways back to the story. So my wonderful roommates. I get back from being in Salt Lake for the last day and a half to find a "Congratulations Ellie!!" sign on my door. It made my day. I am amazed what homemade signs can do...but this one made my life! So it makes sense that he would think I was engaged...after all my roommates had cheered for me for five minutes and there was a congratulations sign on the door. But dont worry it gets even more convincing.

Incident #3.
I leave for london in...6 days...however at the 8 day mark my facebook status..oh facebook..said "8 days. Family in Town. Oh happy day." So another friend of the male assortment commented something along the lines of 'I didnt realize you were getting married in 8 days" which was comical because he knew i was not getting married...however to a boy who already things you are engaged this would solidify the fact that I was engaged. Throw in the fact Ive been seen with the same boy multiple times. and pooof you have one engaged ellie. But besides being engaged in a good cause (haha cheesy) i am in no way engaged.

Side note: If anyone is reading this, and wishes to change this fact. The ring below is my absolute favorite in case you were wondering. joke. well i really do love it. anyways. happy day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

dear time, go slower.

The official countdown is 13 days. In thirteen days, I will drive to SLC airport, fly to dallas/fort worth. not so scary. go through customs (hmph, how do i do that?) board a plane, sit for an extremely long period of time, and get off in the far off land of london.

LONDON! I will be in london in 13 days! holy moly, guacamole. I feel like life is on fast forward and I need it to go slower. but alas it will not. Things standing in the way of me being in london (aka things that need to be done before london): Finals. boo. Packing for London and EFY. bigger boo. Packing up my apartment, and putting it into storage. Biggest boo.

While these might not seem like the biggest thing, the fact that I am not a fan of any of them makes life a little harder. but exciting things that stand in my way. SLC half marathon on saturday (after much debate, the full marathon is now a half. oh Cathy and her wisdom), earning lots of money at work (yay extra hours), EFY conference call, my mom coming into town (she is coming to cheer me on in my 13.1 mile adventure), and getting to play with friends before I leave.

While the end of the semester is a fun time. Today is the last day of classes, I cant help but be a little sad. I love my classes, I love the people in my classes, I love my ward, I just love my life right now. So it is hard to say goodbye to it. And knowing next year I will be in a completely new place, well apartment complex that is, saddens me and excites me all at the same time. I am excited for new adventures, new people, having a laundry machine, and living with diana. But i am sad to leave my old ward, my old friends, and the joys of living  at "the colon"

Moral of the story- I want the best of both worlds. Miley Cyrus, how did you do it?