Friday, June 3, 2011

living another life.

But I believe above all that I wanted to build the palace of my memory, because my memory is my only homeland.
-Anselm Kiefer

Today was a day back on the coach to explore more of wonderful England after another wonderful (well not too wonderful, Macbeth gave me nightmare's apparently because according to cali i was tossing and turning and stole all the blankets. sorry love- but i woke up feeling rested so its a winner) night.

First stop. Winston Churchill's Birthplace- Blenheim Palace. It was beautiful. I want a palace. We explored the ground and the rose garden, before heading inside for a tour. i love tours. i love the little details you get from the tour guide. i love hearing the stories. and i love having a person tell me them instead of reading them. its like getting told a bed time story rather than reading one. its just so much better. The palace is still a private residence for the Duke of Malborough, but they open up part of it for the public to come and view. and i am very grateful they do. Also fun fact. they were setting up for a triathlon while we were there. adding to the bucket list. triathlon at Blenheim Palace- how amazing would that be?

beautiful blenheim.
the italian gardens. yes that is a duck cut into the hedges. amazing.
rose gardens.
love of flowers- include roses. especially perfect ones like this. also ive realized that red roses, not my favorite.  i dont know if that  disqualifies me as a girl but its the truth.
the secret garden.

cali helped lauren climb a tree, and helped her down. a little scared for lauren's life...but cali is a "rock"star

more exploring at the bridge. they had rooms in the bridge. it was intense.
we made our way back to the bus and waited out on the grass. once again they gave us 3 1/2 hours when 2 would have been perfect. but we dilly dallied, at one point elly got a piece of cake at the cafe so we were able to spend time sitting. eventually it was time to get on the bus but two people were missing. one downside of no one having cell phones. but eventually we saw two figures running towards us, they had gotten lost in the maze. phil was funny and said it was okay because they followed the snyder rule of being late- out of breath, and sweating. but then we were of too...


did you know that oxford doesnt have a central campus, but its rather a ton of buildings around the city and there a bunch of different colleges that are all considered oxford. i did not know this. learn something new every day. but oxford was great. we looked around some college stores- i resisted buying a t-shirt considering i already have a box full of t-shirts from life. no need to pay for them when you get them for free.

this was probably the most impressive street performer i have seen yet.
we eventually made our way down to christ's church which is absolutely beautiful. it cost money to get in so the group split. cami, ashlee, and i were the only ones who cared enough to go in...
outside the church.
waiting in line.
now why would these three girls care about going in so much? well there's this kid named Harry Potter. he is pretty cool. and he went to this place called hogwarts. now in said school of witchcraft and wizardry there was a great hall. and i stood in it. yes this church is where the great hall is filmed for the movies. amazing. yes.

the great hall.
there was also a field where they played quidditich. 
the gift shop had lots of harry potterness. loved it. there was a book called harry potter on location- or something along those lines. which basically went through all the places where the movies were filmed so you could go see them. i was tempted.
while harry potterness was amazing and so cool, the rest was also amazing. the chapel was gorgeous, and the tour guides were so very friendly.
after christ's church we started to make our way back to the bus pick up. we were warned if we werent there on time they would leave us and we would have to take a train back. on the way we passed this wonderful cafe with delicious cakes in the window. of course we stopped. but they also had sandwiches. very yummy cheap sandwiches. they were only 2.95 and they were huge. best dinner ever. but it was by divine intervention that we found the sandwich place because it turns out we were walking in the completely wrong direction. luckily we figured it out quickly and were able to get back to the meeting place with ten minutes to spare.
we had a grand group picture taken at the monument we met at and rodger went into photographer mode. it was grand. he is one of my favorite people in the world. so grand.
then it was another hour bus ride back to london. it was supposed to be two, but we made way good time. our bus driver said he has never made it that fast. i was grateful. it was nice to be back "home." i feel like home is such a fluid word. i feel like i am in the stage of life where i dont have a home- or five homes. i have my batavia home, my provo home, my london home, and then wherever im sleeping that night.

we set all of our stuff down, checked email and such, and then were off to the V&A which doesnt close until 10 on fridays. the museum was fun, but we were all kind of beat from the day. but i had one goal and one goal only for the museum. it was to see the painting that President Monson always talks about by Joseph Turner, which he has renamed "to the rescue" and we found it! (see below)

favorite part of the museum though. the theater section. who would have guessed, being on a theater study abroad and all. but it was amazing. they had so many interesting costumes on display. it was amazing to see them so close, and to see the detailing you dont see from the audience. the display was very interactive. you could try on some costumes, and there were videos you could watch about the behind the scenes of the theater. i went behind the scenes of wicked. it was grand.

costumes from the lion king.
playing dress up. my dress was the heaviest, and super hot. it didnt help that they room was already quite toasty.
then it was home to try to catch up on life. and have a dance party with everyone. it was in the front room, and they had moved the tables out and moved the couches. it was way fun, i realized my dance moves need some drastic improvement before efy...which is tricky considering it is in...a week! exactly one week from today i will be getting off a plane in minnesota. oh brother. such a mix of emotions. but it will be wonderful.

the end.

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