Wednesday, June 1, 2011

your stereotypical tourist. bus and all.

wake up in the morning feeling like p-diddy. that is if p-diddy only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep. yes friends. after calling it a night at two (getting set for going home next week- can i just say i have the bestest mom in the world, and catching up on blogness- devil) the alarm woke me at 5 30 saying get up and pack silly. pack? for a three day adventure to stratford (shakespeare's birthplace) and lots of fun places along the way. 6 30 rolled around and after a quick prayer, handing out of money (they gave us 60 pounds to gain 60 pounds...aka get food and such because we had excess funds...thank you rodger and phil) we boarded the bus and were on our way. oh sorry- the coach- with good ole tony driving us into the sunrise.

bus buddy
after listening to tony talk for about 10 minutes i broke out efy manual and started reading, and reading, and reading. still feeling like i had no idea what i was doing, but having read it all, i decided to take a little nap

cali is a really good pillow- except for her zippers. i woke up having zipper face. it was hysterical. 
we eventually made it to coventry cathedral which is a cathedral that was bombed during wwII. they rebuilt the cathedral next to the ruins. it is a mix of a very modern looking cathedral with the older ruins. as pictures speak a thousand is coventry in a lot of words...

cali with the beautiful stained glass window in the new cathedral.
the old ruins.
have i mentioned we like to act out statues. reconcilation.
the old cathedral. there were lots of side areas that were absolutely beautiful.
cali trying to fix something on the pole. and the grave of the unknown civilians. it is amazing to see how affected England was by WWII. In the states we learn about it, and true we have Pearl Harbor, but they were bombed. constantly. it made a huge impact on the country.

just chatting on some old ruins. and acting out more statues. we thought we might get struck down for acting this one out, but we made it safely through the day. no lightning for us.

 after an hour and a halfish exploring coventry we got back on our lovely touristy bus to head to kennilworth castle. i love castles. i want one. but really. i could have spent all day there and been perfectly happy.

we learned how to load a musket from this nice gentleman. it was very interesting. and there sure were a lot of steps. 
cali- ellie look at that window and dont move. here are the results of me not moving. ps the castle attacked my hand trying to get out of the window. or i attacked the castle. either way the castle won.

part of the group exploring the castle.
cali's engaged! woowhoo. and the bathroom even tells her so!

the beautiful gardens and ruins of kennilworth.

the day wouldnt be complete without at least one jumping picture.
can i say how much i love phil and delys. (one of our directors and his wife) he is acting out bernini's david and she is acting out the stereotypical roman woman statue. love them.
we took a break from exploring to eat our lunch with dezi and megan overlooking the beautiful english countryside. this was probably my favorite part. it was perfect. there is a cottage way out there that i have decided will be my summer home.

next stop was...

no, not the actress. but shakespeare's wife. while the house was interesting. it wasnt my favorite. it reminded me of walking through houses in Nauvoo, except it held no significant meaning to me. but what i did love about her cottage were the beautiful gardens. they were stunning. there was also a willow hut that you could sit in and listen to sonnets by shakespeare. it was beautiful. to top it off there was a maze in the garden. it was nice to just wander through the gardens and talk about life, love, and happiness with cali.

lovely gardens.

so i have an obsession with flowers. its true. i love them on shirts, hair things, scarves. everything. give me them in person and i am the happiest. enter lots of pictures of flowers.

 how can you not love them though. so so pretty.

 they had some fun statues in the garden. hey look. we are in england. literally.

wandering through the maze. it wasnt as much a maze as a pathway the weaved and turned. it made it easy to not get lost,, and was still way fun.
 then it was back on the bus. yes, the day is not over yet. tired of reading? imagine living it. we all zonked on the bus before we got to our next location- mary arden's farm. aka shakespeare's mother. even though we were exhausted, and not the most excited for it. we counted down the minutes until we got to get back on the bus. "only one more hour!!! woowhoo" it was still really interesting to wander around. it brought me back to my childhood days of class field trips. but as all farms do, my allergies (and a little bit of asthma) came back with itchy eyes and hard to breatheness. lame. but not too bad.

we got there just in time for a falconry show. it was way cool.
they used bri and addison as part of the demonstration with the "love" owl that they would use at weddings. the bird flew right over the heads, and at one point i think hit addison. 
more beautiful gardens.
exploring the house. hello small doorway.
it is a working farm which was cool to see. meet wilbur. when we saw him  our first thoughts- i want bacon. im a horrible person. but really. who does that.
english long horns.
 the countdown finally got to zero. and we were on our way to the bed and breakfasts we were staying at. there were three we were split up among. we were at the victoria spa lodge. it was beautiful. see below. only down side. ours was far outside of town. tony was nice as waited as we dropped off our stuff so we wouldnt have to make the trek into town, considering we didnt have a ton of time before the show and still needed to get din din.

hello victoria spa lodge.
funny story while dropping off luggage. exploring the room right. and there is a door. being exhausted and as loopy as could be i thought. oh this is probably closet. oh no worries elly had just walked into it moments before. so i open the door while talking to cali. i quickly hear a voice "ummm- im in here" sorry elly. i have my moments.

 we got into stratford and then it was off to search for din din. we stopped at the first place we saw that looked good and cheap. the rose n' crown pub. it was grand. for five pounds you got a huge burger, chips (fries), and a drink. not too shabby. i inhaled my food. but really. it wasn't the smartest thing i have ever done because my stomach started hating me soon after. dumb tum tum. but cali and elly got the biggest burgers i have ever seen. they were probably as big as their face. if not bigger. and they both finished. it was impressive.

megan, ari, elly, cali, me, and lauren at dinner.
we then made our way down the street and went to the theater to see merchant of venice. the show was....good. but weird. actually not the best. they did it to a las vegas theme which started out really well, but didnt follow through all the way. things would end awkwardly because the script didnt support it. portia was portrayed as this dumb blonde from the south with a thick southern accent. which was entertaining during the suitor part but didnt follow through to the court scene at all. the play ended with portia spinning around with one shoe on holding a wig. huh? the ending was so so odd. but redeeming qualities. patrick stewart was shylock. so good. plus way cool to see him in the flesh (think x-men) and the actor who played antonio was amazing! the scene where shylock was about to take a pound of flesh from antonio was one of the most amazing acting performances i have ever scene. antonio's body was shaking, convulsing with fear. you felt his fear. it was amazing. scary. but amazing.

the show ended and i was still feeling way sick. which made the show last even longer. but lucky for us rodger and phil decided to get us taxi's for the way back so we wouldnt have to make the trek along the canal late at night and in the dark. we made it home. and i crawled into bed. ready to sleep the grossness away in the most comfy bed ever. shared with none other than calianne jex.

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