I cannot believe that yesterday was my last day in London! I started off the day studying and trying to prepare as best I could for my two finals.  They both went well enough and I’m just happy that they’re over! After class, I packed and ate lunch and got ready to go see Les Miserables.  It was an amazing experience! I can honestly say that that play means more to me than it ever has before.  I started crying during the first notes and didn’t stop until the end pretty much.  Since it is really the play that got me started in theatre, I couldn’t imagine who I’d be with it or the people and friendships I made back then.  It takes me back to a person I used to be who is combined with the person I am now and I feel so blessed to have gotten to see it! I feel like I saw a lot of shows but I always know that I could have seen more!  After the show, Kimmie and I went shopping for last minute items we hadn’t gotten yet and loved walking around that area of London.  We met the rest of the gang at Stockpot and we all enjoyed our last dinner together.  We then headed to the dorms and took a few pictures in front before going to get gelato one last time.  It feels so bittersweet!  I really honestly cannot believe that I’m about to go home.  After gelato we went to Sun in Splendor to join the rest of our program and relax before heading home.  It was an amazing night getting to talk with everyone and enjoy the wonderful city on London for the last time for awhile.  Even though I’m ready to be home (with air conditioning) I’m already eagerly planning everything that I want to do next time I’m here!  I leave for my flight back home in an hour.  I know I won’t keep this up once I get home so I’ll take the time now to thank everyone who came with me on this journey!  It was such an amazing experience and I feel so blessed to have gotten this opportunity! I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my month of July.  

Today was the perfect second to last day here in London.  I went to class this morning and studied History during the scary movie in English and then enjoyed my History lecture as always.  It was weird to actually get to dates where I was alive because I don’t think any history class in my past has ever gotten that far.  We always run out of time so it was definitely nice to learn about recent events.  Tomorrow I have finals in both classes and I’m not looking forward to it!

After class Ali, David, Delia, and I decided to venture to Camden to do some shopping and get some lunch! We found a chinese restaurant (my craving is FINALLY somewhat satisfied) that was only 4 pounds for a decent sized portion and a drink.  It was AMAZING! The shopping area is also one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.  It has so much culture and character.  There were tons of tattoo and piercing places (a different scene than what we’ve been used to) and there were a ton of people there.  They had everything from clothes to shoes to jewelry and artwork.  Delia put it perfectly when she said it was like Chinatown in New York.  She took me to a purse place and I got my first Louis Vuitton purse.  I feel silly for getting it but it is something I know I’ll always look back on and remember that I got it in London.  David even bargained it down for me to only 28 pounds so it was a steal ;).  

After we walked around a bit we headed back to the tube.  Somehow Ali managed to get on but the rest of us didn’t.  We tried to find her at every change (there were quite a few to get to Camden) but unfortunately it didn’t work out and we didn’t met up with her until the dorm.  We stopped at Oxford Circus (so i could hopefully get Jimmy something he asked for) but the Nike store was closed! I’ll have to try again tomorrow hopefully!  If i have time! I feel like tomorrow is jammed packed and I dont have enough time.  We headed back to the dorm, picked up a few people, and then headed to get our daily gelato.  It was delicious as usual but I’m also ready for healthy good once I get back.

After visiting for awhile, we headed back to Pembridge to work on papers and study for our finals.  I managed to get a good bit done before I got ready to go see the Wizard of Oz with Jenn.  Going into it, I knew the only reason I was going was to see the original phantom, Michael Crawford, as the wizard.  I adore his voice and knew it would be a once in a lifetime thing to get to see him perform life.  We met downstairs at 6:15 and headed to Oxford Circus.  We thought that the show started at 7:30 but come to find out it started at 7! Luckily we had just enough time to get inside, get our adult beverages, and find our seats.  The show was definitely much more enjoyable than I originally anticipated.  It was really a flashback to my childhood and with the theme of home it was definitely appropriate for how I’m feeling right now.  I want to go home and see everyone and everything but then bring them all back with me!  

The cast was exceptional and the musical numbers that weren’t in the movie were so much fun! Jenn and I couldn’t stop dancing or singing the entire time.  Michael Crawford was AMAZING and we kept grabbing each others arms whenever we heard the “phantom” aspect of his voice.  It was also interesting and fun to see this since we just saw Wicked and it’s fresh in our heads.  We kept whispering about the Wicked storyline back and forth and cracking jokes.  It was so much fun!  Although I loved this storyline, I think the Wicked one has much more depth to it.  I am so glad that I got to see it!

Right after the show ended, we headed straight to the front where we were told Michael would be.  We waited with our posters and cameras ready and were among the first 3 people to get autographs and our picture.  He was so nice and really made sure to get everyone.  After a few minutes he was rushed off with his body guard by his side and he jumped into a Mercedes that was parked right by the theatre.  It was definitely sad to see him go but I got another item of my bucket list crossed off!  We floated back to the dorms in our haze to hit the books!

We met up with some study groups in the TV lounge and actually managed to be productive for awhile.  Once more people came in we gave up and headed to the kitchen where we watched youtube videos and compared the cute kids in our lives.  It was wonderful.  And I’m even feeling pretty good about my exams tomorrow! I’m not feeling completely confident yet, but I know I’ll get there.  I don’t want to take them because that means it’s time to go home.  It will still be wonderful to get them out of the way though and not worry about them anymore.

Tomorrow is definitely going to be a day I’ll never forget! I’ve got the finals, free lunch on the program, and then LES MIS before one last night in Sun in Splendor! I’m ready!  Bring it on London!

Today started off just as any other day here in jolly ole London as I headed downstairs for class.  After listening to my professor yammer on and on about our papers, we started watching a movie about Jack the Ripper.  The movie was completely awful.  It has Johnny Depp in it so it could have had potential but I think I just find the storyline so utterly disgusting that I have trouble focusing on any other aspect of the movie.  I spent most of the movie thinking about ways to attempt to finish my rough draft.  It was bad enough just listening to it! Tomorrow I’m studying History or something else because it’s just awful! History was good though and we even finished extra early since London is starting it’s summer period and it’s getting super hot here.  I’m bummed that we only have one more day of history class! English can disappear but I’d much prefer History to stay.

After class I went upstairs and ate lunch before trying to work on my paper.  I managed to get everything but my conclusion relatively finished and headed to Tesco with Ali to get last minute food items before we leave.  I am really going to miss walking to go pick up just a few things! It’s nice getting to pick out my fresh fruits and Tesco has this amazing chocolate mousse that is simply amazing.  It’s so nice just being able to walk around and not get stuck in traffic!  

Once we came back, I got to work on my paper a little bit more before getting ready for our last group outing, tea at Kensington Palace!  We all met outside the dorms at 230 and walked to Kensington Palace for tea.  It was so much fun!  The gardens were beautiful and the tea was delicious.  I felt like I was Eloise at the plaza and also like I was missing my tiara and princess ball gown.  It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy each other’s company while feeling extremely grown up as we drank tea!  The cucumber finger sandwich was also amazing! Definitely my favorite part of the tea.

After tea, we walked around in the area and did some more shopping of course as we soaked in the wonderful culture.  Apparently, the number one shopping in London is a lingerie store called Ann Sommers and Shelley (who just got engaged) wanted to go look around.  It was an experience within itself just to be there.  We also walked around and looked in other little shops at Queensway just soaking in the culture!  It’s so funny how we went to museum and exhibit after each other whenever we first got here and we never took the time to relax and do some shopping.  I feel so blessed that we didn’t run out of time.  At the same time, I feel like we did run out of time but oh well.

We came back to the dorms and freshened up before heading to Bella Italia to eat dinner and of course stop by gelato mio after to get some gelato!  Dinner was delicious and we got to explore the ground above the tube stop Holborn.  It’s a tube stop that we had been to a million times to change lines but we never actually got off and looked around.  It makes me remember how enormous London is since each tube stop really is it’s own little world.  It makes me want to explore more too! We headed back to Notting Hill and enjoyed our gelato before heading back to the dorms.

We finished off the night by gathering in the TV lounge and watching Easy A.  I managed to review my history notes as I watched the movie so it was definitely a good adjustor to get me excited to finish strong.  Tomorrow is our last day of classes before exams on Wednesday! It’s so weird to think that I have two finals on Wednesday and a paper due then too! Luckily I’m ready for it because if I wasn’t ready then I wouldn’t get to enjoy London!

Yesterday was probably the most relaxing day of the entire trip.  I got to sleep in until about 930 and then met everyone downstairs to head over to a local pancake house.  We got there 30 minutes before it opened and so we got to begin exploring the shopping around High Street Kensington.  Everything was still closed so it didn’t last long and we headed back to the pancake house to see if it was as good as we heard.  It was pretty good but it wasn’t anything special.  After breakfast we shopped around High Street Kensington a little while the culture soaked in around us.  After we finished, we dropped off some stuff at the dorms before hitting the tube for our next adventure.

We had a few areas that we wanted to see so we headed to the first one, Covent Garden.  I always associate it with My Fair Lady so naturally the song Wouldn’t it be loverly echoed in my head.  The entire atmosphere was really wonderful.  It kind of reminded me of the French Market in New Orleans except with more people.  We stopped in a tea shop, the disney store, passed by an apple store, and even went into this shoe store where the walls were completely made of mirrors.  It was so different from shopping back home, which is what made it so unique!

After we had window shopped our hearts out, we jumped on the tube to head to the next area, Camden.  I had heard rave reviews and knew we had to check it out.  As we were getting off at the station, we heard the announcer say that you couldn’t get back on at this underground station on Sundays.  We made an executive decision to come back later this week since we didn’t know how far the next tube stop was.  We instead headed to Oxford Circus and got to explore that street a good bit.  I saw another apple store (I’m dying to go in, but not everyone felt the same way) and went into the largest nike store I have ever seen! It was massive!  And it’s so interesting to see the European football jerseys and paraphernalia instead of the American stuff we have back home.  I did miss seeing LSU stuff everywhere! I know I’ll get my fill of it once I get back home.

After walking around, we headed back to the tube stop to head home and work on our papers before heading to dinner at Pizza Express and gelato at our favorite place.  The break was nice (relatively productive working on my paper too) and the dinner was delicious! The gelato was even better and I’m really going to miss walking down the block to get some!  Since calories don’t count, we are definitely getting our fill of gelato before we have to leave!

Once we headed back, I finally started to really work on the 7 page paper I have due on Wednesday.  I got most of it done last night and will put the finishing touches on it today and tomorrow.  I really don’t like having to write such a long paper since I’d much rather be exploring!  It’s yet another reason why I should have taken the dance class.  I really wish that I could have finished it last night, but my english teacher definitely expects more effort than he should for a class that is study abroad.  The rest of the night was for paper writing before passing out which is why I forgot to blog about it! I’ll blog about today after this afternoon/evening!  

This morning I started off my day shopping for one last Saturday (this trip) on Portobello Road Market.  I met Ali downstairs and we started a very successful shopping trip! I got a good number of gifts for people (if you haven’t told me what you want, let me know soon so I can pick it up for you!) and even got my nutella crepe I’ve been craving since Paris! It was a beautiful morning and just so relaxing to soak myself in the culture that surrounded me.

During English class, we got some clarification on our “Jack the Ripper” walking tour last night.  Our teacher elaborated on how our tour guide preferred to tell us other things to remember the Whitechapel area for besides Jack the Ripper.  Tom also didn’t like elaborating and shedding light on such a dark time in British history.  During History we finished up WWII and talked about the post war status of Britain.  I could really spend all day in that class! I also wouldn’t mind taking a walking tour directed by my teacher, but that is completely against his character.  The closest I got to that was whenever he came with us to St. Paul’s, which I thought was pretty awesome.

After class I ate lunch and geared up for my theatre Saturday!! I met Kimmie downstairs and we began our adventure in Leicester Square.  I picked up tickets for Jenn and I to see Michael Crawford Tuesday night in the Wizard of Oz! Since he is the original Phantom, that’s reason enough to stalk him! (Even if we have finals the next day!)  I got a really good deal and I’m very excited about that!  Kimmie and I were super early so we got some shopping down (I’m so close to being done now!) and got some Ben and Jerry’s before heading to the theatre.  Mamma Mia was SPECTACULAR!  The voices, acting, and dancing were all wonderful and it brought back so many memories I have from whenever I listened to ABBA and ATeens growing up.  One memory in particular I remember is my Uncle Rob singing Super Trooper in his deep voice.  It would be the ONLY line he would sing and I would crack up every time.  Kimmie and I danced the entire time and I loved seeing other generations around me singing the same songs that hold such a special place in my heart.  

After the show ended, Kimmie “escorted” me to the Victoria station area where I was going to see Billy Elliot.  The only place to eat quickly enough was McDonalds (I’ve had my fill now for a VERY long time) so we relaxed for a little bit before she dropped me off at the theatre.  I watched her walk to the tube station before heading in to see the show! I was early of course and got my program to read up a little on what I was about to see.  I was seeing this show based solely on the stellar reviews I heard from many people (mainly Kelsey Balzli- love you!) and was she ever right! Before I got into my gush of opinion on Billy Elliot, I actually had a moderately interesting thing happen to me.  As I’m sitting reading my program, a woman comes up to me and asks what seat my ticket is for.  I show her it’s for A 17 (where I was sitting) and she shows me her ticket and it’s for the SAME seat!  We walk up to an usher whose face immediately drops out of confusion because he had never seen this before.  He takes us down to a manager and we take what I’ll call a “back stage tour” because we went down these doors marked staff only and it took us all the way to the lobby.  I made that joke with the usher and he got a good kick of it and said he’d take me backstage after the show but he was bluffing.  Turns out they didn’t have her name on file so I made the trek to the upper circle again and made it minutes before the show started to my seat.

Billy Elliot was so amazing! It was such an uplifting story and the music and dancing were just incredible! It was so different from anything I’ve ever seen in a way but it also had a familiar feeling to it.  The songs were a ton of fun and it was so funny! I laughed and cried and felt every emotion I feel a musical should bring you to.  I bought the soundtrack after the show and I can’t wait to listen to it and learn my favorite songs.  

After the show, Beth Ann, Shelley, Ali, Kimmie, and Miranda all met me outside of the theatre and we jumped on the tube to go see Big Ben and the entire Parliament palace and the london eye at night.  It was gorgeous! We got tons of fun pictures and loved just getting to relax and goof off.  I kept singing songs from Legally Blonde surprisingly enough before Miranda got me on a Les Mis kick.  Kimmie is going to see Les Mis the day before we leave and I’m so tempted to go see it again because it’s so wonderful but I know I should probably save some money.

It is really going to be so hard to leave.  This entire experience has been so amazing and eye opening in so many ways.  I feel as though I know myself better than I have in a really long time.  There are a few people back home I’m ready to see and I’m actually ready to go back to work but I’d rather if everyone just came here instead!

Today was another busy day here in jolly ole England! But would I want them any other way? Of course not!

I started off my day getting to skype with Jimmy before class.  Since our schedules have been so crazy it was nice to actually get to talk to him :).  After that, I got ready and headed downstairs for what I was hoping to be exciting classes! English was fairly interesting and History was an entertaining as ever so I can’t really complain.  After I ate some lunch, Ali and I headed to make a quick trip to Tesco before we headed to our Parliament tour we booked the night before!

The Parliament tour was on our original schedule but then unfortunately it fell through at the last minute.  David and Delia (the couple from Georgetown) told us they got tickets to tour it individually and we jumped at the chance to do the same with our free afternoon.  After going through what seemed like tons of security, we were guided to wait in a queue for our tour guide.  We hear a voice on the side of us and its our favorite tour guide NIGEL from the Tower of London and Westminister Abbey! Kimmie and I basically start squealing like little girls and we jump up and down to talk to him and see if he remembers Louisiana! It didn’t take him long to and we catch up a little before starting our tour.  David and Delia were actually on a tour that was finishing up as we started but we managed to get their attention and brag that we had Nigel.  They laughed at us as we started our journey into this amazing building.

Nigel was as fantastic as ever even though he said he thought his tour of Parliament was rubbish.  We went through each chamber (unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures) and hallway hearing stories from Nigel and loving every second! He definitely knows how to command a groups attention and make everyone enjoy the experience.  While the House of Commons was cool, the House of Lords was MAGNIFICENT!  The throne is made of oak but with gold on it in all of it’s splendor.  Turns out that Queen Victoria was who the palace was kind of made for.  It was so cool to hear these stories because we had recently talked about Victoria and Albert in History class.  It was definitely history coming to life! I loved thinking about all of the powerful men and women who have sat where I was standing and walking around those halls simply doing their job.  The House of Commons was cool too in a much simpler way.  My favorite part was actually the lobby before the chamber where there were statues of Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George and Margaret Thatcher.  We actually had just discussed Churchill in History the previous day, which made it even better.  I’ve loved Churchill ever since I heard about what he did for the war effort which definitely adds to my love of the cabinet war rooms.  My teacher did basically bash him for being wishy washy but then mentioned his redeeming qualities later.  The foot of his statue has actually had to be replaced because members of Parliament would rub it for good luck.  I really wanted to rub it for my own sort of luck but I know Nigel wouldn’t have been proud.  Kimmie came pretty close to it, but luckily it was one statue she resisted touching. (She usually has to touch everything and I know Anson and Ben would tell her, “Why you gotta touch e’eryting?”)

After the tour was over, we visited with Nigel and took a group picture with him before heading to the gift shop.  We did some shopping and then headed back to good old Notting Hill to get ready for our Jack the Ripper walking tour.  We met downstairs at 5:30 and then journeyed to Whitechapel to meet with Tom (our first tour guide from the coach tour) at 6:30.  He took us on the most bizarre tour (besides stonehenge) I think we’ve had yet.  We were expecting details on Jack the Ripper and that being a centralized storyline, but it wasn’t.  He told more stories about other creepy people who lived in the area (The Blind Beggar’s Daughter and the Elephant Man) instead of a theme.  And whenever we got to areas where they found Jack the Ripper’s remains, he stayed for like two seconds and then moved on.  Tom used to be in Scotland Yard and he said he’s seen the file that contains who Jack the Ripper actually is.  With that kind of information I feel like he could have said a lot more without breaking his contract of silence.  The tour seemed rather useless and I think that it might have been better if I used my London Walking Tours book instead.  Oh well though! I definitely can’t do anything about it.  It was cool to see a different area of London though!

Once the tour ended, we all jumped on the tube and went to our favorite gelato store, gelato mio.  It honestly has the best gelato I have ever tasted and it’s always worth every bite!  After that we went with Shelley and Beth Ann to tesco before running to McDonalds to get some chicken nuggets.  We all ate in the kitchen and visited a little while before heading back up to our rooms to work on our papers.  I ended up going to visit my friend Kaylyn across the hall to watch a video and we somehow managed to talk for about 2 hours or so.  I love getting to know so many new people! It’s amazing too how you can be so similar to someone that you never expected to be.

Tomorrow is yet another full day that I cannot wait for! :) It’s going to be so hard to leave! Even though I know I have so much to go back for, here is also such an amazing place to be.

Alright why not! I’ll reply, oh what a pair we’ll be! The wizard and I!

It’s amazing how one song can really carry you through a day.  Today I’ve had different Wicked songs echoing and playing throughout my head and it really serves as a reminder of why I love musicals so much! It gives you such a rush that really shows in every aspect of your life.

This morning we met outside the dorm at 9 to meet the coach to take us to stonehenge.  By 9:30, the coach still wasn’t there and we decided to make a starbucks run.  It was there once we got back and we finally started our journey to see some old rocks.  I spent the bus ride either reading our book for tomorrow (The Island of Dr. Moreau) or taking little naps.  The ride went pretty quickly and we passed stonehenge from the bus and that was about all I wanted to see of it.  We did get out and do a walking tour with an audio guide though.  I tried to get into it, but honestly I just don’t think it’s that amazing.  It’s cool that 2/3s of the rock is showing over ground and 1/3 is under ground and it’s cool that they’ve been there forever, but there are better rocks and rock formations in the smokey mountains! I thought the two hour bus ride wasn’t worth it and that we could have used our time much wiser.  I still enjoyed the company as we all felt the same underwhelment of stonehenge.

Since our director didn’t want it to only be a trip to stonehenge, we made a lunch stop at Salisbury.  We asked a local and found a pub (called the Coach and it’s horses or something) and had a delicious lunch.  After that we still had a few hours to kill and so we headed to the cathedral at Salisbury.  After St. Pauls, Westminister, and Notre Dame it was rather underwhelming yet again but it was still a nice afternoon with good friends.  We goofed off and took pictures as we explored the little town.  We found a sweet shop and a few people (cough Kimmie) went a little crazy with excitement.  We headed back to the bus to sit in traffic and wait to get back home to Notting Hill.

We were rewarded with free pizza whenever we got back to the dorms, which is always nice!  We relaxed a little before heading to get gelato and then spend the evening bonding at the Sun in Splendor around the corner.  We spent our evening laughing and joking while getting to know each other more.  It’s truly amazing how the people you travel with really feel like a family!  It’s hard to believe that I’ll be home in a week! It’ll be nice to see everyone, but I’d much prefer if they would all come and live here so I would never have to leave! 

I feel as if we could have done so much more today (especially a show or something), but it was also nice to have a day where it really wasn’t in our control.  It’s also nice to be able to say that I’ve been to stonehenge! (No matter how alright it really is)

Today was of course another wonderful day in London! I started off the day with entertaining classes before getting ready to head to St. Pauls this afternoon.  I went with a few friends and my history teacher ended up tagging along also.  The view was INCREDIBLE.  It is honestly one of the best views I have ever seen and I wouldn’t trade it for a second!  The climb up each and every step was amazing as the anticipation grew and grew for the view that I would see whenever we reached the top!  As I was up there I just got this sense that this is where I want to be and wouldn’t trade the view for anything in the world.  It would be even better if a certain someone would be there with me, but I’ll take what I can get!

After exploring the top, we headed into the cathedral and walked around the main area and into the crypt.  The history in that place is amazing! We couldn’t take pictures so that was disappointing but I know I would have gotten way too many.  It was gorgeous! It was similar to the Pantheon and Westminister but completely unique in it’s own way too.  It was so amazing! I loved walking through history and it was even cooler with our history teacher there because we saw things we talked about in class and he gave us kind of a private tour whenever he added in different little tidbits and pieces of history.  

After exploring all St. Paul’s had to offer (I so recommend it for YOUR next trip to London), we headed to Leicester Square to get theatre tickets.  We got amazing seats for Mamma Mia (Saturday afternoon) and I got an awesome seat for Billy Elliot (Saturday night).  I know it seems lame to be going to Billy Elliot alone, but I’m kind of excited about it! Part of me is ready to explore London a little on my own and get to do my own thing.  That is definitely how I know that it feels like home!

After we got the tickets, we headed home and got ready to see Wicked! Even though it was my third time seeing it, it was still INCREDIBLE. The Fiyero (Mark Evans) was the BEST I have ever seen (AND I GOT TO MEET HIM AFTER AND EVEN GET TO KISS HIM ON THE CHEEK!! (Jimmy, you know I love you ;)).  Even though he isn’t Norbert Leo Butz, he was incredible and his voice made me want to die a little inside because a voice shouldn’t be that beautiful.  The Elphaba was amazing as well and I loved how effortless her performance was.  She was flawless.  I also loved how each performance does something different and adds their own flare to things I didn’t think could be changed and yet I love every single change!  I feel like the story grows every time I see it.  I feel an even deeper connection to the story and the characters.  I also get the urge to jump on stage and join in the chorus or show the characters how to do something (even though I know they are far superior to any skills i had/have).  I love what theatre does to me! It makes me feel like me in a way that is always there except it brings it full surface.  I can’t wait for my theatre weekend!

I spoiled myself and finally broke down and got the Wicked Grimmerie.  It’s this book full of the background story about the original cast and I’ve had my eye on it since I first saw it (five years ago if not more).  I’ve hinted at it for a present but it doesn’t matter because I spoiled myself and got it.  I know I’ll enjoy that many times after this!

After the show we found the stage door and that’s where I got to meet Mark Evans.  I feel like a school girl getting excited about this and I know it’s just that! It’s the rush of watching this person become a completely different person on stage and then getting to meet the actual person in real life! I haven’t gotten to do this before so it was extremely exciting! I still can’t believe my parents saw Wicked with the originals (Kristin and Idina). It is really an amazing thing and I am so jealous! We had the understudy for G(ah)linda and you could tell. She held her own but she wasn’t mind blowing like I was hoping for. I could only hear Kristin singing so part of it didn’t matter but it was so incredible!  

I love getting to fall in love with the theatre over and over while I’m here! I’m sorry this post is basically me gushing but it was just amazing!  And I wish it could be constructed better but I’m exhausted and I’m just furiously typing on the keyboard trying to make sure I somehow remember to get everything in here!

After another beautiful night of sleep (I can’t believe how much I’m actually enjoying this bed after the one in Paris!), I headed to English and History class and relatively enjoyed most of them! History was entertaining as ever but I was just ready for the Cabinet War rooms!

We left after taking a quick break for lunch and relaxation a little and got on the jolly ole tube to head to Westminister station and get off for the Cabinet War Rooms.  They were one of my absolute favorite parts of England last time I was here, and I couldn’t wait to get to see them again! This time was even better! We started off with a movie with some background information and then were given our audio guides and set free to explore.  I loved every second of it! History nerd that I am was dying inside! I think Winston Churchill is just amazing and I loved being able to appreciate walking through this piece of history more than I did last time (and last time was a LOT).  I won’t put too many details in here, but my favorite little trivia piece was that they found some of the sugar rations of one of the commanding officers in an envelope in his desk! It was on display and it made me laugh for about five minutes.  

After we finished up an amazing tour, I headed to the ATM and tesco with Miranda, Kimmie, and Kaylyn.  We ended up showing each other our favorite tesco finds and doing more harm than good I’m sure!  I really love being able to walk to a grocery store that has basically everything you can imagine! And I love being able to walk to the tube station without ever driving!  It’s such a different way to live and I know it’s a lifestyle I wouldn’t mind living.  We then headed to the dorm and I did my laundry before meeting everyone downstairs at 5 to head to a football match!

Yes, that’s a football match! Except back in America we call it soccer.  It didn’t have exactly the same feel as being in the amazing Tiger Stadium but it wasn’t a bad feel either! It was a very low key match (Charlton v. Den Bosch) and we all managed to goof off for most of it while still being respectful of those around us.  It was a pretty chill game and I missed some of it because I had to tinkle but  it was still worth it.  I love how into the game the fans got.  Except if they ever saw us at one of our football games, they wouldn’t know what hit them!  It does make more sense that they call it football though! Since they actually use their feet and everything.  After a long and entertaining train and tube ride back, I am ready to settle in bed to gear up for tomorrow!

Did you think I met her? Not to get your hopes up, but if only!

After an amazing night’s sleep, I woke up eager for class! English was pretty good for the first day back and History was amazing as always.  After we finished everything, I ran upstairs to get ready and eat lunch before our Buckingham Palace tour! I even managed to upload pictures onto my computer so that tonight I could upload them everywhere to share.  I met the girls downstairs in the lobby and we headed to Buckingham Palace.  We easily found our way on the jolly ole tube and then made our way to the ticket lines.

We got caught in a few more lines than expected but it was all worth it!  First we visited the Queen’s museum.  It was pretty awesome! She had one room all about Dutch paintings and another room all about greek gods and goddesses.  I liked the greek one much more because I thought it was more to look through.  The staff was all so friendly and accommodating throughout the whole thing, which definitely helped.  We then headed to tour the state rooms and see the duchess’s wedding dress! The state rooms were INCREDIBLE! It came with an amazing audio tour that took us through each room and pointed out key elements.  The palace seemed much more organized than Versailles.  The rooms weren’t quite as crowded and the people were nicer.  The decorations and interiors were amazing.  I think it was my favorite palace so far, but it’s so hard to pick just one!  I loved the Great Hall where they showcased the wedding! It was beautiful! I didn’t realize exactly how intricate the dress was! The lace was especially designed for the duchess and was gorgeous!  Every detail was actually picked by Kate herself and she did an AMAZING job! I also loved the music room and the secret passageway the Queen uses to get from her private chambers to the entertaining rooms.  It was so cool to think of everyone who walked around in the same rooms I did!  

After the tour, we headed to the gardens but those were kind of a let down after Versailles and Hampton Court.  We think that different guarded pathways have better views but the simplicity was also nice in it’s own way.  I ended up buying two books from the bookstore that will make fantastic coffee table books! The problem is, I already found about 4 other coffee table books! Oh well! These books were especially important since we couldn’t take pictures! I know that I would have spent hours if I could have used my camera so that was probably a good thing!  I really loved the state rooms and the entire Palace.  It’s so cool to think that England has this monarch who really cares about her people and works with Parliament to make things happen.  I still love the USA but we don’t have palaces and crowns like this! It’s one of the differences we can celebrate and enjoy whenever we visit :)

Once we finished our tour, Kimmie and I left to head towards Drury Lane again to see Shrek the musical.  We ate some delicious pasta at a little italian restaurant on the way.  It was really nice just to relax for awhile after running around so much.  I also know the rest of the trip will be crazy so it helps to have a little bit of a break.  

We found our way to the theatre and quickly made ourselves at home.  It was SUCH a good show! I loved the music and I loved the elements they added to deepen the story of such a great movie.  The cast did seem a little off but it turns out that they have only been opened a little more than a month! I was pretty happy with the performance but I was even more excited about it.  I loved every second of it! It was one of those feel good musicals where I left the theatre singing so that’s always a good thing!

Tomorrow we’ve got another full day so after I finish uploading pictures I am definitely going to bed! Today felt even better to be home in London than yesterday! I am going to have such a connection to London whenever I have to go back home to Louisiana! Speaking of pictures, I will upload the rest to my mobile me another day and post the link once I’ve gotten that down!