Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Valentine's Day was a little unique this year, and definitely one of my favorites. Everyone just embraced the fact that it will probably be the only Valentine's Day we spend with 39 other girls (hopefully), and ran with it. When we toured war tunnels in Dover a few girls picked up a 40s dance music cd, which inspired their brilliant idea of our "Operation V-Day" 1940s party. We all dressed up 40s-style and had a party that never even needed boys for a second. First everyone wrote down an awkward / cute / random / really awkward boy-story and then tried to guess who wrote what. That definitely got a lot of laughs and gave us some good material to make fun of each other with. Our professor and his wife came to that part of the party, and I'm pretty sure they don't look at us the same anymore. They had a good time though, and they gave us each a rose and chocolate which was way sweet. We drew names so that everyone was someone's Valentine (cute) and then our dining room was transformed into a dance floor; the 40s music only lasted about 20 mintues before Beyonce took over with "All the Single Ladies." That song was close to all of our hearts that day. We ended the night watching "The Notebook," which was good for the 40s theme but bad for the effort of making us not miss boys. Jk.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The next day had just as much driving, maybe more, but sometimes that's my favorite part. We went to the Island of Anglesey in North Wales to tour a castle and spend the night at an old and super interesting hotel. Beaumaris Castle was one of my favorite sites so far -- we found the stone chapel and my professors (both are former members of the tabernacle choir) started leading us in singing hymns. The sound carried all through the castle, and girl after girl started finding us and coming inside. Soon almost everyone was there, singing each girl's favorite hymn. Tourists from other groups stopped to listen, and all of us felt something there that's hard to explain. By the time we had to leave we realized we didn't explore the castle very much at all, but no one regretted it. That night we stayed at a beautiful hotel, with way cute owners. They were so excited to have us there, and took us on a tour of Beaumaris that night (even though everything in that little town closed at 5:30). Definitely a big change from the hostel. Janna and I woke up early to walk along the semi-ocean and see more of the town before leaving. Our next stop was Chester, such a cute town! Definitely the friendliest Europeans so far. One more cathedral, one more abbey, then one more long drive and we were back to the good old London Centre. I loved being able to visit Wales for as long as we did, and I loved touring places where my dad served his mission. I'm already looking forward to the night when he gets out his well-used atlas and traces out my trip with me, and it's safe to say that oreos and milk will be involved :)
Friday, February 13, 2009
After this one I started seeing them all over. Each of them make me stop, laugh, take a picture, then wonder what happened to make that sign necessary. Here's some more, in case you find them as funny as I do!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Underneath is a maze of secret tunnels, expanded by prisoners
in the Napoleonic wars, and then by soldiers in WWII. This
is the command post of the famous evacuation of Dunkirk. I tried
my hardest to imagine all these things actually happening there
as I walked through the tunnels, but it was almost surreal.
"The candle burns where the SHRINE of St. THOMAS of CANTERBURY stood from 1220 to 1538 when it was destroyed by order of King Henry VIII."
This candle is never supposed to stop burning.
Thomas Becket was Henry VIII's best friend growing up, and Henry gave Thomas church authority, thinking that it would allow him to have more rule of the church if his friend was in power. History's common story took its common course -- someone who put their friend in a position of power doesn't exactly get what they planned on. When Henry realized his friend had changed his allegiance from the court to the Church, he exclaimed, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" It's unclear what his true meaning was, but some of his followers took it literally and went to Canterbury Cathedral to find Thomas. He knew they were coming but refused to lock the doors, saying that he would never stop anyone from entering the House of the Lord. The men entered, tried to get him to come outside, and Thomas was killed inside the church during the tormenting. It's unclear if it was a murder or accident, or if it was the King's true intent -- the memorial to Thomas will always be there, no matter what the true story is.
This house is "wonky," meaning not straight. This happens when they build the house with new wood, and then it changes shape as it dries out. I love the door!