Saturday, April 30, 2011

A very great day

And that's all I have to say about that

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Big Day

Alright so now that my life is back to normal and the wedding is over (which was beautiful and amazing to watch by the way) I can talk about the happenings of this week. Buuuut you should see my twitter feed that I was posting on while I was watching the wedding. It was an emotional day!
Read  from bottom to top for each of these

This is the last one

Anyway, speaking of romantic stories, I finally got the chance to see a Royal Ballet performance at the Royal Opera house and it wasn’t a tragic ballet! It was Cinderella! It was a lovely, amazing performance. And I had a good seat at a reduced price because it was limited legroom. HA! Not for a girl who is almost five two. It was beautiful, even during what must be a terrifying but terrific effect: At Cinderella’s entrance to the ball, she walks slowly down the stairs en pointe the whole way. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to walk with all of your weight concentrated on the small tip of a cardboard and paste shoe, but it is pretty intense, let me tell you. But the effect is lovely.

My seat. My friends can be seen at the top right corner of this photo

After her triumphant entrance- I didn't take this, don't worry

I even ran into some friends who happened to have tickets to the same night which was really fun. The show made me miss ballet a lot. Time to practice some pirouettes in the flat when nobody else is home!

Tuesday was boring. I had to work so nothing very interesting there.

Wednesday was lovely. Sad, but lovely. It was my last day at my work placement, which has turned out to be fortuitous (since it is right next to Phantom) and fun. Sadly, Noelle got a new job so if I’m ever back to visit she won’t be there. They even gave me a voucher from ‘The Bank of Pall Mall Printers and Stationers’ which I got to use to get something from the shop. I also wanted to do something nice for them so I visited this awesome bakery called The Hummingbird Bakery and got some really nice cupcakes to say thank you for everything. And I got one for myself. Because they are delicious.

Wednesday was also lovely for other reasons. Let’s just say I’m the luckiest girl in the world and leave it at that.

Thursday was also wonderful because of a few things. It was the last day of my classes. YES!!!!!!!!!!! Then Liz and I went with our theatre class to tour the National Theatre which was really cool to see backstage and all the different theatres and props they have.. We got to see the polar bear puppet from Greenland (Uh, probably the only good part of the show) and the horse puppets from War Horse. Totally cool.

Then I ran off. Like literally ran off to catch the tube to Oxford Circus so I could catch a performance of The Wizard of Oz. Yes, I did go catch the show. Partially because we did it in high school and I was curious, and partially because, oh yeah, Michael Freaking Crawford is in it and I’d be damned if I was in London while he was performing and didn’t see him. Thankfully, I did see him and did get to meet him afterwards, though I was just about the only one who wasn’t waiting with small children… Oh well. I also got to meet Danielle Hope, winner of the BBC show Over the Rainbow which was like a reality search for the star of The Wizard of Oz. She was great! But overall it wasn’t the best show I’ve seen. I didn’t like some of the changes ALW made, as he was the one who pioneered this new version. Whatevs, it was a great night.

Danielle Hope and Michael Crawford

You've seen this pic but whatever

Danielle Hope! She's so nice!

I got home and was too excited to sleep, so I didn’t go to bed till late and had to drag myself out of bed this morning to watch the coverage of the wedding. Which I loved. It was a great time. I had to rush in the middle between the procession and the balcony to work but I made it in time (the tube was surprisingly very painless today because of the holiday).  The staff (Claire and Sarah- not my flatmate) and Jason, the other work study student that works on Fridays and I all sat in the office and watched the couple’s first kiss! I loved the whole wedding, it was so cute and lovely!

Then I watched a ton of TV since I usually watch it in the morning. The Office made me cry. Bye Steve…

Hamlet awaits for me tomorrow! And I’m meeting a friend from home to go to Harrod’s Sunday. It will be a great time. Gah 10 days left. I don’t know how I feel about that right now. Bittersweet I suppose. Not gonna dwell on it! Time to enjoy the rest of the Wedding Day and weekend!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Too excited to do a full post

We interrupt this blog post to bring you a special, monumental, amazing, unbelievable, awesome, marvelous, wonderful, awe-inspiring, momentous, phenomenal picture/moment:

This is me with Michael Crawford


I will return to normal blogging once someone restarts my heart. Or tomorrow. Whichever comes first.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

There'll Be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover Tomorrow, Just You Wait and See

Guess what this post is about?????

That's right! It's about DOVER!!!!!!!!!!! Whooo!!!!!!

As our last trip out of London for the semester, Sarah and I decided to hit up some cliffs for fun. After a creep-tastic old man stared at me on the train for about an hour and a half, we got off at Dover Priory without a plan. Cause we figured, the cliffs will be easy to see right? They'll be easy to get to. Unfortunately, there's a certain path you have to find, and after many road crossings and confused glances at maps that turned out not to be maps, plus a nice stroll along the waterfront, we found the lovely (and incredibly tiny path).

Castle on the cliff!

The Funky Monkey. Too bad it wasn't open
or I totally would have gone there

beautiful waterfront

Sarah was wary of falling rocks

The tiny path!

Now, the weather channel site lied to me hardcore on this one. It told me it would be about 63 degrees. Sarah and I also assumed that since we were going to be you know, on cliffs above the ocean, that it would be windy and a bit chilly. So I wore jeans. BAD IDEA. It was probably about 75 and sunny, plus hiking up a cliff wasn't exactly light exercise, though it was nothing compared to Arthur's Seat. Once we got to the top though, it was lovely. I actually think that the harbor ruins the beauty, because it isn't a very pretty port. and I think it is more impressive to be looking at the cliffs than to be on top of them, but oh well. It was worth it.

Walking along the cliffs

Scaling some cliffs. No big deal
view from the waterfront of the cliffs

Kind of ruins the view

So magnificent

Quite a hike, but I've had worse this semester!

To celebrate Easter with my Jewish flatmate, we brought some food and had a picnic on top of the east cliff. In honor of easter, I brought along some Cadbury mini eggs. Delicious. We hiked around a bit, explored the town (which is rather tiny but adorable) then hopped on the train back to London (sorry dad, the ferry was a bit too steep for our limited end of semester budget).

Delicious and beautiful way to spend Easter

We left our mark. Don't worry.
This is Stuart. We befriended him at the train station

2 weekends left in London. Are you for real!?!?!?

The Rest is Silence

Time for Name That Quote!!! Anyone know where the title comes from???? Yes! It is Hamlet!!!! (Just before he dies... er, tragic. This is not a tragic post though!)

Where to start? I know I haven't updated since Monday, so I should start there I guess. Nothing major happened. I went to work. I came home. Boring. Except for the BEAUTIFUL weather we've been having. Seriously, it's been mid to high 70s and sunny for days.

St. James's Park

What a beautiful day!

They're getting the procession route ready
for the wedding

Tuesday I saw Clybourne Park, a show about racism and such that just won a Pulitzer prize. I was more amused by Liz and my meat buns in Chinatown than this play, but whatevs. I saw it. If anything, this semester has taught me I am definitely a musicals girl. Not just Phantom, but musicals in general.

Wednesday was fun. My coworkers took me out to a pub to celebrate that next week is my last week at my work placement. I got to play with Noelle's dog Spud. Fun times. Then I met up with Sarah at the National Theatre to go to a Q&A with Danny Boyle and the stars of Frankenstein, one of the best plays I've seen this semester. Though we did get back quite late, since we went to the stage door and STILL DIDN'T MEET THEM... Frustration. Oh well.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Johnny Lee Miller and Danny Boyle at the Q&A

My frustration was quickly assuaged however, by Thursday. After being pretty focus and on my game in International Business and suffering through The Browning Version in my Drama class, it was time for me to venture once again to see a show. Ok, for real, don't judge me because you can probably guess what show this ended up being.

If you said Phantom of the Opera, you are indeed correct. I know. Surprise, surprise. In my defense, I hadn't seen the alternate Christine yet, so I had to check her out! I've now seen a total of 4 Christines, 2 Phantoms and 1 Raoul. Apparently Will Barratt never has holidays or gets sick.

With Will Barratt, Sarah and Adrienne (she's never seen the show and LOVED it)

With Tabitha Webb, the alternate Christine. She was great! She's even shorter than I am!

I also accidentally got John Owen Jones mobbed... It went down like this:

  • well there was a group of students and he like walked out, paused for a second, nobody said anythign then started walking away
  • so i scurried after him, caught up and said 'excuse me john, can you sign this!?' and he started to and I was like 'sorry to chase you' and he was like 'oh, that's ok. Nobody recognizes me' then he got mobbed cause they realized that I knew who he was and he was the phantom

^That was taken from a Facebook message to Cesca. I just wanted his autograph... Sorry John!

And I am forewarning you I am seeing it again, but it is special this week. I can't say on this blog why but if you know me you might be able to guess, or ask my parents. My dad guessed it right off the bat. It is pretty much amazing so I'm super excited.

Phantom aside, this weekend has been great.

Andrea was restless on Friday night so we decided to go play night games in Green Park. Which is a bit scary, but the park is basically empty. I learned that I can disappear when I dive into semi tall grass, and that if you hide in a bush your friends might lose you and then think you got kidnapped so they run through the park shouting for 10 minutes but they're so far away you don't hear them for a while. (Mom, don't worry, it was still pretty lit up). Fun times, though I was a bit sore from launching myself to the ground and diving into grass. Totally worth it.

Saturday was another win day, hence, finally, the title of this post. As it was April 23rd, Shakespeare's presumed birthday, Sarah and I decided that we should finally visit the Globe. So we took a very informative tour about the Globe and Shakespeare's time. The theatre that stands now is actually the third Globe theatre, and is a replica of what they suspect it was in Shakespeare's time, though they don't know for certain.

Queen Elizabeth

Timeline of Shakespeare and the Globe

You're basically always quoting Shakespeare

Model of the Globe

It actually is a lot smaller in person than I would have thought, but apparently they can fit about 1600 people in it Our tour guide was explaining how it is supposed to be as authentic as possible, so there is no roof and there is a section for people to stand. The standing room tickets cost £5. £5!!!!! Obviously we couldn't pass this up, so we headed over to the  box office after and scored 2 standing room tickets to Hamlet next weekend. I'm seeing a Shakespearean play at the Globe!!!!! So excited!!!!!!!!!

How beautifully blue the sky!

The top of the stage. It represents heaven and has the
signs of the zodiac painted on it

Our awesome tour guide in front of the stage

That's about it for this post. I want to make a separate one for what I did on Easter. Can you believe I have 2 weeks left, and that's it? Thankfully, I don't have to work tomorrow. Thank you, UK bank holiday. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Give me but one hour of Scotland

Trapped in Edinburgh Castle
I find that writing large paragraphs is getting dull and I feel bad I haven't updated since I've been busy. I didn't know writing about my awesome adventures could be so complicated and tiring. There is just so much I want to tell you guys! Knowing that my loving family eagerly awaits hearing about my awesome adventures inspires me to continue, though I really can't wait to tell you all about the places I've seen in person. If you're not sick of my travel adventures by the time I get back!

Anyway, this trip is probably better shown through pictures with captions rather than me typing 10 paragraphs telling you what we did. So here we go:

Ok so first I don't think I ever told you how Casey and I conquered the lions in Trafalgar. We did.

This reminds me of the "Long Live the King" stampede
scene in The Lion King. 

Oh yeah, we rock

Ok so Edinburgh. Summary- 5 am wake up for 7 am train + Drowsiness inducing motion sickness medicine = exhausted Tina

Still worth it.


Cool walkway

Rose Street- fun times!

Where JK apparently started HP

Scotland has the right to print its own bank notes
they look really different from England's

Every time I ask them to smile I get something like this

We stopped at Edinburgh Castle

It's just chillin there in the middle of the city

So after a walking tour of Edinburgh, my friends and I headed over to a Ceilidh. Which is pronounced Kaylee. Yeah, I don't get it either. Anyway, this was a night of traditional Scottish music and dancing. Complete with kilts.

This is Liz and I being partners at the Ceilidh

aaand inevitably screwing something up

Cuties at the Ceilidh
Coolest old Scottish guy ever. We Scottish waltzed together

Anyway, if you ever get to go to a Ceilidh, in the States or anywhere else, do it. It is so much fun. The lack of pics is a combo of laziness and the fact that we were dancing almost the whole time so there was no time for pics. This dance lasted well past midnight and I didn't get to bed till like 1:30. So. Worth. It.

Scottish flag car/taxi. Cool stuff. 

Please add Edinburgh to the list of "Places Tina will probably end up living if she gets the chance" because I would LOVE to live here.


Soreness kicks in. Hours of walking ahead of us. Let's do this.

Holyrood House, the residence of the Queen
when she visits Scotland

Destroyed Abbey- common theme in the UK

Bein a guard. I'm cool like that.

The gardens were BEAUTIFUL

We have to climb that!?!?!?

yes. Yes we did. But not before stopping at:

The tree themed Scottish Parliament building.
I'm serious. It is tree themed

I wish I could remember some of the interesting things about the Scottish Parliament. I mean, they basically told England "HEY, WE WANT TO MAKE LOCAL LAWS FOR OURSELVES," and England/Westminster said "Ok." And that is the story of the Scottish Parliament.

On to more fun and painful things: Climbing Arthur's Seat.

The beginning of the walk

scaling rocks to get to the top

Then we got to the top and took about 500 pics. Here is a sampling of them:

lovely views

We conquered it. With silly poses

and some dangerous ones

Bill is a beast. He danced all night at the Ceilidh AND climbed
the seat. Did I mention he just turned 65?
He's the director of the London Centre
Oh you know, just relaxing on top of the world

so we decided to do an awesome jumping shot
Then Casey and I decided to be brave. Really brave. And do what my father before me did not even attempt:

Diggin in to my Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

It actually wasn't bad at all. It doesn't look gross and was pretty tasty!

Then I got cake with ice cream. Of course!


A short day, as we had a 5 hour train to catch at like 2, so we got some snacks then headed to a car boot sale that Bill had directed us to. The boot is the trunk of the car, so basically it's a sale where people drive to this parking garage and sell stuff. Giant garage sale. I only bought a few small things, but Andrea, Casey and Liz came across something, er, larger and more useful... I think.

Yes, that is a foot bath. They got it for 3 pounds

Casey and Andrea also got some cool stuff for their apartment next year. It was a good time. Satisfied with Edinburgh but exhausted, we hopped back on the train to King's Cross and headed home. 

3 weeks left, YIKES.