Friday, August 20, 2010

Not Quite the End

With my plane ride home about 11 hours away, can I just say that I absolutely loved my experience here?

Wow. What a journey.

I'll be doing a lot of reflecting on the plane . . . and probably a lot of sleeping. And I'll try to think of my favorite parts of this trip, or the funniest, etc. And if you see me around, ask me about this adventure. I'll have lots of stories to tell--many more stories than I posted here.

In fact, I still need to post a few more pictures and blog about a few more things. Think of it as the third Lord of the Rings where there are, like, 3 different possible endings (and the movie goes on and on and on and on [kind of like an 80s pop song that was recently redone by a television show about high school singing clubs, but now I'm just going off on tangents]). Don't get me wrong, I love the third Lord of the Rings. Anyway, I'm stopping now.

So I will post a bit more. About Bath, about Stourhead, about last night's formal and finishing my finals . . . and completing a summer term at CAMBRIDGE! It still blows my mind.

But there's no time to do it here.

I'm feeling nostalgic. It's weird to me that Cambridge has become normal, I guess. I'll miss looking out onto Bodley's Court and the River Cam while doing my homework. I'll miss seeing King's College Chapel every morning as I go to breakfast. I'll miss eating dinner with the BYU students.

But I'm excited to go home. Home-home. And I'm excited to see what next adventures will await me as I return to BYU this fall.

Life is pretty awesome, isn't it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

Two finals today, four hours.

And then I'll party it up at the formal.

The deep breath before the plunge . . .

Ready, set . . . . GO!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Candy Shop for Bookworms

Right by the Church of St. Edward the Martyr, there are two lovely bookstores that sell old books: the Haunted Bookshop and G. David.

They are wonderful places to visit, especially if it's raining outside . . . like it was today. The smell of memory and antiquity fills the air, and knowing that some of the books you handle are older than the American Revolution makes you realize that you're holding history in your hands.

Like in G. David, for example. I was handling a volume of Shakespeare's plays that was printed in 1734!

Anyway, being in antique bookshops makes me act like a Primary girl walking to Sunday School--I'm very reverent. I speak in hushed tones. I run my hand gently across the spines of the books and carefully take them off of the shelves. I turn the pages slowly.

There are treasures in these bookshops. In the Haunted Bookshop, I found a first edition of C.S. Lewis's A Horse and His Boy. Price: About 200 pounds. (Just a little out of my budget.) But it was special just to handle it in my hands.

G. David had a well-preserved copy of The House at Pooh Corner. That was a beauty to see.

G. David also had first-edition copies of The Lord of the Rings. Those were behind a glass case, so I couldn't handle them (sigh). I felt kind of like a child going Christmas window-shopping and stopping outside the toy store, nose pressed to the glass.

Such beautiful, beautiful books.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

London Calling

Sorry it’s been awhile. My computer was sick. But now, through a myriad of tender mercies and an amazing friend who has an amazing, incredibly smart younger brother who can fix my computer while I'm in England they're in Utah (that experience deserves a blog post too . . . but no time right now), I am back online. Which has its pros and cons. But mostly pros.
Anyhoo. As promised, my trips to London:
I was in London the past two weekends, and I had a marvelous time. My first trip was with PKP, and this past weekend I was with my Nana. Both times reinforced my decision that I’m going to come back here someday.
Highlights of my London trips:
Houses of Parliament Tour=AWESOME! We got to see both the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords was very ornate, grandiose, and everything was maroon. The House of Commons was a lot simpler, and everything was green. It was neat to hear the history behind some of the pomp and circumstance of a few of the ceremonies, particularly when the Queen opens Parliament. I also thought it was so cool to be in the same chambers where women finally got the right to vote in Britain, and where the Stamp Act and Sugar Act were passed. The history in the Houses of Parliament was almost tangible in some places. No pictures of the tour itself (they're not allowed), but here's one of us waiting to start the tour:
We're all really excited because Jeff was able to score a ticket.

Seeing Big Ben. I’ve always wanted to see it, and now I finally got my chance! I don’t know how many photos I snapped of it. There were a lot. I know it's very much a cliche, but that doesn't matter to me. It's beautiful, and so quintessentially London. I love it.


n Eating lunch at Trafalgar Square. I love Trafalgar Square. I think it’s my favorite place in London that I’ve been to so far. I loved being able to sit up on Nelson’s Column and watch the city go by. I also was forced to climb on one of the lions for a group photo. I don’t do very well with heights/balancing, and when you put those two fears together, you’ve got a frightened Megan. But Jen forced me to get on, and the boys pushed me up there, so I had no choice. And I was glad that I was forced to forget about my fear. It was definitely worth it. (So thanks, Jen. :))
Trafalgar Square

Seeing the Peter Pan statue. I’ve always loved the story of Peter Pan. In fact, he was my first crush. I know that he’s a ladies’ man (or a ladies’ boy, I guess . . . as much as you can be for a twelve-year-old—but now that I think of it, I’ve known a few in my time). Wendy, the mermaids, and faeries all love him—as evidenced by this statue—but I couldn’t help myself. I always wished that he’d fly me away to Neverland. Anyway, enough reminiscing. I really enjoyed seeing the statue. And singing “You Can Fly” to myself . . . and out loud. Ahhhh, nostalgia.
Peter's Admirers

n Seeing Henry VIII at the Globe Theatre! I had a “nerd moment” at the Globe. Being an English major, it’s expected to happen. I mean, Shakespeare’s plays were performed at the Globe! I was basking in the light of great literature. I didn’t necessarily like being a groundling and standing for three hours (next time I go, I’m paying the extra money for a seat), and the play itself was okay—the performance was great, play was just okay, in my opinion—but I was in the Globe, people! That, I believe, qualifies for a nerd moment.
Sarah Shumway and I having a nerd moment.

Last weekend, I got to explore London with my Nana. I had a really great time with her. It was really special getting to spend that time with Nana in a city that I’m beginning to love more and more.
British Museum and National Gallery: I got my culture fix. I know this is cliché, but I really did enjoy seeing the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. So, so cool. I also liked seeing the mummies. The National Gallery was incredible, too. So many beautiful paintings.
Imperial War Museum: This museum is very cool. Nana and I were very impressed by the the quality of the exhibitions. There was a "Secret World" exhibition that I really enjoyed, especially because I'm taking a "Spooks and Spies" class at Cambridge.
War Horse: This is a fairly new play on the West End. And it was incredible. Very moving, extremely professional, really good soundtrack. Go see it if you get the chance.
Sleeping in a nice bed: This one doesn't need any explanation.
Spending time with Nana: I am so grateful that I was able to spend this time with Nana. I had a great time seeing the sights with her and talking with her. I'm so grateful for her generosity.
Pictures of Nana and I:
(They're out-of-order because Blogger is dumb. End of story.)
The "Parting of the Ways"-- right before I went back up to Cambridge

In front of the National Gallery

Matching in blue at the British Museum

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coming Soon . . .

. . . will be my blog post about my Saturday trip to London.

Too many papers to write, too many essays to read at the moment.

But for the moment, let me just say that I absolutely loved it. I love London.

Also, do you want to hear a dirty little secret? I bought a jar of Nutella yesterday--for stressful days, you know? And I ate the entire jar. Yesterday. All by myself.