The ABC’s of London

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Liz who decided to go on a trip to the grand old country of England.  She supposed you knew this kind of post was coming. This is called the post where Liz tells you everything she loved about England and her adventures there and some of the things that she didn’t love.  If you don’t care, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if you get bored.  But for 7 weeks of my life just to go by without ANY explanation of the stories that happened would seem kind of stupid.

A-Ambleside, the Lake District.  The lake district was by far the prettiest part of our trip. I love it. I want to live there when I grow up.  Or at least visit.  Also, at the lake district there may or may not have been a discussion about skinny dipping. And if we should. But, in the end we decided not to.

B- Boom, Boom Pow.  One night Katelyn and I decided to go out on the town.  We headed over to Piccadilly Circus, where the Broadway area of London is.  After a nice walk around the square and some souvenir window shopping, we decided to head back…but we couldn’t find the Tube Station.  So, we wandered for a bit, until we were stopped by an Indian man who wanted us to come clubbing with him.  He told Katelyn she had a million pound smile, asked us if we had boyfriends (we lied, in case you were wondering…), asked us where we were staying (and tried to hook us up with some hostels), offered to get us into the club for free,  told me I was a silent killer because I didn’t talk as much,  gave Katelyn about a gazillion hugs and a kiss on the cheek,  sang and danced to Boom Boom Pow for us (trying to get us to come in…and didn’t believe us when I told him I didn’t really have a favorite kind of music), asked me if someone had bitten my lip (since I had really bad chapped lips at that point), and just kind of creeped us out.  Good times.

C- Cathedrals, and Abbeys and Castles! Oh my! Seriously. There were way too many Cathedrals and Abbeys and Castles that we visited.  Yes, there were some cool ones. But after awhile it seems like they all kind of start to look the same and I can never remember what is so historically important about a specific castle.  Lot of pictures though…don’t even worry.

D- Dublin Doors. I love the doors in Dublin.  That is really all I loved about Dublin.  I got lost in Dublin a lot. Things in Dublin were not my favorite. But the Doors there are BEAUTIFUL! They’re all colorful and lovely and perfect. When I grow up I want to have a door like the doors in Dublin.

E- England.  England is so great. I loved that part most about the trip, just being in England and learning about English.  Pretending to be English was great.  Picking up words like Rubbish bins, and toilets, and brilliant. England is great.

F-Food  Can we just talk about how English food doesn’t taste like anything?  Not salt. Not pepper. Not seasoning.  Butter is the main condiment on sandwiches.  Mushy peas show up on the menu in restaurants.  (Isn’t that an appetizing name?) Also, I wouldn’t recommend Carrot and Coriander Soup. Or Snowdonia Cheese. Ever.

G- Ghosts..  Lots of places (like Castles, York and Edinburgh) were haunted. The whole trip I talked about haunted things, but never when on a ghost tour. Yes, I chickened out.

H- Hair and Humidity. Let’s just say this was not the best combination for us 21 girls.  WE were super grateful some days that there weren’t any guys in our group to even try to impress.   Some days we wished we didn’t even have to take pictures of ourselves because they were yikes.

I-Ireland, and Ian the best coach driver ever.  Imagine this for a second.  You get on a plane at 10 am on Monday, June 21 in Salt Lake City.  You get off a plane in Shannon, Ireland, at 10 am on Tuesday, June 22. You’re in Ireland. And you just have to go go go.  That first day was rough. But Ireland was great. And Ian was our first coach driver.  He was great. He put up with our questions, and our singing.  Poor guy had Fireflies by Owl City stuck in his head for a couple of days…(One of our directors loved that song a little too much.)

J-Jonas, Nick in LES MISERABLES! He played Marius.  Les Mis was awesome! I seriously couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it or at least known the story before I saw it. But now I love it. And Nick Jonas did pretty darn great for a Jonas Brother, if you ask me.

K-Katie, Katelyn, Keck,  Krauel, and my other friends too! First off, let’s talk about Katie’s spelling skills.  She is GNIZAMA!!!!! To see Katie spell backwards, click here.
There were lots of girls with K names or some sort of K in their name.  Making friends with these girls was so great! I don’t even know how the heck I lived life without them before! What was I doing?  How was I doing that?

L- LONDON.  I love London. It is the best.  Even though everyone smoked, and there were a gazillion pigeons, London is the best place ever! Let’s just say I want to live there forever.  And do we remember how I had never been to a big city before this? I mean, the biggest city I had been to was good old Salt Lake. Now I have. I was terrified to be in a big city to start out. But I loved it! And I totally feel like I can do ANYTHING since I went to a big city.

M- The metro. In Paris.  My ticket broke on the last day, so I spent the last day sneaking into the Metro to get around Paris.  Good thing I wasn’t caught. Or deported.

N- Nunnery. Yes. While we were in Paris we stayed at a Nunnery.  Or a girls school…either way.  Imagine the way the rooms look in Nacho Libre, and you have a great visual of what it’s like to stay with Nuns. The nuns were super nice though. They spoke 3 languages! French, Spanish, and Italian.

O- OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY of course! This may have been one of 3 highlights of the trip for me.  I mean, I got to hear all about the way the dictionary is created, see some of the original quote slips that people submitted (I even got to touch them. Yes, I may have died and gone to heaven.), and take pictures with the cardboard cut-out of James Murray.  LEXICOGRAPHY is the coolest thing ever! And guess what?!? The OED offers internships!

P- Portuguese Ward.  While we were in London, we got to help out in the local wards.  15 of the girls in the group got to go to the English speaking ward.  6 of us got to go to the Portuguese ward.  NEWS FLASH: I don’t speak Portuguese. At all. But, because of my 4 weeks in primary I can now sing the 1st line of “Come Follow Me” in Portuguese.

Q- Quail Guts.  When we were at Mary Arden’s farm (that’s the farm where Shakespeare’s mom grew up or Shakespeare’s maternal grandparents’ farm for those of you who aren’t Shakespeare experts)  we got to see a super cool falconry show.  The lady putting it on showed us how her owl could track food.  Then she had a couple of people from our group be the food. (I felt scared for them, but it was super crazy cool to watch a bird fly at their face and then land on the lady’s arm!)  Then she showed us a Vulture.  And she let us feed it raw quail.  That was too scary for me, but a bunch of people in the group did it.  And it was super crazy cool to watch.

R-Rain.  It didn’t really rain that much. I was definitely expecting a lot more than what we had.  I mean, it poured on us in Wales. And in York. And in Edinburgh. On the way home from church.  (We were very wet after that walk…)  But really, it wasn’t anything like I expected.

S-Super crazy great nicknames! And the revealing of them.  Everyone has to love Shark Ripslash, Khan Gogh, Bad Ash,  Rach-dawg, and Tak Tak to name a few.

T- TESCO. Tesco was our grocery store.  It reeked bad. Kind of like someone had died and they shoved the body in the heating vent in the ceiling. It was gross. Also, the grocery stores in England don’t refrigerate their eggs or milk. Ew.  As much as we hated going to Tesco, we kind of loved it too.

U- The Underground. Aka: The Tube…or if you’re British, pronounced choob.  I love it. Utah needs better public transportation badly.  It was great to just go from South Kensington Station and end up clear on the other side of London.  Oh the adventures of the Underground. And, here’s a cool historical fact for you:  During World War 2, the people of London used the Underground as a shelter during Air Raids! How cool is that?

V- V is for Vendetta.  (No surprise, I haven’t actually seen that movie.) But yes. In York, when we got lost on our way to the Authentic Viking Feast (interesting food) we found the birthplace of Guy Fawkes. You know,  THE Guy Fawkes of the failed gunpowder plot of 1605.  That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

W- Wales. Oh Wales.  Wales had good and bad times.  Our first time in Wales we had Dodgy Dave as our coach driver. He was evil, we decided.  When we got to our hostel in Wales, it was pouring and the road was too skinny for the coach to go up.  So he dropped us off. Apparently he left a bunch of girls there just waiting in the pouring rain.  I’m an idiot and decided to walk the ¾ mile, uphill walk to the hostel.  It wasn’t raining too hard when we left, but by about halfway we were soaked and it was pouring.  That’s how I ruined my camera.  But that hostel was the best hostel ever. Haymish (the hostel manager) cooked us a delicious dinner and gave us hot chocolate.
The next time we went to Wales, we were in Cardiff. We did some kind of lame things (like meet up with the Wales study abroad group, and visit some museum) but then I got to go on the COOLEST, ONE OF A KIND TOUR of Castell Coch.  And we ate dinner on the Bay at Cardiff. Complete with Ice Cream and the Ocean right next to us. It was great.

X- The row our seats were on at WICKED.  Yes, we could see. And hear.  Yes, we loved it. And yes, the letter X is awesome.

Y- Yellow Submarine.  Seriously, who could go to England and not appreciate the Beatles?  We went to Liverpool.  Pretty much the coolest hometown of the Beatles.  We went to Abbey Road.  We saw a Yellow Duckmarine—you know, the kind that can go in water but also drive on land.   Who doesn’t love that?

Z- zzzzzzzzz. Something we should have done more of probably, but we did it whenever we could. One time when we especially wished we could have been doing it was when we went to Stonehenge at the crack of dawn to see the sunrise.  Guess what happened that day?  It rained through sunrise. So it just stayed dark and misty.  Then we all crashed on the coach ride. And got grumpy.  But, we went to Stonehenge.  And we sang about it. Also, I slept in 14 different beds over the course of 7 weeks. That’s kind of gross. And most of them were top bunks.  And one of them honked.

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6 thoughts on “The ABC’s of London

  1. Pingback: The ABC’s of London | rssLondon.com

  2. Oh, Liz, how you make me laugh. Especially the bed that honked. It made me think of my mattress in Cardiff that felt like it had rope in the middle instead of stuffing.

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