Sunday, 5 April 2015

As the end of the semester draws near, I am trying to fit in as much as I possibly can. This week I went to FOUR shows. First, I went to The Great Gatsby! It was performed by the Northern Ballet and was INCREDIBLE!! They were doing a lot of the typical dances of the 1920s on pointe shoes. Such talent!

I then went to Romeo and Juliet-- the Rock Ballet. This was also a performance filled with talented people. They could all do so many was crazy what they were able to do!

Phantom was the next show I saw. This is what I was most excited for! I have been waiting to go to Phantom all semester since it is one of my favorite musicals. The actors and actresses were UNBELIEVABLE. All of their voices were stunning. The only thing that disappointed me is that I purchased my ticket on my phone, and for some reason I didn't see it was a seat with a restricted view. And not just a little bit restricted--there was a GIANT support beam in front of my seat. It was really disappointing at first, but I sat forward and leaned to the side the entire time to see.

The last show I went to this week was A Street Car Named Desire performed by the Scottish Ballet. Wow. Wow. And wow. I can't even describe the talent of all of those dancers. It was absolutely beautiful. I didn't know the story coming into the performance, and even though it was a ballet, I was able to figure most of it out. That is how good they were at portraying the events through the choreography. This might have been one of my favorite performances I have been to yet.

We ended the wonderful week with an Easter Brunch at my friends home stay! It reminded me of home, and I was thankful to celebrate the holiday with my friends over here!

This week was amazing!! We went on our last day trip with AIFS-- STONEHENGE. I am really glad that I decided to do this trip. It was a great way to say goodbye to a lot of the AIFS students. As the semester comes to an end, I am really starting to appreciate my time here. I am going to miss London more than words can describe.

On our trip, we first stopped in Salisbury to see the Cathedral. It was incredible. I can't even describe to you how massive it was. One of the original Magna Cartas was also on display here!

We then went to Stonehenge. It really is a mystery... no one knows for sure why these stones were
put here. 

It really was a wonderful day with wonderful people!

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Since I have Irish blood in me, I thought a trip to Ireland was in need. It was an unforgettable weekend. We started off by sleeping in an airport the night before we turns out having a 6:00 am flight in a big city is challenging, since public transportation is hard to come by at that hour. So instead of trying to find our way to the airport that early, we just went the night before. Gotta love sleeping on a nice, cold, concrete floor...Let's just say I maybe got 20 minutes of sleep that night.

We then flew out to Dublin and walked around and got breakfast. We were all so tired it was very comical. We couldn't check into our hostel until 3 pm, so we went on the Guinness tour. It was a really neat tour, and I actually learned a lot about Guinness.

The next morning we got on a bus to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs were INCREDIBLE. I cannot believe how beautiful it was. The ocean was so blue, and we were extremely lucky and went on a really warm day! I didn't want to leave! We went back to Galway for the night, and spent the next day there as well. It is a really cute town, with a lot to do. We went and walked around on the coast for a while, and I stood in the ocean for the very first time!

I really do love Ireland. I will never forget it.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

This week was unforgettable. It started off great when I was able to get a ticket to be a studio audience member on the TV game show 'Celebrity Squares.' Even though I didn't know any of the celebrities, since they are mostly on British TV shows, I knew the host--Warwick Davis. He played two different characters on Harry Potter and it was amazing to see him in person. It was also so much fun to be on a set and see how TV game shows are filmed.

The next day was even better! After class, my friend and I headed over to Leicester Square to try and get good spots at the Insurgent movie premiere! We were able to get really good spots-- right in the front row-- and got both Shailene Woodley and Theo James' autographs! I love Shailene Woodley so it was really fun to see her in person. After the movie premiere, we headed over to see Les Miserables, one of my favorite musicals. It was even more amazing than I was expecting. The talent of the cast was unbelievable. As we were leaving, we happened to walk by the stage door and were able to see/get pictures with a few of the actors and actresses!

On Friday night of this week I was able to meet up with one of my mom's best friends. She is a flight attendant and was in London for a night. It was really nice to see her--We had a wonderful time going to dinner, Lord of the Dance, and to a pub. I am glad she was able to take a trip to London..I only wish she could have stayed longer!

So I guess you could say I just had a typical week in London...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

It really hit me this week that I only have 5 short weeks left in this amazing city. I cannot express how much I wish I could slow the clock down...Since I can't do that, I decided to start doing as much as I can possibly do in the time I have left. 

The weather has started to warm up, so I have made a whole list of parks I want to go to before I leave. My friend and I were on our way to one that our host mom suggested, when we stumbled across Queen's Wood and Highgate Wood instead. These are beautiful natural reserves in North London-- It actually felt like I stepped out into the woods, even though I was still in the city. It was an incredible experience, and felt amazing to get outside for a day. 

 My friends and I also decided we wanted to try to get into this popular speakeasy by Liverpool station, called The Breakfast Club. We went one other time, but didn't get in because it was soooo busy. We went early this time, and were able to get in. It was a lot of fun! When you first walk in, it is a restaurant upstairs, and then you go through this "fridge door" and go downstairs to the 'secret' bar. It was a very nice atmosphere and relaxed setting!

I also attended Once the musical this week! This was a really exciting experience for me because the show contained almost all of my passions. I started playing the violin and dancing when I was 4 years this show the small cast did everything. They played the instruments, live onstage, sang, acted, and danced. I am so lucky to have been able to see this show before it closes in two weeks! 

I can't wait for more of these event- packed weeks so I can experience all I can before I leave. 

Monday, 2 March 2015

This weekend I ventured off to Scotland with an AIFS group. I was expecting Scotland to be beautiful and to have a great time, and it was so much more than this. We started out in Edinburgh with a free night to explore the city. Meghan and I walked around and made it all the way to the Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner. It was beautiful to see at night when it was all lit up with the moon shining bright right behind it. This was also an incredible view of the city itself.     

The next day we got on a tour bus and began our three day tour around Scotland. My favorite stop of the day was this scenic hiking trail leading up to a waterfall, at Heritage Forest. It was truly beautiful—the fresh air felt amazing, and it kind of reminded me of home. We learned that the trees planted  in this forest and throughout Scotland are not native to the area. If you look at the ground, a lot of it is muddy and bare; this is because the trees planted here block out all of the sunlight, and the native plants cannot grow. Regardless, this was incredibly beautiful and nice  to be able to wander around for such a long time in nature again. 

Day three, even though it was incredibly cold, wet, and uncomfortable, it was by far my favorite. The bus driver gave us several challenges to do on various stops. The first was to walk across the Isle of Skye bridge, which connects the Isle of Skye to the mainland. It was really windy and pouring rain, so by the time we reached the other side we were all soaked! I thought it was fun though because I felt accomplished after walking the length of the bridge. We then stopped at the Sligachan River. This river has the legend that if you dunk your face in the water for seven seconds, you will be granted eternal beauty.This was our next challenge and I did it! The whole trip was a giant adventure! I actually liked being soaking wet and venturing around  the highlands—nature is quite something.   

Last Sunday I decided to go on a last minute trip to Brighton. This was especially exciting for me since I had never seen the ocean before. I was expecting to be excited, and to be amazed by the beauty, but my expectations didn’t even come close to the reality of what the ocean is like.

 This is something that doesn’t occur very often—usually your expectations exceed what the event ends up actually being. This was different though. I have never seen something so beautiful, peaceful, and serene before. My eyes couldn’t believe themselves when they saw the endlessness—the epitome of the meaning of ‘vast.’ I still cannot comprehend or wrap my mind around the beauty of it all. I truly felt like a child again, that feeling I used to get Christmas morning as a kid came back. I felt like I was looking ahead to the rest of the world.

I was looking at the water as it danced under the sunlight, and the waves looked ever so graceful. It was then when I thought of how powerful they are. These waves can kill, and contain such terrifying things, but somehow appear so graceful and beautiful--it is a hidden power, a majestic power. All of these thoughts kept racing through my mind and I couldn’t help but being perplexed and mesmerized by it all. There is beauty in nature which surrounds us everywhere, but there is something special about the ocean.