London Blog: The Haul

It’s been about two weeks since I came home from my trip to the U.K. and I miss it terribly. I never realized that I could miss a place – the sights, the sounds, the food. Everything was like a dream. I tried very hard to take London back with me. (Unfortunately, it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase!) So I settled for some lovely souvenirs (pictured below). I wanted to buy even more, but the fear of running out of money for food slowed me down.

The souvenirs

The haul

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I ended up with six (yes, six) boxes of tea, most of which were from Twinings, but other than that I’m quite happy with my purchases. Here’s the grand total: three jars of blackcurrant jam, two necklaces, a shot glass, key chain, and a box of chocolates from Windsor Castle, a small mirror, a decorative plate and pen from the Sherlock Holmes Museum, a new “London Love” passport case and change purse, cupcake shaped measuring cups, two buttons, a pink fountain pen with matching pink ink, a dozen or so postcards, and a program from each show that we saw. I also came home with a huge stack of U.K. magazines for some friends; golf balls and candy for my dad; scented soap, a key chain, pen, and a candy bar for my grandmother; and a teabag dish and some tea for my mom. It’s amazing that I was able to carry it all back with me!

The postcards decorating my desk at school.

Postcard collage decorating my desk at school.

Sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk doing schoolwork, I’ll gaze up at the postcards and daydream about London. Even my beloved New York City can’t get London out of my mind – it’s just not the same. I know I will return again someday, I just need to be patient.

This concludes my London Blog, but I enjoyed writing it so much that I’m not quite ready to stop blogging. So, I’ll continue to blog about my next chapter: the last semester of my senior year of college. It’s really an exciting time and I look forward to sharing it with you! Stay tuned for my next post all about my first week interning at Parenting.com in New York City!

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London Blog: “London is the place for me…”

“London is the place for me,

London that lovely city.

You can go to France or America,

India, Asia or Africa,

But you must come back to London city…”

– Lord Kitchener, calypsonian, 1948

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London Blog: Food Gallery

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I ate incredibly well on this trip, so I thought it would be fun to share the photos of my meals. (Keep in mind I’m a vegetarian, so you won’t be seeing any meat in this gallery.) Click through to view this delicious slide show. Bon appetit!

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London Blog: “So Long, Farewell, Aufedersein, Goodbye!”

We woke up at 6 a.m., had our last breakfast in Stratford, then lugged our heavy suitcases downstairs to load up the bus. As we drove away from Stratford we passed mile after mile of frost covered countryside in the morning light. The entire landscape was a gradient of gray – from the pale gray sky to the dark gray silhouettes of the bare trees. Even the frost on the ground was a shimmering gray. It was beautiful and I did not want to say goodbye, but before I knew it we were at the Heathrow airport, ready to catch our plane. London and Stratford will always have a place in my heart and I know it won’t be long before I return to them. Maybe someday I’ll even move to the U.K., but for now I’m on my way back to New Jersey for my final semester at The College of New Jersey. I’ve been on an incredible journey these past two weeks and I’m sure it will take some time for me to fully realize all that I’ve seen and experienced, but right now all I feel is overwhelming happiness. I’ve met some incredible people and made some wonderful new friends and I am anxiously awaiting my next journey abroad. I hope that this is only the first of my travels and perhaps someday I will become a world traveler. So, until next time, “So Long, Farewell, Aufedersein, Goodbye!”

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London Blog: Origins of Some Commonly Used Phrases

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

During our visit to Anne Hatheway’s Cottage (the home of Shakespeare’s wife, not the actress who just won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Fantine in Les Mis) our guide told us the origins of some commonly used phrases while showing us around the kitchen. Now these phrases actually make sense!

  • a pinch of salt – instead of a salt shaker, a tiny bowl of salt would sit on the table and in order to put salt on your food you would need to pinch it between your fingers.
  • a cut above the rest – bread used to be cut horizontally and the hard bottom portion of the bread would be given to the children because they held the lowest position in the house. The man of the house would be given the best slice at the top of the loaf, or the upper crust, because he was the most important member of the family. Getting a “cut above the rest” meant you got the better slice of bread due to your higher position in the family.
  • pin money – extra spending money that women would make from doing “womanly” things.
  • chairman of the board – dining tables would have benches along either side of the table because chairs were expensive. The man of the house would get the lone chair at the head of the table making him the “chairman.”

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London Blog: Day 14

I woke up early to make the most of our last full day in the U.K. Our group had breakfast at the hotel and after everyone finished eating, we took the 20 minute walk to Anne Hathaway’s cottage (the home of Shakespeare’s wife, not the actress).  We passed tiny homes on quiet streets and saw people walking their dogs through a park enjoying the fresh air.

Meet Joey!

Meet Joey!

Along the way we passed a horse and a pony in a fenced off yard, both wearing adorable little coats to keep them warm. I decided to name the horse Joey and the pony baby Topthorn (after the horses in War Horse). I was so excited to see the animals up close and desperately wanted to pet them. I went up to the fence and stuck out my hand (which in retrospect probably seems a little careless), but Joey came right up to me and let me pet him! I was so happy that I could have stayed there forever, but half of our group had already gone on without us. Reluctantly, I said goodbye to Joey and Topthorn and we continued on our way.

On the way to Anne Hathaway's cottage

On the way to Anne Hathaway’s cottage!

We passed a pasture filled with sheep and crossed a peaceful little creek before we finally made it to the cottage grounds. The Hathaway gardens were beautiful! Before we even went into the cottage, we spent some time exploring the gardens, just basking in the sunlight. Outside we met a black and white cat who absolutely loved Nicole and didn’t want her to stop petting him. I felt very connected with nature here and didn’t want to go inside, but we had walked all this way to see the cottage. Finally, we decided that it was time to pay the cottage a visit and it was just darling!

Anne Hathaway's Cottage

Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

We learned that 13 generations of Hathaways lived in the cottage and that many of the furniture from Shakespeare’s day remains in the home. Even the stone floors in the dining room are the very floors that Shakespeare himself walked on when he came over to the cottage to court Anne. The floors were uneven and creaky and when we were standing on the second floor we could see through the floorboards to the room below, but that just added to the cottage’s charm.

Shakepeare walked here!

Shakespeare walked here!

One of the guides spent a great deal of time with us and told us about the origins of some commonly used phrases. After our tour of the cottage, we went into the gift shop where we lost even more of our group and by the the time we decided to walk back, it was just Allie, Kallie, and I enjoying the leisurely stroll. Along the way, we happened upon a cat who, according to her collar, was named Bubbles. Bubbles followed us a majority of the way back to town before we stopped at Joey’s stable to pay him another visit.

Joey and Bubbles

Joey and Bubbles

After petting Joey and Bubbles a bit more, we bid them farewell and we walked to Trinity Church to visit Shakespeare’s grave.

We learned that a church had been standing on the same site since the 700s, but the current church was rebuilt in 1200. I have trouble wrapping my brain around the dates and grasping just how old things are in this country. The church was beautiful. We paid our 50 pence to walk to the very front of the church and visit Shakespeare’s grave.

Shakespeare's grave surrounded by blue and his bust on the wall.

Shakespeare’s grave is outlined on the floor and his bust hangs above on the wall to the right of the door.

He is buried beside his wife Anne Hathaway, and his daughter and son-in-law are on his other side. On the wall is a bust of Shakespeare that apparently shows his best likeness since it was made while his wife was still alive. After we paid our respects we made our way to the back of the church where there was a gift shop. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing gift shops at historical sites, but I wasn’t expecting to see one inside a church. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

After we left the church, Allie, Kallie, and I got a warm lunch at a nearby cafe. I drank my soup and hot chocolate as we made our way back to the hotel where we met with the rest of our group for our very last class. We went around the room and shared our ideas for our final projects (mine is this blog). It’s amazing how 15 students who spent 15 days together can each come up with a completely different final project. Students are doing everything from papers to paintings, poetry to Prezis. It wasn’t until this moment that I realized how smart and talented my classmates are and I felt humbled to be a part of the group.

After class everyone walked to a nearby restaurant to share our last dinner in Stratford. At the end of our three course dinner, we presented our professors with thank you cards, and then we went back to our rooms to pack before we drifted off to sleep.

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London Blog: Travel Tarot Card

“An upcoming trip proves to be life-changing in positive ways.”

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London Blog: Day 13

Crackling fire in the hotel

Crackling fire in the hotel

Brace yourself, this is quite a long post!

I went downstairs to have breakfast with our group and I was one of the first people up again. After everyone finished breakfast, our group went to a workshop at the Royal Shakespeare Company, something I had been looking forward to for the entire trip. I loved every minute of the workshop and wish it could have lasted even longer. The warm-up exercises were incredibly fun and I can’t wait to teach them to the kids at the theatre camp I work at in the summer.

For the first exercise we read a Shakespeare speech aloud while walking around. Each time there was punctuation at the end of a sentence, we would turn around 180 degrees and continue walking. When there was punctuation in the middle of the sentence (such as a comma or semicolon) we would turn 90 degrees and continue walking. I felt a bit dizzy and trapped by the end, which was how the character would be feeling by the end of his speech.

The next few warm-ups involved following directions. We walked around the room at a quick pace and whenever the RSC member called out an action we had to do it all at the same time and then continue walking. Some of the commands were stop, go, clap, jump, reach up, and touch the ground. It got really tricky when he changed the meanings of the commands. We had to remember that stop meant go, clap meant jump, reach up meant touch the ground and vice versa. These warm-ups required a lot of concentration and I would love to use them in the next play I do.

The next warm-up felt like it would be impossible. We were told that we needed to walk around silently and then without communicating with one another or trying to lead the group, we all needed to stop walking at the exact same moment, kneel on the ground, and then get up and continue walking as if nothing had happened. Somehow we were able to complete the task at hand and it felt amazing to work together as a group.

The next set of warm-ups felt more like games.  First we played Triangles. Each person silently chose two people in the group and once we started walking around again we had to stay an equal distance away from the two people we chose, forming a triangle. The next game was Bombs and Shields where we again picked two people without telling them. One person was a bomb and one person was a shield. The object of this game was to keep the shield between you and your “bomb”. This game had a very different energy than Triangles and we moved around erratically. It was so much fun and the entire time I kept thinking how much the kids at the theatre camp would enjoy it. I would probably have to change the name to something less violent – perhaps “Shields and Fireworks”.

Our last warm-up was a combination of the previous three. We were told to walk around and “feel” what game was going on. We played a game of Bombs and Shields, Triangles, and then slowed down to stop all together and kneel. I’m not quite sure how we knew which game was happening when, but we did. I would love to try this with my little campers this summer and see how it works with them!

After the warm-ups we were given the scene from The Merry Wives of Windsor between Anne and Slender where Anne is trying to get Slender to come inside for dinner. We partnered up and practiced the scene once on our own. Then we were told that we could take one step toward or away from our partner on each of our lines, but we had to stay still during our partner’s lines. We then tried the scene two more times. Each time only one character was free to move. Next we were given three different scenarios as background for the scene. The first scenario was that Anne and Slender despised each other, the second was Anne was desperate to get Slender to walk inside to avoid a beating from her father while Slender was determined to not go inside because he was playing it “cool”, and the third scenario was that Slender and Anne were madly in love with each other. It was so interesting to see the shift in power each time we did the scene using a different scenario. My favorite was the first scenario because I got to play Anne a bit angry and sarcastic. After we finished with the scenario we did the scene two more times with the characters following one another while walking around the room. I loved how different the scene felt each time we performed it.

We were then split up into groups of four or five and given a scene with several characters in it. We ran out of time and didn’t get to do much with theses scenes. I really wish we could have spent more time in the workshop. I know I’ll definitely be using these exercises again and I think some of the members of our group are now interested in joining the theatre clubs at school! (One of us! One of us!)

Shakespeare's home

Shakespeare’s home

After the workshop, a group of us went to a nearby cafe for some warm soup and then everyone walked to Shakespeare’s childhood home for a tour. It’s incredible to think that I was standing in Shakespeare’s house, let alone standing in the room where he was born. The amazing thing about British museums and historical sites is that they are so trusting. For example, there were chairs that Shakespeare himself sat on and the only thing to protect them from destructive tourists would be a small ribbon tied across the arms and a small sign that said “Please do not touch.” In the States, you can be certain that any priceless artifact would be behind thick layers of protective glass, but I suppose there isn’t enough glass in the U.K. to cover all its treasures. One of the upstairs rooms was converted into an exhibition room and inside I learned that famous people have been visiting Shakespeare’s house for hundreds of years, most notably some U.S. presidents. In 1786, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson visited the Birthplace together and signed the guest book. At the end of my visit, I also signed the guestbook, but I cannot imagine that anyone will have that on a plaque in 200 years.

Afterwards, everyone took some time to shop in the town and I spent even more money on souvenirs and gifts for my family. Since I’ve been running dangerously low on cash, I decided that this needs to be my last shopping excursion of the trip (or I won’t be able to afford my meals!)

Chickpea Pasty

Chickpea Pasty

Speaking of meals, that cup of soup just wasn’t cutting it so while I was shopping I stopped into a Pasty Shop and tried a vegetarian pasty with chickpeas. A pasty is basically a portable pie and it was delicious. Next I went into Accessorize which had wall to wall jewelry, scarves and generally adorable things. I ended up buying an “I Love London” passport case. (I know I said I wasn’t going to buy any more souvenirs, but it was pretty and on sale!) On the way back to the hotel, Liz and I wandered into what can only be described as a witchcraft shop. As soon as we walked in the door we were surrounded by the strong scent of incense and there were strange odds and ends lining the walls. On the table was a basket filled with turned over tarot cards and a sign that said “Free to read, 20p to own”. I sifted through the cards before finally choosing one to turn over and read. To my surprise, I got the travel card! (Coincidence or magic? – you decide.)

Tea is a feast here!

Tea is a feast here!

Once back at the hotel I had a bit of time to blog before our group tea at the hotel. I quickly learned that “tea” was actually a full meal. The waiters arrived with three tiered trays filled with scones, jams, cucumber sandwiches, and desserts for us to share. The scones were incredible and the cucumber sandwiches were very tasty. It was a lovely meal and it made me sad that our journey was almost over.

In the evening our group (minus the professors) went to the Garrick Inn across the street from the hotel for drinks. This pub had been standing since Shakespeare’s time and it was incredibly likely that Shakespeare himself drank here. I had mulled wine which is a hot drink and a “Shakesbeer”, the house specialty.

Garrick Inn, Stratford's oldest pub

The Garrick Inn, Stratford’s oldest pub

Both drinks were very good, but I did prefer the mulled wine. I enjoyed getting the chance to spend some time with our group, just talking and enjoying ourselves. I fell asleep right away that night and felt very happy to be in such a lovely place. Even though I am starting to miss my family, I don’t want to leave Stratford.

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London Blog: Day 12

I actually got to sleep in! It felt wonderful to get a good night’s sleep and I felt very refreshed in the morning. The hotel bed was very comfortable but my desire to see Stratford got me out of bed. Once Liz and I finally made our way downstairs, there was a long table with just enough seats for all 17 members of our group. We were surprised to find that we were the first ones downstairs – I guess our entire group was exhausted from London.

Breakfast at Mercure

Breakfast at Mercure

There was a buffet filled with hot breakfast items and I didn’t know where to begin! I had scrambled eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, yogurt, a piece of cheese and a croissant with black currant jam (which was perfect with a cup of tea). I also tried Marmite on a piece of toast but I wasn’t a fan. As the rest of our group made its way down to breakfast, we chatted about The Merry Wives of Windsor and how beautiful it was in the country. I could definitely get used to Stratford!

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle

In the afternoon we took a bus to Warwick Castle. Our professors had warned us that the castle had been “Disneyfied” but I was not expecting it to be quite so commercialized – it felt more like a tourist trap than a historical site. The outside of the castle was breathtaking, but the inside seemed artificial. Each room was filled with (rather creepy) wax figures positioned to show what life was like in the castle. Many of the figures also had sound recordings and they “talked” with each other or to the people in the room. I felt like the figures took away from the charm of the castle and I would have preferred the rooms to only have furniture.

Peacock at Warwick Castle

Peacock at Warwick Castle

After our tour of the castle we were given some free time to wander around on our own and we saw a peacock roaming the castle grounds. Even though it was very cold outside, I enjoyed walking around the castle and taking in the sights and sounds. Before long it was time to catch the bus and head back to the hotel.

Blogging by the fire

Blogging by the fire

I had some time to blog before dinner so I sat by the fireplace in the hotel lobby and soaked in my surroundings. I am just in love with this hotel! Inside there is a bar called “The Quill” and a restaurant called Othello’s. I really wish I could live here. In the evening we had a three-course group dinner at Othello’s and while we were eating it started to snow. It was such a peaceful way to end the day.

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London Blog: “In London you live; in the country you breathe…”

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon

London

London

“In London you live; in the country you breathe…”

– Eliza Lynn Linton, writer, 1893

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London Blog: Day 11

London Lodge Hotel, courtesy of LondonLodgeHotel.com

London Lodge Hotel, courtesy of londonlodgehotel.com

Today was our final morning in London. We had our last breakfast at the London Lodge Hotel and brought our suitcases downstairs using the tiny, creaky elevator. Once we loaded up the bus we said our goodbyes to our guide Tiana who was wearing her signature red beret. Even though I was looking forward to having some time to relax at Stratford-upon-Avon, I was so sad to say goodbye to London. I had to keep telling myself that it isn’t really goodbye, it’s more like “until we meet again.” I know I’ll be back to London someday; I truly love the city and feel like I belong there.

Mercure Shakespeare Hotel, courtesy of mercure.com

Mercure Shakespeare Hotel, courtesy of mercure.com

After the three hour bus ride we were in the countryside at last! Stratford-upon-Avon is the small town where Shakespeare grew up and spent most of his life. It is quaint and beautiful, just as the English countryside should be. The bus driver dropped us off at our hotel, the Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Hotel and we went inside to drop off our bags. Each room has a different name on the door, having to do with a different Shakespearean play. Liz and I stayed in the Belmont room and on the walls were paintings of Queen Elizabeth and a scene from Shakespeare’s Othello. This hotel was much roomier than the first and even had three wood-burning fireplaces downstairs. In the evening I enjoyed curling up in one of the big chairs by the fire and blogging, but first we explored the town.

How's a girl to chose?

How’s a girl to chose?

Liz and I found a bookshop that sold old books a couple doors down from our hotel. We spent such a long time looking at the lovely old books, and I desperately wanted to buy a book but I simply couldn’t pick just one! After I finally tore myself away from the precious books, we ventured down a side street and found the most wonderful vintage shop that was tucked away in a small corner. The shop was about the size of a walk-in closet and was filled with vintage jewelry, purses, and hats. Sparkling jewelry was absolutely everywhere – hanging from the walls and laying on tables. I have no idea what color the walls were because they were covered in several layers of necklaces. Even the jewelry on the table tops was piled on top of each other. Liz and I started talking to Angie, the shop owner, and she told us a bit about her family and where she finds the jewelry.

Angie in her shop

Angie in her shop

While we were talking I saw a lovely cameo choker necklace with two strands of pearls on either side. I told Angie that I thought it was beautiful and she said many people have liked it and wanted to buy it, but it had been too small to fit around their neck. She unhooked it and said I could try it on. Somehow it was a perfect fit! I was so happy I almost started to cry. Angie told me that she made the necklace herself and that it has a real cameo in the center. Best of all, it only cost £7! I told Angie that I needed to run to the ATM to get a smaller bill, but I would be right back to buy it. I was so worried that the little shop would disappear, but luckily it was still there when I came back. She wrapped up the necklace in some paper and made change out of her purse. Before we left, Liz and I said we would visit her again and bring our friends with us. We hurried back to the hotel and made it back just in time for class.

It tasted even better than it looks!

It tasted even better than it looks!

Afterwards, a group of us found a nearby restaurant and tried to get a quick dinner before our show at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Our food took much longer than we expected, but it was well worth the wait. Kallie and I split a mushroom and onion pizza that was quite possibly the best pizza I’ve ever had (sorry NYC). After our meal, we dashed down the street to the theatre and watched a modern version of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The Merry Wives of Windsor set, Act I

The Merry Wives of Windsor set, Act I

I’m so happy that the Royal Shakespeare Company performed our last show of the trip – this was the perfect way to end our theatre tour. I thought the staging was genius. Since the stage was surrounded by the audience on three sides, the actors were really able to fill up the space and use the stage as if they were real people living their day-to-day lives. The sets were realistic and everything appeared from the floor of the stage.

The Merry Wives of Windsor set, Act V

The Merry Wives of Windsor set, Act V

Although Richard III attempted to give the proscenium stage theatre a thrust stage feel by seating audience members along the sides of the stage, the staging still felt more like a traditional proscenium stage because a majority of the audience was still in front of the actors. The Merry Wives of Windsor was a proper thrust stage show because the Royal Shakespeare Theatre was built specifically for Shakespearean plays. Exactly 1/3 of the audience was on each side of the stage and the back of the stage was reserved for large set pieces. The acting was superb and the modern take on Merry Wives made the show easier to relate to. Even though this performance was modern, I think the production gave the audience the feel of an authentic Shakespearean play (even more authentic than Richard III) because of the staging. Afterwards our professors jokingly referred to the play as “The Housewives of Windsor” and that phrase pretty much sums up the play. After the show was over we explored the gift shop (of course) and then we went back to our rooms to unpack. Even though I miss London, I think Stratford may also have found a place in my heart.

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London Blog: Day 10

Big Ben

Big Ben

I woke up early so I could have breakfast at Starbucks and blog for a bit. I had warm porridge with dried fruit. (Yum!) Unfortunately, I didn’t get too much writing done, but I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere. Afterwards, I met with our group and we took the Tube to Westminster. Once we stepped off the Tube we saw Big Ben and I snapped even more photos of the giant clock. We made our way to Westminster Abbey and took shelter inside from the bitter cold. I think our entire group gasped collectively when we walked through the door and saw the first alter. The high alter took my breath away with its golden glory. Words cannot describe the beauty of the Abbey (and unfortunately photography is not permitted inside).

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

We walked past the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, surrounded by large crimson flowers. Our tour guide told us that there are over 3,000 tombs in the church, but this is the only tomb in the floor that people do not walk on out of respect. We continued into the church, walking along the same route that Kate Middleton walked during her wedding to Prince William. If while I was watching the royal wedding someone had told me that in just over a year I would be standing in that very church, I would not have believed them. This entire trip has been like a fairytale and I still cannot believe that I am actually here!

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

As we continued into the church, we passed the tombs of Sir Isaac Newton and Sigmund Freud. Next we made our way into a small alcove where two royal half sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, are buried. Some of our group became a bit emotional at this portion of our tour, but I was able to hold it together until I heard a voice over the loudspeaker that filled the entire Abbey announcing the hourly moment of prayer. I am not by any means a religious person, but when I opened my eyes after the prayer I had tears streaming down my face. From this point on I really began to grasp where I was. My favorite part of the tour was at the end when we visited Poets’ Corner. I saw tombs and commemorative plaques to some of the most beloved authors and writers in the history of the English language. I saw plaques and/or tombs for Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens. Lewis Carroll’s plaque had his name written in a circle to play homage to the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. Somehow another hour had slipped away and while we were in Poets’ Corner it was time to pray again. When I opened my eyes and saw the bust of William Shakespeare I started to cry all over again. If you ever find yourself in Westminster, you must explore the Abbey.

Twinings, est. 1706

Twinings, est. 1706

At noon we had a lovely lunch at the Middle Temple and sat very close to the high table. This was a buffet style lunch and I had some nice warm soup, a vegetable pie, and a few samplings of different salads. Salads in the U.K. are very different from salads at home. In the States, salads usually have lettuce, but here they rarely do and are made of any number of fruits, vegetables, pastas, potatoes, and/or seafood. They are very delicious and there are so many vegetarian options! After lunch I shopped at the original Twinings tea shop that opened in the early 1700s and bought more tea than I could ever drink in a lifetime. (It looks like I’ll need to throw some tea parties once I get home!)

In the evening we saw the opening night of The Three Sisters production at the New Diorama Theatre. This was definitely my least favorite play that we’ve seen so far on the trip. For fear of sounding whiney or ungrateful, I’ll just say that some actors were prone to overacting and the lighting was a bit blinding at times. I was definitely not alone in feeling this way because when the lights went out at the end of the show, I heard the most unenthusiastic applause I’ve ever heard and I feared that it wouldn’t last until the lights went back on and the actors took their bows. I would like to think that the production was still working out some kinks and that future performances will show some improvement. Even though the show was a disappointment, I still had a wonderful day!

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London Blog: “No story lives unless someone wants to listen.”

“No story lives unless someone wants to listen.”

– J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter's Hogwarts letter

Harry Potter’s Hogwarts letter

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London Blog: Harry Potter Costumes

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Click through the slideshow to see some of the beautiful costumes from the eight Harry Potter films.

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London Blog: Museum of London, History of Fashion

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Click through the slideshow to view the history of fashion from the 1700s to today.

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