Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Warning: Intruder Alert!

With a little help from Professor Pingree I managed to hack in...

...this proves my sneaky nature applies to more than just hoarding food...

You girls had urged me to do a post earlier but I've never felt blog-inclined or clever enough to make a worthwhile post. But, as our time together has ended I think it's necessary to give a little tribute to a few girls that made my stay in London ever more meaningful...

So--- here's to the gigglefests on the tube, to hobnobs outside the church, to grumpy awakenings that turn into beautiful morning runs, here's to not wasting one day, one breath, one moment. Here's to the games while waiting at the station, bus sleeping positions, spending 7 pounds for one bag of candy at overpriced tourist shops, Stay's lullabies, and sing-alongs. here's to cereal chow fests, English accent imitations (even cockfosters), eating too many sweets & sharing top bunks for fear of mice. Here's to hostel breakfasts, Claire's kisses, and Looney's laugher. Here's to sharing dreams of our future & experiences of our past. Here's to spending too much money but also spending just about as much time you can with people in an 7-week period & loving every minute. Here's to the restaurant conversations that lasted hours, here's to everything we saw, heard, & tasted. But most of all....

here's to the nights that turned into mornings,
and the friends that turned into family.

"If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together...there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart; I'll always be with you."

Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

We all know I'm a cheeseball but I love ya'll with all my heart. I do believe I have been changed for the better.
Love, Jess

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Exhaustion: extreme weakness or fatigue

"Ruling during a revolution is hard. But ruling after a revolution is even harder."
-Professor Cooper at our midnight review session for our final tonight

A parallel interpretation:
Staying awake during an all-nighter is hard, but staying awake the day after an all-nighter is even harder.

We are all starting to show clear signs of exhaustion. My favorite one so far:

"One time I made a song to remember the presidents of the U.S. in order. It goes, American presidents are number one! G-" (confused face and long pause)

Staley couldn't remember our first president's name. If we can't remember George Washington I don't know how we are going to remember 2,000 years of British history for a final monday.

"Oh my gosh, oh my gosh you guys!"

Thursday night could have been the best night of my life! Okay well maybe that is a little bit dramatic but it definitely was up there. 

I have been a Legally Blonde fan since the movie came out back in 2001. I even dressed up as Elle in 8th grade to give a speech when I was running for class treasurer. Embarrassing? Maybe. But did I win? Yes.

My family (aka Hans) always had a flood of Legally Blonde jokes for me and would call me Elle from time to time. He thought he was pretty clever.

I've been dying to see the musical since we got here but it was definitely worth the wait! Even my friends who weren't that excited abou it, loved it.

It was absolutely HILARIOUS. I've never laughed so hard or been so entertained in my entire life. Seriously, I'm not kidding. We walked out of that theatre so giddy, I couldn't stop smiling all night. 

And thank goodness for that because we had a lot of homework waiting for us at home. Let's just say we didn't sleep that night. Literally. 

Even the boys loved it so much, they couldn't contain themselves  

I've never been so proud to be a blonde <3

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Clocks a ticking

1 day until our mythology notebooks and papers are due
2 days until our history papers and timelines are due
3 days until Stay and I are giving talks in our ward (that were assigned this morning) and giving a lesson
4 days until finals
6 days left in London
13 days left in Europe!!!!!!!!!

Holy moly people. Holy moly.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dear Mr. Looney,

The Beatles are not overrated. In fact they are incredible and your daughter is their newest fan.

Thank you and Goodnight
Staley, Ringo, Paul, George and John

school shmool

Yes its true...not everything is fun and games here in London town. There have been multiple all nighters and too many late nights spent working on homework. And I will admit that occasionally blogging and facebook breaks do occur, but there is always some serious reading, studying, and writing going on.

Greek and Roman Mythology and British History and Politics, whether we like it or not, we are slowly but surely learning your ways. However, we are also learning a few other important tidbits of knowledge. Here are a few examples... 

How to build a castle using only people

What kinds of substances keep you awake in the wee hours of the morning

Taking pictures of yourself at Oxford pretending to studying is a great way to procrastinate actually studying

Taking pictures of yourself going crazy at night while studying is a great way to procrastinate actually studying...

And best of all how dance breaks work wonders when you're starting to lose will be posted asap

All I have to say is that studying with Stales and ClaireBear by your side is much better than studying all by your lonesome. Well that is if you don't plan on getting much done...;)

When you give a Looney ice cream...

When you give a Looney ice cream...

she will ask for more. Or your spoonful.

After she has a little more, she will do a jig.

Once she has done a little jig she will ask to make a fort at our hostel with materials that you didn't even know could be used for forts: ties
...suitcase straps
...hostel sheets
...scriptures for weights (and a firm foundation)

We decided that despite our bunk beds, we would all rather smoosh onto mattresses pushed together on the floor.



Party people


...and here we are on a school night, sitting around the dining room table at 1:27 AM blogging. Life is a party, i tell ya what.


Sharing is Caring.

Staley and I found our dream house.
(disregard our questioning arms in this photo, we have no question that this is THE house.)

We have found ourselves taking notes on different elements we love in each of the old homes here.
Weird? Yes.

We aren't even close to owning a home, let alone renting an apartment without help from our parents.
In fact, I don't even own my own British History and Politics book or fingernail clippers these days.
Luckily my dear blogmates believe sharing is caring.

I finally allowed Jess to share one of her favorite Fox Mints with me tonight (she's always thoughtful and tries to, but I'm not too much an after-dinner mint fan) and she insisted I take
5 million
for the road as she frantically stuffed a handful in my pants pocket.

That girl would share her left arm with a friend if she needed to.
In fact, I think it's safe to say after our bus conversation last friday that she would be willing to be my baby's surrogate mother.
Thanks for being so willing to share Jess, youda best.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sleeping positions

Friday we spent 7 hours on a bus traveling from Liverpool to Wales to Coventry to London.

So what happens when you wake up 41 college students at 6 am to get on a coach and travel across the country…WE SLEEP! The coach has this amazing what seems like a magical power to put us to sleep no matter how much sleep we got the night before or how much energy we have when we walk onto the coach. A few minutes after it starts rolling, it’s a serious struggle to keep your eyes open. 

The only problem is sleeping on the coach is quite near impossible unless you have someone next to you that you are really comfortable with. Seriously… the tiny, un-reclining seats are less than ideal for getting some shuteye. So when your eyelids get heavy and your head starts bobbing as you drift into sleep, the only way to get comfortable is to SNUGGLE.

Therefore, we have discovered numerous sleeping positions to make the long coach drives
 bearable and actually quite comfortable. It’s a great way to catch up on the sleep we don’t get at night.

Here are two examples...

Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do


Home of the Liverpudlians

Liverpool was not what I expected at all but I loved it. 

Reasons why Liverpool is cool:

#1. It reminded me a lot of California because it was a beautiful 70-degrees and we were right by the ocean.     
                 Did you know that Liverpool has been an important port city throughout    
                 history, where millions and millions of people left England and came to 
                 America? Including thousands of newly converted Mormons who left their 
                 homes to create a new life in the promised land. pretty cool eh?

#2. It is the birthplace of the Beatles!

     And I have to admit that I wasn’t really a Beatles fan before. But after going to The Beatles Story Museum and listening to their music via my friends here, their enthusiasm has rubbed off on me and I think its safe to say the Beatles have gained another fan. 

After dinner we walked past a fountain so obviously we had to stop and play.

After a few minutes, a little girl (probably 12 years old) came up to me and asked if she could be in a picture with us. We awkwardly said yes so she grabbed my waist and we took a picture. Then we noticed all her friends standing behind us anxiously waiting so we asked them all if they wanted to be in a picture too. They ran over and we were about to take another picture and that same girl came over grabbed my waist again and said “I love you”. 

Haha. That was it and then they left.  So there are a few things that could explain this odd interaction... 
  • These little girls were high via the use of illegal substances
  • She was just really friendly/weird
  • She thought I was a celebrity
I guess we will never know…

Another highlight of the trip…Ted the Tick

To be continued…

Ted the Tick

Tick: (noun) a small, blood-sucking mite. Normally it lives on blood from larger animals, like deer, but it may also attach itself to humans.

We were sitting on the dock off the Liverpool Bay watching the sunset.

Looks peaceful, beautiful and full of love huh.

Claire finds a small, harmless little speck on her leg.

She inspects the harmless little speck a little bit closer.

The harmless little speck... a tick.


Side note: I HATE ticks. I was the girl at girls' camp who couldn't sleep at night because I was paranoid that every little freckle, bump or itch was actually a nasty little tick. And honestly when I saw the tick with his head nuzzled deep into Claire's lovely, long legs I was laughing a little. I'd never seen one before and what can I say, a bug upside down is a little bit funny.

Back to the story:
We're walking back (forget the sunset. we have a tick to kill) when we are stopped by an old American couple who are so excited to see some fellow Colonists. While we were talking to them I brushed a little tickle away from behind my knee, looked down and saw the fatal "HARMLESS SPECK!!!"

A tick! A tick! In My, STALEY CARTER's Leg. And not only that, I must have brushed the body aside and the head was stuck in there.

"well, nothing you can do. That head is in there for good." the old yankee man said.

We get home and absolutely no help from the hotel front desk girl (a crabby little girl who didn't have any matches or rubbing alcohol to offer).

Operation Room: the hotel room
Doctor: megan and jess
Patients: Claire and Staley
Tools: tweezers and carmax

I'm go to show the doctors my tick and I couldn't find the speck. NO! It's gone deeper! The skin grew over the head! GET IT OUT!

"Staley, there's nothing there!"

"Jess, just get out the tweezers and start digging!"

Basically, I kinda went insane and I apologize for that, because Claire had a legit parasitic problem and there I was freaking out because of a tick that I couldn't even find.

Happy ending, Dr. Looney got the tick out Claire's leg while Jess and I serenaded her with Beatles songs and for me? Well, I didn't have a tick. I even checked again the next day. Nothing.

And we all lived happily ever after.
Except for the Tick which Looney flushed down the toilet.

Love, Staley

"We should name him."
"Ted the Tick"
"No! He can't have the name Ted! He's sucking my blood! Lucifer. His name will be Lucifer."
"Nah. Ted."

Friday, June 4, 2010

An Ode to Fae Technology Grange

This week in Liverpool we sat on the dock at sunset and met a sweet British family. Their daughter was named Faye (different spelling but still tender).

After her mother called her name I was overcome with the RAGING NEED to see my dear friend Fae.

While at the Edinburough castle I saw a memorial (pictured on the right) that contained the name Grange. I realized that it was the same sign that I saw on our family vacation in 7th grade. I even have a picture of it that I took with my disposable camera from that vacation.

How fateful that years later I visited

and immediately noticed the same sign?!

My Dearest Wiffle, I miss you and your contagious laugh. Love you man.

Love always,


The wheels on the bus drive me INSANE!!!

“Back on the bus, back on the busy, somebody shoooot meeeeeeee.”

We spent almost 8 hours on the bus today.

Wake up.


Get on the bus.


Wake up.

Look at castles.


Get on the bus.


Wake up.

Look at castles.


Get back on the bus.


Wake up.

Look at burned cathedral.


Get back on the bus.


Wake up.


Luckily our bus driver, Zultan, made the ride a happy one with dough nuts.

We made it home safe and sound after our 3 day trip to


the Lake District

and Wales-

thanks to our noble steed.

Love always,


Little Moments, Big Memories

Well as of today, we (the bloggy day in london writers) have 18 days in Europe, 11 days in London, only 2 and a little more weeks left...
basically the clock's a tickin'.
Even though we've had huge experiences in Scotland, Liverpool, the Wells, Glastonbury and all over London, some of my favorite memories are the
unexpected moments

New friend: Daniel Cooper (son of Prof. Cooper)
Age: 4
Why we're friends: We spent 4 hours on the train ride to Scotland searching for Tree Castles, quoting Finding Nemo, playing D.J. Dan on my ipod and so much more.

Featuring: Alex Boye (singer for the Reflection's of Christ CD)
Age: unknown
Not only did he surprise us at our fireside the other Sunday, but I was singing that night too. I got to sing for him!! I don't think I've ever been more nervous in my life!

New Friend: Michaela Ball
Age: 20
Home: New Zealand
I met Michaela at the Hyde Park ward on our first Sunday in Relief Society. We just happened to start talking and turns out we were meant to be great friends. She joined us last Saturday for shopping, salads from Chop'd in Selfridges (the Harrods for Locals. yes we are now "locals.") and then to Piccadilly Circus for Ben's Cookies and some deep conversation.
We sat right on the steps below that statue, took a mental picture and will never forget that saturday.

New Friend: Rin Tin Tin
Actually we never knew his name, but he followed Looney, the lover of all dogs, for a while on our way home. It reminded me of the dog that followed my family and I years ago when we were traveling around, Italy was it (mom can remind me later)? I don't know where we were, but I LOVED playing and running around with that dog for hours. Who knows, maybe this is him and back for round two.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Let's go to a show

We were planning on seeing Legally Blonde tonight but when we got to the theatre it was mysteriously closed. Hmmm...So our back up plan was 39 Steps. Best back up plan ever!!! It was hilarious. Loved it. 
The cast even had a Q&A afterwards so we got to meet with them after the show.

Yesterday we saw the Vienna Piano Trio perform at Wigmore Hall. It was my first piano concert ever and it was incredible. The music was amazing a bit too soothing after only 3 hours of sleep the night before though if you catch my drift.

Last week we saw Macbeth at the Globe theatre. It was....well...gruesome. A few weeks ago we saw A Mid Summer's Night Dream there as well. 
Have you ever stood and watched a play? Ya I don't recommend it. We may or may not have left early both times. But nevertheless it was a cool experience and I'm glad I went. My favorite part both times was walking out of the Globe along the Thames as the sun was setting and seeing the beautiful architecture of the city.

We've also hit up a few concerts while we've been here. We all went to see She & Him. It was awesome. 

                                                                                                                     And Claire saw Third Eye Blind a few days later!

On Friday night we saw Peter Pan. Amazing!

 Hopefully we will get to see at least one or two more shows before we leave!!!