Thursday, May 27, 2010

Doppelganger found!

Staley Carter or Amanda Seyfried?
Which one is which?

*I'll give you a hint...the prettier one is Staley


"Welcome to the birthplace of democracy!" ~ Dr. Roger Macfarlane (aka our program director/mythology professor)

Can't you just feel the patriotism?

To find out more google Runnymede, Magna Carta, and King John

Land of the Scots

(In a Scottish accent) Miggin Looneeh here...
I have one word to describe Edinburgh. sketchy. Haha. seriously.

First of all, there are crazy, drunk or high people walking around EVERYWHERE.
Tons of beggars EVERYWHERE.
We saw a crazy street performer juggling a chain saw.
A cafe tried to rip Claire, Vic, and Jess off. luckily we caught it.

We were planning on taking a bus to the coast for dinner but the guy working at the hostel recommended that we didn't because he said, “I don’t want anyone to get stabbed.” It’s safe to say we didn’t go.

Oh and we met a new friend who took a picture for us. Well first he asked for 3 pounds for the bus. Stales and I gave in. Dang it. Because Claire later pointed out that him and his friends were holding bags of groceries. cool. luckily the picture actually turned out okay.

Highlights of the trip...
1. The train - 4 1/2 hours never went by so fast

2. The hostel - it blew the other hostels we've stayed at out of the water. it was awesome.
3. Chocolate Soup - a dessert cafe right up the street from our hostel. three words: chocolate brownie sandwich. AMazing. and yes we went every day we were there. don't worry we split it every time.

4. Chiquitos - A Mexican restaurant we went to for lunch on Tuesday. Can you say unlimited amounts of chips and salsa for FREE? After spending 4 weeks here in the UK, we forgot what that kind of Americanesque hospitality was like. 

The only problem was the FREAKING hot pepper I discovered in my salad, well actually in my mouth. Oh my gosh it was insane. I can barely handle medium salsa so basically I was dying. lets just say Claire said she's never heard me talk so fast. ever. Katelin-Jane, Jess, Staley, and Claire kept handing me all sorts of food and drink for the next ten minutes until it went away. Thank goodness for my friends :)
But that hot pepper still couldn't over shadow the joy of that Mexican food in my belly.

Random goodies

Shout out to my Papa! I had to take a picture of your cafe in the park. the color choice really suits you

Shout out to J's mama!

Edinburgh castle in the background

ps. photo credit - Claire Pingree

"Not me,
not hermione,
you Harry!

Well everyone, don't be jealous, but after entering platform 9 and 3/4 at King's Cross we found ourselves in the Great Hall of
Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

actually it was Christ Church at Oxford University but use your imagination

in the great hall
*actually it was delicious hot chocolate

After a delicious great hall experience we ran around for hours reenacting Harry's magical adventures and casting spells.

Little did we know, but Oxford university is apparently prejudice against the vision impaired. Rude.

Wingardium Leviosa,

Winged friends

We are finally done with a week overflowing with school work. Studying in London is harder than any studying I have ever done before. It takes huge restraint to stay inside to work on homework while there is a city to explore just outside our door!

Staley and I stayed up until 5 AM on Monday night working on our British History and Politics timeline (I hope Professor Cooper doesn’t see this). It was quite the test of endurance as we worked for hours and hours. It was a painful reality to hear birds chirping and the first signs of the sun outside as we trudged up to bed.

Speaking of birds, it has been a really uncomfortable experience being in a place where I don’t recognize most of the birds or their calls. I took a bio class last year that required us to identify and memorize tons of birds from North America. Ever since that class I have had a special little connection with my winged friends, but it’s hard to connect with foreign birds that I don’t recognize.

I need to invest in a European bird book.

Megan’s goal before leaving England: drop kick a pigeon.

The other day we found a flock (gaggle? herd?) of swans on the Avon River in Stratford.

There is one bird that I recognize (besides the pigeons, geese, ducks, etc) here that flocks to Hyde Park like children to a pinata. It’s called a European Starling.(see below)

Yours truly,
the bird whisperer

(for those of you who still don't know me well enough to know who wrote this, you don't really deserve to know)

These kicks will run...

These kicks will run, let’s have some fun, here in London town!”

(our pump up cheer before each run)

The other day we ran near Harrods and a whole bus full of tourists got an eye full of our full fledged cheer in the middle of the sidewalk.

Yesterday we took a run after class and decided to change up our normal route. We started running down towards Portabello and went over into the Notting Hill area.

Somehow we got lost and ended up asking some locals for directions for how to get back. We ran up Notting Hill and thought of our runs up to the temple in Provo. Luckily the hills here are dinky so it wasn’t too bad!

(Notting Hill)

Some comments we received while running through the neighborhoods:

“Good day ladies, you’re doing great!”

“Hello ladies, can we join you?”

“Can we come and run with you!”

and the best of all:


-A small British girl in full uniform at recess.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All You Need Is Love.

Today we woke up at 5:45 to get to
Abbey Road
early enough to take some classic pictures. Totally worth it!

We spent the rest of the day at Camden Market and Hyde Park soaking up the wonderful weather. Here comes the sun.

Cheers to an epic day of Beatles spirit, Greek food, shopping and sunburns!

A Tale of a Tall Tower

Once upon a time there was this King and Queen, they lived in a castle in a far away land called Windsor. They built a magnificent castle and lived happily ever after. Hundreds of years later a couple girls came to visit, and surprise surprise the family still lives there. Yes, this is true. Windsor castle is the largest inhabited castle in the world. It is 480,000 square feet and as we all said when we saw it, a legit castle.

Windsor Castle

a tower

a personal cathedral



and peasants

And they lived happily ever after,
love Staley

Friday, May 21, 2010

Musophobia is a problem

29 minutes ago we got back from our trip to Windsor Castle. We book it to the servery to get some leftovers before everyone else eats them because we're starving! Last night we had delicious chicken fajitas and I cannot tell you how much I've missed Mexican food these past three weeks!!! London has about every other type of food in the world, but they are definitely lacking in the Mexican department.
So we throw it in the microwave, gobble most of it down, and we're sitting at the table when Brianna shrieks and yells, "I think there is a mouse in the fridge!" and sure enough after a bunch of the girls run over there to investigate, a MOUSE was found. inside of the fridge. the place where we had just gotten our food out of. the food that was now in my stomach. sick.
Anyone that knows me at all will know how I'm feeling right now. I'm trying to keep my food down as I'm writing this.
Maybe this is happening so I can get over of my RIDICULOUS fear of rodents. Maybe.
But all I know is that every night I go to bed and whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I have to convince myself that there are no mice in my bed and I'm not stepping on one when I feel something under my foot in my room.
Haha. Its kind of funny. well at least that's what I'm trying to tell myself.
Claire or Jess...I think you might have a sleeping buddy tonight in your top bunks :)

Jenny The Mouse-Slayer
thanks Jenny from killing the mouse in our bathroom with a trash can and capturing the one in the fridge
2 down
a million more to go

The Musophobe aka Megan
with photograph submitted by Staley
who said I never take pictures
eat that Claire
I win

Off to the West Day #2

Well, after a refreshing night of sleep at our cozy hostile that smelled like burnt broccoli, we drove to Glastonbury. Here we saw the supposed burial place of King Arthur and Guinnevere. I was really disappointed to find out that most of the things we have heard about King Arthur are false and pretty much created for entertainment. As Katherine Heigl says in 27 Dresses,

“I feel like I just found out my favorite love song was written about a sandwich.”

A monk guided us around the Glastonbury Cathedral ruins and told us about different saints that were associated with the cathedral. We snuck off from the group for a few minutes when they went into the kitchen and frolicked in a little garden and orchard for a few.

Afterwards we walked through the town to walk up towards the Tor, a tower on top of the hill in the town. As we walked through the town we quickly realized what an... interesting(?) it was. There were shops all over with names like

Little Imp


Speaking Tree.

And they weren’t cool witch shops like you might see in Harry Potter.

These were slightly scary witch shops that were your straight-up black cauldron, lady with long scraggly hair, long black dress, warty witch shops. I was scared to take a picture of this car out of fear that the witch that owned it would curse me for defiling her possession.

We took a hike up to the top of the Tor, which turned out to be a lot more steep than any of us expected.

The view from the top was INCREDIBLE!!

After we finished taking pictures it started to rain (talk about good timing, maybe the witch actually cursed us with good timing for taking a picture of her car because she knew it would make it onto our sweet blog) so we journeyed back down in the rain.

Afterwards we drove to Ilfracombe, an awesome coastal town loaded with lurking teenaged boys.

I have no idea why this was, but I hardly saw any adults or girls while we were out.

All of us were overcome with glad tidings of great joy as the ocean came into view on the bus. We had some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had at a restaurant that night and journeyed up onto the small cliffs for some epic pics!

Later that night Staley serenaded the group in the common room at the hostile and we all got in bed early again. I had a hard time falling asleep with the rugman in the back of my head.

Rugman ran the hostile where we stayed.

He acquired this name because of his hair, which is one (yes, one GIANT) dreadlock that ran all the way down his back. It looked more like a beaver tail to me.

It was hard falling asleep knowing that he had probably made my bed. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of critters were in bed with me.

Mom, you would’ve died haha


Friday, May 14, 2010

Off to the West - Day #1

     Last night we got back from our first extended trip out of London! It was a really fun yet extremely exhausting 3 days.
     We left Tuesday morning at 7:30 am and headed to Jane Austen's house. It was surprisingly cool and I was inspired to read a Jane Austen book while I was there because I never have (nor have I ever seen any of the movies inspired by her books). So I bought a really pretty copy of Pride & Prejudice there and its my goal this summer to read it! Wish me luck.

Oh and Claire found a flying broom. NBD
Next we went to a little town called Winchester. We saw a pretty cathedral, King Arthur's round table, and my favorite part of the trip, we discovered "Heavenly Sweets" and bought some sweet treats for the coach. 

Katelin-Jane knighting Staley of course


After Winchester, we traveled to Bath. It is an absolutely beautiful city! We took a tour of the Roman baths, window shopped, ate dinner at an Asian restaurant called Wagamama's (so good), and still found time to imitate the local crowd.

The Roman Baths



     I was pleasantly surprised by our hostel. It was nice and clean and the best part was the three of us went to bed at 10 pm! and got a solid nine hours of sleep. We were so so happy to be rested. My favorite part of the hostel was that the whole group congregated in the hall created a massage train and chatted for a couple of hours. It's amazing the great things that happen when you are laptop and phoneless ;) 
     The next morning Claire, Staley, Jess, and I woke up at 7 and went on a run to explore the city. It was amazing! We ran through a beautiful field that overlooked the entire city and then we ran along a river filled with old boats and then through a cute park. Thanks to my mom's advice, we decided to run in every place we stay on this trip. It has turned out to be the greatest advice ever because we were able to see so much more of the city and gain a new perspective of it. 
This is where we ran! 
*Thanks Rachel for the picture :)


Day 2 of the trip to be continued.....