Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Back in Maidstone, Gary had to work up in London today - so I worked on catching up on my blogging a bit and Gary's mom, Linda, took me on a walk around the area and. Linda is really sweet! It was nice to talk with her! and really nice of her to take the time to take me on a walk and tell me a bit about the area. Here are some pictures from our walk:

Oh! here is something that is kind of fun...and by fun I mean absolutely disgusting and incredibly uncomfortable.
So you might think that all of these little red bumps all over my arms and legs are from misquotes...well that is what I thought at first too. But the bites were also on my feet which were always covered, so how would a misquote bite my feet? I couldn't figure it out. I called my dad and he suggested bed bugs. Yep! that's right. I knew exactly that's what it was when he said it. Then I remembered one day I woke up in the hostel we were staying in in Scotland and I saw a little bug in my bed. I had never seen that kind of bug before and I thought, "oh please don't let that be what I thought it was."
...Well it was! I did some research on the internet and found what bed bugs look like and what the bites look like and that is what I have! GROSS!!!! I found out it can take anywhere from 2-9 days for the bites to show up. They are kind of like misquote bites, really itchy and pretty uncomfortable, so I try not to scratch them. BLAH!!!
just a word of advise...when you hear the words,
"Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."
For REAL!!! do what they say and DON"T!!! Don't let them bite!!! cause its pretty awful!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lost in London

Okay...so I wasn't really lost in London today but it was an adventure day that I could take my time and get a little "lost" (still knowing where I was of course. It actually worked out well that I stayed in London – I was able to be in London all day today and go to and see some things that I hadn’t had the chance to do yet. I went with George to the BYU London center (which is where he works for his day job) and got to see that. It is a really nice building! Pretty fancy- yet I am glad that we stayed in flats instead…it was more of a genuine/real London living experience that way.
So George went to work and I set off to discover more in London. I went to the tower of London. And I bought a painting from a street vendor outside of the tower. This is a picture of my new painting…

I LOVE this painting! It is my definition of what London is to me. Big Ben, Red Telephone Booth, and a boy and girl walking hand and hand under an umbrella. The first day that George and I went for a walk together in Hyde Park, he shared his umbrella with me.
The tower of London was pretty cool.

HAHA!! see the funny part of the sign!? Ahh! British humor! lol

Here are some fun pictures from the Tower of London

My favorite part was, of course, the crown jewels. But there are no pictures allowed in there. so I pulled this picture off of the internet.

Before I went to the Tower of London I went here

this is one of the MANY MANY sandwich shops. I love that the tag line for EAT. is "The real food company" This reminded me of when I was growing up and I would ask my mom for something to eat and she would say, "go drink some water" or "have some vegetables" my response was always, "no I want real food!" HaHa! and look at this here! EAT. knew what it was all about! REAL food! lol love it!!!

After the tower of London I went to The National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery is HUGE...mostly I am getting to the point where I am almost museum-ed out cause I have seen so many old things in museums...which are WAY cool and I LOVE it! but I quickly made my way through the older stuff and went to the modern section of paintings. There were some stellar paintings! MAN! I was really impressed! some of them looked like photographs! it was REALLY cool!

Wish I had pictures to share but once again no pictures allowed. Same with the National Gallery -

loads of really neat and famous art! but alas no pictures...sorry just know it was really cool!

I found a little internet cafe and got a sandwich for dinner and checked my email, here are some more pictures I took during my wanderings of the streets of London.

I decided to stay in the City and treat myself to seeing one last show in London. This is what I picked...

It was a FUN show! Loved the Music! there were some girls in my study abroad group that had gone to see it and raved about it - so I decided that I should see it too! I needed something fun and upbeat to cheer me up. and get my mind off the fact that George and I were breaking up.

...Well thats an awful note to leave off this post...

I had a lot of fun adventures in London today! after the show I hoped on the bus and then the train back down to Maidstone and Gary picked me up and brought me back to his place. It was a good day

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday in Hyde Park

This morning Gary took me to the train station and I went up to London so I could go to church with George. I waited at the Hyde Park chapel till George got there. We went to Sacrament Meeting together. George asked me if I would be okay with skipping Sunday School so we could talk. We found a room and I shared with him pictures and stories about my trip to France, Italy and Scotland. After church was over I waited for George while he did his home teaching. Then we decided to go for a walk in Hyde Park. I then went home with George and helped him make dinner. This is George doubting his cooking abilities.
But the spaghetti turned out really good!
George and I kind of lost track of time. And forgot that the tube station closes earlier on Friday- so I wasn’t able to make it back down to Gary’s house. I just stayed with George. It was nice to spend time with him again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chillin in Kent

Gary has a BBQ gathering of old friends today that he brought me along with him. It was fun a bunch of Gary’s old friends from their ward growing up. Most of them are married and have kids. I really got along with them and had fun. The BBQ was at Marcus' and Dicksey's house. They were SO nice! I really enjoyed talking to Dicksey! we got along really well. There was also a someone who brought a mutual friend with them who was from Utah - her name was Jacque and she actually went to the same high school as me! and we have mutual friends- so that was pretty cool! The world is SO small- especially within in church!
There was one point that I was out with friends and Gary was inside and some of them asked me if I was dating Gary, I laughed a bit and said, "heavens no, we are good friends and I love him, but no we are not dating."
We spent the rest of the day there- I was hoping to maybe make it up to London today so that I could see George. I talked to him on the phone for a minute, but I didn't want to impose my agenda on Gary cause I was there as his guest, so I just followed along with what he was doing. Which was mostly fun, at least until Gary and the boys were playing video games...all night haha.
I fell asleep on the couch. We went back to Gary’s around 2 am or so, it took a while longer to get to his house too cause there was a main road blocked off so we had to find a different way around to get back to his place.

Friday, June 26, 2009

laying low

We mostly just hung out at Garys today. I was Way tired, didn't get much sleep, well at least not very high quality sleep on that really hot uncomfortable bus…wasn’t until later that we went out and went to a club to go dancing. This club had some of the coolest lights that I have ever seen! They were like lots of little laser beams shooting out and when they came in contact with you they would break apart. It was so cool!
Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me…actually I really didn’t take many pictures when I was staying with Gary. =( Maybe cause I felt like I was at home and was just playing it low key…


I am constantly amazed at how Heavenly Father shows his hand in my life. Not surprised but amazed, and awed and grateful- ever so grateful. I have had many adventures this summer so far. I am so behind in my blog writing I apologize – especially to my family because this is the way that I update them and they know that I am safe and well. I still have a lot to catch up on with the last week that I spent in London and now this time that I have been in France, Italy and Scotland. And I will get there eventually- sorry again. But here is an update-
k- one thing I realized is that stories and experiences build upon each other – so I am going to work up to today's date. (Just so you know- I am going to post about things on the day that they happened- so you will have to look below at “older posts” to see the new posts that I am putting up. Is this confusing enough?! Haha luckily I have been keeping little daily notes about what I have been doing – so I will hopefully not leave anything out =)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Last Adventures in Scotland

I just want to share with you how cool the money is here in Europe! its really colorful and all different sizes- oh and we uses LOTS of coins here too! This morning I got up and packed everything into my backpack. I met up with my friend Sean and we went on a walking tour of Edinburgh. Our tour guide Andrea showed us and told us a lot of cool things.

I will show you some pictures of things we saw… =)

Andrea told us about the witch burnings that happened in front of this churchat this place…
It was also a place of public humiliation for those who broke the law.
She told us about how people would protect their houses from burglars by having a trick step like this…Different houses would have their trick step in different places so they would warn their guests and friends, but if an unwanted visitor came in then they would trip over is and cause a lot of noise and wake up those sleeping in the house.
Great views of the streets and building…the famous-

And of course…
The Edinburgh Castle!
Stopped by and got lunch at this shop….oh so good!

We went to...and the graveyard in Greyfriars. We were told all kinds of stories and information…
there are lots of important/famous people buried thereWe were told about people who were body snatchers. and they would dig up the graves and sell the dead bodies to labs and medical schools...so sometimes people would have their loved ones, or important people buried with cages around their graves like this...that way the body would be protected.
there was a man who worked at Greyfriars and he has a dog, an old faithful dog...cant remember much of the story that went along with him...but he was very trusted and loved and he was also burried there and has lots of gifts and things left behind for him at his grave...

We ended our tour at this park
Here Andera told us this awesome story about how some college kids decided that they would steal the coronation stone from Westminster Abbey and bring it back to Scotland where it belongs…the 3 students weren’t too bright and went though quite a process to try and get it. They underestimated…or actually didn’t even think of how heavy it was going to be and ended up dragging the corination stone inch by inch to the car, losing their keys along the way somewhere in
Westminster Abbey…then they ended up breaking the stone in half. Yeah not very smart! But it was quite a story! (once again sorry my details are lacking)
After the walking tour Sean and I walked around Edinburghthen we walked by…
Here they were having a shindig of sorts, lots of military peopel dressed up and music going...
I saw two soldiers walking by and asked them what was going on. They said that they were practicing cause the Queen was coming the next day. Pretty cool!

Sean and I then went on a hike up to Arthurs Seat. Which is this small mountain/largish hill that overlooks Edinburgh.
I found out a cool story about Authur’s Seat on Sunday at church…
Parley Pratt was the first missionary in Scotland. When he first arrived he climbed to the top of Authur’s Seat and dedicated the land and asked for God to help him convert 300 people right away so he could start the church in Scotland. So now when missionaries first arrive in Scotland the first place that they go is up to Authurs seat and they dedicate their time there for their mission, and it is also the last place that they go when their missionary service time is finished. This was pretty cool cause it reminded me of my mission. We got to do the same thing but in the Sacred Grove.
After Sean and I got a 99flake (that is what they call an ice cream cone that has a little stick of chocolate in it.) and we stopped by a little shop and I bought a Scotland zip up hoodie.
I wanted to go to the Edinburgh Castle and Sean had already been, so we split up and planned to meet up for dinner later on. I stopped by this really cool church that was just down the street from my hostle
This is the same church that they had the witch burnings in front of.
Inside of the church...

– I was told that this was one of only two places where you could see an angel playing the bagpipes. So I went in and was able to look around and in this chapel room there were really cool intricate carvings in the wood and that is where the angel playing the bagpipes was.
I went up to the Edinburgh Castle – it was 5:00 and they were closing…SAD DAY!! Can you believe that?! Who closes at 5 pm! I thought that it would be open at least til 6 or 7. So I didn’t actually get to go into the Edinburgh castle, oh well.
I ended up walking around the streets of Edinburgh a little longer and just exploring a bit. Taking photographs and exploring:
this is what the roundabouts looked like.

I went back to the hostle and picked up my things and then went to meet Sean. We went to a pub where we heard they had good Haggis. There were certain things that I was told were a MUST to have while in Scotland! Haggis was one of them. So we went and had Haggis for dinner.
It was actually really good. (do you know what haggis is...? i kind of think i do...haha, maybe its best to not really know though.)I was also told that a fried mars bar was another thing I had to have…but I honestly tried to find it at a number of different places and I couldn’t find anywhere that sold them. Which is funny cause some people would say that you could find them everywhere and others would say that they really aren’t that popular. So I didn’t end up being able to get one – sadly enough.
So it turns out that Sean and I were headed back to London at the same time and it just happened that we were on the same bus back to London. So we were able to go and find the bus stop together and I still had a friend for the bus ride down.
A bus was the cheapest way back to London from Edinburgh…defiantly not the most pleasant way, but the most cost effective. So that is what I opted for. The bus ride was long, and all through the night, We arrived back in London at about 6 am to the Victoria station. I got a ticket and made may way down to Gary’s house. Gary is a friend of mine from BYU who is from Kent which is about an hour train ride from London. Gary picked me up from the train station and brought me to his house.