Friday, August 5, 2011
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Henry VII and Hampton Court Palace- another beautiful day walking in the footsteps of royalties of past. Immediately upon arrival, the sense of awesomeness sets in. The grandeur and impressiveness of the palace is still holding after all these years. If you look carefully, you can still envision Henry walking through the main courtyard or through the gardens. You can still hear the sounds of everyone rushing around trying to win the favor of the king and to please him while he entertains guests.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Pirate speak is necessary when you start your day off on a mighty pirate ship in the treacherous seas of Kensington Gardens!! :) We pillaged and plundered all morning at the Princess Diana Memorial Park before they let the little ones in.
Most of us ended up staying the rest of the weekend in Paris because one day just wasn't going to be enough! We had so much more that we wanted to see and do. Angela and her amazing Web finding abilities found out about a "Museum Pass". This pass cost ¢35 and it got you into most of the monuments and museums around town. Usually, you could skip the long lines and get right in. A few of us signed up for this and weren't disappointed! I was able to hit- the Louvre once more, the Arc de Triomphe, the tropical aquarium, museum of cinema, the museum of maritime, and the architecture museum. Now, had I had more energy I would have still had time to take a few more out- but alas, the walking was long, the sleeping was little, and the stairs were great. So we did what we could and still had an amazing time. If you're going to be in Paris for at least two days- the Museum Pass and the 2-day Metro pass are money well spent. I definitely recommend them both!
Our first day in Paris began so early that I'm surprised any of us actually remember it. :) It was good to get such an early start on the day though because we had so much to do! As soon as we arrived, we immediately went over to the Louvre. Being the largest museum in the world, it's difficult to see everything in just a few hours but if you plan out a little bit of what you want to see, you'll take in a lot of it and have a great time. I recommend starting off by the Greek statues and the Mesopotamia area. It's not very crowded and the pieces are exquisite. I was blown away by the absolute capturing of the human form in so many contexts and themes. It was mesmerizing.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
Ernest Hemingway created a beautiful metaphor with that quote- a movable feast. Paris is the kind of place that stays with you and becomes a part of you. As the hours count down to our departure- 4:30 in the AM esshh!- my thoughts are on that beautiful city. I can't wait to just be there- experiencing it and taking it all in. So stayed tuned readers! The adventure will continue south tomorrow!
Today we visited the famous Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross station. When traveling with a bunch of future librarians- this becomes a mandatory stop on the tour. We definitely held up the line a bit while each of us got our photo in but it was worth it! It's wonderful to see the inspirations and sights of great literature.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
It can be said that music is a language we all speak and truly love. Though people may try to say that they don’t sing or dance you can catch most doing so at some point. It’s because music is in our souls and hearts- something that we are born with. Saturday was spent in a small but gorgeous little bar in Soho called Molly Moggs and we did just that- singing and dancing ourselves out. It was a night where every song that came on was one we all knew by heart and it created an atmosphere where everyone could enjoy the night together and have a laugh. The crowd was full of lovable characters and are group had such a blast, we will surely return soon. I mean with karaoke every night why would we pick anywhere else?!?
Today was a day spent in relaxation- a train ride down south with a new friend and an adopted family and the most delicious Sunday roast- that is the truly perfect end to a weekend. It was also the perfect way to re-energize myself for the busy week ahead and get my head focused on the tasks that I and my other classmates will face this week.
Friday, July 22, 2011
This week was jam packed with so many different tours and sites and traveling that it is wonderful to get a chance to sit down, relax, and maybe work a bit. :) Today, I took a tour of the British Museum. This was wonderful to see since it features all of the ancient civilizations that we cover in 6th grade. I'm still new to teaching this particular subject so it was amazing to see everything I've been reading about for the past year. There is so much to do and take in that one day will not be enough- I will definitely have to make my way back here. Lucky for me, it's just right down the street!!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Today we visited the fine town of Oxford where we were immersed into more of this country’s rich history. The architecture of the town was truly spectacular! It was a fine opportunity to see what London might have looked like today had the great fire not of occurred. Today, we walked in the footsteps of some of the world’s finest and brightest. The city’s rich literature history was just as equally compelling as its educational.
We visited the Bodleian Library which was absolutely beautifully and also went for an amazing tour of Christ Church. Our tour guide- Shaun aka "Bowler Hat Guy"- was one of our best guides yet! We definitely got the inside scoop and the VIP tour. We ended the day taking a sneak preview of what will be the Story Museum and then had a delightful dinner at the famous Eagle and Child pub or Bird and Baby as it's known to the locals. The talented likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien otherwise known as the "Inklings" made it a habit of going round there for drinks and writing some stories a few of you might have heard of... :)
It was wonderful to see such a beautiful town and I'm looking forward to some relaxing this weekend!
When I first came to London in 2006, I was working on my student teaching. Through a series of events that I had little to no control over, I ended up teaching in smaller town south of London in a town called Horsham. To this day and at the time, I truly believe fate brought me not only to that particular town but also a particular family. I stayed with the Bennett’s during my time in England and truly became one of them. I lived and worked and played with them. I shared my secrets, fears, and happy times with them but most of all, I cam to know them and love them deeply. Tonight, I returned to my English home and saw them once more.
I can’t even tell you what it means to see them. I can’t even begin to describe how much they really mean to me. I can only say that even after 5 years we can still connect once more over a glass of wine or a pint of beer and it’s like we were never a part.
Tonight, we talked of many things. We discussed current events but more importantly, we shared the past together once more. We talked about what had changed (the bathroom and bedrooms) and what hadn’t (Alice’s laugh and Denise’s smile) and we talked about trips and plans and just all the life that can happen to one person in five years. We reminisced about the old days and remembered favorite songs (anything by the Proclaimers) but we also talked about the present and what is going on now in our lives (new schools and futures prospects). The amazing part is that we are all still just as close to one another as we once were. When we look back, it seems like such a long time ago but in our minds it’s like it was only yesterday.
So tonight I dedicate my post to Denise, Simon, Alice and Tom. The four of you made my time in England more meaningful and joyous than I can ever convey in words. You were and are my home away from home and I’m so thankful that you are still here for me now and today. Thank you for taking me in and looking out for me during a difficult time in my life. Thank you for all that you taught me and for everything that you did for me. I will always think of you as family.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I've always thought that one of the best ways to learn your way around somewhere new is to get lost. Start wandering around (hopefully when you have time to do so) and try to find your way around without asking for help or using a map. Now, one shouldn't take this it an extreme or anything but you'll find yourself paying more attention to what's going on around you and what goes where. Just take it all as it comes, as the Bush song goes.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
When you're staying somewhere outside the comforts of home, you will obviously see differences between the two places but I advise you to look for the little differences out there. Don't just accept what you have and think that's all there ever was and will be- look beyond and begin to question the world around you. Open yourself up to new perspectives and begin to ask "Why are things this way?"
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Today was the first official start day of our program. This morning, as we all arrived, we got a chance to get familiar with the study center, the surrounding area, and the teachers and staff. The study center and our flats are located just outside the heart of London. We are just minutes away from Covent Garden and Trafalger Square. It's a wonderful location. The center itself is right on Great Russell St just a little ways from the British Museum. I can't wait to continue exploring around tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Considering that it took a little over 24 hours to return to my beloved England, I'd say bitter sweet describes the day exactly. I love to travel. For a person who can never, NEVER have a job that involves driving through traffic each day- traveling is relaxing for me. I honestly don't mind the delays or the people everywhere. I love to people watch and extra wait time just means that I get to read my book that much longer. :) Today however, certainly caused a bit of trouble.