Flat trip to London

Yesterday we got back from our second flat trip. This time we got to go to LONDON! We only spent two days and one night there, but it feelslike we were there for much much longer. We left for London on Sunday morning at 5:30am and most of us slept the whole bus ride there. (I definitely did.) On arrival we were quickly shuffled on to the Tube which we were able to really get a hang of by the end of the trip. We rode to St. Paul’s Cathedral where we got a quick look at Millenium Bridge before going in for a short service in the cathedral. The we hopped back on the Tube and went to Russell Square where our hotel was so that we could drop off our bags. Then we headed out to find lunch and finally settled on eating in the park. Next we went on the Tube and came up right next to Big Ben! The look on everyone’s faces was priceless as we walked past this famous clock and on to Westminster Abbey. We all went crazy taking photos. Then we all went separate directions with our assigned partners. We were each assigned a specific place that we had to explore and then share a short presentation (only 5 minutes if that) about it with the rest of the group. I got paired up with Noah and we wandered off to find the Museum of London. It proved a little more difficult than we had initially thought because some of the lineswere closed since it was Sunday. We ended up taking a very strange route there, but it probably just helped us get better acquainted with the way the Tube works.The Museum of London ended upbeinga great place to spend the afternoon. The Museum of London goes chronologically through the history of London/England.It had all kinds of short videos and interactive programs, which I found to be a lot of fun. (It’s the 8 year old in me.) It took a long time to go through the entire museum but I really felt like it helped me with the order of events in London’s history. There was also something for everyone. I found the exhibits on the Black plague and the Great London Fire to be really interesting… I wonder if I should be worried by that? By the time we finished there we didn’t have all that much of our freetime left so we walked back to St. Paul’s Cathedral, which really wasn’t very far away and found a cute little pub nearby where we could get a good, hearty dinner. It ended up having a bit of a Charles Dickens theme which we found pretty cool. We both ordered Charles Dickens’ pot pies whichwere really good. There were also books by Dickens along the wall on a shelf and a room named the ‘Dickens room.’ After a nice, relaxing dinner we crossed the Millenium Bridge over to the Globe Theatre where we met up with the rest of the group. We got to see “Dr. Faustus” by Marlow. It ended up being a great time! The first half I sat down for, but the second half I got to stand right next to the stage. It made everything even more real and the funny parts were even more funny. There were some points in the play where actors would take spit-takes off the stage or ‘pee’ off the stage and soak the crowd immediately in front of them. There was also a point in the playwhen the character stole food from the table, took a bite and then tossed it into the crowd. It was headed straight for me and Ben jumped in and grabbed and ate it! It was just too funny! Everyone around us instantly swarmed in asking what it was. There was also a point in the play when one of the guys, a very hairy little man, moons the crowd. I quickly looked away but turned at theperfect time to see the look of horror across Chelsey’s face! PRICELESS! Haha The play ended, the actors bowed and everyone was ready to leave… when all of the actors came back out to do some sort of creepy dance, chanting combo that had everyone present movin’ and a groovin’! It was so much fun and members of our group still randomly start chanting it every once in a while. The next day we woke up for a large, English breakfast. It was delicious and the perfect start to a very busy day. We then headed for the British Museum. At the British Museum we got to see mummies, Greek and Roman artifacts as well as the Easter Island Head. We spent forever just wandering through the various rooms. There was so much to soak in that we’ll all probably have to go back and spend a whole day there some day. A bunch of us then met up around noon and attempted to get from the British Museum to Westminster Abbey in a half an hour in order to make it to Eucharist. It was probably one of the most stressful experiences thatI’ve ever encountered. People were left behind, we were running through stations and down the sidewalks of London. When we finally got there the service was already 20 minutes in, and only five of us remained. We asked the people in front if we could go in to pray and they told us we could join the service late. WE WERE SO LUCKY! So we walked in just in time for communion and stayed a little bit after the service to pray and then to gawk at the beauty that surrounded us. It was truly moving. Afterwards we went to see Buckingham Palace, which was just so HUGE. I knew that it would be, but there was something about actually being there. Sadly there were no cute, British guards dressed in red and looking serious. There were just guards in plain dark colors off in the far distance next to the palace itself. What a disappointment. Then cut through St. James’ park in order to get to the rail station. It was totally worth it. The park was beautiful with its wildlife and beautiful trees and flowers. Then… I got dragged to the Natural History Museum. I find it somewhat funny that I have always gone to museums like this one because of my dad and little brother’s interests, but then when I was across the ocean from them… I still got dragged there. I did end up having a great time at the dinosaur exhibit though (I love dinosaurs) as well as in the brain section of the Human Biology exhibit (The psych major in me was having a heyday. It was all just so interesting!) I also had a great time doing pliés in all the positions in the ecology exhibition (It had been years since attempting to remember any ballet! Haha) Sadly, I was very ready to leave by the time Ben had gotten through the Evolution exhibition… Sorry Ben. I then went and met up with Michelle in order to go to the Tate Modern. This was a lot more my kind of thing. We had a great time looking through all of the free exhibits. I just love going to art museums. There was art by Picasso and Monet which made it incredibly exciting! By the time we needed to leave the museum it was down-pouring outside. We made anarrangement to meet in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral in order to go find dinner and literally ran through the pouring rain from Tate Modern, over Millenium Bridge and to the great steps of the Cathedral. We were soaked, hungry and a little bit crabby by the time we arrived. We found a nice little Italian restaurant across the street, made arrangements with the waiter to be out in 45 minutes and enjoyed warm Italian food while our clothes slowly dried. Then we rushed to catch the Tube… once again running. Managed to catch the second Tube to pass… after failing to get into the first one… made our transfer easily enough and were only a few minutes late back to the hotel to grab our stuff. We all headed to the Tube for one last ride. It ended up being a little more of an adventure than we had expected. First, Becca got on a Tube by herself and started rolling away. Then Professor Johns was missing when the second Tube came so Natalino and Mary stayed behind. Then we waited forever for the Johns’ and Natalino to come through the gates… but they never did. Eventually we decided to just go find the train only to discover that they were waiting patiently there for us. Once we got through the queue to the train our seats didn’t exist due to some issue with the seating chart on the train and so we all grabbed random seats scattered all over the train. Safe to say it was a relief when we found ourselves safely on the train headed for Nottingham. It was my first trip to London and definitely something that I will never forget. It was two days that felt like much longer. It was a growing experience that really brought our group together… through the good times… and the bad… through the stress… and the laughs.

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