Tag Archives: Jack

Life in London Part V: Silly Things and Lovely People

6 Jul

Things I’ve fallen in love with while in London…

General Sillyness

The is the last stop on the Picadilly line going North. The trains announce where they are travelling to, so in this case, you hear: "This is a Picadilly Line service to: Cockfosters". What makes this so great is that it is said by an almost robotic sounding British lady. And I take the Picadilly line about ten stops. So I hear this over and over. Does it get old? Nope.

Of course.

I'm just silly. But I don't care, I have fun.

People

I love love love Sam to death. She and I went through a lot together at the beginning of the semester and our friendship is solidified after this experience together. Our mutual love of Robert Downey Jr.'s wax figure certainly helps.

Matt and I have intellectual conversations about literature and the state of the world while enjoying a glass of wine... or two or three. We also enjoy pretending to be hipsters and having a photoshoot, lounging in the parks on sunny days and dancing the stress away at night.

Obviously I love Jack and have loved Jack for years. And next to Jack is Meggie, who is probably the funniest person I have ever met. Her angry cat noises and Wisconsin mom accent will always make me laugh uncontrollably, no matter where I am.

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Natural History Museum: Let’s talk about sex

7 May

One of my favorite places in London is the Natural History Museum. I first visited this museum five years ago with a student travel group and since I first saw the building I have been in love with the architecture. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in London.

After a few visits to the Natural History Museum I finally went to the Sexual Nature exhibit. I’ll describe the exhibit first as it was both informative and hilarious.

Sexual Nature is (until October 2011) an exhibit at the Natural History Museum which aims to educate visitors about sex in the natural world. This meansĀ I spent an hour or so in a hall dedicated to how and why animals have sex. Immaturity aside it was fascinating to learn about the different mating rituals and parenting styles of animals like snails and gorillas and giraffes.

One of the best parts of the exhibit was the video series by Isabella Rosallini. This woman is insane. Her videos are hilarious. And here is proof:

I can’t begin to comment on the response this video triggers from me. And this is only one of her videos. We saw at least 10. And the gift shop sold a DVD. Kind of wish I purchased said DVD…

As for the rest of the museum, there are several permanent exhibits including (but not limited to) human biology (This is what your insides look like! This is what puberty is!), taxidermy animals of all species (So cute, yet so sad in a way), dinosaur bones, geology and meteorology.

Here is a slideshow of some of my pictures from my (3) visits to the museum…

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Canterbury

8 Apr

After Leeds we headed to Canterbury, the site of an amazing cathedral and the center point of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales stories. The Canterbury Cathedral is famous for being the site of Thomas Beckett’s assassination.

I will never get tired of medieval churches. Trying something different with this post, all the photos are in a gallery below.

Leeds Castle

6 Apr

On Sunday Jack and I took a bus tour to Leeds Castle, Caterbury, and Dover. We were blessed with gorgeous weather, especially at Leeds.

Leeds Castle is in the county of Kent, about an hour outside London. Leeds is a relatively small castle when compared to Windsor Castle or Dover Castle (more on that later).

Some background information:

– Henry VIII escaped to Leeds during the plague

-He also gifted it to first wife Catherine of Aragon.

-Henry V gave the castle to his with Katherine

-You can get married there and stay in the castle (at a cost)

-Leeds is home to hundreds of birds and boasts its own aviary

The front of the castle

Some flowers growing along the castle walls

The castle is built on an island on a lake which helps with two things: defense and breathtaking views

We entered through the wine cellar, which is always exciting.

Wherever you go, always look up

A recreation of Henry V's wife Katharine's bathroom

Shoes, shoes, shoes...

The hall

A dining room, painted one of my favorite colors. (favourite colours)

Such a beautiful place and a beautiful day to spend there

Kent is full of sheep so there is a constant background of baaaaaas

The white swan

One of the many gardens at Leeds

Lost in the maze, which way do we go?

This was just one of the corners of the maze. jack and I felt like we were in the Triwizard Tournament final task. Yes I reference Harry Potter again. It's hard not to.

And perhaps the most exciting part about Leeds Castle…

The real Black Swan. Seeing Black Swans prompted a lot of "I'm the swan queen!"

Watch Black Swan.

A roof with a view

6 Apr

On Saturday Charles came to London for the day along with his amazing mom, Mrs. L-J. I hadn’t seen Charles since I went to St. Andrew’s and I hadn’t seen Mrs. L-J since last summer so it was great to see them again. Jack and I met them at Gordon’s Wine Bar near Embankment tube station. Gordon’s is one of those blink and you miss it places with loads of history. The restaurant is actually a wine cellar so the ceilings are incredibly low and it is lit by candles on the tables. Very nice atmosphere but a bit cramped. And the wine was amazing.

Very moody and romantic place

After lunch we went in search of dessert and coffee before settling on a fabulous hotel terrace bar in Trafalgar Square.

The view from the terrace; the National Gallery is visible in the center of the photo

We could also see the London Eye from the terrace

It was the worldwide pillow fight and Londoners participated in Trafalgar Square, cheering the entire time.

We spent a few hours on the terrace, chatting about everything from London to home to the future. There’s nothing like good company and Saturday was definitely one of the best days for it.

Madam Tussaud’s

27 Mar

On Friday the 25th I went with Sam and our friend Bri to the wax museum, Madam Tussaud’s. I went to the one in New York City a few years ago and it was a lot of fun so I knew I had to come to the one in London.

The museum is on Baker Street, which is, of course, home to Sherlock Holmes.

There are many shops and restaurants that pay homage to the Great Detective

The whole point of Tussaud’s is to goof around and take pictures with wax models of celebrities, politicians, and other famous people. I tend to be silly and nerdy on a daily basis so me in the wax museum is like a kid in a candy store: ecstatic, hyperactive, and enjoying a natural high. I hope you are as amused at my photos as I was at the museum.

Miley Cyrus: Quite possibly the most terrifying thing I've ever seen. I was prepared to defend myself.

Kate Moss: Sometimes I like to pose like wax figures of models. I think I've got the face down.

Audrey Hepburn: We had Breakfast at Tiffany's together.

Henry VIII: He snuck in on my portrait sitting. But it's ok, his cod piece really adds to the impressiveness of the painting.

Prince Harry: He's single, he's a ginger, and he's at least 5 inches taller than me. Oh, and unlike his brother he has a full head of hair.

Oscar Wilde: This is me hoping to gain a fraction of Wilde's talent by standing next to a wax representation of the author.

The Beatles: I joined the band AND got to touch Paul McCartney's leg. (unfortunately, these figures aren't exactly accurate, especially George.)

Justin Bieber: I finally met the Biebz. And I am indeed a good five inches taller than he is (he's on a platform) but that hair is just so glorious...

Lady GaGa: She says, "you can call all you want but there's no one home and you're not gonna reach my telephone," but lucky for GaGa, I was there to answer the phone.

Beyonce: Yes, I do know the "Single Ladies" dance. I go to Emerson, it's kind of a requirement.

Dali Lama: I like to practice Tree Pose with his holiness.

Pope: See, the thing is...

Samuel L. Jackson: I put my sunglasses on out of respect.

Spiderman: I like to get piggy back rides from Spidey. We're technically upside down, hanging from the ceiling. That's skill right there.

Winston Churchill: We're just two peas in a pod.

After the wax museum Sam and I went to Jack’s for a delicious pasta dinner. On the way there we passed Warner Bros. Studios, where they filmed the Harry Potter movies.

The Hogwarts houses and the Hogwarts crest. In 2012 the studios will have a tour of several sets from the films. Which is just one more excuse for me to come back to London.

Sillyness around London, featuring Jack and Etana

8 Mar

The weekend before my birthday (Feb. 24-27) one of my (most good-looking) closest friends from home, Etana, came to visit Jack and me. She is currently studying in Amsterdam and has been all year so I hadn’t seen her since August. We had quite a lot of fun exploring the city on Friday. We mostly stayed around the Bloomsbury/Holburn area but managed to venture to Oxford Street so that she could experience the joys and terror that is Primark. She did manage to get a bargain, so it was worth it. And of course Jack and I took her to Pizza Express for dinner, where she also got to experience my favorite dessert, Banoffee Pie.

On our exploration we came across this gem.

I clearly am a child. But that's okay, I know I am not alone.

On Saturday we went to Portobello Road in Notting Hill. It was dreadful weather all day; it rained, and rained, and rained some more. But we had fun looking at the trinkets and we had some delicious Paella from a street vendor. We also found this store, which made us think of a certain friend:

Little Lauren would have loved it. And Madonna has been there apparently.

That night we went to Brick Lane for Indian food, which is quickly becoming my favorite cuisine. Brick Lane is famous for Indian food but I found this street sign, which made me think of yet another friend:

Yes, Patrick, it is a street named after your favorite food.

As for our dinner, I had Vindiloo, which is an extremely spicy dish. I can normally handle spicy food but I was reaching for the mango lassi (a yogurt based smoothie) and the naan (flatbread) to help cool of my mouth, which was ablaze. After dinner we went to a club in Picadilly called Rumba, which was fun but crowded. And at the end of the night I had to say goodbye to Etana (for now, Amsterdam, here I come…April 22). Getting to see her and Jack really makes me appreciate not only old friends but having really great friends relatively nearby.

After my weekend with Etana, I was greeted with another Monday. But this time, it was my birthday. My 21st birthday. It didn’t really feel all that special (although my Blackberry was quite exhausted from all the Facebook notifications by the end of the day) until the next day, when I went to dinner with Jack. We had some fabulous ravioli and a glass of wine and dessert at a place in Covent Garden . After dinner we went back to his flat to watch Clue and polish off two bottles of wine. It was quite the night.

But the birthday celebrations didn’t stop there. On Wednesday we went to our favorite little club, Opal, to dance and have a good time. Before Opal we went to the Union bar at Imperial College for a pint of cider. And at opal we ordered this:

The Giant Daiquiri. Serves eight, or five in our case. And Jack was more than able to keep up with the girls.

We also managed to take a shot (Jack, Sam, Matt, and me) or two (Jack and me). It was a night of good friends and great dancing. What more can you ask for at 21?

Jack and I on the dance floor, making everyone jealous of our sweet grooves.