Monday, September 20, 2010

Unexpected Events

Some of the best travel expereinces are when you have no idea what you are doing. When you have one map or not even a map at all and know nothing about the place you are at. I would have never imagined I would ever have an experience like that. I am the type of person who plans and worries until everything is correct. I think living in England is changing me for good. Over here they live free. They seem to have no worries and just have fun. They live life how many Americans should be living each day for itself. Everyone I have met and hung out with has been like that and I love it. The English people I have met so far have been some of the nicest people. They welcome us all in. They are in love with Americans and our accents, just like we are in love with theirs. It has only been a week and I think that this is one of the best decision I think I have ever made for my life.
A group of 6 of us girls went to London for the first time Saturday. It was amazing. The day was complete. We sat down Friday night and tried to start planning. It was not much success. We ended up finding the cheapest way there and that was the bus. It cost about 16 pounds round trip and was about an hour and half drive. We took the early bus at 8:30 and took the late bus back to Canterbury at 10:00. It was a long day, but that gave us enough time to walk around the city and see almost everything. When we got there we looked around and were lost immediatley. Six American girls standing in a bus station in London with no map. One of the girls Alaina ended up buying one so we realized that we were on Buckingham Palace road and we started walking hoping we would see the palace. We saw that Piccadilly Circus was a few blocks up from that too. We were all too excited to even think. The only thing that kept going through my head was "I can't believe that I am actually standing in London." I have always dreamed of the day that it would happen, but never at all knew the day would actually come. Still while I am writing this I can't believe that I am over here. I don't know if this feeling will ever leave my head until I get back home and look at my pictures over and over again. Well as we were walking down the streets there were so many beautiful buildings. I started snapping pictures! I have so many! When we started getting closer to Buckingham Palace there were some shops. The most eleguent things were sold in these shops. Of course I didn't have enough money to buy anything, but to me it's still amazing to look at it. We ate lunch just outside Palace. There was a lot of comotion going on. People were all lined up by the gates, and there was a ceremony going on inside. It looked like little girl scouts doing something with the guards. They were the ones with the big black top hats and the red jackets. We couldn't see over people so we kept walking. Everytime I passes a big gate I would quickly snap a picture hoping one would come out ok. The police made us walk so fast. We couldn't stand still. It was seriously like one second glance in. I could actually see what was going on better by looking at my pictures. When I looked at the first one I was like awesome. This is what we just saw!!! As we walked away from the Palace Kaitlyn told me she overheard someone say that the queen was coming in. I wish we would have stayed to see it, but hey, we can say we were there for a while! The big park outside of the Palace gates was gorgeous. It was lined with maybe maple tress in straight lines, and the cutest british people. We saw an adorable older couple. They made me so happy. I saw them trying to figure out how to work their cell phone. When we walked out of the park there was a display of art. A few girls bought a piece. It was all so life like. There were pictures of London with big ben, the beach, and even flowers. There was picture of a big sunflower field and I wanted so bad to buy it for my mom, but it was too expensive. It reminded of home so much. There was a time we went to our farm in Orlinda and saw a huge sunflower field, and this picture looked exactly like it.
As we continued walking we were hoping we were going toward Piccadilly circus. We passed a famous park I forgot what it was called, but when Alaina said the name I was like oh yea! We went through this block long upscale shopping area, and Shannon said that it was in the movie Parent Trap. I think it was. I kept thinking about the Mary Kate and Ashley movies that I used to watch and I felt like them. I even thought about the Amanda Bynes movie What a Girl Wants. We found Piccidilly Circus and it looked a lot like time square in New York. I loved it. It was busy. There were theatres everywhere. They were playing everything from Mulan Ruge, Grease and even Mamma Mia. Kaitlyn and I are going to try and see if we have enough money to go see Mamma Mia. I hope so. We went into this cool Britian store, and when we entered there were clowns dressed in all Britian clothing blowing horns at everyone. They were cute. I was so tempeted to buy something in the store. I walked around with a lunch box and Kaitlyn walked around with cute bag, but we ended up not buying anything. We kept on walking past Piccadilly Circus not knowing if the direction we were going was right, but we ended up i guess in the middle of London at the fountians and Art Muesum. Oh yea, I forgot that we went into an Art Institute earlier and just sat there like lazy Americans for about 20 minutes. I did a lot of thinking then, and I am considering maybe going to graduate school in London and studying art or fashion. I will see. I have no idea what the future holds. But when we were at the fountians. There were two big ones and then a staute with Lions that everyone sits on and takes pictures, and big ship in a bottle. It was all so cool. We walked in the free art muesum and the paintings were beautiful. I found that I really liked Gainsborough. There were two paintings that he had of where he painted his two young daughters. It just reminded me of Kaitlyn and me. That was my favorite piece of art I saw in the museum. In this area of London there were many of the personators who stand completely still for people to see. These were dressed in all silver. We went into a little bakery like store that sold all natural food and got a drink and something to snack on since we were starving. The coke had sugar instead of corn syrp. I liked it better. When we went back outside. There was a huge rally going on across the road. It was like a protest against the pope. Some of the signs said Nope Pope, and every little thing that you think could go wrong with the pope. I really had no idea people were against the pope. They were all so creative. We ended up at a building that had the guards that didn't talk. We got a picture at with him. It was kinda weird because I saw his eyes glance over at me when we were taking a picture. There was another little park we went to and this one had a small cottage. It was the wild life cottage for the birds. There was a little man there who played with all of the squarriels. He would feed them peanuts and they climbed right on him. They would climb up his legs and arms like he was a tree. It was crazy. There was blocked pathway with a bunch of police men standing so we asked one what was going on and he said around 6 the Pope was going to come down the road. We looked at the time and it was like 515, so I was like we are going to definately come back and see the Pope. We walked up the Big Ben and Parliement and saw the London Eye. It was spectualar. Then we heard a lot of screaming and carrying on so we walked up the road the the rally that we saw earlier that was against the Pope was all together and they were giving speeches. We stayed and listened to them for a while. At that point I realized that I was totally against everything they were saying. The road was blocked with huge mercendes police vans, and helicpoters were flying over everywhere. We then walked over the the pathway that the Pope was going to come down and stood for about 30 minutes waiting. It really wasn't that crowed at all. The crowd was calm compared to Chicago crowds. We were standing at the gate, and there wasn't any pushing or shoving. Behind us there was this adorable British family. Mom, Dad, two little girls about 2 and 3 and a little boy about 6. The little girls were playing ring around the rosy over and over and there little accents where so cute. It was about 20 past 6 when the vans started to pull up. One pulled up right in front of us and a man in a black and red gown came rushing out. We thought it was the Pope at first. This man moved so fast. It was a split second and he was out of the van and under the archway in the buliding. Then all of a sudden a car pulls out of the archway and in this open float like car. The Pope came out. It was amazing. He was just waving to the crowd. All of these were so unexpected amazing events that made my first trip to London a success. We all decided to start walking back to the bus station. I wasn't sure how to get back just knew we had to pass the fountains, Piccidilly Circus, paintings, the park and Buckingham Palace. When we were walking through the park it was like a horror movie. This big empty park and us walking down the the middle of pathway. Buckingham palace was so beautiful at night. We sat at the statue outside the Palace for about 45 minutes. We climbed up on it. I like how in London you can do that on certain statues. It felt like I was in movie. I was so tired on the bus I feel fast asleep until we were back in Canterbury. Unexpected Events lead to the best adventures, and I know that the rest of my experience abroad will be filled with many more full days like this.

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