A Best Friend, A Queen, A Day in Liverpool, and A Very Green Weekend in Dublin

It's been a few more weeks since I've been on this things, but I've been too busy running around! I left off last with my Dad coming into visit me, which was such an amazing weekend!  With only 5 days until Holly came, I was going crazy with excitement.  I tried to get through the week of classes as fast as I could.

On Friday, I had to get up at 6AM to get to the airport by 7:45 for her to land.  I got there about 10 minutes early which was good so she wouldn't show up with no one waiting for her.  When she finally came I about died.  I was very very close to crying .. actually when she arrived and when she left.  Anyways, we finally calmed down and I took her down for the Tube ride home.  When we got to my flat I showed her around, which takes about 2 minutes, and we unpacked her stuff.  I had a doctors appointment that morning so we went straight there and then to lunch at one of my favorite (pretty American) restaurants, Garfunkels!  We were thinking about going shopping after but she was so jetlagged we just went home for a nap.  We didn't do too much that night, just walking around and such, because we had to wake up early Saturday for Liverpool!  I have been so so so so excited to go I was going crazy!

So we woke up Saturday and got on the coach for our long l o n g 5 hour ride.  We got into Liverpool and weren't able to check in for a couple of hours so we went out for lunch, went back to check in, then headed to the Cavern Club to watch the Shakers!  They are officially my favorite band, and I could probably listen to them every day and be happy.  There was a bachelorette party there for a little while, and some Europeans decked out in American shirts (I don't know why..?) By the time the end of the show came, we were all dancing around with each other in the center floor though.  It was so fun! After the show ended, we went over to the Lennon Bar to see what was going on.  There was a band playing which we danced to for a while and then went up to the bathrooms to sign the walls.  I found Heather and my signings, which wasn't too hard because we about signed the entire thing.  But Holly and I wrote some things and then went next door to the Grapes where we met the nicest ladies who talked to us for a while and told us where to go next!  It was called some square that was supposedly filled with bars ... so we walked in circles and finally found a place that we thought was it and headed into Oniels bar where we met some friends and chatted with them for a while.  When we decided to leave, we jumped in and out of so many bars/clubs I couldn't even begin to tell you which was which.  We walked into some for about 2 seconds then walked right out, and stayed in for a little while at others.  By the end of the night we were back at Matthew Street though, of course.  We made it back to the hostel for bed later on, and woke up the next day deciding to head back to London that night since we had ran out of money.  We booked our bus ticket for 8 so we had the whole day in Liverpool, which I loved!  We started out shopping around a bit and then had lunch at the cutest cafe in Cavern Walks.  They gave me my drink with ice, so of course I loved it.  After that, we headed down to Albert Dock where we saw a parade of pirates, a statue of Elvis and the docks and things.  We walked around until we had to catch our bus, and made it back to my flat in London at about midnight.  We took a detour on our walk home from the coach station to Buckingham Palace for some pictures for Holly.  I always love going there!

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The next day I woke up for class, which Heather and I found out on our walk there that the Queen was going to be at Westminster Abbey that afternoon! After my class, I met up with her and Holly outside Westminster Abbey to see the Queen! She was so cute in her little pastel pink dress coat thing and hat.  There were SO many people there too!  It was one of the coolest things I've been able to experience here.  I mean, how many people can say they've seen the Queen of England??

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After that, Holly and I headed out to the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London for her to see, then went out to Leicester Square and Picadilly Circus.  We went into M&M world, which I hadn't been in yet either, so it was great to see! For dinner, Holly and I went to Friday's ...... I know.  But it was still good! And I've been craving some real American food for a while .. we got some good food and a DELICIOUS dessert of about a million scoops of ice cream and oreos.  It was SO good.  We went up to the bar after that and talked for a while, and met all the bartenders! They were all from different places - Serbia, Italy, and Greece - and were all nice! They hated on me for loving Liverpool of course, but loved that we were Americans, of course!

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The next day we woke up and headed out to the Camden Markets, Holly Heather and I.  We all got some little things and souvenirs and spent the day looking around the place.  The markets are SO big but so fun to go to and bargain!  After that, Heather headed home and Holly and I went to eat.. at Garfunkels again. It's just so good!

Wednesday, we started out early and went to Abbey Road! We took some pictures and signed the wall, then went to look in the Beatles Coffee Shop, which really wasn't anything .. disappointing.  After that, we went inside Westminster Abbey and looked around for a couple of hours.  Holly really loved it!  We walked over to the bridge by Parliament/Big Ben for some pictures of it before we went back to the flat to get ready for the night.  We were going to see LES MIS!! We bought a dinner/theatre package, so it was all included which was great!  We got ready and went to the restaurant, which was Italian and delicious!  Then to the show, which I had been going crazy for since the last time I saw it.  It was SO good again.  I decided it's my favorite show, ever.  I love my Rent and all, but this show is just incredible.

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After the show ended, we headed back home because we had to pack, shower and try to get some sleep in before we had to leave for Dublin at 3AM!  Our flight was at 6, but the airport is an hour and a half away so we had to take a bus there.  Needless to say, we were up early.  I was only able to sleep for an hour which was better than I expected.  When we got into Dublin, it was around 730, so we were all ready for a nap.  Luckily we were able to check into our hostel right away.  The hostel was AMAZING. It had a bar/club on the bottom floor, and it was full of graffiti art on the walls.  Our room was filled with 5 bunks; each bed had their own fluffy pillow, and we had a cute couch and wall mural in the room.  It was definitely the nicest hostel we have stayed in since we've been here!  We slept a little longer than expected, then headed out to meet the other girls that were in a different hostel.  We grabbed some food and they needed to go to a tourist desk to figure out their trip so we headed straight into the bars.  There was already amazing music coming from each one, so I was so eager to get in!  We spent the night hopping bars around the Temple Bar, singing and dancing and making new friends.  It was such a fun night!

The next day, the girls took a day trip to Galway, but Heather Holly and I decided to stay in Dublin and go to the coast, Howth.  It was rainy and cloudy, so we grabbed lunch at a cute cafe, hoping it would let up.  It didn't, but we still went out around.  Finally, when the rain stopped we decided to walk up a little street that ended up taking us to the top of the cliffs.  The view was incredible!  We took about a thousand pictures doing whatever and just had fun up there for a couple of hours.  When we decided to head back, we grabbed some dinner then hung out in the hostel, since we had to wake up early for St. Patrick's Day!

The next day we got up and got all decked out for the day.  Holly and I had some green tights, Heather and I had sparkly ties and we all had little headbands with shamrocks and leprechaun hats.  Clearly, we were ready to go.  We went out to the parade and the streets were insane!! There were SO many people all over the place!! We saw what we could of the parade - which was interesting.. and very weird.  Then headed over to the Temple Bar area again.  We went into a new bar where we met some Canadian friends.  We all sat together, played some games and watched rugby together.  Everyone was so so nice!  Holly and I went downstairs to talk/meet some more people, then Heather came to meet us and we left to a new bar.  It was so crowded so it was hard to get into anywhere, but we managed.  We met and danced with so many people until we decided to head back to the hostel later in the night.  We thought when we got back we would head up to the room, but then remembered there was a bar/club inside and saw everyone dancing downstairs, so of course we had to join for round two.  We danced around with everyone for a little while and then headed back to the room.  Holly and I bought about 4 cans of Pringles and a sandwich to share.  We sat in the hallway (everyone else was sleeping in the room) and talked and laughed for a couple of hours until we headed to bed.  The entire day was so so so much fun and I cannot even explain how happy I was to have Holly there with me!

The next day, we woke up, checked out, and went out for some lunch.  We didn't have too long to spend around Ireland cause our flight was at 3, but we got some souvenirs and then headed to the airport to get back to London.  When we got back, Holly wanted to go out for dinner and drinks for my birthday, so we headed out to a cute little restaurant and some places.  It was a nice last night with her.

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Yup. That right there is my best friend.


The next morning was my birthday!  Very exciting to be turning 21, but I had to say bye to Holly which wasn't so great.  It was a quick and wimpy goodbye cause neither of us wanted to cry, but we both managed to after we left eachother.  She made it home safely though, which is good.  That night, I won tickets to an acoustic show with Ramin Karimloo, who is a big theatre actor that I love!  I haven't won anything before so it was awesome to have won on a show on my birthday!  Heather and I went and it was so much fun!  He sang some covers and some of his own songs, and he was just great .. and soo cute : )  After the show, we went to a bar to grab a 21st drink and it was delicious!  When we got home, Heather gave me the little desserts she bought me.  They were so cute! and DELICIOUS!  And being in Europe to top it all off, I really couldn't have asked for anything for my birthday.  This year has been so amazing, there's nothing more I could want!

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Tuesday was a work day, as both Heather and I had presentations on Wednesday.  The presentations were real easy though, and we are both done with those classes for good which is amazing!  After my class on Wednesday, I was having such a good week, I decided to just make things even better and go see Les Mis again!  I got 9th row seats for half price which is a great deal!  The show was iiiiiincredible, and I'm probably going to see it again next week to be honest.  Can you tell I'm obsessed?

Thursday morning, Heather and I woke up early and met our friend Madison at the Apollo Victoria to get some cheap front row seats to Wicked!! Neither of them have seen the show, so I was soo excited for them!  The show was just as amazing as the other times I'd seen it, and Madison and Heather LOVED it!  We planned to get some more seats to Legally Blonde next week, since it's closing.  It's not my favorite show, but it's a lot of fun, and everyone knows I will never say no to seeing a show!

I also got my birthday package from my parents that day, which was one of the greatest gifts I have ever gotten.  They sent me ICE TRAYS! Which if you don't know, they don't give you ice here .... and I love my ice. So it was probably the greatest gift I've ever received.  I also got some sea shells from Jupiter, earrings, and my Grandma got me a fleece Beatles blanket! It is SO cool! I have such a great family : )

Friday, Heather and I woke up and decided to wander around the city.  I had to go to the Apple store because my stupid computer's trackpad isn't working, which makes everything SO much more difficult.  I made an appointment for Sunday to get it checked out, so hopefully they can fix it.  After that, we went over to Savile Row so I could see where the Beatles rooftop concert took place! It was so cool!  After that, we went to Fortnum and Mason, which is a cute expensive dessert/wine/everything shop.  Everything was so cute and looked sooo goood! We were able to taste test some truffles that were so so so so so tasty!  Everything was too expensive for us to buy, but we'll probably go back and split something soon!  After that, we wandered around to some Harry Potter places that I don't really understand yet.  I need to watch the movies though, because I'm doing a studio tour in May!  So excited, even though I haven't seen the movies yet, hehe..

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Today I woke up to try and go see a matinee show, but realized that Saturday is going to be super busy, so I went shopping instead.  I got some cute things for summer, since I barely packed anything!  After I got home, Heather and I have just been working on our homework and are going to finally plan our spring break! It's actually our summer, because our classes end April 5th, but whatever.  So exciting!

Tomorrow we are waking up pretty early because we are TOURING ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS!! I am so so so so excited, and if I am this excited, you can only imagine how crazy Heather is going!  It's going to be amazing.  After the tour I am going to Apple to fix this stupid thing.  Then maybe it won't take me 352 hours just to update my blog!
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Well, it's been a while....

So it's been about a month since I've updated this .... oops .. I was waiting until I did some things to write about and then it just got busy and then I just got lazy .. this post may be like that Liverpool one .. long long long!

I left off the week before our GIS week (Guided Independent Study .. basically a Spring Break .. before our 3 week long Spring Break? .. I'm not complaining). We had booked Paris and a couple days before the break we decided to go to Prague as well! Being able to spontaneously plan a trip days before you want to leave is yet another reason why I am so in love with Europe.

But before that! Earlier that week on Wednesday I went to see a show  ... by myself ... whatever I'm used to it. Anyways, I saw Backbeat, which is a show about Stu Sutcliffe and the beginning of the Beatles.  It was SO good! Sadly it was closing that Saturday - which of course meant I had to see it one more time.  Heather wanted to see it too, so we got some cheap seats to the matinee of the closing day.  The show is so good and the music is of course, amazing! After the show they did an encore of about 4 different Beatles songs which were so good to sing and dance along with! I loved it.

That Sunday, we woke up extra early to get to our coach bus to ride to the airport.  Our flight was at 11AM, but our starting bus trip was at 8 .. we got there on time and everything and the flight went great!  We got into Prague in the later afternoon, checked in our hostel and walked around the area.  There were so many shops and a big area that reminded me of a smaller version of Times Square.  It was so nice!  We didn't venture very far that day cause we were exhausted, so we headed back to the hostel pretty early, turned down the hostel owner for drinks (guh), and got to bed.

The next day we woke up and began walking ... and kept walking .. We didn't know how to use the transportation so we just walked everywhere, which was actually better to be able to see the whole city.  We walked up to Old Town Square which is the main city center of Prague.  There were a lot of people taking pictures and hanging out, as well as locals grilling out in the middle selling their food.  We stopped in a little pizzeria which was so so so good! And cheap! Did I mention that 1 British Pound is equal to 29 of the Czech Koruna? It's pretty amazing.  After this, we headed to St. Charles Bridge, which is lined with statues as well as marketers selling paintings, jewelry, etc.  It was all very nice, and the view from the bridge was great!  When we got to the other side (Old Town), we walked to the Lennon wall, which is basically a wall filled with graffiti; it was so pretty, and we were able to sign the wall too! We kept walking, passsed the love padlocks (couples link a lock onto a fence to 'signify their love'), went through a little park with some weird, weird statues, and made it to another main street.  We stopped in a little cafe to get some hot chocolate which turned out to be some delicious hot chocolate/pudding.  It was SO good!  We made our loong way back to our hostel after this trip, to get ready to go out for a bit.  We walked up the streets to a bar called 'Double Trouble' .. I know.  It was down some stairs - the look kind of reminded me of the Cavern Club which is always good .. but there were maybe 15 people there.  We sat down for a little while, met/talked/danced with some crazy Italians and then decided to call it a night.

The next day we woke up and headed out again.  We went across the bridge again to Petrin Hill, which is a huge hill with a lot of fun things up at the top.  We decided we were so good at walking that we wanted to skip the tram ride up and walk instead .... which was probably a few miles .. uphill the whole way.  It was so tiring but we made it!  And got some great views of the city while we were at it, so it wasn't horrible.  At the top they had a replica Eiffel Tower, a little cafe, and a mirror maze which was small but so fun!  We got some tasty pastries at the cafe and decided to head down .. on the tram.  We figured since we walked the whole way up we could ride down.  It was almost dark by the time we got down, so we headed home to get ready for the night.  We were doing a pub crawl that night, and it was our first so we were real excited.  We met up with the organizers at Old Town Square where they took us to their 'own bar' which was tucked on the corner of a church in a basement .. not creepy at all.  It was fun when we got down there, though!  There were about 15 people there .. people from Belgium, Australia, South America, England, etc.  Of course we were the only Americans, which the Australians loved to make fun of.  American impressions are always hilarious though, so Heather and I had a great time with it.  We went to about 4 different bars with everyone that night and it was so fun .. since there were so few of us that night we all stuck together and hung out which was nice! Needless to say, it was a great night to end our stay in Prague!

 




The next day was our flight home and we were exhausted!  Thursday, though, we had our Art and Society class bright and early at 9AM, which I was not happy about.  But we went, and actually visited the War Museum, which was my favorite visit thus far.  After class we came back to our flat and fell asleep sooo fast!  We woke up and finished some homework and papers we needed to get done before Paris.

Friday we woke up early againnnnn to catch our train to Paris!  This was my first train ride ever, so I was pretty excited.  They had headrests, delicious food, and lots of room for stretching out.  It was not a bad ride!  We got into Paris around noon and checked into our hotel, which was right in view of the Eiffel Tower! Once we checked in, we left right away - we were so eager to get to the tower.  It was about a 10-15 minute walk which was not bad, and very easy - we basically just walked towards it.  When we got to it, I really couldn't do anything but stare.  It was so massive and just amazing.  Really, nothing like I've ever seen.  And there were SO many people around it!  The lines to go up it were insanely long, so we skipped out on that.  There were vendors, little gift shops, etc. along the bottom.  It was such a cute place!  We walked up to another area where people crowded to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower from a distance.  We made our way from here to the Champs Elysee which was a busy, andexpensive, street.  We stopped in a little place for lunch and sat right in the big windows that they had opened up.  The lunch was delicious and it didn't drive my wallet in a hole too much.  From there, we walked down the street and made our way over to the Louvre.  We passed a very cute area with fountains and chairs to lounge in, so of course we had to get some crepes and relax for a little bit.  When we got to the Louvre, we took pictures, hung around, and saw that we were able to get in for free as students after 6PM.  It was only an hour away, so we walked around a bit until we were able to get in to see the Mona Lisa!  When we got to the painting, it looked as if there was a celebrity around.  There was a crowd of people pushed up against a rope taking pictures of her.  All for this little painting!  It was very cool to see though - she was a bit smaller than I thought, but I was still impressed.  After walking around for a bit longer inside, we decided to head out and get back to our hotel.

The next day we woke up and headed out to find an adorable market right outside of our hotel!  We got some pastries for breakfast there and walked around, talking to the different French vendors.  We were planning on going to some other markets up north, but we unfortunately couldn't walk to these, so we took the metro, which is the most inconvenient metro system I have ridden (I mean.. besides that I have really only ridden the London tube ... but still).  We finally made it to the markets, which were kind of in ghetto France, but everything was very cheap and it was amazing! Heather and I both splurged on some shoes, but they were only 10 Euros!  After getting a few other cute things, we headed towards the Sacre Coeur.  The building was beautiful, but atmosphere was even better.  There was music, people singing and dancing, and even a puppet show.  The view was incredible as well.  That was probably my favorite place that we went in Paris.  It was great.  We walked down the the village below where we were stopped by some sweet Africans who conned us into letting them make us some bracelets and looking for some donations.  I didn't mind because they were so nice to us and the bracelets were a cute little souvenir.  We walked down into the village and stopped in a restaurant for some sandwiches.  These sandwiches were amazing - ham on the inside and the cheese was baked on top of the bread? It was so different but SO delicious!  We also split some chocolate mousse dessert which I was completely fine with.  That was the best meal I have had in Paris and maybe since I've been here.  But I have had a lot of great meals.  After walking around a bit more and seeing the notorious Moulin Rouge, we headed back to see the Notre Dame!  It was so pretty, but kind of reminded me of Westminster Abbey.  We were only there for a couple of minutes because we wanted to try and make it to the Eiffel Tower at the top of the hour to see it sparkle.  We raced on the metro and literally made it back to the Eiffel Tower at 8:05.  Great, right?  We walked around there for the next hour waiting to see it sparkle, which was worth it because it was absolutely beautiful.

Sadly, the next day was the end of our week of travels.  We got on the train and headed back home to London, but at this time we were almost so ready to because of how on-the-go we had been the whole week.  I think as soon as we walked into our flat we collapsed in our beds and didn't get out until the next morning.

I'm actually pretty impressed with myself that I took that photo..



The next week was just boring classes, but on Thursday in my theatre class, we took a tour of the National Theatre.  We were walked through backstage to see the different sets and props and it was very cool to do!  Especially after taking my stagecraft class, it was nice to see these things I was so familiar with again.  Besides that, the week was full of anticipation because my dad came on Friday! I haven't seen any bit of home for the last two months, so it was so nice to spend the weekend with him!! Friday he got in and we went out to dinner at some little Italian place.  It was deliccccious! We went back to the hotel after that which was super nice.  My dad has so many Marriott points so we could go into the executive lounge for free food and drinks!  The next morning we woke up to go to the Tckts booth for a discounted show that night!  We decided to see We Will Rock You, and got some seats about 8 rows back.  We didn't know what to do during the day, so we walked around some theatres to see if we could get any seats for a matinee show.  My dad really wanted to see Les Miserables and was set on it for some reason, as I was suggesting Mamma Mia and other shows that were cheaper.  But he really wanted to see it so I didn't mind at all!  For some amazing reason we got seats in the center 5th row - we really couldn't have had better seats.  I really can't say enough about this show either.  I always knew it was one of those 'classics' that I had to see as a theatre lover, but I was completely blown away.  The show was absolutely incredible.  One of the best shows I have ever seen.  And the lighting/set design was seriously some of the best, and I don't normally notice/comment on it.  The effects were amazing.  And the cast was apparently an amazing cast, which I didn't realize until I looked at them when I got home.  But now I'm so in love with them and I need to see it again.  After this amaaaazing show, Dad and I got some dinner and headed to We Will Rock You.  I'm not really sure what to say about this show... the music was good? The storyline was the worst I have ever seen, and the show was just a big mess.  And it's been open for 10 year.  I'm not really sure what other reason this could be except for the fact the Queen is from here.  I don't even want to explain why this show is so bad, but I'll just leave it at the fact that it takes place in the future and Earth is the 'iPlanet' and they are in the Internet Gaga phase trying to get rid of rock and roll forever?  I don't really know.  But the encore was good!  The show ... was .. not.


Saturday night we went back to the hotel late and fell asleep, but not before I bought us some tickets to the matinee of Jersey Boys!  I had to.  We woke up and went out to lunch at a cute diner right by the theatre, and then saw the show which I always absolutely love.  It is one of my favorite shows!  I had a migraine during and after the show, so we went back to the hotel after and just relaxed the rest of the night.


Although we saw some good theatre and some not so good theatre this week, it really brought me back to how much I actually love it, and how excited I am to work in this area ... hopefully!  I can't wait to start looking for some more internships and plan for what to do after I graduate!  This is my favorite business in the world. Let's just hope I can get into it in Europe rather than America!


My Dad had to leave really early this morning for Holland though, which was a bummer.  It was such a quick weekend, but he comes back in a month with my Mom with I can't wait for!  And HOLLY comes on Friday! HOLLY COMES TO LONDON ON FRIDAY.  Is this real?  I don't think I'm going to actually believe this until I see her in the airport here that morning .. which I might cry for.  I can't wait I am SO incredibly excited.  Not to mention on Saturday we are off to my favorite place in the world - Liverpool!  Couldn't be more excited for this to happen.  Just have to get through this week!

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