Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A wee little weekend

And we're back! What a fabulous weekend in Edinburgh!

We took the night bus on Friday night and got in to Edinburgh in the morning, it wasn't too bad except for the screaming baby that on the hour would start wailing as if someone was sticking a hot poker into its diaper. I kid you not, I like babies.... but this one had another thing coming.

We checked into our hostel which was more like Amsterdam than Edinburgh, It was so cool. If you have been to a Mellow Mushroom then you know the crazy psychedelic paintings on the walls, this is exactly like that, and all the staff I am pretty sure is mandated to have dreadlocks a pair of Birkenstocks and a smile. It was called Caledonian Backpackers, so if you are headed to the Edinburgh area on a budget I could not recommend it more. Clean, fun, cheap, friendly and AMAZING location. http://caledonianbackpackers.com/

We headed up to the Royal Mile to go to Edinburgh Castle, which is nothing short of picturesque, and sits atop the entire city. Basically anywhere you look you see the
castle.




















We walked around the grounds got our pictures and memories and then headed for something much warmer, not just the fact it was inside. Something that would make our chests and heads feel all warm and cozy, The Scotch Whiskey Experience. I can only explain this as a Disney for adults. When you go in you buy your ticket and then go to the next room where you chariot awaits. Yes chariot, a Giant barrel ride. It takes you through and teaches you all about how scotch is made and the history of it in a cheesy, great Epcot feeling type of way. Then you get off the ride and they take your group into a big room where everyone has a glass and a scratch and sniff with the four regions of Scotch. They take you through and teach you about each one and then you smell them to decide eventually which is your favorite.
Then comes the fun part. They fill up your glass and go to the tasting room. I was stoked, I mean I have had scotch in the past and hated it, but this time I had ridden in a giant barrel, learned about it, smelled which one I wanted and I was ready. So they take us into the tasting room with a 3,000 bottle dimly lit collection, a crystal chandelier and tell you how to smell it, hold it up to the light and then sip. HOLY GOD. I took a much bigger sip than I should have because I was excited. I almost threw up all over the beautiful room, I felt the dry heaves a comin. Woof. Being me and not wanting to miss out on it, or get "warm" I went to the corner of the room where no one could see me, threw it back and chased it with a bottle of water and piece of cadbury bar. Moral of the story, I love whiskey and bourbon, but not scotch. However besides the fact I was almost a sick spectacle, I had such a great and educational time.




















We walked down the Royal mile the rest of the day and then went to a pub for dinner and went back to the hostel to crash and get ready for another day.

We started the next day by doing some cashmere shopping and random souvenirs. I got a pair of baby bagpipes for old times sake and figure maybe if I brush up on my skill I can stand on our stoop, play and get handouts for pub money. I doubt that will actually ever come into fruition but it was one of those things I couldn't not buy.

We ate a big lunch before attempting our next feat, the mountain at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Hollyrood Park. It was an incredible experience walking up the rocky path and seeing the breathtaking view. Cons of this: if you are at all clumsy like myself be very weary of your step as you may fall ass over tea kettle and do a 360 roll down the path. Just saying.... But aside from the spill danger it was amazing. Two of the members of our group decided to go all the way to the top of Arthurs Seat, the other three of us decided to pass and go to the pub and get a beer, because after all "we deserved it" for climbing/rolling down the mountain.

After the pub it was dinner time, we strolled around for a bit, went down to see the GreyFriar Bobby statue, which is super small but just so sweet. I am a huge animal lover so it meant alot to me. The statue is of a little dog whose owner died when the dog was 2, and for the next 14 years the dog would lay on his owners grave everyday. He became kind of a little local hero and when his collar license expired he was supposed to be put down but the mayor at the time had it renewed so he could go about his little doggy business. Just so sweet how much loyalty a dog has to his owner and how much they really do remember.




















On the way home I took a Tylenol PM in case of any more crying babies that may be on board, but luckily there was none, and I was lulled away into a coma like state, and woke up in Jolly London town.

Cheers Y'all!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lads and Lassies

Evenin' Gov'nah! Busy week of school, internship and catching up on lack of sleep, so not much news. However I am off to Edinburgh this weekend, which I am very excited about. I went to Edinburgh when I was 15 and just remember how unbelievably green and gorgeous it was. Scotland also holds a special place in my heart because I used to play bagpipes in highschool. You think I am kidding, but I was actually Pipe Major of the Scottish Unit. Bad ass I know (that is what I will forever tell myself) ....

Proof is in the pudding: (Hopefully by posting this, it wont haunt me for the rest of my life)

Anyway we leave tomorrow night late and get in Saturday morning then will have all of Saturday and Sunday to eat, drink, explore, and look up peoples kilts.

Cheers Y'all!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Oxford, more like Hogwarts... no seriously.

Oxford was utterly amazing. Not that everything in England isnt really historical but Oxford was really just incredible. I feel like even the Burger King should have been called "Ye Olde King of Burgers" or something.

We went into the town of Oxford and immediately split for lunch. We went with our hilarious Professor to Eagle and Child pub which is not just any pub. It is where literary legends like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met and ate, drank, talked and wrote. Historic and delicious to boot.

We then went and got our respective tourist t-shirts. I also have really wanted a rugby so I got that and a sweatshirt embroidered with a College and its crest. The college to which you apply is really only where you live, NOT where you study, so it would be like applying to a particular dorm. You study only your subject not a plethora of extra random classes. Anyway I picked St. Hugh's College of Oxford because I thought the crest was the snazziest with little fleur de lis/lys (which ever is your preferred way of spelling) Also mind that my face is half cut out, its 10:30 and I am looking pretty busted after a long day.














One of the largest Colleges is Christ Church College. This is notably where the most famous people have come out of at Oxford. And where alot of scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. Yea I said it. I was in total nerdo overload. If you are not a fan I totally get it, but I started reading them way back when they first came out in middle school and have been hooked ever since, so this is a judgement free zone... or I guess judge away, I stand by my decision to love the boy wizard and clan. Here is me in the Great Hall.


















We went into the real Great Hall, with all the long tables, walked on the stair case where Professor McGonagall greets all the first years, stood in the field where Harry learns how to ride a broom, saw the library, and the infirmary. It was like being in Hogwarts for realzy.

On the way out, there were Morris dancers which is kind a long standing pagan tradition where every May they go into the forrest, dance and make noise with bells and sticks to make sure that Mother Nature is woken up from a long winter/spring snooze and help ladies make babies. Also some guy standing next to me said that if they wear their outfits into a pub they get free drink, so I am thinking about getting and outfits, seems foolproof really.... Anyway for the bit we watched it was very cool. Also there was an old guy dressed slightly different that is supposed to represent the devil and be well "devilish" and he was weaving in and out of the audience whacking unsuspecting people in the crowd with a balloon. I thought it was hilarious mostly because he didnt come up behind and scare the be-jesus out of me.














On the way home it was pretty much a snooze fest and I passed out after a long day of walking, buying, and being a tourist.

I am off to bed with my new sweatshirt, and going to dream of the wizarding world, just kidding... no I'm not.

Cheers Y'all

Blenheim Palace

Today was a day trip to Blenheim Palace and Oxford. I am going to separate them into 2 posts just so they don't get too lengthy and a total bore, lord knows I can ramble.

Blenheim Palace is an unbelievable estate home to the 11th Duke of Marlborough and little known tidbit, the birthplace of my main squeeze Winston Churchill.
First off, you forget that when you go out of a city it is much colder as there is not the insulation of the buildings and just city heat in general. Holy lord it was a tit bit nippily when we got off the bus and were walking up to the gates. But as soon as you took in where you actually were the cold totally melted. It was just so quintessential England countryside. From the swans to the sheep to the big full trees and super green grass. I wouldnt hate living there.



















So as we are looking around and touring the inside of the estate we go into a room with family pictures and portraits. This good looking and IMMACULATELY dressed (lets put it this way, homeboy had a pocket square in at 10am) upper 20's something cute guy says to me (in the most sophisticated accent "This is so rather embarrassing but is there anyway I can pass through". Who am I to say no to the most polite, well dressed man in the world. So let him through and pay no attention and keep looking at the pictures. My friend Michael casually mentions that the group of people the guy was meeting look pretty well to do, and not like lowly tourists (as I am proud to be). So we are looking at the pictures, all of a sudden we take a look at a painting on display on an easel, and WHAMMY, look back at the older gentlemen the guy met up with, back forth to painting to man. The 11th Duke of Marlborough was standing behind us and that young lad we assumed was his grandson. So so so so neat, I mean I thought so at least. He has his private residence in the East wing of the building and I suppose had a guest he was showing the grounds. From what we gathered from our tour guide Angie, that type of sighting is not very common.

There is also a little wing dedicated to Winston Churchill as he was born there, you are able to go through the room, see his little baby pictures even his curls that were cut when he was 5. Prec-ious.

Outside of the house are big gorgeous gardens and a large field with a monument and about a hundred sheep. We walked through the sheep ... well by walk
ed through, we may or may not have tried to approach and or pet them, however they were not having anything less than 5 feet distance (probably a very smart thing little s
heep). The field was awesome minus the ground which was littered with sheep poopies that were like landmines, but hey "if you gotta go, you gotta go" and last time I checked even though it was a palace there were no sheep outhouses.















If you are interested more about the Palace here is the website! http://www.blenheimpalace.com/

The next post will be Oxford!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

On a somber note.

This is not the peppiest of posts but very much needed.

Reality calls. After hearing very tragic news of a dear friend from college and that of someone from middle and high school I am feeling as though I need a reality check. Cherish every second with the ones you love. Enjoy every laugh, tear, fight, reunion, and kind words... or for that matter crass words that made you squirm (but laugh on the inside). The world acts in mysterious ways that we cannot explain and certainly never even want to or imagine why. Every moment is a gift. Live it up and tell the ones you love how you really feel. Forgive, forget and move on.

I have to admit, I am not very religious so I cannot pull a perfect psalm that is beautiful and fitting, but I do know Clapton (thanks dad)

"Beyond the door
There's peace I'm sure.
And I know there'll be no m
ore...
Tears in heaven "


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Insert blonde jokes here.

To start, today one of those laid back, feels like fall kind of days. Class early, lunch with friends, and reading a new book in the park for hours. Really just nice nice day... now add some some durrrr moments in between that happened at the park.

Durrrr moment #1.
My friend got up to run home for a minute and I am zoned into this new read, when I feel a brush and something run by, awww its a big lab. Then I take notice that the lab has a neon vest on, then I look left and realize that there is a blind guy standing in the middle of the park with the dogs harness in his hand looking the wrong way. It was one of those moments where I could have been on candid camera "what is this girl going to do".
Do I :
a) do nothing OR
b) chase the dog and return him to his very obvious owner, who may or may not be in distress.

I soon realized after a minute in my quick racing overanalyze-everything mind that the guy was just letting the dog go to the bathroom and letting him run around. The dog was obviously well trained (something I didnt think of when I almost pounced on him) and did his business and ran right back to his owner, slipped on the harness and walked away. Pheww. Crisis and civic duty avoided.

Durrr moment #2.
My friend attempted to use the public restroom in the park, it didnt take his .20 P, me thinking that I have the magic touch or something go to use it as well. No, still doesnt work. Fine no biggie, I go to the cafe in the park, buy a coffee and go to attempt to use the one in there. I had left my coffee on the counter, go to the hallway feel the door and its locked so I wait... wait .... and wait. A solid 10 mins go by and I am still waiting. What the heck is going on in there? A guy had gone in the other one and I thought when he comes out I will just ask him to watch the door, and I would be quick as a bunny. Well finally the manager comes in the hall (must have noticed my coffee had been sitting at the counter forever) and goes "its just a really heavy door"..... The door was open the whole time I am standing there, and just had this kind of magnetic latch, so every time I tried to push it open, it was just a bit more snug. I thought someone was going to think I was trying to rush them out everytime I was pushing, wrong. WHAT AN IDIOT kdsnfklajsdhfljksadf.



















All I cant say, is at least I can laugh at myself because if not I would have crawled in a hole yearrrrs ago.

Cheers Y'all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Any Da Vinci Code Fans out there?

Today we went on a walking legal tour of London. I can imagine the majority of those who actually read this blog (hi mom and dad) are already tuned out. But for nerdos like me, I had an excellent day. We went to 3/4 of the Inns of Courts in London. To spare you immense boredom here is the basic rundown. The Lincoln's Inn is one of the oldest Inns in London and is where barristers are called to bar. Also from another nerd stand point the great hall in the Lincolns is what Hogwarts great hall was modeled after...at least Annaliese, Rachael and I greatly appreciated that little tid bit. Anyway if you are interested here is the link on wikipedia because they do a MUCH better job of explaining it than I ever could. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln's_Inn

We also went to the Temple Church (here it is Dan Brown fans) where the Knights if Templar used to have as their main headquarters. Although it was redone post war it was still super intricate and they had original knight statues from 1200 still intact. NEAT!

Side note*** My Uncle is a huge Three Stooges fan, I know I know, I still love him every bit as much... anyway prior to me leaving he told me some line from the Three Stooges that when they saw a Barrister in a wig they said "whats with the airedale", so now whenever I think of a British Barrister in a wig, that comes to mind. ***
So without further a doubt, Uncle Harry I saw my first REAL "Airedale" today in court. We were able to sit in for about 15 minutes on a court proceeding with wigs, gowns and all. It was just a pretty rudimentary proceeding but I was in awe. I was also kind of surprised by the wigs, I was expecting these long curls but rather they were short with kind of a rat tail, sexy I know. Also when I remarked that I was kind of surprised at how beat up one of the guys wig was and how small it was for his noggin, my Professor told us thats a good sign of status, getting a wig passed down. So when I saw the barrister with a busted ass weave my first impression was wrong, he was actually doing pretty well for himself.

I apologize if that was boring for your liking!

Cheers Y'all!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Season

So, we have had a pretty great couple of days. Why, you ask? Because 3 of our birthdays are 1 day apart from each other. Thats right folks its been Birthdaypalooza up in here. So in true birthday fashion we ate delicious food, drank cheap booze and danced the night away. Last night we had a big family style pot luck at our flat and dang son, was it gooood! All the boys were looking quite GQ and the ladies had on their best party dresses. Being a glorified 5 year old, mine was pink with ruffles and included some ridiculously large and in charge pearl earrings. We had dinner and drinks here and then went to a pretty trendy club called "TigerTiger"... rawrrrr. As can be expected I felt wonderful when I woke up (not), and had some McDonalds to wash down the previous nights festivities. For those of you wondering, in London they dont have ranch dressing, so if you are planning on being a fat ass like me and request ranch for your fries, they will look at you like you are nuts, tell you they dont know what that is and then assume you are a fatty (well the last one is kind of true haha) Afterwards no one was looking for anything too crazy and so we headed over to Russell Square with books in hand and laid on blankets. In typical fashion I passed out face down and if I could have, I am sure I would have starfished and kicked my friends off the rest of the blanket. The rest of the day has been pretty lazy and has included facebooking and sweat pants with an elastic waist, hard life huh?

(Here is a picture with me and my gorgeous roomies)











Headed off to Bedfordshire for some sleep and waking up a year older!


Cheers Y'all!




Also a shoutout to all of my friends and roommates for making a birthday away from home so legendary! Love you all!

Monday, September 6, 2010

So close, yet so far


This past Saturday was the kick off to Gator football and although I could not be in the Swamp in person, I was definitely there in spirit. My friend found a great website so I was able to watch it live on my computer. My setup included some chips and a little cocktail, but next week I may step it up and scour for some bud light and a burger... (insert chants of USA USA USA). Now it wasn't a grandiose win, but a win all the same. Also a big fat congratulations to all of the SEC teams (minus Ole Miss) for dominating and showing which conference really is the best!




Cheers y'all!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Brilliant!

Sorry I have been so absent this law school thing is really getting in the way of London mwhahaha. So here is what is on the agenda for upcoming posts: Paris, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court. I am thinking that even though it will be super belated I am going to put Paris up later this week because there is just so so much that I wont be able to make it much less than War and Peace length.

Ok, so yesterday we went to Windsor Castle in the morning and Hampton Court in the afternoon, both are about 20 miles outside London which you would think would be a quick little drive, however because of how awesome London traffic is, it takes roughly over an hour.Windsor castle for those of you who don't know is the Queens weekend residence i.e. a big honkin castle. We did a tour of the grounds with our guide and then got the individual audio tour guides that resembled tasers, so naturally being the mature person I am, I gave out a couple of fake "zingsssss" (taser noise) to the neck of my friends, again I am really really mature. The inside of the castle was so gorgeous and just wreaked of regality. One of my favorite parts of the grounds was the knights hall where from floor to ceiling are the shields of knights from 1400's on, but here's the kicker, a good handful were whited out because of naughty things those knights have done, and have been stripped of the title. However their number and whited out shields are all still up so the public forever knows of their shame. Also it was good that I was there to get some measurements for when I move in with Harry, amiright or amiright.... justtt kidding y'all.


















Next, we drove over to Hampton Court. I am a huge English royal buff, especially the Tudors, which coincidently is what Hampton Court is, its Henry VIII home. Also I love the show The Tudors, so it was like being in the show, only unfortunately Henrys sexy best friend was not waiting for me..... oh and that is me on the left of that picture.












The grounds of Hampton Court were really gorgeous, outside the gardens looked like something out of Alice in Wonderland, including a maze that we successfully navigated. I did start following a 5 year old girl, but hey she was like a one man Lewis and Clark.
Ok in the pictures is the courtyard, a fountain that used to pour red and white wine.... why cannot I have one of those? Then is a picture of the grounds and the last one is a huge painting of Henry VIII with a huge cod piece he he he.



















































Ok that is all from me for today I actually have to do work, UGHHHH what hassle.

Cheers!