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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pomp, Circumstance, and Science Fiction

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today we began the day early in order to get over to Buckingham Palace and the Mall to get a good spot for the Trooping of the Colors ceremony in celebration of the Queen’s birthday! We all wore matching preppy sweaters that we got a Primark. I’m not sure why…but we did. Jess and I found a pretty good spot and we had some fun neighbors. The couple on our left asked about our sweaters and if they were from our school – I said no, Jess said yes. So then we had to explain the discrepancy in our answers, which was a funny and most embarrassing situation. Most people tend to think it’s weird when a big group matches clothing for really no reason. I began reviewing for our history final, and the couple on our right asked what we were studying for and we told them about our class and where we’re from and such. Both couples were really nice. When the actual marching and ceremony stuff started, we whipped out our cameras and took a whole lot of pictures. There was a long procession of guards, all of which were slightly different but I had no idea what each one was called or what they did. Some fancy cars with people with big hats on inside drove by.

Then the royal guard marched by, followed by some carriages. I zoomed in with my camera, not knowing that I would soon be seeing PRINCE WILLIAM in real life and taking a real picture of him!!! Woo! It was so cool! He was riding with his step-mother Camilla. Apparently Prince Charles was on a horse somewhere near them, but I didn’t see him. The carriage behind theirs was Prince Charles’ brother and family. Then the Queen’s personal guard started marching by – these guys were decked out in awesome gold armor and they had swords and everything.

And then…..we saw QUEEN ELIZABETH II!!!! We saw her in person! It was so fun! She’s such a cute lady. And then it was over. So we waited for like 2 hours to see people for 2 minutes. But it was so cool! I’m so glad we went. We were freaking out.

I left to spend the rest of the afternoon on my own. I would have liked company, but I was going to places that other people had already been or thought was weird, so I ventured on by myself. I went to the National Gallery – finally! I saw so many amazing paintings – Raphael, Michaelangelo, Picasso, Seurat, Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir – in real life! Like, I stood feet away from them. It was really neat. After the Gallery I exited the building and saw a street performer doing the most amazing tricks with a glass ball, just like David Bowie in Labyrinth but way cooler (if that’s possible) J It was so cool.

I then took rather complicated trip to a store called Forbidden Planet – it’s a science fiction store where they have all sorts of collectibles and comics and action figures and stuff. It was actually quite ghetto. The reason I went was that they had Doctor Who toys! Yay! I couldn’t leave Britain without buying myself some Doctor merchandise. They only have it online back home. So I bought some little collectibles – a TARDIS and a Dalek. I also bought some pins to put on my bags and stuff and I browsed the book section for quite a while. I’ve never felt so nerdy in my entire life, but I absolutely loved it. And the Dalek has actual wheels – it rolls and everything! I have yet to witness my mini TARDIS travel in time, though. On the way home I bought the rest of the souvenirs that I’ve wanted – silly things like a mini Big Ben (my favorite London site) and t-shirts and such. I still need one more thing – a gift for someone. But I don’t know what to get! I’ll think more in depth…

We ate Pizza Hut and then spent the rest of our evening studying for our finals. There’s so much material to cover for our history one, I think my brain might explode. Luckily the class is curved, so perhaps I’ll be fine. I still have a lot of memorizing to do for English though…blargh…School has been killing everyone here. Everyone’s getting sick and not sleeping, a bad combination. I’m not sick, but I’m afraid I’ll have the usual after finals melt down and get sick and have to spend all my time in Paris sniveling and in my hotel room instead of at the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. Pray for our entire program – we need it big time!

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