Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Return to the Land of Eng

Last Thursday, I once again embarked upon my nine hour, six train journey back to Chesham, England from Dol de Bretagne, France with an over-abundance of luggage. Overall, it was a really great experience and though they drove me crazy sometimes, I will miss my French family. I am glad to know that I will always have a place to visit in France! We all cried the day I left and spent time the night before taking some "family portraits" but already in our pajamas! The day before I left, I made them American-style chocolate chip cookies à la Nestlé Tollhouse (which always reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica tries to figure out Phoebe's grandmother's recipe!) and they were a big hit! Really, chocolate, butter, and sugar? How can that not be good?

My "family" for the last (almost) three months!

As I was making my way through the Gare du Nord in Paris to get the Eurostar (Chunnel Train under the English Channel) to London, I walked toward a machine to print out my ticket. As I approached the machine, I saw a familiar face...Sonia from my gym in Fort Collins! She was on Spring Break in Paris with her boyfriend. We definitely "went all American" and screamed when we saw each other because it was just so incredibly random!

It made me really happy to suddenly get to speak English with someone I know from home!! I LOVE random connections like this! One time during college, I met the cousin of a high school friend on a train in Italy. Wonder what my next random meeting will be?

So, because I am trying not to spend any money since I don't have a job, I spent the weekend at home catching up on nerdy BBC tv (like Antiques Roadshow, I really am a nerd, I am aware!) and reading an amazing book called "Cutting for Stone" that I highly highly recommend. But, my computer was still broken so I had an appointment at an Apple Store in London for Monday. I figured since I had to spend the money to get to London (the tube is like £8 ($12 ish) each way, I should make the best of the day and be a tourist! It was a beautiful spring day (first day of spring, actually!) and so instead of going to museums, I decided to just walk around outside. Plus, I had a friend with me, Felix.

Felix is a rabbit who is a character in a children's book and he writes letters to his owner from his travels around the world to teach kids about geography. My friend Kendra's daughter, Haley, is reading about Felix and they asked me to take pictures of Felix in my travels. So, since it was beautiful and warm out, Felix and I decided to see the major sights of London.

Felix prefers land lines. He is kind of old-fashioned.

Don't even ask why I randomly had a roll of tape in my bag. I'm a teacher, we just carry school supplies sometimes!

Felix and Big Ben.

"Look Felix, Parliament. Look Felix, Parliament."

Felix ran away in St. James' Park (he is a rabbit) because the flowers were so beautiful!

Felix at Buckingham Palace.

Felix totally stormed the gates at Buckingham Palace. He was screaming something about trying to see the Queen- I think he was a bit carried away.

This was driving around in front of Buckingham Palace. Huh?

Felix kept trying to make the Queen's House Guard laugh...they were not amused.

This was just such a perfect London view.

I know I should be more mature. I'm just not.
This sculpture looked like a baby projectile vomiting.
It is really giggle-worthy and there were lots of kids standing around laughing at it (Oh, and me- probably why I like being a middle school teacher!)!

Queen Victoria outside of Buckingham Palace.
I haven't seen this part of London since I'd been in India- so very similar!
The Brits really did just try to rebuild England in India.

Since I was going to be in London all day, I figured, why not just go super early in the morning and wait for cheap, front row tickets to Wicked, my favorite musical.

I've seen Wicked a few times already but I still totally cried and had goose-bumps for half of the show. I'm such a loser, I am well aware. It was funny to hear all of the songs I know so well sung with English accents! Aren't I doing a great job of saving money???

So, now, after my one big day out, I am back to staying home and visiting the public library and nerd tv on the BBC. Next Monday I fly to Düsseldorf to see my new school and to see my new apartment! Yes, I have found an apartment! YAY!! This apartment will be perfect for visitors if anyone wants to start planning a visit! Felix is really excited about going to Germany! I hope he speaks some German because I sure don't but will start learning soon!


Anonymous said...

Too bad that Flat Stanley couldn't make the trip with you. Great pics.
xxxooo Mom

Nita said...

I love your page. This post made me want to be doing what you're doing!! Felix is adorable and Haley is lucky to know you. And "Wicked" is one of my favorites, too.
Keep posting, I love reading.