Sunday, May 19, 2019

Tea time w/ the Queen (I mean, basically)

Hi all!

My name is Faith Dorwart, and I am a senior at CSS. I am studying Exercise Physiology with intentions to apply to physical therapy graduate school this summer. I have lived year-round in Duluth, MN since 2016, but I am originally from Roseau, MN. I am also a student worker in the Admissions office at St. Scholastica.

Today, was another fantastic day in London! My friend Katie and I are both enthusiasts of the British Royal Family, so today we decided to visit Buckingham Palace (again). Once we arrived at the Palace, we saw many police officers and massive numbers of people waiting by the gates. Was the Queen coming out? We weren’t sure, but after some time spent amongst the people, we decided to find a spot for afternoon tea. However, as we were leaving, we turned around to find the changing of the guard taking place right behind us! We watched as the “Old Guard” of soldiers was relieved by a “New Guard.” We stood right next to the gate of the Wellington Barracks to watch the soldiers be inspected and listen to the Regimental marching band play. It was great!

For afternoon tea, Katie and I decided to stop at The English Rose cafe & tea shop. It was down the street from Buckingham Palace, so we felt it was as close as we were going to get to having Tea with the Queen. We had Cream tea for two, which consisted of adorable tea cups & saucers, a teapot, warm scones, and vanilla chai tea. After tea, we decided to walk through Green Park, and once we were there, it began to lightly sprinkle; it wouldn’t be London if we weren’t caught in the rain at least once! Can’t wait for another fun day tomorrow, hopefully with some sun!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Day at Kensington Palace!

Hello everyone! My name is Kendra Manges. I just completed my junior year at CSS. I recently switched my major from music education to elementary education. I have two younger brothers who are 18 and 20.  I adore my cat and treat her like my child. Her name is Nim and she is Polydactyl, which means she has thumbs. 
Today was our first full free day. We had breakfast at the hotel, then headed to the tube station. After transferring a line anwere about seventeen pounds. However, we got a student discount which brought it down to d walking for a bit a group of us made it to Kensington Palace. I was surprised at the reasonable pricing of the tickets. They roughly thirteen pounds. Throughout London there is so much history and Kensington is no exception. Several monarchs have lived there and continue to. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are the ones that currently reside there. The entire place took my breath away. There is an upper floor right above the entrance which has three tiaras, one of which belonged to Queen Victoria. The Tiara, necklace, and earrings were a gift from Albert. He insisted on getting her jewelry for special occasions. This started the tradition of receiving jewelry. Throughout the whole tour I couldn’t believe the artwork on the ceilings and walls. That several generations of the royal family have lived and visited Kensington. To stand where so many influential people have been was incredible. After the tour I needed some time to decompress and take in everything I had seen up until this point. Tasha, Maethe, and I went back to the hotel to rest our feet and grab a quick lunch. We then went to the British Museum, this was my second time going and there was still so many new things to see. I ate some fish and chips for supper then ended my day with a cup of tea. 
Tomorrow Maethe and I are headed to Brighton, a seaside town about an hour outside of London. 
I can’t wait to see what else London has to offer!        

Seeing London Near and Far on our First Free Day

Hello from across the pond! My name is Lori Huseby and I am a rising junior majoring in mathematics and chemistry with a double minor in economics and data analytics. Yes, it seems weird that I would take a class based on the literature of London, but I have always wanted to travel to Europe and especially the UK, and being able to do it with some great friends is even better!

Today was the first free day of our trip and I took it easy and stayed close to the city. Our first stop was the London Eye, and after waiting in multiple lines, I finally got to see London from 135 meters up! I was a remarkable experience and I would definitely recommend going if anyone has the chance. 

After this we went on the tube towards Soho to go shopping. We went on a street filled with very, VERY, expensive clothes and bags, and I discovered that I felt bad for even walking on their carpet in the stores. We ended our shopping trip at the Birkenstock store, where I was able to find sandals for much lower prices because they were not taxed coming across the ocean. I am now the proud owner of a three-strap pair of Birks and they will be in the suitcase on the way back. We then headed to King’s Cross station where we were able to see Platform 9 ¾ from the Harry Potter movie. 

It was not actually filmed at that specific spot, but it was still cool to see them make a movie reference in such a public place. After this somewhat hectic day, a few of us decided to enjoy some wholesome American food and we visited the local Pizza Hut. I really enjoyed having some food from home and it nicely closed out the day before I head to “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” show on Sunday!

Drinking Bath Water

Hello everyone, my name is Cassidy! I am going to be a junior at CSS this upcoming year, double majoring in Computer Science and Communications with a minor in Art. I have been wanting to participate in this London trip since 2017, and I love London because most of my favorite stories take place here. So, naturally, I'm very excited that I finally get to be here! 

Today, May 18, was the start of our first free weekend during our time in the UK. Some people decided to travel and some stayed in London. I traveled to Bath with Marissa and today we got to see some of the amazing places that Bath has to offer. 

In the morning, we wandered around and visited some shops. After wandering around and buying things we really didn't need (but definitely wanted), we visited the attraction that Bath is best known for: the Roman Baths. I thought the tour was very interesting and I loved learning about the history of the baths. I think the coolest thing about them is that the water is original (meaning it's as old as the baths, if I remember correctly). At the end of the tour, there's an opportunity to drink the water (purified) but it's warm and it is gross. 

After visiting the baths, we walked around some more and spent more money. My favorite part about this time was that we stumbled upon a fudge shop, which I thought was fun because I make fudge when I work. Even though our time was short in there, I had a great time learning about their fudge-making process and talking with them about fudge. The cool thing about their fudge is that they had tons of flavors. We ended up getting 4: classic (vanilla), lemon, butterbeer, and belgian chocolate swirl. I thought it was interesting that their idea of classic fudge was vanilla, while ours is chocolate. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Day of London's Theater

Hullo, I am Marissa Bober and I am a Sophomore at St. Scholastica. I am studying Biology and minoring in Psychology, while on a Pre-Vet path. I love to hang out with my family and friends and of course my animals. I have two dogs and two puppies plus my eight cats. You are probably thinking why a biology student would go on and take a theater class, well I have to get my general fine arts credit done somehow. It is also a trip to london that I get credits for, however, that is not the only reason for taking this class. I really love going to plays and watching plays. I love actors and how everything comes together.
We started our journey today around 10 am with a tour of Old Vic. Old Vic is were we watch the play, All My Sons, on Wednesday as a Matinee. We got to go behind the scene of the play and see what the actors view. Our tour guide, Ned, has been part of the theater for a long time, he almost died there (attempted murder).
He gave us tons of information including many years about the Old Vic. There are too many names to write down that the theater has been called. He also talked about interesting things like no whistling, no M word, and the sailors.
We had the rest of the day to explore the beautiful city of London until the play, Witness for the Prosecution. It was held in an actually court room and we sat in court seats. The stage was in the middle of the room and the jury were real people who bought tickets.
I was in the front row next to the opposing lawyer. I got spit on many times and whipped by the lawyer’s “robes”. I also met an upcoming star, Daniel Solbe. This was his first stage debut and he rocked it. He said his mom really “sauced”  him for the events in the play. I tried to get an autograph as well but no one didn’t have pen….so I thought a picture may do. Yes, I fanned girled out on this one but who wouldn't it. All the girls were durling. The theater experiences are a thrill especially when the actors look like him.

Two Theatres

Hello, everyone! I'm Michela "Mikie" Peterson, an English and Catholic Studies double major with Honors, and a Medieval and Renaissance Studies/Philosophy double minor. For our first Friday in London, we visited two theaters: The Old Vic Theatre near Waterloo for a tour, and London County Hall for the play Witness for the Prosecution. The middle of the day was a bit slower - it was raining, and we students had a good deal of down time between the morning tour and the evening show. The break was far from enough to render our day "boring," however.

We started the day with a tour of the Old Vic, formerly the "New Victoria Theatre," the "Royal Victoria Palace Theater," and the "Royal Victoria Hall and Coffee Tower," among other names. After passing through the outside "loo" tunnel, lined with art like the painting above by Nathan Bowen, we entered the stage doors. Unfortunately, none of us felt anything magical, and perhaps that was due to the fact that we were a group of college students passing into what was once a college setting, because alongside the in-depth history of the theater itself, we learned a section of the history of the Morley College that once resided in the building with the stage and stands. The presence of the school caused many inconveniences for the theater until the college left in 1923, forcing the removal of the wooden stage and the flytower, among other things, and in doing so taking space from the theater itself to make space for more classrooms and a gymnasium.

After a day of R&R from a long week, I was excited for to see Witness for the Prosecution, not least of all because of its basis in one of Agatha Christie's works. I've enjoyed several of her "Hercule Poirot" novels in the past. Witness, being the first of her stories outside of that series that I have experienced, did not disappoint in the slightest. Interactive storytelling and a fascinating plot combine with the West End debut of Lewis Cope for an enjoyable end to our first calendar week in London.

We're Just as Sane as She is... Or Are We?

Greetings from London! My name is Bailey Johnson and I am so excited to be here for the next few weeks! I am a very recent graduate of CSS (the only one on this trip might I add) after pursuing a humanities degree for the past three years. I visited London last year when I studied abroad in Ireland for the spring semester, but I was only here about 2.5 days, so I feel very fortunate to be back and see more of the city! I really enjoy traveling if you can't tell...

Today was a tiring, yet productive and worthwhile day. This morning, our group revisited the Old Vic Theatre for a tour, where we had seen the show All My Sons this past Wednesday afternoon. Our guide, Ned, gave us a very descriptive and thorough tour of the place. We were even allowed on the actor's stage to take photos of the theatre view facing the audience! Although I was very tired, I somehow managed to stay awake.

Tyler, Itzy, Evanna and I at Waterloo Station. PC: Chanty
Following the tour, we all had free time until 7:30/19:30, when we would go to see another show. I and three of my classmates, Itzy, Tyler, and Chanty, decided to head to Chinatown, but as we were heading through the Waterloo Underground Station, we spotted none other than Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies! In the amount of time it took us to finally decide to ask for a picture, we had almost lost her, but we didn't! Mission. Accomplished.

A little starstruck, we then wandered through Chinatown and ate lunch at a yummy Chinese restaurant. After some more wandering in the area, we decided to keep with our Harry Potter theme and saw the theatre where they are currently performing 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child', walked over the Millenium Bridge used in one of the films and visited Platform 9 3/4 and the gift shop at King's Cross Station. We concluded our day with an intense performance of Witness for the Prosecution, which took place in an actual courtroom in London County Hall. It's been my favorite play I've seen so far (but I'm seeing Tom Hiddleston in 'Betrayal' tomorrow, so maybe that'll change).

This trip is only just getting started, but everything keeps getting better and better!
The Millenium Bridge over the Thames River.