[In addition: a reflective, and oftentimes quite cliche, post wrapping it all up for real here.]
This is sweet Elizabeth on a carousal. One of the beautiful things about life in London is that it's nearly impossible to stay bored for long. On this particular evening, a couple of us walked around the city. We started by going down Fleet Street, then walking back along the river Thames till we crossed the bridge and stumbled upon this fun little carousal. After that we wandered over to Buckingham Palace (there's a super fun playground in the area and the park itself is gorgeous) before stopping by Piccadilly Circus and catching the tube at Leicester Square to get back home. Most of London really can be walked if you have the time and stamina. And the public transit is wonderful.
Anyone want to take a gander as to what that (above) is a picture of?
Scroll down and it becomes more obvious.
We enjoyed a trip on the London Eye one night!! The ferris wheel was huge, and we could see miles of city all around us. London is lovely at night as it is, with all of the old buildings lit up. It would be quite eerie if not for the high quantities of people and cars out and about at all hours. We rode the eye in these large pods (on the left side of the above picture) which contained about ten or fifteen people (max capacity was probably thirty, they were huge!). Photos can't possibly capture how beautiful the sights were as we rose up over the city and settled back down just above the Thames.
As we exited the London Eye, we (of course) saw and took advantage of this lovely photo op spot. The trees were all lit up as if it were Christmastime (it was April, but-as you can see by the coats-it still felt like arctic winter). That night we ended up walking around a bit, playing on a playground (playgrounds are way more fun when you're "too old" for them), and watching a very impressive street dancer perform.
They took us to the London Zoo for class!!! (There was real school involved this semester, I promise.) Our Christian Ethics class went in order to study some on environmental and animal related ethics, but also to have a blast! Although it was very cold (see above: pea coat and chunky scarf in April), we all acted like the children we pretend we're not anymore and had a blast!
We enjoyed scampering around the wide array of exhibits, checking out all the exotic animals! We were especially delighted with the monkey portion, where we could walk around as these little monkeys (above) scampered about, at times even parkour and free running off of and around the visitors!!
A few of us enjoy the British television show Sherlock, and were delighted to discover that only a few blocks away from where we lived was one of the sites where they film! One of my friends, who enjoys stalking celebrities regularly, notified us of a day when they would be filming, and following class we promptly booked it over to the site above. If you're familiar with the show you'll probably recognize that cafe and if you know who Martin Freeman is you'll be thrilled to note that he is located at the center of that picture in the over-sized greenish coat. So that was super exciting.
Caitlyn and I were lucky enough to get to go (for FREE!! Thanks to a friend) afternoon tea, which we'd talked about doing all semester but never actually had done. Although we arrived cold and wet (because weather in London is even more unpredictable than Texas, believe it or not), we basked in the warmpth of our tea and excitedly nibbled on the yummy sandwiches, scones, and breads provided.
We couldn't stop taking pictures of everything! It was all just so adorable!
The last week, in the midst of the stress and sleeplessness associated with both finals and our last week abroad, our professors took us to see Wicked!! Taylor kindly lent me her super cute sparkly dress and we all had a ball! Definitely a show worth seeing, everyone did an excellent job.
Saying goodbye was of course not the most pleasant thing ever. Goodbye may be the saddest thing to ever happen to a person. I think so at least.
But here's an incredibly uncomfortable goodbye which made me laugh.
As we began our descent to the DFW Airport, Caitlyn and I were greeted by the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Texas Rangers Stadium, and a lovely sunset. It was the perfect way to end the ten hour flight home (which, with the help of several movies and the fact that the flight attendents kept bringing us food, wasn't too bad!).
And just like that we were back home again.