I'm back in the States from my very short stay in London.
I've brought back SO many pictures. Over 200 of them in fact.
I hope you like buildings and have an hour or so to look through this post.
Sorry if it bores you but I could not get over London's architecture!
Thursday the 9th
The last time I'd see this familiar view for a week.
I was actually testing new Takutz Jin out. I still didn't realize that the lens I got was defective until after I got back and looked at the images on the computer. ALL my pictures were out of focus! I've had to overcompensate with the sharpen tool. Blogger isn't helping the picture quality either. SO ANNOYING.
My mom came home early from work to take me to the airport and handed me a surprise:
A snail letter from Sandy! In the letter she wrote that she wasn't sure if it would reach me before I left but it did! Right before! Perfect timing! It was a super lovely surprise.
My last American meal.
I saw a Wendy's commercial earlier so I really wanted their new sandwich. It made my scarf stink.
First time at the airport alone!
De-icing the plane.
Meh airplane food. I can't remember if I ate that dessert bar. Damn. I don't think I did.
8 hours later...
Friday the 10th
Fluffy clouds and rising sun
I was suuuuper lucky that day. Being the idiot that I am, I forgot to bring the instructions to the hotel with me. In fact, I forgot all the paperwork for that course. Luckily, I ran into two other students in the program in the customs line. I wasn't sure if they were from my school so I just stared at them for five minutes. When I finally asked, Brian was kind enough to give me his directions. T^T Saved my life. I also got through customs really easily. I didn't know it could be difficult until I heard some of the other students' stories later. The customs agent wouldn't let them through even though they pulled their study abroad itineraries out! How lucky was I!
I lost them while taking money out of an ATM and had a confusing first experience buying an Oyster card in the tube by myself. I was supposed to meet Raven and her friend Rebecca at the airport but my flight had gotten delayed by almost two hours. I hoped that they had left because I couldn't find them and went ahead. Turns out they had been waiting the entire time!
Wish I knew about the seven day pass. I spent about $100 on just riding the tube around the whole week.
Made it to the hotel!
My room for the week and my saviors!
Went to the cheap looking place across the street for lunch.
*stolen from Brian*
Roommates for the week!
The weather was fantastic so we ate in the park that was also across the street!
London is 20-30 degrees warmer than Chicago so it was great.
My first fish n chips experience. The fish was huge.
I also got a cherry coke that tastes super different. All the soda tasted very different.
So do kit kats. Kit kats from London SUCK.
After lunch, we explored a little bit.
SO MUCH BEAUTY!!!
The most dapper store I've ever seen.
The British Museum.
The most incredible museum I've ever been to. All the artifacts I saw were in terrific condition too!
There were SO many Asians that day. Especially Koreans.
My dream library.
They have an amazing Buddhist/Asian exhibit.
I love ancient weapons.
The detail! *O*
So sad we didn't have enough time to look through the whole museum. We probably didn't even get through a 1/4!
The back of the museum we exited out of.
Some gorgeous campus.
Strange doorknob placement but pretty door and doorway!
Saturday the 11th
Free breakfast everyday. Same breakfast everyday give or take the cereal, eggs, and beans.
After breakfast, Mr. Green took the class on our first orientation.
Ripley's museum!? It was English!? I never got to go T______T
I think this is the oldest theatre in London?
Woops I forgot to lower my ISO but there's the National Gallery.
Sam and Brian with a guard.
Ha ha ha I love how there are three different people for three different cameras. And Julia's face on the right.
Oh just walking besides THE BIG BEN NO BIG DEAL.
The weather and sky were so pretty.
Walked through the area with a bunch of street performers.
The magician was super charming.
The pigeon whisperer. He was actually really cute.
Took a lunch break at the Southwest Centre.
Tried marmite for the first time. It tastes like soy sauce in a cream form. This was the saltiest sandwich I've ever had. Not a good combination.
A skate park just under the area.
All ages welcome!
Book store right under the bridge.
Sam and I were busy taking pictures of this area to notice that the group had kept walking ahead. We walked for a long time looking for them and got lost instead so we just went back to the hotel.
Free for the rest of the night so Raven, Sommer, Sam, Paul, Brian, and Rebecca went to Soho.
London's China Town is of course, beautiful. With theatres in the center too! Wat!
Couldn't take decent pictures cause I didn't want to bring my camera to the bar.
Dinner at a random Chinese restaurant.
Really yummy orange soda.
Rebecca was the only one who didn't get fried rice.
My bland fried rice.
Food is so freaking expensive in London. Whyyyyy T_______T
Waiting in line for a club.
That's what its called.
$9 for a pitcher of the best tasting cocktails ever. Barely any alcohol though but that's why they can taste so good!
We met an interesting girl who couldn't stop telling us about how this was the year of the black woman and how she loves her fellow Asians because we put family first and save our money. We quoted her at least five times a day the rest of the week. Too funny.
Sunday the 12th
Orientation day 2!
The cathedral Will and Kate got married in.
They were having mass so pictures weren't allowed. A shame cause the inside is absolutely stunning.
Prime example of Blogger destroying my picture's quality T^T I swear these pictures look quite nice on my computer.
Walking across the bridge towards the Tate Modern.
That I didn't get to explore. SO SAD.
Beautiful apartments worth millions.
The London Bridge way over there that I also did not get to visit.
Same cathedral across the bridge.
The Globe aka a theatre student's Mecca.
Started getting really tired of cafe food.
So cool! And that restaurant is made completely of shipping containers!
We had about three hours before the show so I joined the group heading towards Fleet Street.
Turns a corner and wham.
What's left of Sweeney Todd's barber shop. Very underwhelming.
So much detail for statues on buildings!
A cute sign.
Didn't notice the drawings until I saw the picture on the computer ha ha ha.
Walked through a cute market.
And just a couple steps more and there's a whole other shopping area!
The prettiest Dior store I've ever seen.
Jess and I got separated from our group and got lost. She luckily found the way back.
The first show we watched:
*stolen from Southbank Centre's site*
It was part of London's Mime Fest and oh. my. gosh. I LOVED it SO MUCH. It was so fantastic! It was the first time I've seen a mime show. Charlie Chaplin slapstick, acrobatics, magic, set with secrets, live music accompaniment by an indie band. It was funny and sad and just wow. If they're touring in your country, don't miss out! It was my favorite show of the week!
We had the rest of the night to ourselves so I headed to Oxford St. SO much more crowded than Michigan Ave. I stopped by the original Topshop and wow! They have boba and froyo stands inside!
I didn't stay long though cause my destination was:
SO HUGE! And SO CROWDED! Everyone gets a rolling cart to add to traffic. People were trying things on by the mirrors cause the line for the fitting rooms were so crazy! I was super excited and ready to buy the entire place but I was super disappointed with what they had.
I forgot that it was a Sunday and all the shops were closing early so I had to head back to the hotel empty handed.
Monday the 13th
I broke my mirror.
First day of class!
Look! The school we'd be attending!
Not sure if this is considered part of the campus.
London International School of Performing Arts.
It's located in 3 Mills Studios where all the big productions rehearse.
Our class was in one of the studios.
Imagine! We were in the same room as Elton John!
Egh stupid defective camera lens giving me blurry pictures.
Super rushed lunch at the cafeteria.
It was yummy though.
Headed back to Oxford St. so that I could actually take some time and look at things.
I also visited Carnaby St.
Cool stairs in one of the stores.
Newer area next to Carnaby St. I really love that every corner you turn in London, there's another whole area of shops or eating places!
I got caught in the rain and didn't want to buy an umbrella so I thought I would stop at the nearest food place for dinner.
It was alright.
Headed toward the Theatre Royal Haymarket for the second show.
The main man was amazing talented. The English references went over my head but it was still very funny. Great audience interaction, even if it was planned.
Love that ice cream is sold before and during intermission. Hate that programs are almost $7.
Tuesday the 14th
After class, Summer, Brian, and I headed to the station that Platform 9 and 3/4 was in!
I love this train. Soooo coool that you can watch it move!
A proposal at the platform! So cute!! He had champagne and flowers ready too! X3
*taken by Brian*
It's funny that the person who takes the pictures (you pay for) tells the other person to let the scarf go. "And...scarf!"
We went for the free option and took our own pictures of course.
After that, Raven went to do her business while Brian and I headed back to the Globe Theatre.
The Globe doesn't look like much on the outside but...
So sad. We could have seen this in real life if we had time for the tour.
More sadness as the defective lens rendered almost all of my night shots useless.
We miraculously ran into Raven in a cafe and had dinner together at a cheap Chinese noodle place.
Then we headed to the New London Theatre for
*stolen from Broadway.com*
Amazing. Amazing amazing amazing. You must watch it!! It's magical!
I have to watch it again because...I fell asleep and missed the end... Jet leg murdered me and I fell asleep during all the shows I watched that week. T_____T
Going back home.
Wednesday the 15th
Worked on neutral masks in class.
It was crazy cause they looked different on everyone but they're all the same mask!
After class, I rushed over to Earl's Court to meet someone special.
Leanne!!! If any of my original readers still read this blog, you might know her or even followed her blog back in the day! It's been like four years since we started following each other on our blogs, soompi, twitter, etc. and I finally got to meet her!
We're standing by the Tardis. I don't know why my camera's pictures come out so dark. What am I doing wrong?!
*taken by Leanne*
"TAKE ME WITH YOU!"
We headed back to Chinatown cause I wanted some good Korean food but when she told me that Camden markets closed at six, we rushed over. I bought a couple things while Leanne bought none. I felt bad.
FOOD!!!! FLAVORFUL FOOD!!! NO MORE WHITE PEOPLE FOOD!!!!
SOOO much better than all the places in Chicago but....only one side dish. NOTHING IS FREE IN LONDON.
Cutie pie Leanne with her soon tofu.
Dessert at one of her favorite places.
Oh my gosh the cake was the best cake I have ever had. OH MAH GAHHHHH!!!!!!
We talked for ages. Mostly about guys. Ha ha ha how typical.
Parting polaroid at the tube. :(
And how cute is she to give me a goody bag!?
So thoughtful!! I felt like such an asshole cause I didn't even think of giving anything to her. D:
But other than that it was a really good time. I was nervous on the way to meet her because I was afraid that she wouldn't like me in person. But it felt like we had already been friends after the first awkward ten minutes ha ha ha! She really took care of me like a child. I probably would have gotten hit by cars several times without her. Really hope to see her again! <3 span="">3>
Thursday the 16th
After class, our usual group was lead to East London by Raven.
Brian has fantastic eyes and spotted a sign to this awesome "fill-a-bag" thrift store. He found amazing army jackets.
Got lost while looking for a place to eat.
A truck nonchalantly driving by a CASTLE.
Castle, bridge, whatever it is, it is BEAUTIFUL.
Finally found the restaurant Paul wanted to eat at.
It was next to a beautiful little port.
My cocktail. It was ok. But I can't forget it cause it was $16!!!
The waiter was really helpful in recommending the good stuff. It was also the most expensive. OTL
I'm so sorry guys...I didn't mean to take unflattering pictures of you...I was just rushing through everyone's dishes;;;
Rebecca. She doesn't have a double chin in real life!
The first time I've had risotto.
It was so good. But so little.
Rebecca's blurry affogato I think?
Raven's cheesy tiramisu. She literally yelled "OH NO YOU DON'T" when Brian offered to help her finish it ahaha!!
The rest of us got this
Melt in your mouth yum.
*thanks to the awesome waiter for taking this*
He was sexy and this group is silly so we left this:
"the one that is black", "exotic latino", "the always drunk, token white girl", "the other exotic latina", "the sexy italian man", and "the old one"
After a fantastic dinner, we rushed to the Southbank Centre for a clown show
*stolen from Southbank Centre's site*
They were SO AWESOME! The man on the right is musically talented in so many ways: piano, trumpet, classical singing. And the man on the left is able to make something funny out of nothing! Ah...I wish we had Mime Fest.
Friday the 17th
Last day of class! :(
Had a short introduction to the Comedia masks.
Woops...Moved the camera when I thudded past.
Imitating a mask.
So the man standing is Mr. Green, the dean of the department. He's the sweetest English man ever! I would love to be directed by him in something. T_T
And the man sitting is Mr. Michael, our teacher for the weak. He worked on the original production of War Horse, helping prepare and train the puppeteers. He also worked on the movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. He and his team were responsible for moving their bodies to make it look like they were moving in zero gravity. WUT.
Quickly stopped by Camden again to make our last purchases. If I ever get to go back, I'm going to do all my shopping there!
The stores are soo cute! I love how they're decorated!
Hahaha Brian and Rebecca waiting for me across the street. They did that all week. I feel bad.
So many cool markets!
And that camera stand is to die for.
We were already late for our meetup time with Raven, Sommer, and Paul but we had sooo much trouble finding Nando's.
Finally know what all the English youtubers are talking about!
Headed back to the Southbank Centre for the last show.
We watched Forgot Me Not
*taken off google*
I wish this wasn't the last show we watched. I was just confused the entire time. A lot of it was very pretty to watch, or creepy, or silly. By the end I just sat there like "...what?"
Saturday the 18th
Our last morning in London!
Our regular group minus Sam. She hadn't come down yet.
My first roommates!
We had our last breakfast and parted ways to our flights.
I was surrounded by the most annoying American high schoolers. They could not sit in their seats and just had to stand in the aisle to talk to their friends really loudly. And what makes them think that anyone else wants to hear them sing?? And then my flight was delayed in the air for forty minutes. Public transportation has it out for me specifically. Every form I'm on is always delayed. That was annoying.
But anyways, that week was a blast! I'm really sad because I feel like I had a lot more things I didn't do than I did do. There was no time with class and shows almost everyday but still. I would have shed some tears if I wasn't so annoyed on the plane. But what an experience! I will definitely go back one day! (With more money!)