many things have happened in my life since i got back from london, and it all started at the end of my 24 hour long voyage back to the good old state of utah. when i got to the slc airport at 12:30 am, dave was waiting to pick me up. we were exchanging gifts a few hours later, and then last one he had was my engagement ring. i said yes, and then we watched a meteor shower until 4 am.
life was crazy planning the wedding, but fun. i eventually withdrew from all my classes at byu becuase i was failing most of them and figured that i would be taking them next semester even if i took them during this one. so i deferred and looking back, it was one of the best decisions!
the night before the wedding my sister's and i had a "bachelorette" party where we waxed, painted nails, and ate cheesecake. that night as i was going to bed it really hit me that i was changing my life forever and all of the nervousness set in. i got about 2 hours of sleep, but felt much better in the morning :)
we got married oct. 16 on a gorgeous thursday morning. the weather was perfect. many friends and family came to the temple and were patient enough so wait an 1 1/2 hours for pictures to be done. then we had the luncheon and later that night the reception. everything went perfectly :) dave's neice and nephew even became friends with mine!
now i am married and all is well. life is great and i don't have to say goodbye to my best friend anymore! we live in orem about 10 min. away from byu. i got a second job working part time seasonal at the distribution center in orem, as i have free time from the lack of school. we are slowly getting our apt. put together and getting into a schedule.
london has bee great and very exhausting and pretty cold. i've worn a sweater almost everyday since i've been in europe. i've done a lot of things here so far, may favorites being st. paul's cathedral, wicked, the merry wives of windsor, jane austin's house, stonehenge, and westminster abby.
st. paul's cathedral is absolutely beautiful inside. diana and i decided we didn't want to pay the extra £4 for a tour so we started wandering around. a tour guide came up to us and asked us if we had any questions, which i did. our conversation quickly turned religious (we were in a cathedral after all) and he asked what faith we were, so we said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. suddenly his face lit up and he said "oh! you're mormons! i have your book!" then he gave us a free tour :) we liked him and he was very nice. after the tour we climbed hundreds of stairs to get to the very top of the cathedral, which is the second largest in europe! we had very tired legs when we came back down.
on monday i got to go see wicked, london's number one running show and it was AMAZING!!!! i would go again, i think. the cast was phenomenal, and the story line was entertaining. on wed. i watched the merry wives of windsor at shakespear's globe theatre, which was very cool. it is the first building to be built with a thatched roof since 1666, because thatched roofs were outlawed after the great fire of that year. i don't know why, but it makes me laugh every time i think of that :) or coordinator wasn't able to get us seats all together, so i sat by myself, next to a little old lady who was very friendly. she told me that she had a sister that was in the standing area because she was one of those "energetic type". she then pointed her out to me and it was another little old lady standing by the stage waving at us. that made me laugh too.
yesterday we made an all day trip as a class. we went to jane austin's house and the grounds were so pretty! there were beautiful flowers everywhere. the house itself was okay. . .it was set up in museum style. i did get to see a lock of her hair and a bed spread that she, her sister, and mother made from scraps of old dresses. it was really pretty. we walked down the lane to her brother's house and it was big and beautiful. i really felt like i was in a movie based on one of jane autin's novels.
later that day we went to stonehenge, which literally means hanging rock. it was really cool and it really does have some sort of mystic pull on a person. i got to take an audio tour and learn the history, suggested symbolism and uses of the stones, and some myths about it. it took about 40 minutes and was very interesting. i loved it! such a cool experience.
today i went to the tower of london, saw tower bridge, big ben, the houses of parliament, toured westminster abby and went to an evensong there. it was really cool because we got to sit by the choir in the quire since we were at the front of the line and got to watch the clergy walk down the line to the high alter. but i didn't participate in any of their prayers :) but i really liked west minster abby. i got to see the tombs of many england kings and queens, but my favorite was the poet's corner. i saw chaucer's tomb, and memorials to other great authors like charles dickens, jane austin, shakespeare, kipling, the bronte sisters, handle, thomas harding, etc. it was really cool!
on july 1 i landed in the shannon, ireland airport. i was so excited to be in ireland, since that is where i have always wanted to go. it was a very long week because we toured all over the country and spent a lot of time in a bus, but we were able to visit some BEAUTIFUL places. we stayed in dingle for the first couple of days, located on the south edge of the country, near the ocean. this was my favorite place because everything looked like i wanted it to: green rolling hills divided into segments by stone walls, little white sheep speckles everywhere, beautiful beaches and majestic cliffs. it was all very breath taking. we stayed in two different hostiles during our journeys. the first was my favorite, clean and spacious. the other one was. . . .well, let's just say it was a haunted castle with narrow, windy, dangerous stairs, located in kilkenny, a medieval town. i first heard of the ghost while diana and i were talking to a man in a gift shop after we told him where we were staying. when we got to the castle, the owners granddaughter met us and told our group the same thing. apparently bbc did a thing on it and the "ghost hunters" found it there :)
at the end of the week we made our way to dublin. we stopped at glendalough where brave heart was filmed. i've never seen the movie, but boy did they ever pick a gorgeous spot. it was so scenic with old cemeteries, monastic ruins, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, everything. i loved it and wish everybody had a chance to go. we finally got to dublin, which was nothing compared to the country. a lot of us stayed inside after being warned by our bus driver that it was a friday night and a lot of alcohol was going to be consumed and to be careful :) good ol' irish. while in dublin, a bunch of girls and i decided to go to riverdance for only 20 euros. we got there and when we showed our tickets, the ticket taker gave us 45 euro tickets instead, because there were extra seats. and the show was amazing! i think it was extra special because it was in dublin, ireland!
well, those are basically the highlights of my trip so far. i'm now in london as of midnight last night, and things are kind of expensive. i went grocery shopping today because our room has a fridge, and it was really nice to actually unpack my suitcases!