Friday, April 29, 2011

Adventures In England--Day 41 & 42

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today we had ants in our pants...not literally but you would have thought we had drank 10 cups of coffee before 9:00am. We are both so excited to go home! Jason didn't go to work so we planned on sleeping in and just enjoying our last day before our flight. Well, this lady couldn't sleep in past 6:00am. I was up and packing before the sun was really out. Did I not realize that we had a full day to do all our packing?! Who knows...anyway, the bags got packed before 10:00am and we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted. We finally talked ourselves into getting out of the apartment and going to town. We wanted to take our last walk to the pond, walk down our lane hand in hand for the last time, toss bread for the last time to the sweet ducks in the pond, enjoy our favorite pub for the last time and breath in Epsom air for the last night. My heart melted when I saw this adorable couple walking through the park. I love seeing couples, young and old, that are so crazy about each other. Such a sweet scene!

Friday, April 29, 2011
As you read this, we are flying home. We fly out at 12:00pm and we are suppose to get into Missouri around 6:00pm. I'm hoping that we can watch a lot of the Royal wedding before we board our plane. The excitement here has been crazy...it's hard not to get excited when we are so close! My mom and the boys are planning on picking us up from the airport...I'm so excited to see them! I've definitely been having mama and pup withdrawals during our time here! Our six weeks in England was more than we could have asked for. We loved exploring all the castles and learning all the history that is associated with them. Today my husband is officially Dr. Jason Conway....sounds great doesn't it?! I'm so proud of him and the hard work that he has endured in the last 4 years for us to get to this point. Pretty crazy to think that the medical school journey is OVER...woo hoo!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lessons In English

  • dum dum=pacifier
  • lift=elevator
  • pavement=sidewalk
  • busking=begging for money
  • queue=line (at a restaurant or grocery store)
  • allight=wait
  • The "W" is left off or out of most of their words. For example, Greenwich is pronounced Grinich; Fenwicks department store is pronounced Fenicks; Warwick is pronounced Warick
  • telly=cellphone
**We've enjoyed our time in England and I've loved learning new terms for words that we use back in the states. I hope you've enjoyed reading 'Lessons In English' as much as I've loved listening intently to different conversations, writing down all the different words and rushing home to put them in a blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adventures In England--Day 39 & 40

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
***Happy 3rd Anniversary to us!! Another year with the man I love!
We were up and out the door fairly early because we had a few places we wanted to see in London and with it being the week of the royal wedding, we knew it would be crazy. We kept saying we didn't care to go inside Westminster Abbey but we changed our mind at the last second and decided to walk through. It's crazy to think that the last 37 kings and queens have been crowned in the coronation throne at Westminster Abbey. I was excited to walk through because that's where the wedding will be in just a few days. The Abbey was different than I expected. The aisles are so narrow with very little walking space because of all the tombs that are around the main naive. Still beautiful just very different than I was expecting. They were already setting up lights and cameras for the wedding. It was pretty crazy to see all the news stations setting up their equipment in the towers and side rooms.
After we went to Westminster Abbey, we headed to St. Paul's Cathedral. St. Paul's Cathedral is where Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married. Oh my goodness....St. Paul's was amazing. It was so spacious and filled with so many different types of religious art. The ceilings in the main dome were so detailed. The ceilings were covered with mosaics that depicted different scenes from the Bible. We could climb the three layers of the dome--the whispering gallery, the stone gallery and the golden gallery. In total it was 528 steps to the top and the top is 365 feet above the city of London. The whispering gallery is pretty neat because it was designed for one person across the dome to whisper in the wall and for it to be heard on the other side of the dome. We actually tested this out...it works! The next few hundred steps were brutal--the narrow, winding staircase was an intense leg workout. Once we got to the top though, we could see to the edges of London.
After we finished at St. Paul's, we said goodbye to Ange and Ana. They were heading to explore more of England and France and we wanted to do more exploring in London. Jason wanted to go and explore Greenwich, pronounced Grinich, to see the Royal Naval College, the Painted Hall, the National Maritime museum and the Royal Observatory. I'm so glad that we made the ten minute train ride to the far east side of London to see Greenwich because it was awesome. The painted hall was painted by James Thornhill, the same man who painted St. Paul's Cathedral. The painted hall inside the Royal Naval College was once used for a dining hall for the naval students. Pretty amazing place to eat if you ask me...so pretty! We left the college and headed up the hill to the Royal Observatory. Along the way, we stopped for a quick walk through in the National Maritime Museum. The walk up the hill to the Royal Observatory was another good leg workout. The Royal Observatory is known for being the home of the Prime Meridian, the official starting point of each new day and year. It's also known for having zero degrees longitude, which is very odd since every place besides the Royal Observatory has a longitude and a latitude degree. Once we finished at Greenwich, we headed back to Epsom. We were pretty tired from the few days before and we wanted to get home at a decent time so we could get some good rest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Today was very low-key. My focus for the day was laundry and the blog. Jason went into work for a little bit because he had a guilty conscience for missing work during our five day trip. Once he got home from work we ran into town to get a few groceries for our last two days in England. A nap, a cup of hot tea, a game of cards and some music on iTunes is how the rest of our day looked. We are both so antsy to go home that the days seem to be dragging It's kind of crazy to think that our time here is almost over...we've had such a great time here! Not only is our time here almost over but the medical school journey is almost over. In two days, I will be back in the states AND married to a doctor!

Adventures In England--Day 38

Monday, April 25, 2011
Today we were able to successfully take trains to each of our destinations...thank goodness! We headed out around 9:00am--Warwick Castle, Oxford and Brighton were on the agenda! Our first stop was Warwick, pronouced Warick, Castle.
The castle was having a special weekend for Easter so the castle was full of people reenacting how life would have been. It was a different scene then we were used to seeing in other castles but it was very neat and interesting.
Warwick Castle was a lot of fun to explore. We even climbed to the top of the tower to look out over the city...such a great view. I can see why castles were built on top of hills, you can see so far out! Our next stop for the day was Oxford. We wanted to see Oxford University, especially since so many leaders and famous people got their degrees from there. Oxford is very similar to Cambridge. A series of colleges make up Oxford University and they all share similar architectural styles. Oxford was so pretty...I couldn't imagine what it would be like to study in buildings that are so beautiful! It would definitely be an experience!
Our last stop for the day was Brighton. Brighton is right on the southern coast and could be compared to the Santa Monica Pier in California. No sand on this beach either. All these people were laying out on rocks...kind of crazy! It was such a nice day that the pier was packed--so packed that it was difficult to walk. Also, in Brighton there is a palace called the Royal Pavilion which looks out of place. The Royal Pavilion has an Indian look so it was totally different than anything we had seen. We left Brighton and headed back to Epsom. We knew we wanted to get into London one last time before everything was shut down and blocked off for the wedding. Ange and Ana decided to come back with us for one last night. I feel like I keep repeating myself but the weather was beautiful! We had such great weather to explore Warwick, Oxford and Brighton.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adventures In England--Day 37

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Let me see...how do I sum up today???
How about bus ride, bus ride, train ride, train ride, Stratford-Upon-Avon. It was such a LONG day of traveling! Before we went to our hotel room on Saturday evening, we made sure to check the train times so we could get back into England. We were wanting to explore the Cotswolds and some of Shakespeare's stomping grounds. We got to the train station right before 7:00am, right before we thought the first train would go out, and we were the only people walking around through the station. Finally, a worker came out and asked us where we were going. We explained to him where we would like to go and he just looked at us and said, "It's Easter Sunday and pretty much all of the lines are closed for today and tomorrow. If you want to leave, you'll have to take a bus but the bus doesn't leave for another hour and a half." We hated what we heard but we had no choice but to head back to our hotel, enjoy a nice sit down breakfast, explore Glasgow a little more and come back when the bus was heading out. Well, like I said earlier we took 2 bus rides and 2 train rides and about 10 hours later we finally pulled in to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Right outside of the station, we found the cutest bed in breakfast to stay at, Emsley Guest House.
We dropped our things off in our room and we went out to explore the town. We had been couped up all day just trying to get here so there was no stopping us from walking around and exploring a little bit. The town was so adorable...thatched roofs, half-timbered homes, a river down the middle of the town and cobblestone streets to walk down. We were recommended dinner at The Garrick Inn, which is the oldest pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The pub was 400+ years old!! It couldn't have been a better recommendation...we couldn't get over the inside of the restaurant, all the history that was on the walls and the food was amazing! We were pretty fortunate that they would even serve us so late on Easter Sunday. We were the last group to be served food that night! After dinner, we were on a mission to find the birthplace of William Shakespeare. He was born here, died in a nearby house and is even buried in a chapel in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Shakespeare is definitely a worldwide famous poet but in Stratford-Upon-Avon, he is a notch above all the other famous poets. The town has kept that quaint feel and has put a lot of effort into making everything appear how it would have appeared back in his time.

Adventures In England--Day 36

Saturday, April 23, 2011
Today started off early, probably a little earlier than we all would have liked. We packed our bags for four days and we headed off to the station around 5:30am. Because it was Easter weekend a lot of trains lines were having engineering work done to their lines and Epsom just happened to be in one of those engineering areas. We had to catch a bus to a nearby station, Ewell, and then from there we could catch the train into London and then from London to York. York was on the way North to Scotland and it is pretty well known so we made a stop. York was such a cute town. York Minster, the largest gothic cathederal in nothern England, was amazing. Also walking through the town we saw the Shambles, which is an old street that is known for having buildings that date back to the 14th century. A lot of the buildings, if not all of the buildings, that make up the Shambles are leaning, uneven and have a very distinct half timbered look. It was very neat to walk down the narrow, cobblestone streets. We even got to see the shortest road with the longest name....Once we left York, we headed North to Durham. As soon as we stepped off the train, Durham's 11th century castle and cathedral could be seen on top off the hill. We walked across the river and started our journey to the top of the hill. Durham was definitely a place that we were glad we stopped at! Durham cathedral and all the buildings that make up the university are beautiful. Besides the huge hill we had to climb, the stop in Durham couldn't have been better. After two stops and a few hours on the train enjoying the countryside, we finally made it to Scotland. Our first stop in Scotland was Edinburgh, the second largest city in Scotland. We caught the tail end of a small rain storm so we had to wear our ponchos for a bit as we walked along the Royal Mile to the castle. The Royal Mile is a road that goes through the city --it has the castle on one end and the Holyrood Abbey on the other end. Edinburgh was filled with tons of gothic styled buildings...the pictures don't even begin to compare to what we saw. Exploring the castle definitely made the top of our list...so beautiful! The intricate details that made up every outside corner, inside ceiling and everything in between was mind blowing. Every time we looked into the city from the top of the castle, we saw something new and beautiful in the distance. Edinburgh had so many side streets filled with cute little stores and pubs that we could have spent days exploring the city. We grabbed a bite to eat at a cute, local pub and then we jumped on a train and headed to Glasgow. We got a hotel room in Glasgow because we thought it would be easier to get to our Sunday destinations. Our hotel was right beside the center square, which was very pretty all lit up at night. We even tried to walk around and find the best deal but about two blocks later we turned around, tucked our tail between our legs and gave in to the price we were offered. We literally fell asleep the moment our heads hit the pillow! We had such a busy, but great day exploring England and Scotland.