I know I've been bad about weekly updates or what not but it's crazy busy here. My classes take up most of my time- the rest is spent making travel plans and penching pennies. I highly wish the exchange rate were in my favor- the best advice I could give about being abroad is bring more than you'd need for a semester in the US. The best the exchange rate has been since I've been here is 1.56.
Anyway, I spent a week in London. It was a fabulous time. However, I don't think I'm as in love with London was I originallyt hought after my weekend getaway there. I haven't quite figured out why. So, we did tons of things while there- BUT - my favorite by far was seeing Wicked. It was more amazing than I could have possibly imagined. The staging and music was absolutely breathtaking. Maybe everything just appears to have more meaning on a beautiful stage in London, who knows. I really wish Michael and my mom could have been there. They would have also loved it. I was also able to tour Shakespear's Globe Theater. While here, I'm constantly astonished how connected I feel with "history" or my ability to imagine being part of prior centuries. This may sound stupid and childish but I find it fascinating and it makes my time here 10 times more enjoyable.
Being in the Parliament building was also far more interesting than I anticipated. Compared to our government buildings, the UK blows us out of the water. The sculptures, architecture, and paintings inside were phenomenal. The House of Commons and House of Lords were both structured in such a different and intersting way (even though I've been learning about it in my Contemporary Britain Class, being there was different). Maybe it's my nerdy affection for politics talking, but any political atmosphere interests me.
We also took a tour of an old Royal Palace. It was huge and beautifully decorated with gardens and landscaping all around the premises. This was also the most blatant example of class divison within Britain I have yet seen. Of course there are obvious class disparaties (obviously, I live in the castle with the Duke of Northumberland), this was outrageous. Just thinking about the amount of money fueled into building and maintaining the palace then and now, it almost sickening. Class divisions are frustrating.
All in all, other than the 7 hour bus ride, it was a great time.