Sunday, October 31, 2010



1: Started the trip off on 3 hours of sleep... I hate signing up for classes... especially in London
2: Went down in a real COAL MINE! Headlamps, oxygen masks, and hard hats required.
3: Experienced WELSH WORLD. The happiest place in Wales.
4: Learned that the welsh word "llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch" is the longest single-word in the world. It translates into:
"The church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave"
5: Stayed in a hotel, not a hostel with MJ as my roomie.
6: Ate an over-priced blue-cheese burger for dinner at "Gourmet Burger" in Cardiff (the capitol of Wales)
7: Watched the 4-hour version of Jane Austen's "Emma" on the coach with 40 girls... I've never been so involved in a movie in my life haha.
8: Experienced Malvern Beacon AKA the wind tunnel meets tornado meets hurricane.
9: Bought a walnut-coffee meringue that was the greatest thing ever, and discovered that our coach driver Tony shares my affinity for meringues.
10: Visited the oldest LDS chapel in the world!

We love mining!

Me and Andrew unsuccessfully attempting to pick apples in Welsh World... While Jordan somehow harpooned one with an umbrella on her first try??

The TV had three channels: UK's version of the Discovery Channel, the news in Welsh, or top ten R&B music videos.
Obviously, we watched the news in Welsh.

Malvern Beacon:

Yeah... you can't even see my face because it was so windy... the mane was out of control.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


What does it take to make the best Halloween ever?? Well, pumpkins from Tesco, costumes from Camden, a cookie-decorating contest, donut-eating competition (THAT YOUR PROFESSORS COMPETE IN??), an intense costume contest, impassioned rounds of Mafia, candy corn sent in packages from the USA (they don't sell it here...), the same ten halloween songs on repeat, special appearances from Sarah Palin, Mount Rushmore, Santa Claus, Mary Poppins, Bree from Desperate Housewives, Michael Jackson, a pregant Bella Cullen, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, ugly Betty, and more; ingesting WAY too much sugar, and taking hundreds of pictures...

What does it take to make the best Halloween ever??
Spending it in London with a fabulous group of people!

cookie decorating (I was really focused...?)

Mount Rushmore eating donuts

Santa and Big Ben

Dr. Tate and Dr. Seely IN A DONUT-EATING CONTEST hahaha best thing ever.

Mount Rushmore
MJ, Brittany, and Taylor Swift!

Bridezilla and pregnant Bella (annoyingly whiny personality included... so classic!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

This is Halloween!

So it's officially Halloween week and we kicked it off with a bang! First of all these are some of the decorations that Jordan and I put up on our landing. They are awesome! Thank you Jean for sending them to us and inspiring Halloween spirit in our lives.

THEN tonight me, Jordan, Molly, and Ben went and saw "The Woman in Black" which is this "darkly compelling" and "spine-chilling" play! How scary can a play really be? Really frightening! Like Molly-almost-hyperventilated and Jordan-basically-clawed-my-arm-off scary.
And it's great, because usually I avoid anything scary (the last scary movie I saw was while I was in 7th grade) but in play form the scariness is much more enjoyable! Or maybe it's London that makes being scared more fun?
Either way, I'm so excited for Halloween now!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Primary Program

Today was my ward's Primary Program! The kids have been out of control the last few weeks as we've been rehearsing in the chapel, but today all 15 of them sat still and sang loud and refrained from playing tag during the talks! So I definitely considered it a success.

I got another calling today too -- ward choir accompanist.
So now I play the hymns during sacrament meeting, play the piano in primary, and play the piano after church for choir practice.

I haven't played this much piano in 5 years!

But I love it, our ward choir is so enthusiastic that the choir director has to keep asking everyone to tone it down.
I feel like it's one of those baptist church choirs, minus the spontaneous "hallelujah" shouts.

Some of the cute primary kids I help teach!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I love rocks.

We went to the beach today! Brighton 
 Beach to be exact. It was even sunny for us! Which was very lucky considering England weather. England beaches are funny, there isn't sand, just lots of little rocks.

There was this enormous pier with a carnival going on! And if you think treats are expensive at carnivals, try paying for them in pounds...
To be honest, I almost forgot I was in England for a minute! It felt a lot like when I went to Newport Beach with my family this summer!

Sunbathing on the beach in our coats and scarves hahaha
Just because it's sunny in the UK, doesn't mean it's warm...

I feel like Stonehenge gets a bad rap.
It's really cool! Those rocks have been there since 3,000 B.C.
That is a really long time.
Stonehenge is a default desktop-picture option on every PC computer.
Not very many landmarks can say that.
No, you can't touch them, but that's because they don't want anyone to push them over.
Who in their right mind would do that you might ask? My brothers would probably try...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Josh and Bruno

So we went to London’s Roundhouse Tuesday night to see one of our favorite artists, Joshua Radin. If you haven’t heard any of his songs, listen to some of my favorites here, here, and here.

Everytime I go to concerts, I HAVE to get to front of the crowd. And in the UK, people don’t like to stand very close to each other, so getting to the front was really easy, even though I made a lot of people angry haha.

BUT it was so worth it because I was 5 feet away from Joshua Radin and HAD A FULL ON CONVERSATION WITH HIM. It went as follows:

Joshua: (from the stage) So I fly back to the states tomorrow…

Grace: That’s where I’m from!

Joshua: Oh are there people from the states here?

Grace: Yeah!

Joshua: (looking at me) where are you from?

Grace: (freaking out) Utah!

Joshua; New York?

Grace: No, Utah!

Joshua: OH Utah! They have good skiing there!

Grace: Yeah they do!

Joshua: What’s your name?

Grace: GRACE!

Joshua: That’s a good name

Molly: and Molly!!

Joshua: Grace and Molly, this song is dedicated to Grace and Molly

He then proceeds to play Today while continually looking over and smiling at us!!

It gets better.

So he played the encore IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CROWD and as he was making his way to the back door, I run over, knocking people down, grab his left bicep and yell JOSHUA!

He turns around, grabs my hand, and I say “it’s grace!!” then he says: “Oh Grace from Utah! Thank you!!” and walks out the door!!!

His facebook status the next day:

That was my favorite show as of yet.

 London, I love you.”

We love you too Josh!

Our tickets signed by Joshua's opener Justin Nozuka!

Then tonight, Molly and I decided to go walk around Covent Gardens and grab some dinner.
So we're just wandering around and as we pass the Apple Store, Molly says "I think there's music playing in there!"
So we go inside to see what's going on, and discover BRUNO MARS PLAYING A FREE CONCERT!? He graced our ears with numbers such as "Nothing on You," "Billionaire," and "Just the Way you Are."

After he was done playing, Molly and I run up to the front and I say "Bruno can we get a picture with you?" (yes, I did call him by his first name haha) and he was like sure!
He's really short haha

Royal Ballet

I was so excited when our directors announced that we were going to the ballet! Our room and bathroom exploded in a flurry of 14 girls trying on dresses, sharing shoes, curling hair, applying mascara, finding matching tights, hairspray, and Katy Perry. I think we had all been deprived of a reason to get really dressed up, so we loved it!

Meegan, Lauren, Kenz, Devri, Morgan, Molly, Olivia, me, Jani, Jordan, Jenna, Natalie, Becca

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Northern England

We got to go see the Preston temple! Which was the coolest thing ever. Preston is also the first place that the missionaries taught when Joseph Smith sent them overseas. And it's where Pres. Hinckley served his mission!

Ever read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? We got to go to the moors that inspired parts of those novels! We also toured the Bronte sisters' home.
We hiked all over the moors and for some reason decided that we would only have conversations through singing, which was hilarious.

Jordan kind of got caught on the barbed wire...

Claire, Jani, Me

This is a fantastic little English town with one of the largest cathedrals in Europe! The buildings are so old and I felt like I was walking around in the 1800's.

Constantine, draped in wool.

The Romans are coming! And yes, we wore these hats all day.

Ghost Trail: hilarious, but also kind of creepy -- not because of the ghosts, more because our tour guide = creeper.

Durham Cathedral:
They filmed a scene from Harry Potter here!


Ever heard of it? I hadn't either... but it is the wall that used to mark the border of the Roman Empire! So on one side was England, and on the other side was Scotland, cool huh? It was also quite the hike through sheep-herding fields to get up to it, which explains the victory pose below...

We did the wave on the wall!

And then I led Jordan down the mountain, blindfolded.

This is probably one of the most beautiful places on earth!
Here are some highlights:
  • The hostel ran out of food for us = fries for dinner
  • Molly fell in the river haha!
  • Went to William Wordsworths home and read his poetry in the woods
  • Went to Beatrix Potter's cottage (she wrote Peter Rabbit)
  • Dance partied on the dock, and the ferry, and in our hostel...

Dance party on the dock

We had story time on the ferry across the lake

This was really funny at the time...

Our hostel! Right on the lake.

This was a side trip, because only 16 of us decided to spend the night in Liverpool. So on the way back to London on Friday, the directors dropped us off on the dock (literally) and we were on our own. Which meant checking into a hostel by ourselves and booking our own train tickets home! Very grown up stuff.

Liverpool is amazing! Not only because it is THE birthplace of The Beatles, but over 30,000 saints left England to sail to America from here!

Yes, we did go on The Beatles magical mystery tour. Yes, I did see the birthplaces of Paul, John, George, and Ringo. Yes, I did see the strawberry fields. And yes, we did go to a semi-concert in the same club that The Beatles performed in over 200 times!

Oh and yes, we did meet a woman from Kentucky who is attending school here and getting a masters degree in The Beatles... Didn't know that was even possible??

Oh and we also went on the ferris wheel that is right on the docks! We nicknamed it the "Liverpool eyelash" hahaha

And yes, I basically lived in my trench coat all week, in case you hadn't noticed.