once upon a time.

so i’ve been pretty absent on the blog lately…who knew trying to see everything in london would take up so much time right? and since i haven’t posted in forever i’m going to try to post about the big things i’ve done in no particular order. i figured since i’ve seen quite a few castles and palaces while i’ve been here i’ll start with a post about those.

|| dover ||

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the famous white cliffs of dover + dover castle. ^^^ so insanely beautiful, despite the fact that it was ridiculously foggy/rainy that day. but hey, cold and cloudy is kind of my thing so i was loving it. this castle is ancient. there is a roman lighthouse (that looks more like a pile of stones than a lighthouse, but is still pretty cool) and secret WWII wartime tunnels. it was way interesting to learn about it.

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i’m not going to lie though, playing in the medieval kitchen was slightly more fun than the history bit. there may have been a short video created in this area. “medieval cooking with megan” is sure to be a hit on the food channel, i’m sure of it. there were a lot of “interactive” parts of the castle where i could pretend that i was medieval royalty. my kind of life, i’m telling you. Image

disclaimer: i straightened my hair before this day trip. i walked out of the coach when we got there and this ^^^ happened. i told you it was wet that day. but aside from my crazy hair, visiting dover was unreal. it was our first trip out of the city so seeing the countryside and sprawling castle was a massive difference to the tightly packed buildings in london. it felt like a big family vacation…exploring the massive castle, taking lots of pictures, going to the “beach” (essentially a lot of pebbles next to the ocean. definitely beautiful, but didn’t feel much like a beach), and eating our packed lunches. a great introduction to the rest of our day trips.

 

|| hever ||

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hever castle is one of my favorite places that i’ve seen since i’ve been here. kind of surprising considering i’d never heard of it before this trip. compared to other castles it’s small-ish (did i really just form that sentence? england is spoiling me), but i think that’s part of the reason i liked it. it felt manageable, like you could see the whole thing and really look at it rather than sprinting from room to room. it was anne boleyn’s (one of henry the vii’s many wives) childhood home. so we got to see where she slept as a child and all those sorts of things. there was also a hilarious(ly creepy) display of wax figures of all 6 of henry vii’s wives. the guy got around.

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the grounds of hever castle were gorgeous, and we only saw a small portion of them. people wouldn’t mind flying to england so i could have my wedding reception here, right? guess i better marry someone who can afford to fly me and my closest friends across the pond. but really, i definitely wouldn’t mind having this as a backyard.

 

|| kensington ||

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when i was in london last year with the momma we went to kensington palace, but how could i resist going again when it’s literally across the street from the center. how cute are these will and kate pillows we found inside? ^^^ i want them for my apartment. really. we didn’t get a picture in front of the palace because we were pressed for time, but expect one later or google it if you can’t possibly wait. i love, love, love the way kensington is organized. there are three different segments to tour, all with a different theme and style. Image

i think kassie girl’s favorite segment was the king’s apartments. it involves a “choose your own adventure” where you have to pick different reactions to scenarios in a booklet as you move from room to room. at the end you find out where you would’ve been in court had you made those decisions. kassie ended up as the king’s favorite, and i was the prime minister! i even got announced to a room full of people as “prime minister baker.” too funny, and slightly embarassing. there’s also a very whimsical and artistic section that tells the story of william and mary. the third section is all about victoria and albert which just melts my heart. (if you haven’t seen the young victoria go watch it this minute and you’ll understand why). overall, kensington palace is so lighthearted and fun. if i didn’t have to pay to get in i think i’d spend every day in there. i’ll be able to do that after i marry prince harry though, so it’s really all right.

 

|| windsor ||

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what’s a visit to windsor castle without running into the queen or kate? if only except if i actually met them i wouldn’t be composedly taking a picture, i promise you that. windsor is the queen’s weekend home so we were definitely looking for her around every corner, but no luck. out of all the castles and palaces we’ve gone to, windsor is the one that looks most like a typical “castle.” it’s the one you draw a picture of when you’re little with towers and a drawbridge and all. it was unbelievably massive too. i wouldn’t mind moving in.

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me and becca in front of the sovereign’s entrance to the castle. ^^^ still no sign of the queen though. one of the coolest parts was a giant dollhouse made for one of the queens that had working plumbing, silver plates, and miniature famous works of art by the actual artists. out of control cool. made me want to play with dolls again, or be a doll and live there. the town around the castle is adorable too. we spent the whole day in and around the castle and even then we didn’t get to see everything.

after an endless amount of castles and palaces they never cease to amaze me. the amount of detail that has been put into creating these places is unreal. i could join the royal family just to live in them, and/or be friends with kate. both good options.

taking the city by storm (or foot)

Imagei’m back in the centre after an exhausting, but absolutely amazing day in the city. we walked all over the place so my feet are already killing me. that doesn’t exactly bode well for the coming weeks, but it’s so worth it. we started our walk at the tower of london (just the outside, i’m hitting up the inside later).

Imagefrom there we crossed tower bridge to get to the south bank of the thames. once we had crossed the bridge my walking buddy (becca) and i got real distracted real fast. we found this old shipyard turned marked called Hay’s Galleria (on the right) that was filled with adorable shops. book shop included. megan heaven right there.

Imagesaint paul’s cathedral ^^^ was absolutely gorgeous. it also happens to be where princess diana and prince charles were married. (after four hours of watching royal family documentaries back home i’m full of fun facts like that). we didn’t want to pay to actually go inside so we just went inside the cafe/shop. pretty much the same thing right?

Imageme on the millenium bridge ^^^ of harry potter and the half blood prince fame. needless to say i imagined death eaters swarming around the whole time i was on it. also, there was this guy selling hot candied nuts that are literally a dream. so good.

Imagewhile we were walking along the south bank there were loads of street performers and whatnot. these guys let us play with their bubbles, and i felt like such a mom taking pictures and video of becca. isn’t she the cutest though?

Imagei think my favorite park of walking down south bank was that we kept discovering new places and things to do. we spent a good 15 minutes in and around this alleyway. it was just opposite artsy shops filled with mugs and knick knacks that really tempted my self control.

Imagein the same alleyway. we think it probably lights up at night which would be stunning. i’ll report back if i ever see it at night.

Imageon a secret-ish little pier on the thames. this picture was taken seconds after a hug amount of water soaked all of the stones around us. miraculously we stayed completely dry. still a mystery how that happened.

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Imagemore shots at the “beach.” there were some people on the wall above us trying to read what we wrote in the sand, but they were really struggling. so either my handwriting is more illegible than i thought or they were foreign. also is “it’s alright” the replacement for “your welcome” here? apparently, because the girl who took our picture kept saying it. fun to hear a different phrase, but awkward because it made me feel an overpowering need to apologize?

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Imagelast but not least we made it to big ben and westminster abbey (just the outside). i don’t think this sight will ever cease to bring a smile to my face. this bit especially reminded me of my trip last year with the momma. so between remembering all the old experiences and having so many new ones, i couldn’t be happier. the buildings and parks here are all so beautiful and awe-inspiring, and the people are truly so kind. every person i’ve talked to has not only been polite, but friendly and happy. i’ll say it again and again but i’m in love with this place.

p.s. this post is not about today, but yesterday. there were some issues with uploading (sketchy wifi at the center) so it’s coming a little late.

that time that kelsey came to p-town

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i’m back for what’s becoming my monthly blog post. even though this post is wildly delayed. as you can see in the picture above… kelsey harrison came to p-town! (foreva ago, but it cant be ignored) i miss this girl literally every day. we have an abnormal amount of fun together, and i couldn’t ask for a better best friend (or solitary blog reader). but for about five days it was just like old times! except we weren’t in her room eating ben and jerry’s or studying art history. or eating ben and jerry’s. after a heartwarming reunion at the airport we headed straight for temple square and witnessed at least 16 weddings. all of which featured brides who were probably 12 years old. we didn’t want to feel left out though so we took the classic wedding photo in front of the temple. we’d make a cute couple no?

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temple square was followed by a trip to city creek. which may have included us giggling like schoolgirls in the disney store and being the only people there taller than four feet. we’re extremely mature. but the fun didn’t stop there! how could it when kelsey and megs are together. (i think we need a couple name. kegs? melsey? i’ll work on it.) the rest of the day included lots of confusion with the train, strange men yelling at us while eating pizza, quite possibly witnessing a drug deal, and getting stranded at a sketchy (yet delicious) mexican restaurant. overall a successful day.

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i’m not going to give details for every single day that kels was here. mostly because she’s probably the only one reading this, and she was there so… but suffice it to say that the five days that she was here were some of the best ones of my college experience. if i didn’t want to go to college with kelsey before (which i did) i definitely want to now. she’s the best.

welcome to the west egg

“…And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.”

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friday night i attended a great gatsby themed party, 1920’s attire required. it was the cat’s pajamas! everybody looked great. the girls were gorgeous and the boys… let’s just say they should wear 20’s style outfits every day. really. this party was the real deal though. everyone had dates, there was dancing, mocktails, food, everything. if they had the same party again in a week, i’d be there. (with more comfortable shoes and an empty stomach)

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honestly though, half the fun of the night was getting ready. i don’t consider myself a girly-girl necessarily, but i love getting all dressed up. plus a twenties theme? yes please. and i hit the jackpot, i didn’t just get myself ready. there’s no challenge in that. no, i did five (FIVE) girls hair and makeup. it was a blast. even when we were running low on time or bobby pins I was having a grand time playing the frazzled hair/makeup artist. and i discovered a hidden talent for doing hair. so if you have any red carpet events or galas to attend, call me up. maybe I’ll give you a discount for reading my blog? i know that you’re very jealous of my party experience right about now, but do not fear! if you want to feel like you were there just watch this (a.k.a the best trailer ever made). YOU AND ME, ME AND YOU!

christmas break (part two)

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so maybe this christmas break post is a teensy bit belated. but i promised you part two and part two you will receive! it was so fun to spend time with the fam bam. i love them to pieces and they are pretty dang fun people. guess we know where i got my killer sense of humor and bubbly personality. right? come on you can’t deny that wrapping your mom’s christmas gift in an abercrombie bag (complete with a shirtless and apparently fierce man) is hilarious. you can’t. i’ll have you know my (virtual) cats think i’m very fun, and mr. darcy and elizabeth are great judges of character. take that judgmental/is she serious face off right now. the dorms are not conducive to having pets so iPhone kitties it is. they are cute, playful, and don’t make a mess. should you decide to come over to the dark side the app is called “touch cats.” an unfortunate name really. anyways, back to reality. i felt an absurd amount of joy when I went to starbucks over break and got “my drink.” i’ve always wanted to say that, it sounds oh so sophisticate. but how i’ve missed my vanilla rooibos tea latte with cinnamon dulce sweetener. p-town is sadly lacking in that department. i’ve really missed california when it comes to food and such. we went to a fantastic (and slightly sketchy) restaurant called ho-dad’s that I highly recommend. you just have to ignore the smell of pot as you enjoy your delicious burger and marvel at the license plates covering every inch of the walls. a small price to pay really. before ho-dad’s we had a rip roarin good time at sea world. we fed dolphins, touched sting rays, and mom cried during the whale show. just a day like any other. now its time to hear about the christmas break outing that may have just changed my life. drum roll please… i saw les miserables! twice! oh goodness did i love that movie. it is now my new absolute favorite movie. I cried (read: sobbed uncontrollably) throughout the entire thing. if you haven’t seen it, stop reading this blog post and run to a theater this second. preferably at a cinepolis theater . i have never felt so luxurious in my life. I have also never felt so guilty for eating a gourmet quesadilla in a reclining leather chair as fantine’s dreams are torn away from her. so maybe don’t see les mis in that theater, but it’s an excellent choice for any other movie. well that’s my break for ya. i’m sure you enjoyed reading about it as much as I enjoyed having it.