We were required for our Shakespeare class to attend two Shakespeare performances outside of class. Allie and I heard about this event...the Bard-a-thon...that featured fifteen plays in twenty-four hours. The actors and actresses were given twelve hours notice to prepare their plays and each company performed three plays. There was no set an minimal props. The plays were performed at an outdoor amphitheatre called the Scoop. It was pretty cold, but we bought hot chocolate between the weirdo performance of Macbeth and the not quite as weird performance of Much Ado about Nothing. Actually...they were both pretty strange, but you really can't beat free. Especially when you're a starving student on a budget.

The dinner scene of I said, minimal props.



In the morning we left Cardiff and drove back across the border into England to Herefordshire county. There we visited church history sites. Wilford Woodruff opened the Herefordshire area for missionary work and had incredible success with the people there. We visited the farm of one of the main families he baptized, the Benbow family.

Eating our chocolate cake for lunch.

We also visited Herefordshire Beacon, a large hill that is recorded in Wilford Woodruff’s journal as a place he liked to go to have alone time. We all climbed to the top and sang “High on the Mountain Top” as a group.

Atop Herefordshire Beacon

After climbing back down the hill we got back on the coach and drove to the Gadfield Elm Chapel, the oldest LDS church building in existence. To get in the door you have to answer some LDS trivia-type questions and use the answers as the code in the keypad on the lock. The questions were things like ‘How many chapters in the Book of Enos?’ and ‘How many Degrees of Glory are there?’ Fortunately we were able to answer all of them without much trouble :)

A tree outside Gadfield Elm Chapel



We left in the morning and took the coach to Wales. We went to a village that has been converted into a museum. We walked through old houses and a small castle. It was a beautiful day to be outside. Fall here really is amazing.

When I saw this tractor it reminded me of my friend Gus. He loves tractors.

When we left the museum we drove a little way to Cardiff, the capital of Wales. We checked into our hotel and then we had the whole evening to walk around and explore. Allie and I went to Pizza Hut and then we met up with our group to go watch a play based on Roald Dahl’s book The BFG. The ticket man was really nice to Allie and me, and even though I didn’t have my student ID he gave us both really good student tickets in the fourth row. It was an…interesting play. I guess that’s Roald Dahl for you though.


Barcelona: Day One

We left for Barcelona in the afternoon on Tuesday after spending the morning at Charles Darwin’s house. There were six of us travelling together. We almost weren’t allowed to get on our flight because of a slight passport misunderstanding: we didn’t get our boarding passes stamped at the visa desk. When it looked like all hope was lost, one of the girls at the gate grabbed our boarding passes and ran all the way back through the maze of hallways and security to get stamp them for us. I take back every mean thing I’ve said about bad customer service in England. We were so grateful for her help!

We landed in Spain late that night and giggled like twelve-year-olds when we were greeted with ‘Hola’ and Spain stamps in our passports at the customs desk. After a long bus ride, a ride on the [ghetto] Spanish Metro and some slight room issues, we finally settled into bed in our hotel room(s) sometime after midnight.

Barcelona: Day Two

It was raining in the morning when we woke up. I bought a cheap umbrella from a man on the street. After grabbing some breakfast at a Starbucks we walked around trying to orient ourselves and figure out the lay of the city. We were so excited when the sky cleared up around noon. We walked up a hill at the edge of the city and had an amazing view of the whole city and the Mediterranean Sea. We also stumbled across a palace and some museums. It was a beautiful day. A Spanish lobster..or en

Español: LANGOSTA!

Barcelona: Day Three

It poured all day long! We set out in the morning with high hopes that the sky would clear again, but the longer we were outside, the more evident it became that the rain was there to stay. I was so grateful for my cheap umbrella. We walked to the Arc de Triomf and a huge church called the Sagrada Familia. It’s been under construction for ages, and they don’t plan to finish it for like fifty more years. It was beautiful, but really strange. There were lizards and snails carved on the outside?

Arc de Triomf

Sagrada Familia

We also walked around for a while in search of some gardens we’d heard of, but gave up because of the excessive rain that was no longer falling down, but sideways. Later that evening I set out from the hotel to meet up with Allie and Kirsten at the Picasso museum, but they’d gotten lost so I went through the museum by myself. Picasso was kind of a weird guy. I got in trouble in the museum for letting my wet umbrella drip on the floor. I’m not really sure where I was supposed to let it drip though, and if the irate museum employee told me I didn’t understand her.

Wet jeans in the hotel room

Barcelona: Day Four

Friday dawned bright and sunny, which was a relief since we were going to the beach. After breakfast we rented some bicycles from a little shop and rode to the beach. After cruising up and down the boardwalk for a while, we parked our bikes and headed for the waves. The day was perfect for the beach. It was my first excursion into the Mediterranean and I loved it.

When we finished swimming we hopped back on our bikes and toured the city. We rode through the city park and up to an old bull-fighting arena. After we returned our bikes we ate some awesome gelato and did some window shopping.

For dinner we went to Hard Rock Café Barcelona. It’s nice to know that there’s a little bit of America in the form of celebrity worship and rock memorabilia no matter where you go in the world.

Barcelona: Day Five

We caught a bus early in the morning back to the airport. We made sure not to forget any important steps and got on the plane without any incidents. London was a little overcast, but beautiful. When I got off the bus we rode from the airport, it hit me how much I’d missed my little home away from home. We walked back to our house instead of riding the tube. Fall has arrived here in London. The air is crisp and the leaves are all changing on the trees. Barcelona was a fun place to visit, but I missed people speaking in English and having my own bed and the way it feels to return to a home after a long day instead of a hotel room.

I love you London, and I will never complain about the way your streets smell again.



The town of Bath has changed hands several times through the years. It first enjoyed popularity when the Romans turned it into a resort town of sorts. It returned to fame in the 1800s when people believed the water had healing powers for all sorts of problems. It was neat to walk around the old ruins and see the layers of history that have been built on each others, even though some of the rooms smelled like the hot pools at Yellowstone, which is to say not so good.


We went to visit the gardens at Stourhead. Stourhead is another big manor like Chatsworth. Apparently back in the days that it was very cool to have an enormous, palatial house that passed from generation to generation it was also very vogue to have massive grounds that were designed to look like ‘artful wilderness.’ At least, that’s what I’ve been learning in my humanities class this semester. Stourhead is such a place. The ‘gardens’ were much more like a large city park, complete with a lake and several small Greek temples. It was really breathtaking. We were there for a few hours walking around. I think I wouldn’t mind a yard like that someday, as long as someone else was responsible for maintaining the landscape and feeding the swans.

They filmed the proposal scene in the most recent Pride and Prejudice (you know, the one with the rain and all the yelling) at Stourhead in a little stone building called Apollo’s Temple. Picture this: forty girls streaming off a bus toward know location of sappy, chick-flick scene. Giggles and gossip filled the air. Excitement was almost tangible as girls contemplated the reality that they would soon be standing where Keira Knightly stood. And then we saw it. The scaffolding. Yes, that’s right. The British National Trust is currently restoring Apollo’s Temple. Words cannot describe the agony that filled our souls and penetrated clear to the cores of our very beings. How dare they be so selfish and ruin our vacation in such a heartless way? Don’t worry, I hiked to it anyway to take a sad picture of me with the inaccessible, scaffolding covered building in the background. Not that it would be the same without an attractive, rain-drenched man proposing marriage to me, but still.


If I had been planning my own trip to Britain, I don’t think I would have included Stonehenge. It never sounded very interesting to me and I didn’t really see any point in going. If I had planned my own trip, I would have missed it completely and that would have been unfortunate, because it turns out that Stonehenge is pretty cool. When you go to Stonehenge, you start to ask the kinds of questions you always ask at really big, old things. How did they make this without any of the sophisticated equipment we use to build today? I feel the same when I stand in the nave of a gothic cathedral and stare up at the arches so high above my head. What was it that made such a huge undertaking worth the effort? It’s nice to know that someday I can ask these questions to the people that really have the answers. Until then, it’s just cool to look and wonder.