01 September 2011

First Week So Far

Good morning and hello from London! This is my first post true Life Across the Pond post and I wish I could say that I had something better planned for you all, but I don't. I've spent the last two days getting over jet lag and getting my flat set up, so I'm winging this! 
The Enchanted Palace
I was actually able to move about like a function human yesterday, rather than a caffeinated zombie like I was on tuesday. I managed to stay awake all day tuesday and had a dinner of tomato soup at a pub right by the school with some other girls in the program before heading to the most beautiful Whole Foods I have ever seen and picking up some fruit and yogurt for breakfasts. I got to skype a little before getting a shower and heading to bed at 8. I woke up a few times through the night, but managed to get some really solid sleep in, in fact I woke up because one of the girls that I'm making friends with was at my door. I almost ignored the knocking on my door, but I rolled over, bleary eyed, and asked if it was Katie. It was and so I answered the door and asked what time it was. It was noon. So I rushed to get ready and met her downstairs for 'breakfast'. We headed out and stopped into Paul a boulangerie that she really loved from when she did a study abroad in Paris and for good reason! The apple pastry I had was so delicious. It was so delicious, light and flaky, the filling was just a little tart and the top was barely sweet. We grabbed our breakfast and walked down to Kensington Gardens where we found a bench and ate our pastries in near silence. (They really where that good!) We started talking when the pigeons started gathering. They would flutter off a bit if you kicked out your leg or clapped your hands, but far from phased by this they would just come back and wait and move from side to side as we each dropped little crumbs from our breakfasts. 

After we finished up we noticed a group of people outside of the Kensington Palace gates and we made our way over to find the gates covered in flowers, signs, cards, pictures, poems and flags. Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of Princesses Diana's untimely death in Paris. She lived in Kensington Palace. I'm sad to say that I did not bring my camera with me that day, so lesson learned! We made our way around the side of the palace and started seeing installation art on the nearby trees and signs for The Enchanted Palace. It's an interactive tour through part of the palace where you learn about 7 of the princesses that lived in Kensington. When we found that it was £11 for students, it really seemed appropriate to see it yesterday, so we went. 
Bottles from the Room of Royal Sorrows
It received really high reviews from writers for The Guardian and Harper's Bazaar and with good reason. It was a fantastic journey through a curious juxtaposition of modern and antique. The old setting of the palace was filled with clever use of color, light, sound, texture, technology, antiques, installation and interactive guides called the Detectors. At the beginning you received a guide book with facts, a map and a card to write down the names of all the princesses if you're able to locate them all through out the tour. Katie described it best as "Alice in Wonderland" like.  I wish I had taken pictures of more detailed notes while I was in it, because I would write a full fledged gallery review for it, those always where my favorite things to do, probably because it gave me an excuse to be opinionated. [The Detectors where very fun. A woman sat on the knitted throne in The Seat of Power room for a photo and the detector immediately begins composing himself as if she is the queen and asked her to make a royal decree. She wished for everyone to have a wonderful day and he announced it to everyone and encouraged our applause and a round of "God Save the Queen!". That was my first time saying God Save the Queen. I really felt like I was in England then.]  

The other really exciting part of yesterday was dinner. I went to dinner with 2 other people and after dinner I went down a crazy steep set of stairs to the toilets (It sounds so crass when I'm accustomed to calling it the restroom, but that's what the English say and I'm hear to adapt to a new culture and what better way than through the language, eh?) and I when I got to the stall I flipped out. The toilet seat and lid was glittery, like a clear plastic with a lots and lots of silver glitter suspended in it! I used a glittery toilet and my life is better for it. Glitter is just a epitome of all things girly and I had developed a real love for it lately, even though I don't where too much of it. It is always welcome in unexpected places, so it confetti. They're both really little specks of tangible happiness! 

I'm going to get ready now and find what else London and Life has to offer. I hope you all have an incredible day! Stay excellent and be kind to yourselves. ♥monica


  1. What an exciting day! Kensington Palace and glitter toilets! I'm really thrilled for you, it sounds like your well on your way to having a blast. Love you sis!

  2. This all sounds so exciting! I can't wait to read more of your wonderful adventures!
    --Ciara :)

  3. This is so great, I'm super jealous!

    When I graduate in May I'm hoping to go on over to Austria for a few months on a research/scholarship grant...can't wait!


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