Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home at Last

The last few days in London were definitely very relaxed. On Friday we went to the town of Cambridge, which is on the river Cam and we had free time to wander around and do what we wanted. We ended up going "punting" which was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Thanks for making us go Danielle!!! Our tour guide was awesome at his job and made the trip up the river very interesting. One of the colleges, Kings College was used in the first Harry Potter movie (yes I am a nerd and I do like Harry Potter, so that made my day).
On Saturday we had a free day so a few of us went to check out the British Museum, and after that we had a picnic in Hyde Park. It was a great day for a picnic, even though by that time I was very tired of the weird combinations they call sandwiches. That evening as a group we went to the "Medieval Banquet" which was a four course meal and they had entertainment and singing which was kinda cool. After that got over it was time to finish my packing so we could head out in the morning!!!!
We sat in the Heathrow airport for a good 4 to 5 hours because Omaha had the first flight out and they wouldn't fit on just one bus. But we entertained ourselves by playing cards, simple games like Go Fish, Old Maid, and Crazy Eights...It was fun and made the time pass quickly. Our Flight took about 8 1/2 hours because we had to detour south because of the volcano erupting in Iceland. When we landed in Chicago the very first thing I did was buy a "real" Dt. Pepsi because the pop over in London isn't even close to tasting like ours. We were originally supposed to leave Chicago at 8:00 pm then it got delayed to 10 pm, but didn't get off the runway until closer to midnight because of all the nasty weather that was going on. We finally made it to Denver about 2 am. and didn't get to Chadron until 7 am, I had been up for over 30 hours by this time, but I was soooo very excited to be home that I couldn't sleep. I took a little nap from about 9:30 to 2:30...went to bed at 8:30 that night and slept until 8 the next morning. I think that I am finally over my jet lag, and getting back into my old routine.

Oh yea...I forgot to mention that on Thursday I got to hold one of the Olympic Torches from the Vancouver games!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 11

Today was one of the best days we have had while in London. We had the opportunity to go inside the gates of Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of the guards. The actual changing ceremony took much longer than I had expected it to. We stood there for a little over an hour and most everyone's lower back was killing them from just standing in one spot...the guards do that for 24 hours, that's insane, there is absolutely no way i would handle that. We are only the second study abroad group that got the opportunity to do that. In the afternoon we went to New Scotland Yard and had a a few higher up officers talk to us. The highest up officer to talk to us changed her calender around just to be able to speak with us for a few minutes. Constable Watson had the best presentation of anyone today...not quite sure where he got some of the pictures from.
Anastasia and I ate at a Pizza Hut tonight, it was definitely way different than Chadron's Pizza Hut, but the only good thing is that its wasn't as greasy, but again...they had NO RANCH!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tired of the city life, ready to go home...

Day 9

In the morning we visited the National Portrait Museum as well as the National Gallery. Both had some spectacular paintings in them, and we needed much more than an hour in each place to see everything thoroughly. In the afternoon we went to a men's prison. It is used for holding both pretrial detainees as well as people who have already been sentenced. It is an older prison and it also used to be where they would hang the prisoners on death row. But the UK abolished the death penalty in the 1960's. The officers who gave our tour were very excited about their jobs and were happy to go into any interesting details about things that happened while they were on the job.

Day 10

This morning we went to visit the Magistrate Court of London. We got to talk to a  District Judge who mainly deals with the first appearce and bail process. He has been a judge for about 27 years and due to recent budget cuts has had to start working more hours for the same salary. When we went to sit in his court the process goes super fast, the initial charges are read and then a bail amount is set. The other trial we set in on had three judges and they all have to agree on a verdict before one can be made. It was interesting to see how a courtroom runs with three judges.
This evening we had fish and chips for supper (I made sure I had plenty of ketchup for my fish) and then we went on a Jack the Ripper tour, which was kind of dissapointing. Almost all of the original places where the murders happened have been rebuilt over. So we had to use our imaginations to get a feeling for how it really happened. Our tour guide was very good and helped to ease some of the dissapointment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So much to see...but such little time left!

Day 5, 6 and 7

Flew out to Dublin today, it was a short plane ride and as soon as we landed we went straight to the hotel to drop off our bags. This hotel was much nicer than the one that we have in London. We got a hop on hop off bus ticket for the green bus. We did not realize that the red hop on hop off bus was the way to go. Both days we got stranded about 3 miles or so from our hotel and ended up walking back. We did tour the Guinness Brewery, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Kilmainham Gaol. The Kilmainham jail was probably the best tour that we went on while in Dublin. We also walked experience the Temple Bar area night life. The second day we were there it rained on and off. But I do think that Ireland is way more beautiful than London and I didn't want to come back. On Sunday there was a freestyle dance competition in the hotel. It went from 3 to 18 years old and it was super cool to watch, and I'm glad that we got the opportunity to see that.

Day 8
Today we went on a Legal Studies Walk and got to see some of the places where a person can become a barrister (lawyer). It was about a 45 minute walk and we got to see three or four different places where they study to become a barrister. We also walked by a shop where you buy the wigs and robes that you wear when you become a barrister. One of the wigs costs about 2000 pounds.
We also got to tour the Old Bailey Crown Court. We toured the entire building from the basement to the roof. He explained how the basement used to have cells in it and there could be up to 300 people housed in them. Also much of the building had to be rebuilt after WWII because of the bombing that took place in London. This Court is also where the Nazi's were tried for their war crimes.  Our tour guide worked for the London Police and he did an AMAZING job with our tour.
Tonight a few of us went to the London Eye and got to view the entire city. It was pretty sweet to see how big the city actually is.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Just catching up...

Day 1

When we got to London, we went straight to Windsor Castle. We exchanged our money and then wandered around the castle and then wandered through the town. After the touring the castle, I went to go get some food and wow...they eat some strange combinations, such as Tuna and Sweetcorn, they also have Salmon sandwiches....icky!!!!!  I chose to eat a Chicken and Bacon sandwich. We had a meet and greet banquet with the other students, and then it was bedtime for me!

Day 2

Today we went to Oxford University, interestingly there is not a building of Oxford, but its made of many different universities. We also visited Stratford Upon Avon and Shakespeare's house. The second castle we visited  was Warwick Castle and it was way more beautiful than Windsor Castle.

Day 3

We visited the Metro Police Service Station today, Lisa and Dave were the one's who gave us our presentation. They had both been with the Metro Police for at over 20 years. They both said that they would not carry guns and would probably leave the Metro Police if they implemented the officers to carry guns. The Metro Police is the largest employer in the U.K.

Day 4

Today we got to visit the Central Community Command Station and the Special Operation Rooms. This is where all the 999 calls come into and then the are dispatched to the appropriate areas. At the Command Center they believe they should focus of the customers/community to make London a happier place.

I probably should lose at least 10 pounds on this trip from all the exercise and the interesting (mostly disgusting) food they eat. Another interesting note is that no one eats ranch in this country!! How strange...ranch must be an American thing:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Packing :(

Attempting to pack for London and packing to move to a new house. I've got a lot of work to do in the next few days.