30 June 2010

Formal Hall

Last night was our first Formal Hall.  We have a number of them throughout the term- 2 at King's, and then we can choose a few to go to at Pembroke.  
These are super cool for a few reasons:
1- Everyone gets dressed up.
2- We're allowed to walk on the lawn!! Trust me, this is a huge deal.  It's a criminal offense to walk on the grass if you aren't a fellow.  I'll never take grass for granted again. (see last picture)
3- Yumo food (which was something of an ordeal for me with my whole dietary requirements)
4- Meeting new people from other universities.


29 June 2010


It's my third day here in Cambridge, and I am absolutely loving it (as Katie said I would)!! The town is so perfect- I didn't have any classes yesterday so I walked around and got lost a few times.  
I'm living in King's College, and the view from my room is unreal! I'm one of a few people who have a view directly over the river Cam (from which Cambridge gets its name).  Whenever I'm in my room, I'll open up my windows and watch the punters go by.  It does get annoying now and again to hear all the tourists go by, but the view is so good that I can't complain too much.  Sometimes the tourists will see my at my window...and then start taking pictures of me...
My first class, Bloomsbury, was this morning, and so far so good! It'll prove to be really interesting, plus we have some awesome field trips lined up.  Later is my Art, Emotion, and Morality class, which I'm super pumped for.
I could ramble about how great it is here, but I think these pictures will do a better job of illustrating that.

 Cambridge Union Society building main debating chamber. Apparently it's incredibly exclusive and you have to be a member to get in. We have classes in this building!
 Free baked good on King's Parade! Yes!
 A friend's room.
 What's that? That's my stairwell on the right hidden by the bushes? Private access, baby!
 This is where the Great Hall is, as well as other rooms. My view to the left when I come in the main entrance.
 Chapel on the right. My view on the right when I come in the main entrance.
 My view as I walk out that private access picture from earlier
 Bridge and punts.
 Another bridge.
 I live here!
 Me and the chapel...ain't no thang!
 I eat meals here.
 The picture is sideways, but punters outside of my window.
 Another view from my window.
 Marvelous candy store!

28 June 2010

France Part 2: Caen, Angers, Normandy, Loire Valley, etc

As promised, the rest of the trip to France.  I already have so much I want to say about Cambridge, but that will have to hold off until I finish this!

Wednesday night:
My Dad and I spent the night in Caen, since it was close to where we were going the next day.  We walked around the town for a bit...it's weird to see my name on so many store fronts! Like really weird.

Thursday started out amazingly.  We visited one of the D-Day beaches early in the morning, and we were the only ones there.  After some time there, we payed our respects at the American Cemetery.  I wasn't expecting to get emotional like everyone else says they do, so I really surprised myself when I noticed that my eyes were welling up.  I think it's a site that everyone needs to visit.

Afterwards we visited the Bayeux Tapestry.  It was really interesting to see it in its entirety and up close.  There are so many details that I had never noticed before... The town itself is super quaint, too.

Mont St. Michel was our next visit.  I was so excited to see that it looks exactly like pictures I've seen!  I wish we'd been able to see it surrounded by water, although that would have meant would wouldn't have been able to reach it.  My only dislike was that all the shops at the bottom made me feel like I was in Disney World.

A few hours-long drive took us to Angers, where we spent the night and also ate delicious Italian food.  My Dad spent several months of his mission here.  At one point we passed a plaque that mentioned a Camille, and my Dad said that that may have been the inspiration for my name.  Subconsciously.

We got to visit some really awesome chateaus in the Loire Valley.  First we saw Chenanceau, which is built over a river!  The building was smaller, but still very beautiful.  One of the best features of the property was this hedge maze.  I totally smoked my Dad.

Chambord is my Dad's favorite; it has this really cool double-helix staircase, inspired by a sketch from Leonardo da Vinci.  I always got super lost in any given apartment suite, but the place is undeniably awesome!  My only suggestion would be to improve the front lawn- such a property deserves to have a beautiful garden or the likes.

The day ended with a visit to Chartres, the first place to use the innovative flying buttresses (important for many architectural reasons).  It's also being restored, and the stained glass will look beautiful when it's done!

After a lovely night in a splendid hotel in Versailles, we spent our last morning in France in Paris again.  I tell you, nothing beats eating a breakfast of hot chocolate, a croissant, and orange juice while watching the artists get ready for the day on Montmartre.  That was so good.  As was driving in circles around the Arc de Triomphe.

J'adore la France. A la prochaine.

27 June 2010

France Part 1: Paris

Hello, bloggers!  After an incredible week, I'm back online (and settling into my room in Cambridge).  I decided that the easiest way to report on my adventures in France would be to divide it into 2 parts- Paris and non-Paris.  I'll try to keep the text to a minimum so you can enjoy the pictures (which there will be a load of).

Sunday night:
 Crepes from a real French Crepe stand? Yes, please!  I love how they serve them!

Our first site was none other than Notre-Dame!  We thought it was hysterical to ask where Quasimodo was.  Don't lie- you just laughed at that.  Thanks to our Paris Museum Passes, we were able to trek up a million stairs and overlook the city from the top of the building.  I couldn't have asked for a better welcome to the city!

Next was the Arc de Triomphe .  Don't worry- we drove around it in circles when we had a car on Saturday. 

We ended the night with the Eiffel Tower!  The top part was closed so we couldn't go all the way up, but it still offered a great view.  It's strange to see Paris without the Eiffel Tower.  Also, there was a GIANT screen set up on the lawn by the Tower with a world cup game on that everyone was watching.

My first morning in Paris started off the best way possible- in line for the Louvre!  I'm not ashamed to admit that I got a little emotional when I was finally inside.  I loved that there were artists there painting by the works on the walls.

After the Louvre was L'Orangerie, the place with Monet's waterlilies.  To quote someone we met the next day, "It's small, but so big!"

Our next stop was Saint-Chappelle.  My dad was certainly right- from the sidewalk, it doesn't seem like much, but the inside is amazing!  Seriously, that stained glass is incroyable!

We went to the Pantheon next, and were able to explore the crypts.  Even though I didn't know much about most of the people, they were still really cool!

BTW- tartes aux fraises are amazingggggg.

For the first time in my life, I took a boat tour of a city!  It was a really fun way to see a lot of sites and learn facts about Paris.  The boat guide spoke something like 8 languages- it was absolutely unreal!

I know, it's only Tuesday, right?  And we've already done so much!  Our first stop was the Musee d'Orsay.  Yes, we were the absolute very first people in line for that!  I love everything in there (well, almost everything. If you've been there you may remember what I'm talking about...).  They definitely improved that train station by turning it into a museum.

The next stop was the Rodin Museum- I love how much of it is outside!  It's a great change of pace.  Sidenote- Philly's Rodin Museum is the largest collection of his work outside of France.

I was really excited for St. Denis because I remembered it from my Art History 201 class.  It didn't disappoint, and there was even a cool market outside!

My dad showed me around one of his mission areas from when he was in Paris.  We even got millefeuilles from the bakery he used to frequent!

Everyone who goes to Paris has to go to Montmartre and see the artists painting!  It's so awesome, and the cafes are really cute, too.

The beautiful Sacre Coeur is a short walk from Montmartre.  As we were leaving and on the steps down on the hill in front of the church, there was this group of cute French school children singing "Oh Champs Elysees."  I tell you, I never got tired of the darling little French kids.

My feet were killing at this point, but we made the trek over to the Opera House!  I've always loved it in movies and such, and it was just as beautiful in real life.  Dad and I sat and rested on the stairs for a while, which was much needed.  Someday, I hope to go to a show here!

My friend Kalisha from BYU is interning at Versailles this summer (I can't put into words how jealous I am), so we met up for a fun and delicious dinner with her.  It was great to run into a friend in Paris!

Don't worry, this is the last day in Paris.  We made it up to Versailles and were once again first in line- go us!  What an incredible place!  I think the Hall of Mirrors would have been cooler later in the day, but it was still spectacular.  I'm obsessed with the gardens there, in particular, Marie Antoinette's little hamlet.  Think what you will of her "getting back to nature" thing, but the place is heaven.  I was also excited for the gardens because of the Orangerie- I'll have to share that story another time.

I know this is long.  But don't worry, Mom.  The rest will be posted later :)