07 September 2014

Week One in London 2014...Fun Was Had By All

The 20th Anniversary Begins!!!


The Students began by leaving from different airports in the United States and flying into Heathrow Airport arriving on Friday August 29th and 30th.

 Anna, Nikki, Kirsten, and Anne waiting to board their plane.

A view of London Eye and South Bank from the air.

I met the students at Baron's Court Tube stop and took photos as they arrived.  First to arrive on Friday morning was Katie Dean.

Then Anne, Anna, Nikki, and Kirsten arrived and I took them to the flats.  Then I went back to Baron's Court to pick up Matthew.

Gabe, Miranda, and Dovie had a 10 hour layover in Iceland.  Luckily their plane took off as the volcano was erupting and they arrived Friday Evening.  Katie and Karina showed up Saturday afternoon as did Michael, Danielle, and Chelsea.

Gabe, Miranda, and Dovie in front of Broadmead.  Saturday Morning.  We spent Friday and Saturday getting everyone tube passes, phones, and groceries.  We also got see the classroom and use the wifi there.

The Group meeting to go on a walking tour on Sunday.

                   Checking out the classroom.

                               Having a meal in the flat!                                     


                        Walking to the tube to begin the walking tour.

                     Guess who?

                                 Our first stop, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

                     Group in front of London Eye.


After walking along the South Bank to the National Theatre, we crossed the Thames River and walked to Covent Garden.

We went to Neal's Yard tucked away in Covent Garden and saw where Monty Python "lived".  You will see the blue plaque that indicates this.

We stopped by Pineapple Studios where Anna and Kimberly picked up schedules for the dance classes that are being offered this semester.

Here are a couple of street performers we encountered along the way.  There were many, many more on the South Bank and Covent Garden.

                              Wall painting in Neal's Yard!

We stopped at La Porchetta (Pollo Bar) for lunch.  Nikki got a giant calzone and ate the whole thing.

Danielle, Dovie, and I had spagetti vongole (red clam sauce). As always it was delicious!

                              Jet Lag is hitting Gabe as he waits for his food!


Some students later went to Kensington Palace.

Charlie Chaplin and I in front of the Prince Charles Theatre.  Best movie theatre in London.  The statue used to be in Leceister Sq. Park before they renovated it.                                                                                     

                                         A spy watching us!                                                        

                                        Michael scaring off the troops!                  

                                 Someone is tired at the end of touring! On the way back to the flats.         

                      Home Sweet Home!                     

Monday, Sept 1st. First Day of Class:


After discussing the play, Medea, in class, we went to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for a tour.  The Drury Lane is the oldest Theatre in London. The tour there is a theatrical tour where two actors portray different historical characters that were associated with the theatre.  Currently, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is playing there.

                                  Gabe's attempt at humor!


                                    I am passing out tickets for the tour!

                     This actor has been doing the tour for at least the past 6 years.  We nick-named him Drury Lane many years ago.

                     Here she is portraying Nell Gwyn, King Charles' mistress who was also an actress who sold oranges to keep people's breath sweet!

                               I would like to inform everyone that Lord Dr. Gary was made King in the Royal Box and knighted this guy named Gabe!  Notice how I have trained him to bow down to me!!!

After we left the Drury Lane Theatre we stopped by the Sarastro restaurant that is cluttered with lots of stuff and has opera boxes you can sit in to have dinner.  Last year Billy, Jimmy, and I had dinner there.  Will definitely go back this semester.


After our tour of the Drury Lane Theatre we took a dinner break and met at the National Theatre for a 6:00 Platform Discussion of The Role of Woman in Ancient Greece.  It was very informative. We then attended the 7:30 performance of Medea starring Helen Mcrory.  She played Malfoy's mother in  theHarry Potter movies. Some of us saw her in The Last of the Hausmanns two years ago.  She is married to Damien Lewis of  the TV series, Homeland.  She was incredible!

Dovie emulating Sir Laurence Olivier!

Some of the students met Helen Mcrory after the show and got her autograph.  The said she was a delight!

The Skate Park next to the National on the South Bank.  The city could never get rid of the graffiti so they left it and let the skaters skate!


The Art in London class went to the Tate Britain Museum on Wednesday.  They had a tour and got to view many paintings and other artwork.  Here is some of what they photographed.

                     The Lady of Shalott



                     Francis Bacon


This Friday we went on our first day-trip to Cambridge.  We did a two hour tour of the city and went into King's College Chapel.  Then we all had free time for lunch, shopping,  and punting.

                               Our tour guide, Victoria, who is originally from Italy.

                     The mathematical bridge over the Cam River.

The Eagle Pub the was a very popular hangout for the USA soldiers.  The window below must be kept open according to the least and never shut.  Many years ago there was a fire and a maid was burned in the fire.  Her ghost must be able to come in and out as she pleases.  Two times the window was closed a fire broke out in the pub.  One of these times was last year.  A tour guide saw that it was shut and informed the owners.  A fire broke out in the kitchen...

 The ceiling is covered with soldiers different squadrons that were put up there with cigarettes, lighters, and candles.  Sign below explains.  The Eagle pub was also were many scientific discoveries were announce, such as the discovery of DNA.  See the plaque above the bench that Crick and Watson sat in every time they went to the pub.  It was here that they made the announcement.


                     Katie finishes her fish and chips and mushy peas.

                     King's College

                     The Grasshopper Clock donated by a former student.

                    King's College Quad

                     King's College Chapel and Gabe

                     The fan ceiling.  The rose symbol from War of the Roses.  The dragons and dogs around the chapel are all slightly different.  Subtle changes....interesting.  Built by Henry VI and continued by Henry VIII.

When wood paneling was removed during renovations graffiti from Oliver Cromwell's soldiers was found underneath.  The chapel was used as a stable and the original stained glass windows were not destroyed like every other church because he didn't want his troops to be cold.  

                      Kirsten and Nikki take a gelato break!

Most of the students went punting before we left to go back to London.

Kirsten takes over punting and only crashed into the wall a few times.  They all lived!


Alan, our bus driver, very hard to understand.  He also was pretty racist.  I asked him something about his bus and he told me it was a coach not a bus.  I said what's the difference and he said he was the wrong color to drive a bus!  I wanted to deck him! But refrained.  It was a good  example of the class distinctions that are so prevalent in British Society.  The acting students are studying this with Tony James as they work on British dialects.

After a long day, King, Lord Dr. Gary had a Diet Coke!