Saturday, June 18, 2011

Roadtrip to Stratford-upon-Avon: Part 1

So a long long time ago our study abroad group went to Stratford-upon-Avon in a coach for three days, making pit-stops all along the way. So here is my overdue ode to my man Shakespeare.

The night before we left I had gone to a concert so obviously I went to bed late and couldn't pack because my roommates were asleep...and then in the early hours of the morning my brain wasn't functioning properly so I packed poorly and forgot my camera...again. I don't really know what is wrong with me, but maybe if I got some sleep I could figure it out. I even packed the chargers and everything...I also brought my point and shoot camera but again thanks to Madam Tussad's it is still broken and won't work. Love my life. So I asked the ever wonderful Carolyn if I could put all of her pictures on my computer, which I did and so all the following pictures are either hers, amberly's, patrick's, or someone else's on facebook.

We met in our flat at 6:30am and boarded the coach. For some reason I was wide awake and couldn't sleep so while everyone was snoozing me and Amberly played the alphabet game (her ridiculous rules) but I still beat her. Hah. First stop was Coventry Cathedral, amazing place. It was bombed during WWII so the old part of it is pretty beat up, but they added a modern section of it and I loved the new addition. The stained glass and architecture was something I hadn't seen before and it was really interesting.

New portion
Old portion
there i am.

After that we went to Kenilworth Castle. Easily one of my favorite places in England so far. It was also bombed in WWII so it is mostly in ruins but I like it better that way because they let you explore it in peace. No stuffy audio or tour guides, no fake furniture or paintings to make it feel period appropriate, no herding huge groups of tourists, and definitely not boring. We climbed upon the rock walls, picnicked on hill overlooking the green fields, and then explored the gardens. 
me and amy 

amberly, preston, carolyn, me, patrick, and holly

me, preston, and holly

amberly and i

you can see me but i am really tiny

carolyn, lauren, me, holly, and preston


Next we went to Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Fun fact: Anne Hathaway was Shakespeare's wife and they had a quick marriage once she got pregnant. While there me and Amberly went cavorting around the orchard, maze, and gardens pretending we were witches to entertain ourselves...we are the youngest ones out of the whole group so we have to entertain ourselves in such ways every once in a while. In the end I beat her in the wizard's duel with a quick disarming spell and avada kedavra (i know it's harsh but it had to be done). After that I took a quick look about in the cottage and smelled the flowers with Carolyn.

This is my "I will thwart you maze" face.

this is kinda what the orchard looked like but better

carolyn, amy, me, and amberly
After that we went to Mary Arden's farm (Mary Arden was William Shakespeare's mother). We watched a falcon show thing. Then me and Amy went around the back parts of the farm and made animal the animals of course. Anyway, there was also this really cool tunnel made out of willow tree branches with mushroom stools inside. Definitely my favorite part of that place. 
me and amy

patrick, amy, camille, dezi, lauren, me and carolyn
And as if that wasn't enough to do in one day we hadn't even gotten to Stratford yet. We were all spread out amongst like four bed and breakfasts, so we pulled in to town, dropped off our bags, and ate some pub food before the show. I got steak and ale pie and it was really good. We then got treats and headed for the theatre to the Royal Shakespeare Company's version of "The Merchant of Venice". It was set in Las Vegas complete with elvis, gambling, game shows, and dumb blondes. It was interesting but they didn't really follow through with the concept all the way to the end so I didn't think it was a successful show. But one thing did make it worth it. Patrick Stewart was the actor for Shylock! He has starred in X-Men as Professor Xavier, and in Star Trek as Captain Jean Luc-Picard. Afterwards we waited outside the stage door and got his autograph. He was also pretty nice too. Here are some pictures Patrick snuck and took and in the last one you can see Sir Patrick Stewart!

you can barely see me on the side waiting for him to sign our stuff

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