Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Remaining Days in London: Photo Edition

Apart from my surge of day trips, I spent my last few days in London running around.

On Saturday, while this isn't technically London, I took a day-trip up to Lockerbie. I met up with my friend, Claire, to tour the memorials for the Pan Am 103 Bombing as well as see the town and meet her family.


This past Sunday, the Pi Phi Alumnae Club had a brunch at the Bread Street Kitchen. It has stunning views of St. Paul's which we took in post eating!

Delicious

Pi Phi UK Alumnae Club
Executive Board!
The brunch was my last event that I planned as part of my position on the executive club. It will be so strange to leave these sisters, but I recently joined the Pi Phi Alumnae Club for Las Vegas.


From Sunday to mid-day Tuesday, I spent a lot of time packing, cleaning, and shipping. Thank goodness for DVDs and coffee! 

On Monday evening, a few of my friends and I met up for drinks. I needed one more night at a pub to grab some traditional fare and a pint!



And, on Tuesday, I took a leisurely walk through London. I started at Harrods then walked through Hyde Park up into Green Park to Buckingham Palace. From there, I cut through St. James' Park to Trafalger Square.  I popped into the Crypt Cafe at St. Martins' to grab one more cream tea before taking a bus ride through Piccadilly Circus and up Oxford Street. I got to see some of my favorite sites once more before leaving. 

Buckingham Palace

Routemaster

Goodbye, London


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Basildon Park


Last Friday, I took a day trip up to Basildon Park

I started off the day bright and early at Paddington Station to catch a commuter train to Goring.  I had to grab an early train as once I arrived in Goring, I had to catch the 11am bus to the estate. As it is a small town, there are irregular bus services. Thankfully, everything worked fine, and I got to the estate a bit before 11:30am.

Before I continue, Basildon Park has been used for numerous films and television shows.  The house, itself, has a cool history. But, part of the reason I went was to take the film tour at 11:30am. Most recently, Basildon Park was used in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice and the 2013 Christmas Special of Downton Abbey (season four).



The film tour provided an overview of how the house was transformed for the Downton Abbey episode that was shot there. The insides of the house were used for the Crowley's Hyde Park home with the front lawn being the setting for the Hyde Park scenes. It was fun exploring each room where a still was set up to help recall what was shot in each room.

Carson!

Mrs. Crowley

Room used as the ballroom for Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice 

Library
Following the tour, I explored the upper part of the house which showcased how the house had been modernized from the 1950s. 

While some of the grounds were shut down for maintenance, I did grab a few shots of the backyard.



Just a tiny backyard, huh?

Following a quick lunch, I ended up walking back to Goring as the bus schedule wasn't conforming to my schedule. I did get lost for a bit, but it helped me discover a few other small towns along the way!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Windsor Castle

The day after my last exam and celebrations, my friend, Josh, and I took a day trip up to Windsor. Yes, we can all be shocked that I hadn't made it up there in my entire time in England.

We grabbed a train out of Waterloo, and before we knew it...we were there! It took about an hour which was fairly quick for some day trips.


Windsor, the town, is exactly what you imagine it would be. Old buildings, cobblestone streets, some modern buildings, and a ton of monuments. 

To start the day, we took a duck tour. It was Josh's first duck tour! If you haven't done a duck tour in a city before, I say run and do one now. It tends to be a bit cheesy, but being a tourist eliminates those words from your vocabulary.

Back of Windsor Castle 

Entering the Thames River

Windsor Castle 

Windsor Castle
The Windsor duck tour started at the base of the castle, took us down to the base of the castle grounds, showed us where some of the horrific floods occurred this past fall, and then we cruised on the Thames. The cruise allowed us to catch a glimpse of the famous Eton College. 

Post the tour, we grabbed a pub lunch. As this all happened in my last week of London, I was adamant about eating traditional fare. Fish and Chips won over for lunch that day.


And, then...the sad part of the day happened. Windsor Castle closed early for some unknown reason. We were left on the outside looking in. While it was a bit disappointing, we looked at as much as we could and then wandered the town.

Cutest Phone Booth Ever?

Fitting Pub Name


As we all know that I'll go back to London sooner rather than later, I'll have to take another day trip up! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Goodbye for Now

"There's nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere." 

-Vivienne Westwood 

Today, I leave London...

From the first time I studied in the city in 2010 to the last two years of grad school, I fell in love. London is truly one of my favorite cities in the world.  

I'm heading back to America with a suitcase full of Primark clothes and memories, a handful of new slang words, a passport full of stamps, and enough game theory textbooks to start my own library. 

As I begin to embark on my new journey and new chapter of my life, I want to say thanks for everyone who was apart of this chapter of my life.  My blog is appropriately named "Wandering Walpole" as even though I will no longer be in London and Europe, I'll still be wandering around this amazing world.

As I'm not good with goodbyes...I'm telling London that I will "see it later." I'm not sure when I'll be back, but I know it will be as soon as possible!

Pip, pip...Cheerio!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Celebrations

On Wednesday, following my last final, a bunch of us went off to celebrate. There was a group of us that had some of the last set of finals. 

Appropriately, my Congress class headed to the George to celebrate being done with the class!



A tad later, I met up with Federico and Simon. We survived capstone, so naturally we all had to celebrate being officially done with the MPA! 


Following a quick lunch, we gathered with our other friends for some rooftop drinking. 

Talk about a great view!



We all ended up watching the World Cup game that evening at a local pub. It was an absolutely lovely day spent with some close friends celebrating freedom! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Done with LSE!




I finished grad school this week!!

(Let's out screams of woo!!)

I finished my last exam on Wednesday, shortly before noon. As soon as I put my pen down, it hit me. After going to school for 21 years, I am finally done. It's been quite a long time. 

Pre-school, primary school, secondary school, undergrad, and grad school...

I love to learn, and I will always be a lifetime learner. But, the fact I no longer have to write papers or take an exam is a huge relief. I know in no time, I will most likely miss the assignments. I know I say I'm done with school forever, but since the future is unknown, I may end up back in a classroom someday! 

As for now, I'm enjoying my last few days in London while I begin packing.  

It still hasn't hit me that I'm done. Grades will begin to come with all of them being released in July. 

But, now...onward thinking to Las Vegas! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

O-Town Concert

Back in my elementary and middle school years, boy bands were the trend. 

NSYNC was my favorite followed by the Backstreet Boys. I'm fairly sure I made my Mom and Dad take me to the CD store at the mall to buy new cds the day they came out. 

I was devastated when NSYNC stepped aside as a group. Love ya, Justin Timberlake...but get the band back together! 

Anyways, I was also a fan of O-Town. Again, another band that fell to the wayside following a few hits and albums.  But, as of this year, they have reunited! They are without one member, but they still got it. 

Chelsea Football Club
Last Friday, Susannah and I went to the Under the Bridge venue at Chelsea Football Club to see them perform for the first time in a decade! 


It was a flashback to our years of middle school. Both opening acts were boy bands, and they played the major hits of our youth during the breaks. Although, we both agreed that being adults now made the evening better with a pint or two! 


O-Town performed several of their hits, talked about getting back together, and played their new song!

Well worth the trip down to Fulham to see them perform! Be sure to check out their new song, 'Skyfall!'

Monday, June 16, 2014

Recapping: Instagram Photos

I'm about to be done with grad school in a matter of a few days. As I plan on recapping the Aldwych tour, O-Town, and grad school in future posts, I figured I would at least post a recap of my week. Apart from studying, I did try to add in a few fun things to keep the atmosphere light!

Front Row Seating for Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown, former PM of Great Britain 

Tower Bridge

Sunset

My LSE Class Ring

Brunch is always the answer!

Traveling across the river!

Shard

HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge

Shine Bright, London!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Polo in the Park

I've been dying to go to a polo match since I was a little girl. 

The scene in 'Pretty Woman' where Julia Roberts gets to stomp the divots resonates with me very well.

The part of 'Winning London' with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen where they go to a polo match was something that I always wanted to do. Fairly sure I can still quote that part of the movie. 

So, as I enter my final weeks in London, I grabbed discounted tickets to Polo in the Park from the SU alumni club! This past Sunday, three of my friends and I ventured down to Putney for a match! 


The entire park was transformed for the perfect day out. From a Pimms Bus to the shopping venues to the location that I dubbed 'food truck heaven,' we had a fabulous time before the match started. 



While I am still a tad confused on the rules of the game, I attempted to follow the match. I do have to admit that it was one of the quietest sporting events that I have ever been. I wanted to cheer, so I had to keep that in check!



During what I deemed to be intermission, we got to stomp the divots! Truly made me feel like I was in 'Pretty Woman.'

It was a fabulous day out...even with getting a horrible sunburn! I would totally go to another match!