Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I See Famous People Everywhere I Go...Everywhere I Go...

  Over the past six or seven weeks of being in London, I've come to realize something... I see (or think I see) famous people all over the place. I thought I saw this dude: 
This dude's name is Dylan Baker, some of you may recognize him for his smaller roles in tv shows such as Ugly Betty, House, Kings, and recently as Katherine McPhee's father on the new hit series SMASH airing on NBC Mondays at 10/9c (give me a job NBC I'd be perf for your business). I recognized him right away as Peter Parker's teacher Doctor Conners from Spider-Man 2 and 3. Needless to say I geeked out a little and considered following this man on the streets of Picadilly Circus, but then realized it wasn't him. Just one of those faces I guess...

    I've had other spottings as well- The other night while in China Town I could have SWORN I saw the guy who plays Commodore Norington in the Pirates Of the Caribbean films and tugged at the sleeve of my friend and managed to stutter out the words that let her knew I thought I'd had a celebrity sighting again. My friends are used tot his by now...every time we are out somewhere I always find someone whom I recognize from the pluthera of television and movies I watch. I then attempt to approach them, only to have them scurry away before I can get a good look at their face and/or blurt out "HEY AREN'T YOU SO-AND-SO FROM THAT THING?". I'll openly admit that about 80% of the time I'm dead-ass wrong about the person being famous. But I still haven't learned my lesson.
Don't look all Concernicus dude, you're hair will get...whiter. 

     BUT. Today, February the twenty-eighth the year two thousand twelve, I, Margaret P. Thompson- saw a famous person on these very streets of Kensington, London, UK. I was just bopping along listening to some Hall & Oats Best Hits (specifically this song ---> CLICK ME !!) while wearing the most disgusting outfit I've donned while living in London, yoga pants, neon sneakers and a sweatshirt with my hair in a side pony and a Yankee's hat (settle down Sox fans) to shield my whiter-than-whitegirlproblems face from the sun, when BAM. THER HE WAS. Waling down Gloucester Road in a  hoodie, shorts and Yankee's hat (TWINSIES)...HENRY CAVILL. If you don't know who this man is I urge you to oogle take a gander at the pictures below... drool away folks, drool away. 

look at that bone structure... 
   I KNOW,  RIGHT? Henry (we're on a first name basis) gave me a thumbs up for our matching hats and strolled past me looking like a babe and being all beefy with his groceries while I did a double-take, scooped my jaw up off of the sidewalk and ran back to my room to tweet, Facebook update, and let my Dad know I had just seen the newest Superman/Duke from the Tudors/Tristan's friend in Tristan and Isolde/Theseus from Immortals/and all around beefcake walking about Kensington, among us mere mortals. My friends didn't believe me. I was too star-struck to include a name in my facebook status stating that I'd seen this lovely creature, so I lost some cred there. BUT- after providing and name and visual aids I got some believers and it turns out Hunky Hank makes regular appearances around these here parts. Miss Caroline Scott admitted to seeing him frequently and just thinking he was your average babe in London, but no no young Caroline...he is SO much more than that. The man, the myth the legend, Woody Thompson provided me with this little blurb of info on my new BFF: 

"Henry Cavill grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands. Jersey is his home but he is currently, in

his own words, "floating around the world." He has four brothers and a pet parrot. "

Good to know, Dad...good to know that Homeboy is currently "floating" in South Kensington...Now look how lovely this link fits in right here...

I'd climb that like a tree.
I don't dig the hair but... I can make it work

    I felt that this occurrence deserved a blog post, seeing that I haven't posted since Scotland and you all back at home (and my 5 readers in Russia and the 2 in Uzbekistan HI GUYS HI) need something to entertain yourselves until I return from Spring Break. WHICH bee tee dubs, I just officially finished booking! A week in Italy and 5 days in Barcelona ain't half bad for poor lil' ole me. Can't wait to eat everything and get sunburned...it's been a while since this skin has seen some UV rays- but I got my SPF  100- yeah, they make it go that high, and yeah, I know all sunscreen is useless past 30 but it's a mind over matter kind of thing. I'll be lucky if I get some new freckles to add to this connect-the-dots game. 

Arrivederci (that's Italian) and Adios (that's not Italian) until I get back from El vacaciĆ³n!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Scotland: Where Everyone Is Adorable And Fortunately Not Mel Gibson.

"They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!!" - William Wallace/ Mel Gibson. 

  I'm not entirely sure that Willy Wally ever actually spoke those words but they were pretty much the only thing I could think of while walking the beautiful streets of Edinburgh, Scotland this past weekend. 

  Scotland really is one of the most lush, green places I've seen thus far. Although I didn't get a chance to leave the city, from the top of Edinburgh Castle I could see rolling hills just outside the city limits and little lambs frolicking all over the place! Thinking that the weather would be warm (ish) with a chance of rain, I brought my raincoat and leather jacket...big mistake. It only rained for about 10 minutes...wait, not rain... it basically monster hailed/snowed/rained and then POOF- the sun was back out. Needless to say I was freezing the entire trip but hey, at least I got some lovely pictures!
Castle with a view.

   We walked around the streets for a while before our faces went numb and we took refuge in a small cafe where everything on the menu was salmon, ham, haggis, or eggs. I opted for soup. We took a walk down the Royal Mile, a strip of the city with cool buildings and churches and pubs on pubs on pubs. Which leads me to the real event of the trip... the Edinburgh Pub Crawl. Picture it...74 college-age kids (and some 30 year old Spaniards) stumbling messily walking along the streets, gripping free drink tickets and being ushered out of the road and onto sidewalks as the night goes on. Essentially the night consisted of jaeger trains, dancing, live music, and sleepy cab rides home. My friends and I made a lot of new friends, lots of Australians who love Summer Heights High as much as I do and love "rangas" as much as I love myself- life long kinds of friends. 
Super casual. 

   After a long, cold day and a very interesting night, we ventured back to our hostel where I quickly realized I was a hotel kind of girl. I don't do public/mold-infested-worse-than-an-innercity-YMCA bathrooms. I just don't. Not a fan of vomit/meat smelling bedding either. But it's all cool beans. It WAS an experience...that I will avoid from here on out. Our friends got a room at the Hilton around the corner, so...that's totally fair- no really though, they were kind enough to offer us a non moldy shower.
Dawson understands my pain from staying in that hostel. 
  The train ride back to London felt like a million years but I did manage to read 2 full books on my Kindle (THANKS MOM AND DAD) and I took a quick cat nap before we pulled into Kings Cross (HEY HEY HEY HARRY POTTER SITES) and got on the tube back to our lovely Gloucester Road Station in Kensington. 

   The Motherland was wonderful, but I was glad to be back in London and be able to rest after a long trip home. So excited to be seeing more places in the UK!! I'm headed to Norwich, England in two weeks to see my favorite Canadian, A. Davis, and see her kick butt at rugby and spend some much needed friend time because I haven't seen this bitch since August. 



Monday, February 13, 2012

"Sorry, the only french I know is the Lady Marmalade opening"


PARIS WAS AWESOME. Let me just fill you in on what I experienced this weekend:

Friday: Our school group arrived in Grande du Norde Train Station around 3pm Paris time. As soon as we checked into our hotel we set off for the Eiffel Tower! THIS THING IS HUGE. I felt like a teeny tiny itsy bitsy itty bitty speck compared to "Le Tour de Eiffel" (that's how they say it in  France guys). After taking a healthy, yet excessive amount of pictures, we decided that our numbing legs and frostbitten noses needed some warmth- thus leading us to a small cafe around the corner from the tower. My roommate, Callie was brave and adventurous and decided to eat some snails. Even saying it in the french way I still don't see the appeal of it... it's still snails. After dinner we tried to figure out the metro (WAY harder and dirtier than the London Underground) and got lost a few times before making our way back to the hotel where we grabbed some champagne and hung out in a friend's room before hitting the sheets after a long day of traveling and walking. 
I mean it's kinda cool.

Saturday: I struggled majorly getting up that morning. We had to be down in the hotel lobby by 8:30 am for a bus tour of the city and as an champion sleeper, I was not coherent for about the first 40 minutes of that tour... yet I still managed to take pictures of everything. So here is the part where I should go into detail about what we saw and the backstories behind all the buildings and stuff, but... I can't really remember anything and don't know how to spell any of the names of the sites we saw- BUT I can tell you all that I saw the Ritz, Louis Vuitton, the Champs Elyssee (major shopping bee tee dubs) and about 4 government buildings that all looked beautiful, yet the same to me. The one interesting thing I do remember from the tour was Napoleon's burial site. My homeboy Napoleon had a big of a height complex and decided it'd be cool to be buried in 6 coffins. Because being buried in just one is too ghetto for Napoleon. Now, after being placed in these 6 coffins (one inside of the other like a fricking Russian doll) the ex-emperor is placed at the bottom level of the building so that no matter where you are looking at him from, you are always bowing to him. It's cool and sad at the same time. Poor guy obviously had major mommy and daddy issues. All I could think about while outside the building was ( GET READY FOR A MARNIE POINTLESS MOVIE REFERENCE MOMENT) the scene from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure when Ted's brother ditches Napoleon for being "a dick" and Napoleon decides to invade the San Demas water park, Waterloo -pun intended-. Also, did anyone else know that Napoleon's manhood was bought by some dude off of eBay and now resides in New Jersey? That place just got dirtier. 
Oh hey, Napoleon.
After the bus tour we were dropped off at the Lourve where we got free tickets! We got to see the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, and A LOT of naked sculptures. That place had more visible manly regions than Chat Roulette. All in all the Lourve is awesome, so many cool pieces of art I suggest everyone go at some point. 

"and we're the three best friends that anyone could have"
Later that day after getting lost (hard-core) and taking a nap after a long morning and afternoon- my friends and I got ready to go to the town of Monmarte (conveniently located downhill from the Moulin Rouge) to find a fondue place for dinner. This place was phenomenal. It was a tiny hole in the wall filled with locals stuffing their faces with cheese fondue and wine served in baby bottles- YAYA!  BABY. BOTTLES. Anyway, the night was great- we were planning on going out after fondue but given that it was 1:30 am when we left the restaurant, we just walked back down the hill through the cold to the hotel where we fell asleep within about 5 minutes of our heads hitting the pillow. 
we got our fondue on..

Sunday: Our last day in Paris was very low-key, yet satisfying. While some of our group ventured off the climb to the top of the Eiffel tower, three other girls and my bum knee walked around the corner from the hotel in search of a French breakfast, which we LOVED! Omelettes, salad, and fresh OJ !!! Sadly, we had to go back to the hotel after getting food and pack up for our journey back to London. Genna- I didn't eat a macaroon BUT LET ME TELL YA- I had my fair share of crepes. 

I'll be going back to Paris in April with everyone's favorite Canadian Ashley Davis- I know we will have a blast and explore places I didn't get to see during this trip! 
I'm headed off the Scotland this weekend for what I'm calling my birthright trip...yeah.. I'm calling it that- so more to come soon!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Story of How I DID NOT Go to Amsterdam

Snow sucks. It really, really sucks. As some of you may know, I did not go to Amsterdam this weekend. No... I took the underground to Victoria to get on an express train to Gatwick Airport, I paid 33 pounds (about $50) for a ticket to this airport. THEN, my roommate and I checked into British Airways and TOOK OUR SHOES OFF for security, we aimlessly walked around the terminal, got a free shot of Bailey's, read some trashy magazines and got a call from our other friends who were planning to meet us at the airport. Our flight got cancelled. Cancelled because of 22cm (NOT EVEN A FOOT) of snow was accumulating on the runway in Scjfgnkjfxhmcvnsdlkhfsdf (that's not really how you spell the name of it) Airport in the Netherlands. So- we were led back through the airport to the check in desks where we waited in line to figure out if there was another flight we could get on or if we could get our money back at all. After no help from the Airline employees, we four girls sat in an airport bar for about 2 hours trying to plan our next move. Sadly, we could not get onto a flight anywhere else due to space and of course the fact that we would have to place to stay while in whatever destination we chose. So, we headed back to London.

What Amsterdam WOULD have looked like if it didn't snow and if I were actually there to take this picture.

  We all tried to look on the bright side of things- it's supposed to snow heaps tonight in London and tomorrow night as well, so we would have struggled to fly back to London for classes on Monday if we had gone anywhere. Luckily, the airline and booking companies we went through gave us a full refund for the flight cancellation- eve though we lost out on about 60 pounds for the hostel, we made the most of our situation.
Cool sewing machines inside a store on Portobello Road
   Today, we went to Portobello Market in Notting Hill. YES- NOTTING HUGH GRANT/ JULIA ROBERTS HILL. It's only 2 subway stops from our dorm and filled with all sorts of shops! I bought some gifts for my friends back home and was tempted by the vinyl Beatles albums for sale- but I stayed strong. We walked up and down Portobello Road and looked at all the lockets, rings, furs, and antiques lining the streets before we came upon a little stand with a little French woman making crepes with nutella and strawberries. NUTELLA AND STRAWBERRIES. These things were HUGE. The little lady rolled them up on paper plates for us and we nommed on our way back to the Underground.

Theres a pink one, and a green one, and blue one and yellow one

I get why people would get freaky.. for this. 
ALSO- Today, while I was grabbing lunch at the corner of Gloucester Road and Queens Gate Terrace, I witnessed something so bizarre yet familiar I couldn't even look away. There were mobs of people up and down Gloucester Road decked out in British flags and face paint, cow suits, penguin outfits- all of them college kids- all of them piss drunk at 12 o'clock on a Saturday.... reminds me of tailgating at football games. There were mobs of these people because the 6 nations begin this week. The 6 nations: England, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales compete in a rugby tournament and everyone gets weird, everyone gets freaky, and everyone drink copiously. It's hilarious, it's entertaining, it's England.

I WILL be going to Paris this weekend so I  WILL be taking pictures and having European adventures because I'm worldly, I wear black now and say things like "well done" rather than "good job". I eat crepes and have euros in my wallet.

I Promise, promise, promise that I'll take an excessive number of photos and have something substantial to write about in my next post.  SORRY TO DISAPPOINT.

Marn Barn