Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Word to the wise: If any of you are thinking about going to buy a non-chocolate pastry... consult me first. I know them all.

I went a little crazy in Paris. I just couldn't help myself. In order to laugh at myself, and the ridiculous amount of pastries I ate, I wrote them all down:

2 crepes (sugar, banana, whip cream)
1 coffee eclair
1 palmier
2 choquettes
1 coffee/maple religieuse
1 bichons
5 croissants
1 strawberry tart
1 beignet
3 ice cream trips

Yes, I was only there for 5 days. Yes, I am a little embarrassed. And yes, most of my pictures from Paris have something to do with food. But hey, I walked more on Wednesday alone than I think I did all summer! Pastries are part of the Paris experience, and I took full advantage.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the trip... the whip cream smear on the cheek captures just how eagerly we ate our treats. In Natalie's defense, I had the exact same whip cream smear while taking this picture.

I have to give a shout out to ham and cheese. It is one of my favorite combinations and no one does it like Parisians do! love my croque monsieurs and cheesy baguettes!

More to come!

Monday, September 27, 2010


I adore Paris. Honestly, this past week was one of my all time favorites... ever. There is nothing like Paris. There is also nothing like Paris in 75 degree weather with no clouds. There is also nothing like Paris in 75 degree weather, with no clouds, and pastry of choice (ok... maybe 2 pastries of choice) in hand.

Here is a super long recap of the entire week, feel free to stop reading at anytime haha... here we go! Early Monday morning we took the fairy over from Dover (I got to see my favorite castle from the coach window!) to France. After a long day of travel through the french countryside (so pictaresque and beautiful... Natalie and I are going to share a vacation home there when we marry our rich sugar daddies), we finally reached Paris. That night I went on a river cruise down the Seines with tons of girls from the group. 

The next morning we went to the town of Chartres to see a cathedral. It was the cutest little town with cobblestone roads and amazing croissants. Next, we went to Versailles. They were displaying some weird Japanese anime art throughout the entire palace which kind of took away from the grandeur. We were stuck in wall to wall, booty to booty, groups of asian tourists. We quickly got out of there and went to the gardens and park to ride bikes! This was probably one of my favorite things we did in France. If anyone is planning a trip to France in the near future, please ride bikes throughout Versailles, you won't regret it!

This is me, Lisa, Natalie, and Meegan in the park. You can kind of see Versailles in the background.

That night we went to the top of the Arc and saw the Eiffel Tower lit up at night... and of course, we got a crepe at the crepe stand across the street. They are the best in Paris!

Wednesday was a marathon day. By 11 in the morning, Natalie, Meegan, Becca, and I had already seen Notre Dame, the Musee D'Orsay (tons of Van Gogh and Picasso - way rad!), Musee Olangerie (Monet's waterlillies - so beautiful!) and St. Chapelle (a floor to ceiling stained glass church). After that, we went to the Opera House, Moulin Rouge, the Pompidou (modern art museum with Picasso and Rothko - crazzy), the Louvre, and splurged for a celebratory dinner... with many pastries in between of course :). We were running like mad men, I guess mad women, throughout the city. I added 4 new blisters to my collection, bringing the total up to 7. It was a great day. We saw so much and finished all of our homework so we could just play on Thursday. Can I just pause for a moment and talk about how amazing it is that I did my homework at the Louvre and Orsay?? wow. soo incredible.

This is Meegan, me, and Becca outside of the Louvre celebrating how well we conquered it. We finished our entire humanities checklist in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Thursday we woke up early to get to the Eiffel Tower to find out that there was a metro strike. The Tube workers went on strike a few weeks ago in London, so us American's must bring a revolutionary air wherever we go and cause union workers to go nuts. After a few more delays than we had planned on and a sandal that was almost lost during a running jump onto the train, we made it to the Eiffel Tower and went up. It was fabulous of course, but this time I was a little more afraid of heights than I had been. 

This is me and Natalie at the top. Excuse the hair, we fried our converter so we didn't have a working blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron... au natural.

After that we just relaxed and headed over to our favorite area over by the Pompidou and got pastries and had a bread and cheese party :) probably one of my favorite times of the trip.

That night we left Paris and went to Amiens in Northern France. My dad went there on his mission so it was really cool to be there. It was a tiny little town where no one spoke English. This night I really felt like I was in France. It really made me wish I could be there with my dad to hear him speak... my French 1 skills weren't cutting it. The town was beautiful, the cathedral massive, and the hotel heavenly (speakers in the bathroom and soft duvets). 

Friday we explored Amiens and then made our way back to Calais to catch the ferry. After 13 hours of traveling and one too many WW1 sites along the way we made it back to London. I absolutely loved France. I'd go back in a heartbeat and have already entirely planned my next trip. But it is good to be back in London, I can't wait to get to know the city better.

Lots more to come!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


In the morning I am off to the land of crepes and croissants (no chocolate for me)... oh yeah and beautiful churches, architecture, love, culture, and art...... that too! I cannot wait. Tonight I had so much adrenaline that I gave my roommates a concert while packing and rubbed the shampoo into my hair so ferociously that I may have just peeled off a layer of skin on my scalp. I love Paris. I am soo excited. Beware, I may come back  pounds heavier, but it will be sooo worth it. Bread, cheese, and pastries here I come!

More to Come!

(I have to be ready to go and working for kitchen crew in exactly 4 hours. Thank goodness I can sleep on the coach to the ferry!)


On Friday night, during dinner, I was asked to go up to Dr. Tate's flat to answer a phone call.... Sure enough, it was a member of the bishopric asking me to speak in church on Sunday, yes, in less than 48 hours. Of course I said yes, but I was still a little panicked (especially since I had 3 papers due this weekend and I had only written half of one. A+ student for sure). It all worked out and I was able to tweak an old talk that I gave over the summer... but the problem was that I almost didn't make it to church.

The Tube is a great thing. With Knotting Hill Gate just down the road we are able to catch the Central, District, and Circle line, which means we can basically go anywhere pretty easily. However, the tube engineers like to shut down almost every line on Sundays to do construction and don't seem to mind that they put us London Centre girls into a frenzy. Let's just say that this morning the two speakers (me and Mandy) and the musical number (me, Mandy, Julie, and Andrea) almost missed Sacrament meeting. After a few delayed trains, improper signage, me sprinting through Victoria train station in tights because my heels couldn't cut dodging through suitcases, credit cards that wouldn't buy train tickets fast enough, a missed train, hopping on the wrong train, getting off that train and onto a mystery train that didn't call our station but magically stopped there... we made it to church on time. phew! And they pushed our musical number back to next week since we hadn't practiced yet. Can I get a double phew! Luckily it all worked out. I'm just praying for the Circle Line to be in good service next week.

This is me and Mandy after church. We were twinners today with our tights. It was perfect because we both spoke! I love Sundays here... even though I leave for Church at 9 and get back at 3. They're wonderful.

More to come!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


For those of you who know me, you know that I am slightly nocturnal. This runs in my family from a mother whose biological clock thinks that 12:00 am is actually noon and a brother who goes to bed past 4:00 am so consequently, "sleep happens" (a phrase his friends coined for the way he can fall asleep on the stairs or with a McGriddle in hand) to him in rather odd places. We can't help it, its in our blood. I usually hit the sack around 2:00 every night.

In no way am I saying that this is a good thing, in fact I wish I was one of those morning people you here about. I just would like some company as I laugh at the irony of how I somehow got placed in the "early to bed" room here in London. Our lights go out at 10 while every other room makes it until at least midnight before they turn theirs out but continue to talk. So I either stay in a dark room for a few hours every night with the light of my laptop and fellow owls, Jani and Claire, to keep me company or stay out in the living room. Hopefully my roommate's good example of a proper bedtime will rub off on me... I could use the extra hours!

More to come!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This is what our Bishop said to us Sunday morning as we were leaving his office: 
"So Jenna you're teaching today, we would like all of you guys to split up during Sacrament meeting to sit by someone new, we need you to belt out the hymns, we will set you apart after church, your musical number will be next week, and we'll start getting you guys speaking in the few weeks after." It's great to be needed, especially when the people needing you are such sweethearts. I absolutely love my ward!

More to come!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Dover Castle has been my favorite sight so far. We walked a beautifully green trail for about 5 minutes and reached the coolest medieval castle. It was built in the 11th century and I was instantly taken back to that time. I couldn't help but think of movies like Sleeping Beauty and Tristan and Isolde... and I may or may not have acted out a few scenes from each...

I am so grateful to be on this program for many, many reasons, but one of them is the fact that I am here in London long enough to pretty much see the entire area and really get a feel for the culture and history. I don't think I ever would have stopped at the Dover Castle had I been on a whirlwind tour through Europe, but boy am I happy I was able to! You can practically hear the warlords grunting while walking on these grounds. awesome. In the excitement of it all, I kind of went a little picture crazy...

(photo cred: natalie, my favorite paparazzi, such an awesome picture!)

Shhhh this isn't from Dover its actually from the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey but I just think this picture is funny. 

More to come!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I am afraid of heights. Especially heights with super sketchy railings and a long way to fall down. On Wednesday I climbed up 528 steps to reach the top of St. Paul's. People say that the view is amazing... I wouldn't know. I was the first one up and first one down. The only reason I stayed up there for 2 whole minutes was to gain the courage to scoot against wall to the exit doors. It was terrifying.

Here is a picture of me before climbing to the top...

And here is a picture of my terror at the top... (note: I did not pose for this picture, it was snapped candidly)

At least I made it, right?

More to come!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have been here a little over a week and have done SO much already! I have mostly been blogging about experiences, how I have been feeling, and funny things I have noticed so I decided I would quickly recap what I've done so I can remember everything!
I have gone to...
  • Buckingham Palace - still have to go see the changing of the guards
  • National Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Museum of London
  • Leicester Square
  • Harrod's
  • Single's dance
  • Portobello Road
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • The London Eye - still have to ride it
  • Big Ben
  • St. Paul's
  • Millennium Bridge
  • Jersey Boys
  • Les Miserables
  • and wayy too many gelato/ice cream shops

On our field trip to St. Paul's we were on the "super tour," it instantly reminded Natalie and I of the movie Super Star (hence the pose). For the amount of tours we go on, things we see, and pictures we take, I feel like we are super star tourist. It's intense, but amazing.

We're going shopping today and out to Dover and Canterbury tomorrow!

More to come!

Deja vu-ing.

I have deja vu at least a few times each day here in London.

1. Living and eating in such close quarters with 40 girls feels like the dorms all over again, which I love.

2. There are only 6 classes to choose from so pretty much all of us are in the exact same classes. It feels just like high school when you would ask your friends homework questions and work together. It is really convenient.

3. Chain food places are crazy here. Yes, there are lots of small cute food shops, but I cannot even tell you the number of Bella Italias, Eat.'s, Pret a manger's etc. that I see a day. In a matter of a less than one minute walk in Leicester Square you run into 3 Angus Steak Houses and 3 Bella Italia's.

Here are some of my lovely darlings. Everyone calls us "darling" here, it is one of my favourite things. Yesterday the cashier at the pharmacy gave me my change and said, "Here you go darling!" love it. These are just some of the fabulous girls I live with. They are all such sweethearts and so much fun.

Here are some of my friends and I doing what we do best, eating. Oddly enough, there is a Bella Italia in the background (one of the chain restaurants I just mentioned). Actually that is not so odd because they are everywhere!

Things that I definitely do not have deja vu about.

1. Living in 1 room with 8 girls. It is way fun but just much more than I am used to! ooh and living down the stairs from your professors. Eating breakfast in your pajamas next to your professors is a funny thing.

2. Trying to do homework while living in such a fun city... sorry Provo, you have absolutely nothing on London.

3. Having soo many food options. Delicious, but this could be the death of me. In the words of my cousin Taylor, "food, my best friend and worst enemy."

More to come!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Reading about St. Augustine and Bede is almost made enjoyable while sitting inside our beautiful Knotting Hill mansion and listening to the London rain. Rain Gods, please send a storm our way during finals time... that's about the only way homework will seem somewhat enticing while living in this breathtaking city!

We had our first dreary/rainy day yesterday (notice the sky in the picture), and I have to admit that I loved it! I am sure that in a few weeks I will deny having ever said this, but for now it is fabulous. I am a big fan of rain and fall clothes so it is perfect. It hasn't been too cold, which is nice, but it makes bundling up under a nice, soft blanket even better!

For our drizzly day adventure we decided to go see Big Ben and the London Eye (we're planning to ride it soon!). Big Ben was beautiful, and in true American tourist fashion, we spent about 20 minutes climbing on things to take pictures. I am beginning to understand why other countries find Americans obnoxious. But standing on top of a fence to climb onto a lamp post, cramming 8 girls into a telephone booth, and jumping in front of a national monument just makes a picture so much better... doesn't it? Pictures will be up soon.

The tube was on strike today so we stayed inside. I got laundry done, took a nap, did some homework, and we all watched Knotting Hill.

More to come!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The tube is smelly.

It's not bad but there is a definite "tube aroma." Not to mention, they designed the tubes so that the armpit of the person holding the bar in front of you is right at nose level.

Tonight the Centre's (look at me, so fancy and British with the -re spelling) kitchen was smelly. Someone burned popcorn and there is left over fish stinking up the fridge from Friday night's fish and chips dinner.

Nose, please stop sniffing!

More to come!


To enhance our experience here in London, BYU sends us out in groups to different wards in the London area that need experienced members help (since when I became an experienced member, I have no clue). So today was my first Sunday in the Clapham Ward in South London. I got assigned to be a Gospel Principles Teacher and I am so excited. It is a class for investigators and new converts, and the ward has such an aclectic group. Even more than teaching a lesson for 45 whole minutes, I think my biggest challenge will be understanding the people in my class. The ward is mostly filled with Africans but there are a few Brazilians, a Chilean, and 2 Chinese members. In our small class of about 15, we were reading from the Book of Mormon in 4 different languages. I honestly couldn't be more thrilled with my calling and cannot wait for the experience and growth that will come my way because of it.... not without much nervousness and preparation! Wish me luck, I start this Sunday!

Tonight at our weekly fireside I was introduced to a new scripture that I don't think could be any more perfect for my time here in London.
Ephesians 2:19 "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God."
I never completely understood or experienced this until today. I have never felt such warmth and love from complete strangers. Sure I have been fellowshipped from my new wards at the start of the school year, but today was different. Today I was greeted by the most genuine people, love was just pouring out of them. Living in such a transient and cultural area, they truly understand that no one, not even the out-of-place, white, 20 year old BYU students, are strangers or foreigners because we are all family in the household of God. This will be an experience I know I will never forget. If there is one thing that I wish to take away from my London journey, it is their example of my favorite Les Miserables proverb, "to love another person is to see the face of God." I know that the members of the Clapham Ward see God each day as they share their love for His children. I hope, so badly, that I will be able to develop a love like theirs someday.

Shameless Les Miserables plug: I saw it for the 3rd time on Saturday. No matter how many times you have seen it, see it again when it comes your way. If you have never seen it, find out where it is playing and go! No question about it. Such a beautiful story of mercy, forgiveness, salvation, and love. Happy Sunday!

Oh! Also wish me luck because they asked us BYU students to sing a musical number for Sacrament meeting in 2 weeks... I don't sing. I leave that one to Brad and Carly. But I guess when their ears hurt it will be their fault because they are the ones that asked me! Don't worry, I'll report.

More to come!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Friday night about 20 of us girls decided to go to the London Singles dance. The theme was "Party Like a Rockstar," so naturally, I decided to dress up. We definitely started the party. It was out of control. I literally took advil today because my neck was so sore from dancing. I think I may have a slight case of whiplash from head banging... I haven't danced that hard in years!

Me and my friend Natalie saw these bad boys and had to take a picture with them. Loving their commitment to the theme.

More to come!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I took a nonstop flight from LA and it was heavenly! I listened to music, wrote in my journal, ate dinner, went to bed, and woke up with only 2 hours to go. Once I landed and got through customs I met up with a girl in the program, Sarryn, and we got a taxi together. I threw my stuff in my room, ate dinner with all the girls, and then explored Hyde Park that night.

This is the outside of the center, it is an absolutely beautiful house! AND.... it is rumored that Jude Law lives on our street... don't worry, major stalking plans are already under way to see if that's true! He's my fav.

Our second day we bought our tube passes, went to the Victoria and Albert and National Gallery Museums, drooled a little over the clothes in Harrods, saw Buckingham Palace, and took a bus ride around the city. It was fabulous, I am already in love with London. We were starving halfway through so we stopped at this cute crepe shop and devoured our meals, as seen in the picture. I highly recommend the chicken and asparagus crepe, delish. Later that night I saw Jersey Boys! It was such a fun show! Even better was the fact that I went to a show the night before school started... I can already tell that school might lose the battle against exploring London.

Classes started today. The classes will be interesting because almost half of our assignments are field studies. For instance, by next humanities class I have to go to the National Gallery and write my thoughts on two paintings that we are studying. This opportunity is unreal! I am so excited to be here :). After class I went out with a few girls to get some supplies to get organized and settled in my room and we stopped at a gelato store! soo yummy! I am still waiting for my haagen daz though!

Note to all viewers: Yes, I do realize that 2 out of the 3 pictures I have ever posted have dealt with me eating food. A) there are soo many food and treat places up and down the street so this will probably be happening a lot, and B) I've been walking a lot... hopefully A and B will balance each other out! hopefully...

So far I have had an absolute blast! I love the girls and I love the center. I can already tell that I am going to have the time of my life, but how could I not here?

More to come!