Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Splendour

Tomorrow is the big day for William Windsor and Kate Middleton - and anyone else who has been enamoured with the history and glamour of the English crown! Though I do think the Western World has gone a little over-the-top in its attention to the Royal Wedding, I can't deny that I am excited to witness the marriage of the handsome Prince William (yes, I know the most recent pictures of him have revealed that he is "losing his bloom" - and starting to go bald! - but he is a much handsomer prince than Charles ever was, and he always looks so "smart" in his suits and uniform) and the truly beautiful Kate - "middle-class" - Middleton. In honor of their special day, I thought I would share a couple wedding-related pictures that I took on my recent stay in England:

A shot of Westminster, Abbey - the location of Will & Kate's lovely nuptials, which will be exchanged at 11 am tomorrow.

I couldn't believe some of the outrageous Royal Wedding paraphernalia that I saw in the UK! While window-shopping in Bath, England, I spotted this heart-shaped teapot upon which the bride and groom's names are painted in gilded letters (also note the ornately decorated plate in the background with William and Kate's faces on it!)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Downton Abbey"

Whilst I have been re-adapting to American culture since my return from the UK - there is one aspect of British culture I cannot give up: historical dramas! This past week I watched all seven episodes of "Downton Abbey"which is a series about the wealthy Crawley family and the ongoings of their household (including the lives of the kitchen maids, footmen, butler, ladies in waiting, etc.). The series is set in turn-of-the-century England (during the reign of King George the V). There are three daughters in the Crawley family and I just could not get over how elegant they were dressed in every episode! I really think we should go back to dressing this way. I pulled out my watercolors and sketched a few dresses - and faces, for that matter.

Here's the link to the trailer for Downton Abbey:

The youngest daughter, Sibyl, in a smart blue hat.

One of the dresses worn by the oldest daughter, Mary, during Episode 1.

A black gown worn by Mary while she is mourning for the death of her cousin (and fiancée) who drowned in the Titanic incident. The expression on her face is unhappy - not because she is sad for her cousin's death - but because her character dislikes the color black.
My favorite of Mary's outfits: a high-waisted silver skirt, lavender blouse, and elegant set of pearls.
The middle daughter,Edith,who bears the unfortunate reputation of being the least attractive sister.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm back.

I have finally returned from my 3 months of study in Oxford, England! The experience was life-changing, undoubtedly. I would love to share travel stories, and lessons learned, etc. However, it would probably take a plethora of blog entries to describe my experience in full. I am going to limit myself to a few photos for now. More photos can be found on my Facebook page:

I am also figuring out a way to post my newsletter, "Life on the Isis,"- an amateur publication that I sent on a regular basis to family and friends while in England. It provides a much more comprehensive account of my adventures!

A quintessentially English treat: shortbread topped with white chocolate and berries. This item was photographed (and devoured) at "Cassandra's Cup Cafe" across from Jane Austen's house in Hampshire, England.
A photo of New College on an especially sunny day! New College was where I was selected to study for the term.
The Radcliffe Camera - a historic reading room that is primarily used by Oxford undergraduates. It is home to hundreds of books that are part of the extensive Bodleian Library System, and also many busy-body students slaving over essays! I had the privilege of being one of those students, though I didn't mind "slaving" over my work, as I'm sure others, in truth, did not either!
My lovely friend, and master travel-companion, Elena. Last year she studied in Barcelona, Spain and made trips to many other cities in Continental Europe during her time there. Needless to say, she is an old pro when it comes to taking public transportation, etc.! It was awesome to have her along for her expertise, and most importantly, for her friendship! This photo was taken on the cliffs of Cornwall, England. Here we are at an ancient amphitheater that was built into the cliff-side.
Glorious Cornwall! We were eager to visit the ocean after 8 weeks of seeing only books and the screens of our lap-top computers!

A snapshot of me in front of the famous (and somewhat underrated, in my opinion), rock formation, "Stonehenge."