Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter and the Cuban Ballet

Saturday 4/3
I woke up to the smell of delicious waffles (yes the smell reached us up here on the 4th floor) made by the fabulous Terri Shuler (the facilitator's wife). Home-ade waffles with chocolate sauce and strawberries - yum. I mailed home a big package of candy to my lucky family (i think 10+ candy bars?). I finally successfully bought tickets to see Billy Elliot this week! I am so psyched. Ali and I spent some time on Oxford Street (shopper's paradise) and i got a few clothes for backpacking. Good thing i'm broke or I might have gone on a shopping spree! I love London window-shopping though. Haha actually I went into about 10 or 15 souvenir shops today looking for some presents for my sisters, brother, and mom. I also bought a union jack flag purse. Cheesy but fun. Spent the night blogging and emailing haha. Somehow went to bed at 5 am doing this. What a night. :)

Sunday 4/4
Happy Easter! We had a lovely Easter brunch at the Centre which looked like a tea party buffet. It was adorable. Lots of dainty little things, tarts, coffee cake, and yummy food. I ate Cadbury chocolate eggs today in honor of my mom's Easter tradition. :) We had an Easter program with musical numbers and talks. A few of us took pictures all dressed up, and then Ali and I went to Kensington Garden. It started as a stroll through the park and an excuse to feed bread to the ducks, and it ended as a photoshoot. It was a wonderful Easter afternoon. AND flowers are starting to bloom! The daffodils are out (pre-planted) and sooo pretty. I wish Spring would bloom faster! This was the most beautiful Easter of my life. Wow i love London.
I got to skype my family today, blogged, etc. Some of my friends here got back from Scotand tonight! They talked about eating haggis and sailing over the creepy Loch Ness (no monster sightings) and meeting hilarious friendly people with great accents. I'm sad I won't get to visit Scotland on this Europe trip! Someday.
and i love these girls
There are lots of photos from today but here are some of my favorites...
ali's shots of me
my shots of ali... to be continued.. :) 
Monday 4/5
Classes, then Ali and I went to Trafalgar Square to get tickets for the Ballet! The Cuban National Ballet. I've been wanting to see a ballet all semester and planned to see it this weekend when Cinderella opened. Student tickets sold out immediately and just when I thought all was lost, our director told us there was some leftover money in the program and that each of us could have £60 to see something classical/educational (ballet, opera, classical concert, and some plays - including Les Mis). I would have preferred the cash... but they wouldn't hand it out. I used the money to get great seats at a Ballet! Cinderella wasn't open yet (and seemed sold out) so we got tickes to see the Cuban National Ballet perform Magia de la Danza. It sounds random but i am thrilled! Today i got a ferrero rocher flavored ice cream cone and sat relaxing, looking across the street at Kensington Garden (a 4 minutes' walk from the Centre). The sun even shined for while. I was so happy. Is it weird to still have simple experiences like this feel surreal and magical? Almost perfect. I am so satisfied to sit in pretty London and people-watch and eat good ice cream especially if there's sunshine. I don't want to leave yet! PS my birthday is in 1 month! yay. :)
Trafalgar Square
london love
Tuesday 4/6
Today was lovely. After class we had lunch at Eat (like Pret) and then went to Primark… I will miss that crazy store. I won’t miss the constant madhouse crowds though. I bought a cardigan (ok maybe 2.. so cheap! Primark miracles haha) and a pink dress! That’s right. Light pink with polka dots and 1940s-ish ruffles on the side. I love it so much. It’s one of those purchases that make your day. We got home and dressed up for the ballet (I wore my new dress!) and actually had a nice dinner at Italian restaurant Zizzi’s. Real restaurants are a big deal. :) Haha we used a ‘buy one meal get another for £1 deal.’ We went all out – appetizer, big pizzas, and dessert (cinnamon gelato!). It was delicious.
trafalgar square
We headed to Trafalgar Square to the London Coliseum, to see Ballet Nacional de Cuba perform Magia de la Danza. My first real ballet! It was amazing. Unfortunately I was exhausted and my eyes closed a few times without my noticing (seriously I thought I was watching it and then realized I missed some of it haha). Sad. But the darkness and soft music and my drowsiness was a bad combination. I had chocolate in the intermission and that helped wake me up.
Anyway the Ballet! I absolutely loved it. We has great seats in the Dress Circle (first row up) and the performance was perfect for me because it was a sampler of highlights from seven ballets! I saw ballet from Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker (my favorite), Coppelia, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, and a Gottschalk Symphony scene. It as a mix of classical ballet and fold dance ballet and a Spanish matador-themed ballet! What an amazing ballet.

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